1. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Nightmares

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Pythonforger, Apr 26, 2011.

    I once had a horrible nightmare. Now, I love having the thrill of nightmares, even though they're quite scary. When I woke up, I captured the nightmare in my mind. This sparked an idea for a horror story. However, I gravitate toward fantasy, so I almost unconsciously shifted it to become a fantasy story.
    When I gave this idea to my English teacher, I was told it was a bad idea and I should try writing something "that I thought up". I am all for that, but as we know, there is nothing more interesting than the other side of your mind!
    So should I follow my English teacher or not? On one hand, I want to be creative. On the other hand, I feel like I'm breaking one of those "Rules for Writing Newbies", like not using too many adverbs. It feels okay, but it's actually a really bad mistake.
     
  2. Norule
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    Norule Member

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    Ive heard that its not that great to use dreams for writing but I dont know. I think it could be good, especially a part of a story maybe not the whole thing.
    Dreams are often twisted so you could use as a dream for a character or maybe for someone starting to go insane.

    YOu could use the dream as an outlining for the rest of your story. Like the dream is the idea and then you use your creativity to turn it into a story
     
  3. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Why are dreams/nightmares not good fodder to be turned into stories? I keep hearing this, but I just don't get it.
     
  4. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    I don't know, but my English teacher is more experienced than me, so I mostly listen to him.

    @Norule-It's twisted, yes, but I write fantasy some say is "dark". Besides, I altered it a little to remove the truly scary parts(those I write in my dream notebook and later convert into grotesque murders for my amusement or simply as inspiration.
     
  5. Norule
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    Norule Member

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    I dont know why people say not to use it its just what ive heard.

    xD okey, there is one other thing that can be a problem. Maybe thats just my dream they are often very disjointed. So one second you are in a kitchen, you turn around and you are standing in the middle of the street. If you can sort it out then i guess you could make it work.
     
  6. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have tried writing stories based on my dreams before. I don't know why to be honest, but they never turn out any good... And usually, the more I work on them, the more idiotic the entire story feels.
     
  7. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    So it's because people try to write them literally? Don't just take the idea and run with it?

    I've been inspired to write short stories from dreams and had them work out. I focus on the emotion, or a specific scene and build from that. Is that not what you mean?
     
  8. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I think a dream can work as the seed of an idea, from which a story can grown and be nurtured. But if you try and transpose it directly, you're going to run into trouble.

    In a general sense, I can't see a reason why a dream shouldn't be used as an idea for a story. Honestly, if you can make a good story out of it, go for it. That, in the end, is the only thing that matters.
     
  9. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Oh good, it's not just me who doesn't see why it can't work :)

    I can definitely see why transposing directly would be difficult. My most recent nightmare involved Gary Busey chasing me through a home store shooting me with a nail gun (that had the longest air hose ever!) while I protected some random person's four year old little girl. Everyone around me just watched while he killed me.. lol. Interesting dream, completely off the wall story, lol.
     
  10. Norule
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    Norule Member

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    Trish I think thats what you have to do to make it work.

    I think reworking it to much make you realise that what you thought was a good idea at the start maybe wasnt very good.

    A dream in itself is not a story really since there is no context things usually just happen, for me a person (character) Im talking to could become another person in the middle of a sentence. So I think dreams change during the dreams storys keep a thread right through.
     
  11. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Oh wow, mine are nothing like that! (Kinda wish they were sometimes) See my previous post, that's how all of mine are. Are mine really so different?? Interesting...
     
  12. Norule
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    Norule Member

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    Thats kinda cool having dreams that arent all vague and non linear like mine are, might be the reason why have such a hard time remember my dreams. All i remember are bits and pieces. Its funny how different it can be :)

    Maybe it has to do with age aswell, maybe dreams become clearer the older you get? Since i often hear people I work with (im a trainee so that means im by far the youngest at my work probably half as young as anyone else -.-) talk about dreams and everyone seems to remeber them perfectly. Or maybe its just different between people
     
  13. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    It is way different. It's funny too, that I think it's cool that yours are vague and I wish I could have those, cause mine are WAY too vivid sometimes :)
     
  14. Norule
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    Norule Member

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    No way, it would be much cooler to have vivid dreams since then you can remember even if they are weird or scary. But maybe im just saying this since I dont have it hehe :)
     
  15. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Yeah, I think maybe you are. Actually feeling like you're being shot with a nail gun? Not all it's cracked up to be :p
     
  16. Norule
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    Norule Member

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    No maybe not :p But Im guessing you dont always get shot with a nail gun :) Atleast I hope you dont seems like it would get kinda boring.
     
  17. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    No, I don't. I have far more nightmares then I do just dreams, though, so it's not that fun :D
     
  18. Norule
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    Norule Member

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    I kinda miss haveing nightmares. I havent had one in years, I mean its no fun while you still dream but when you wake up its kind of a special felling. Except for real life you are probably never as scared :) Watching movies, reading things like that dont come close.

    I remeber when I was like 10-13 I often dreamt about being chased by a big black dog/wolf like thing. Later the last times ive had nightmares I dont continue being scared after ive woken up. And then instead its kind of a nice felling.
     
  19. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    Nice to gain perspective on things, though.
     
  20. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    My first nightmare I was in kindergarten and we read Henny Penny. I had nightmares of running with assorted talking animals while being pelted with chunks of the sky for months :p

    @ Pea - Yes I suppose it is.
     
  21. Norule
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    Maybe you should make it into a short story :) Dreams are crazy and its fun when you remember even though i usually just remember parts :D
     
  22. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    Imo both nightmares and dreams are a great blessing and there's no reason we shouldn't use the ideas for a story. If you have an idea already but can't seem to click it into place you can go to sleep thinking on the idea and have a dream about it. Plus it's a very fresh 'wild' level of reality which really opens you up to some possibilities you wouldn't have considered otherwise. A whole new pool of information you can draw from. You can get first-hand experience (or at least an analogue of it) on situations you wouldn't usually come into, allowing greater perspective.

    I probably made this longer than I should've but it's kind of difficult for me to put into words, sorry. :p
     
  23. Norule
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    Norule Member

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    I understand completly in dreams things happen that you wouldnt have thought of. Open up a way to continue a story that you never could have came up with if you just sit at a table trying to write it down :) I would love to keep discussing this with you but im leaving now.

    Nice talking to you Trish and Pea, Have a good one
     
  24. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    I'm an English teacher, and there are times when I give advice to students in order to get a coherent story out of them. However, I'm not the "ALMIGHTY" or anything at creative writing. As a matter of fact, my particular background is more about reading literature than writing short stories--hence why I'm here on this site trying to get my act together.

    The point--yes, it's true that your English teacher has experience, but it doesn't mean that you can't make it work. The reason why she might be giving you this advice may be because it has the potential to create a very chaotic and pointless story within the realm of the impossible fantastic. Nightmares, however, can become an integral part of a very coherent plot despite their chaotic nature. For example, if you've watched the movie Inception, you'll see what I mean. I've seen really great stories where a protagonist's nightmares begin to affect him in real life. Maybe they incite him to murder, or perhaps they ignite a second personality who commits murder as a result. However, I wouldn't just write a story that is all about one particular dream without addressing how the dream affects the protagonist in reality. If your stories keep spiraling out of control or the fantasy goes hog-wild, higglety-pigglety, then your English teacher will hate the story and grow frustrated that you didn't take his/her advice. You'll get a story that just doesn't make any sense.

    Dream stories become very cliched also where the protagonist only pops in at the end, like "Oh, wow, that was only a dream??" Surprise! The problem is that it usually isn't a surprise to find the line, "And then he woke up, and it was only a dream." It just makes people groan to read your speedy and easy resolution to the chaotic fantasy nightmare.

    Also, keep in mind that if you're writing about gruesome suicides and murders, you need to make it clear that you are not suffering from recurring nightmares and are not contemplating violence in any way. The reason is because English teachers see a lot of creative writing and troubled kids often write very dark stuff when they're dealing with their own personal demons--it's only natural. If you don't clarify this point, don't be surprised if your guidance counselor contacts you.
     
  25. Evilyn
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    I might be wrong but wasn't Twilight based on a dream Stephenie Meyer had? if so it seemed to work for her ;)

    On a serious note when I was a child my brother and I used to write our nightmares down in a notebook and illustrate them, this sounds kinda odd now but at the time we found it very interesting, and I have to admit looking back some of those had the potential to be pretty good horror stories so I don't see how it couldn't work if you used it as a idea, taking certain parts. I personally have not had or at least been able to remember a nightmare for years, maybe I should go eat some cheese..
     

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