1. Mae
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    Mae Member

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    Plot from a dream?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Mae, Oct 25, 2010.

    Yes, it sounds cheesy, and yes, it IS cheesy. And yes, it actually did come from a dream! A most peculiar, random(and wtf), dream. Anyway. I completely freeform write. I don't make plots, I've tried it, it's impossible for me. Well, this one does. This is the first. And it's just giving me a hell of a time. I want to write it in as much clarity as I had in my dream. I want to write it as epically, and totally dripping with awesomness as it was in my dream. But it's my first story I've written that isn't freeform. Do you have any advice for me on how to write a story with a plot?

    And I apologize if this is in the wrong area!
     
  2. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If planning isn't you thing you should search for the term "discovery writer" for another way to write stories. Stephen King has written a good book on writing with this approach called "On writing".

    A dream can absolutely be used as good base for a dream, but needs to be adapted to work as a written story.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Twice in my life I've had dreams that I've turned into stories. Both were actually nightmares, and the stories that resulted are very different from most of the things I write.

    You have to be careful with dreams. What happens in dreams rarely makes sense outside the dream, and therefore isn't good material for stories. Also, there are things that are, as you put it, "totally dripping with awesomeness" in dreams, and even in your memory of the dreams, but might not actually drip with awesomeness outside your own head. I've had dreams that have floored me with their awesomeness and I treasure the memory of those dreams, but it would take a writer of enormous genius to transmit that awesomeness to a reader, and I don't have enormous genius.
     
  4. Zombie_Chinchilla
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    I think I've read somewhere (or maybe I'm just making this up) but I'm pretty sure Frankenstein was written from a dream. Dreams can be surprisingly clear, and if you just get rid of all the stuff that doesn't makes sense, then you could definitely have a story.

    If you want to roll with it, roll with it.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    So was Twilight, so you'd better be careful. :p

    Haha....she's right though, if you think it'll roll, go with it.

    You could use the most vivid/scary/etc moment from a dream and turn it into one scene, then base the rest of the story around it.

    You'd have to answer certain questions. Why are the characters in that position, what's their ultimate goal etc.
     
  6. Mae
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    Mae Member

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    I love the advice! Thank you!
     
  7. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Two years ago, I had a dream for a whole month. It pick take off in the same place when I woke up and went to sleep and so on so on.
    The plot stuck with me for 2 years now, so a plot from a dream is fine by me. Nothing wrong with it, some writer make book of dreams..
     
  8. mummymunt
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    mummymunt Member

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    Back when I was writing short stories, I would often wake up in the morning after dreaming my brains out all night (I'm a very active dreamer and I remember a lot) and sit down and write a short story.
    I don't know if you're trying to write something novel-length or something shorter, but I always found the short story format very useful. All of mine were horror stories (I had nightmares every night between the ages of 14 and 24, lots of story ideas there), and I actually won a couple of awards for them.
     
  9. Zombie_Chinchilla
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    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

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    Good point! I forgot about that, ha ha. :D
     
  10. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    There's nothing wrong with getting a plot from a dream. I think the best way to achieve the effect you want is probably to write really late at night. Of course, you should recognize that all writing, especially when it sounds "free form", is actually very carefully constructed. Paradoxical as it sounds, it takes a lot of work to sound natural.

    The odd thing about plots is that there's really nothing to them. They're all kind of the same: man wants something but force prevents him from getting it; eventually he overcomes this force or the force overcomes him. It's all about the set up and the characters.

    I confess I don't really think that writing anything longer than a few pages is possible without some sort of plan. I'd love to be proved wrong though :)
     
  11. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Lol, I do kind of the same thing. I have a dream notebook, I write down all of my dreams in the notebook. (Which I have not been doing laterly) Some of them are weird, funny and great dreams, mostly of the time I don't part the nightmares in there. Since I don't have a lot of them but when I do I hate them with a passion. I remember a lot of my dreams and I have up to 1 long dream or a few a night.
     
  12. NoaMineo
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    So here's one thought I haven't seen expressed so far in this thread: look up "Jungian Symbolism". Carl Jung was a protégée of Sigmond Frued who did very extensive work on dream analysis and dream interpretation. Some really, really good information on the subject is in Joseph Campell's book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces". You will feel like an incredible nerd while reading it, but its probably the best resource you're going to find.

    I've done a handful of stories(even a full-length novel) based on dreams, the trick seems to be writting down every single detail whether it makes sense or not, while it's still fresh in your head. I once awoke to find a piece of paper on my desk upon which I had apparently scrawled some stuff from a dream in the middle of the night, three years later and I'm still trying to make sense of it.
     
  13. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    Yeah, I guess dreams could have an underlying meaning, but I'm just not so sure about my particular dreams. A lot of them have been nightmares. About animals running while in my house or chasing me down and attacking me. I don't know how else to see them. Just that they were there to keep me from sleeping at night.
     
  14. NoaMineo
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    Well, that was the key point where Jung differed from frued(I sound like a nerd, don't I?). Frued believed that each item of a dream had one specific, universal meaning that was always the same for everyone. This is why no one ever mentioned Fruedian dream analysis these days.

    Jung believed that the symbols of the dreams had unique meanings specific to the dreamer. In otherwords, a panther chasing you through your house could mean something entirely different than a panther chasing me through my house. You have to view your life in context to help understand what the dream means, look at the events of your life going on around the time you had the dream.

    But, of course, one thing both Frued and Jung could agree on: not every dream means something. Sometimes they are just completely meaningless, and you shouldn't spend to much time trying to figure it out. I will tell you, though, the Jungian stuff really works, I have solved quite a bit of inner turmoil through dream analysis.

    And, aside from all that, just incorporating Jungian symbolism n your writing can really add a new dimension to it. And it can help you communicate the awesomeness of those dream-based story to the reader, by making them frame it in a more personalized mindset.
     
  15. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    My current WIP was actually adapted from a dream. Unfortunately in transforming it from just a series of vivid images into a coherent plot, I've lost some of the most striking of those images. All that's left now of the dream now are a couple of scenes, the basic nature of the main character, and her name. Not sure if it will work for you, but what I did was hold onto the images that I remember most clearly, and built a story around them as much as I could.
     
  16. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    ^Chasing after your dreams in this manner is a good idea, I think. You're the person who has been in the POV. So in a way, it gives you a complete advantage when transcribing the vivid images onto a page.
     
  17. NoaMineo
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    NoaMineo Member

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    I think sometimes you have to take some creative licence. The images are never going to be as vivid five minutes after you wake up, as they were before you opened your eyes. The best thing to do is focus on creating new vivid imagery inspired by the dream, and hope it comes close.
     
  18. Mae
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    Mae Member

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    LOVE these suggestions!
     
  19. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    overwhelmed with ideas? good,just jot them down as notes and look at them later,you'll be surprised what you come up with :)
     
  20. Mae
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    Mae Member

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    Oh, I do!
     
  21. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    I had an awesome dream last night which would make for a good story initiator! Was so tense in places it woke me up, which is why I remember it. The best thing is though, when I went back to sleep afterwards, the dream kinda continued. :) Woke me up again dammit, but at least I've got some good ideas from it...
     
  22. Jade-Kult
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    Jade-Kult New Member

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    That's where I get all my stories from. Straight out of dreams. To bad we all have to wake up at some point!
     
  23. DownUnder
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    DownUnder Contributing Member

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    Dreams are awesome :D. Great to draw inspiration from. Although I tend to just randomly think about plots when I'm awake, sometimes I'll have a dream which I can then draw an idea from.

    However most of the times, my dreams are just random pieces of weirdness hashed together nonsensically (which is probably the same for many people :p).
     
  24. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    ^Yes. A lot of my dreams don't hold a candle of sense. I just recently had a dream about a friend of mine who got sorta violent. This said friend of mine in real life is the nicest, most friendly person you could meet in the world. I have no idea why I had that dream :|
     

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