1. Cynglen
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    Cynglen Senior Member

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    Turning unfinished dream into story

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Cynglen, Aug 28, 2012.

    Morning all.

    So I woke up about 2 hours ago from a very vivid and detailed dream, and after immediately jotting down a solid page of summary/details on the dream, I decided I really want to try and springboard off of this for a story. My only problem is, I woke up from the dream right as things were starting to get exciting, so, while I have plenty of buildup and plot details, I don't yet have a climax/resolution/real purpose to the story.

    All I've ever written is short poems and short stories where I already knew what my "idea" behind it all was, so I'm having trouble coming up with an ending/purpose from the "prompt" my dream gave me. My question is: has anyone else ever been in this situation (trying to complete an unfinished dream) and/or do you know any tips/techniques on how to think up such an ending, or is this something I'll just have to think on for a while and figure on my own?

    Thanks.
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    When I was thirteen I had a very vivid dream that I spun off into a story - that kept evolving.
    I wrote a first draft the next year that was longer than the Bible! But I could never whip any order
    into it. I kept adding characters, new places, histories. Plots kept changing - mainly because the
    characters kept haunting my dreams.
    I love this project but it's a behemoth - so I've set it aside.

    Not sure if your dream is idea oriented or character oriented. If it's idea oriented - maybe
    create some characters and see where that takes you. This is what I did. As soon as I began
    exploring the characters and how they reacted in the situation - the idea took off.
     
  3. Cynglen
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    Cynglen Senior Member

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    Wow. I certainly don't think this will turn into anything rivaling the page count of Tolkien, but I'll take that as a warning I could bog down. The dream gave me a little character detail and storyline, but nothing too deep into either. I think that means I'll need to focus into my characters/setting details first. Thanks for the post.
     
  4. J. Blake
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    J. Blake Member

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    I've been there before (Doesn't it suck how dreams always end when it's getting good?)

    It sounds like you've already got an idea going, so what I'd recommend is focusing on characters. Admittedly I'm biased towards characters over plot, that just being how I write, but I'm an adamant believer that if your character is garbage, all of the plot in the world isn't going to help you. Find a good candidate for your story (or candidates*, if that's the case) and explore them. If you're the Outlining writer here's where you'd go nuts with outlines and spreadsheets. If you're the other kind of writer, you may want to just drop your characters into that setting and just see how they react. If you have a good hold on your characters, if you can just observe and report without trying so hard to dictate where the story goes, you might just unearth your missing climax and resolution naturally from the story. God knows it's happened to be countless times, in the midst of writing, an "Aha!" moment will spring to mind.

    Good luck, hope it works out for you!
     

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