After a night of crazy dreams, I wrote them in my journal and thought, Wow, this would be a really great story. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this thought, and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve used my dreams and nightmares to make stories.
Dreams can be incredibly helpful for writers. They expose us to strange scenarios. They take us on wild rides. But how they can they help our writing?
You may have heard the story that J.K. Rowling first dreamt about the orphan boy with a lightning scar while she was on a train. A lot of other famous writers have dreamt about their books.
Inspiration can come from real life, but our dreams have the ability to take us to places we’ve never been before. Our dreams are an extension of our imagination. Sometimes they reach ideas we might never have gotten to during our waking hours. Why not use this to your advantage and use dreams as inspiration for your writing?
I’ve heard it said before that everything we dream is pieces of things we’ve seen or done before. According to the scientific research gathered by Caifang Zhu, “dreams are most often reasonable simulations of waking life that contain occasional unusual features in terms of settings, characters, or activities.”
Writing can complicate our lives and push our minds to the limits. And life is just kind of crazy! Dreams are a great way to sort out what we’re really worried about. By writing down your dreams, you’re dumping all of the scrambled events of your waking life down for you to examine.
While there might also be some great writing material, you’ll also be opening yourself up for writing beyond your own life. This is especially helpful for writers who create entire worlds and extensive characters.
It happens to us all. A certain plot point just won’t connect to the rest of the story. One of the best things you can do is let the text rest and go to sleep. Dreams have a way of unraveling complicated events in our life. If your writing consumes your thoughts, chances are you’ll end up dreaming something about it.
You can also look back on dreams you’ve written down. Sometimes they may spark an idea or even contain exactly what you’ve been looking for. Dreams are unpredictable and not linear. They leave room for you to plug in whatever your writing already contains, while also providing unexpected twists!
By starting to write your dreams out now, you’ll gain a larger collection of ideas to choose from.
What if I don’t dream much? you might ask.
Everyone dreams, but not everyone remembers what they dream about. The best thing you can do to help encourage your dream memory is to try to remember them right when you wake up and to write them down.
As a fantasy writer, I’m constantly looking for new ideas to put into my books. I’m not naturally a horror writer, but I do have a lot of wild nightmares. Dreams are the inspiration for many scenes from my books, as well as my current project of stories based entirely on nightmares.
Dreams can also be a helpful nudge to try out a new genre. Even if you use them as writing prompts, you might be surprised where they take you.
My stories based off dreams are available on Amazon Kindle for anyone to enjoy. Or you can check out the articles below to find out more about them.
What about you? Do you use your dreams as inspiration? Have you ever considered writing them down? Share below!