Have you ever been inspired to write a story by your dreams? Have you ever wondered how a dream can become part of an author’s creative work? Let me share with you the discoveries I’ve made as part of my author journey.
First of all, when I am in the midst of writing or revising a novel, sometimes the scenes trickle to me word by fleeting word. However, they often flow to me like a waterfall. When that happens, I have to let my fingers fly over my keyboard, to keep up with the story racing into the innermost recesses of my soul.
Although these bursts of inspiration can come to me during the daylight hours, I don’t stop being creative when I sleep. On the contrary, my dreams are a huge part of my story development. Although there are times I wake up from dreams of unusual places, or I meet people and hear conversations that may not have anything to do with my stories on the surface, the longer I ponder and write them in my journal, the more they unfold as I brainstorm. I may even talk to another writer friend of mine and explain the dream to her to get her perspective. It is after I give voice to the dream scene, I see the importance of specific elements that can be added to the story. Certain elements may be connected to one specific character, or a group of characters.
Does this mean that all elements of my dreams are used in my writing? Not always, certain elements can symbolize specific aspects of my work in progress. However, a quote may be the important factor, leading the way to ideas I don’t see, as I struggle with a tough scene. Let me give you an example of what I mean. I was looking at my upcoming novel, entitled Journey to the Mountaintop, when I found part of a chapter I wasn’t satisfied with. I struggled with it, thought it over, and prayed about it, but I couldn’t figure out why I was unsatisfied with it to save my life. But early one morning, I dreamed that I was resting in a recliner at a medical facility, before some sort of procedure. The procedure wasn’t important, but the setting and the quote helped me expand on the ending and turn it into a new chapter. Before I share the quote with you, let me say that the nurse happened to be one of my characters in my WIP. She said these words: “Plot holes are like wounds; they both can be stitched up.” This quote stuck with me and I told another friend of mine about it through text messages. As we were brainstorming what this might mean, I began to pray about it and the next morning, I figured out what plot hole needed to be stitched up and what disjointed scenes needed to be connected.
Here’s the one thing I want you to remember as you read this post: Every element in your dreams may not be significant to your story development. For example, I recently had a dream in which I stood in a cafeteria, trying to enter my food voucher code. I keyed it into the computer twice with no success. However, the server was able to decipher the code and successfully enter it the third time. After some contemplation and journaling about this dream, I discovered how the code element could be used in conjunction with my villains’ vehicles.
Although certain elements of your dreams may be important to your storytelling process. There are times when the entire dream is used as part of your story. My advice to aspiring authors is twofold. Don’t always take your dreams at face value. Don’t wave them aside if they don’t make sense on the surface. Take time to study them, brainstorm with a writer friend or write them in your journals. Allow the important aspects of your dreams to symbolize certain scenes of your story or inspire deeper meaning in the revision process. How do your dreams inspire your creativity? Are they a large part of your overall story development? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and give this post a like and a share or two
Until next time, keep dreaming and happy Writing. May God richly bless you in your creative endeavors.