Monday, February 28, 2011

Crafting in Dreams

In crafting a narrative dreams can be elemental for the author, the characters and even the premise of the tale.

In countless instances authors have cited dreams as the instrumental step in crafting their best work. The author assembles a narrative from the various scenes that have come to them while sleeping. The dreams come together as a road map with each of the scenes as pit-stops along the journey. An entire outline for a narrative born from nothing more than dreams.

Often when an author hits writer's block they turn to dreams as a method to combat their blockage. Every dream affording the writer a new component to a story. How many narratives are born of the restless imaginations of sleeping authors?

Dreams are not limited to the inspiration of writers to crafting narratives but dreams can also provide insight and even motivation for characters within the narrative. Dreams allow characters to embrace different aspects of their personalities that they many not show otherwise. Just as well characters can find motivation within their dreams. Characters can reason out elements to the narrative or even have an epiphany regarding the events so far.

Dreams can be utilized to develop characters and explore motivations or even desires however, the ability to influence plot remains one of the greatest uses of dreams in narrative. Characters can become delusional with waking dreams. Entire segments of the plot can be erased as nothing but dreams. Using dreams as a core element in a narrative can allow dramatic and unexpected changes within the tale. Much as Lewis Carrol explored the depths of philosophy through a dramatic and symbolic world a writer can twist the very world to suit the narrative.

Through dreams authors can free their imaginations from everyday conventions and craft wholly unique narratives. Whether its the sculpt of the plot or the manipulation of characters and worlds to convey the narrative, dreams will always remain the most powerful device in a writer's kit.


ange said...

What a fabulous blog site!
I don't often dream about something and then write about it. I'm more likely to be lying in bed about to drift off, when I have to put the light on to make notes when an idea occurs to me! Perhaps I should eat more carrots....!

PW.Creighton said...

Ange, thanks for the comment. I know my work was born of a series of dreams of scenes that just started assembling. Sleep is the one time we let our imaginations run free. I think it's truly when we're at our best.

Michele Shaw said...

I use dreams both ways! Yep for inspiration, and absolutely in my ms. It's a tricky tool in the ms. I've read so many bad/confusing and even down right ridiculous dream sequences. My goal is to weave the fuzzy quality with actual events and keep them short. IMO, that's the only way they work. Deciphering my own that's a challenge!

Neezes said...

As Michele said, it can be hard to use the postive-surreal aspects of dreaming and integrate them into a good story :) But worth trying.

In Psychology, the study of dreaming and the unconscious have gone out of fashion a bit, but I think it's fascinating. Have you ever tried writing as soon as you wake?

Amber said...

I am a lover of dreams and keep a journal beside my bed to write them down as they occur. I have always had such vivid and at times terrifying dreams. What I am working on right now came from one of my dreams.

Dreams are powerful for me and I place a lot of emphasis on and energy towards remembering them. The places they take me are nothing like this world. For this alone I love them.

Natalie C. Markey said...

I always sleep with a pen and notepad on my nightstand. If I have a helpful dream then I want to benefit from it! It was a dream that reminded me of an old award winning short story that I wrote years ago. I've broadened the concept into a novel series, which is one of my WIPs at the moment. Dreams are great!

PW.Creighton said...

Thanks for the comments Michele, Neezes, Amber and Natalie! I like to use dreams both ways as well Michele, my fav instrument is using short dreams to explore a character's backstory and their fears.
Very true Neezes, I love the psychology behind a narrative, I find it the most fascinating. Yeah, I'm at my best in the morning.
Definitely a good demonstration Amber & Natalie! Dreams a expressive and powerful source of inspiration. I feel these are the true stories our subconscious and imagination wish to tell.

Elle Strauss said...

I agree that our own personal dreams can spur creativity--as long as our stories don't open with someone waking from a dream!

Thanks for visiting my blog today, PW!

PW.Creighton said...

Haha! Indeed Elle! Dreams can be a great plot element so long as it's not waking from a dream in the first chapter or at the end of a traumatic moment.

Jill Kemerer said...

I've had a few vivid dreams that I promptly wrote down in my idea journal. I haven't written characters' dreams into my books, but I agree, dreams and writing go hand-in-hand!

PW.Creighton said...

Thanks for the comment Jill. Whether it's how you get ideas or how your characters piece it together, dreams are powerful.

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