Dream a Little Dream

We may observe how the memory of a dream which in the morning was still vivid fades in the course of the day, leaving only a few trifling remnants. We are often aware that we have been dreaming, but we do not know of what we have dreamed…
Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams

I’ve noticed, now that I’m on Twitter, that many of the people I follow are involved in writing, agenting, or somehow in the publishing field. I’ve also noticed how many of those authors tweet about their dreams and getting story ideas from them!

I’ve had that same experience myself – waking up from a vivid dream and *knowing* it would make a fantastic story (Lost meets Terminator Salvation! Don’t ask, it’s too bizarre! *grin*). Lately I’ve been dreaming a lot, but it’s been a bit dry in the dream-story arena. But there are times where it’s one good dream after another and I have trouble writing them all down!

So now I’m starting to wonder – is this story-dreaming something inherent to writers and creative people? Are we more in tuned to finding story ideas where ever we look, and are therefore more able to dream them? When I dream, most of the time it’s like watching a movie in my head. But I know that my other half doesn’t dream. And when he does on those rare occasions that he remembers, they’re very odd, or make no sense whatsoever.

Freud also says: If the words of a verse of poetry are taken and mixed together, it will be very difficult to remember them. “Properly placed, in a significant sequence, one word helps another, and the whole, making sense, remains and is easily and lastingly fixed in the memory. Contradictions, as a rule, are retained with just as much difficulty and just as rarely as things that are confused and disorderly.” Now dreams, in most cases, lack sense and order.

This seems to indicate that people don’t remember dreams, because they often don’t make sense or don’t follow a linear progression. But I find I have the opposite type of dreams. I *do* dream in sequence, and while it’s not always a realistic sequence, it’s story-like enough for me to be able to remember. Are writers different than the norm? Because we have to work out storyline and plot and characterization, does that make us more likely to remember our dreams or have dreams that make “sense”? I have no real answers, but I find it fascinating. I’m sure psychologically speaking there’s some sort of correlation between people who use their brains “creatively” as opposed to more scientific/technical people.

So my question to you guys – do you dream? Do you remember your dreams? Have you ever had a story idea come from a dream?


  1. I dream whether i'm sleeping or not. Most of my stories have come from day dreams. I'm a hard core day dreamer. Best place for me are in the passenger seat and my husband is driving. For some reason my daydreaming side kicks into over drive whenever we travel anywhere. Even the grocery store.

  2. I've had fantastic stories come to me while driving! Usually I have to be the one driving, but I did have a good one while the other half was in the driver's seat. Hmmm…maybe I need to take a road trip 🙂

  3. I've never had a story idea come from a dream, though I've written down a few just because they were too bizarre to forget. 😉 I do have one scene in my WIP (at least the first draft–we'll see if it makes it into this draft) that is a dream I actually had, but it's not what inspired the story.

    Driving works best for me too, especially when I'm alone in the car. 🙂

    Great post!

  4. I get my story ideas during lucid dreaming, a particular dream state where you are functionally awake, but not actively awake. Dreaming & ideas are fun to do some research on! I found some cool stuff on the web when I started researching dreaming and how we get ideas from it.