Do your dreams affect what you write?

Do you dream about the same thing over and over?

For years I had theme dreams. How I wish they were of nice things. Meadows. Carnivals. Melting ice cream cones on a beach. I’d even take being naked in public.

Machete Man

Nope. Mine were scary. A man with a machete looking to whack off my head. Or falling through snow to a burning lava river below. Slice and burn. Not my choice to exit this world. And I can’t forget the wolves racing across the tundra to devour me.

Of course I never actually died in these dreams. I always wake up just before being diced. Dreaming in color just makes it that more vivid.  Especially when its monster armadillos riding motorcycles throwing giant cupcakes at you.

I think we are fascinated with dreams. My friend Jessica Cooper wrote a great YA book about dreams called REM, which recently made it to the Top 50 semi-finalist round with Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award.  Read my interview with her here on it. In REM when a group of kids discover a machine to record their dreams they soon discover how using it transforms them, in fantastic and terrifying ways.

Perhaps we’re better off not remembering our dreams – or re-living them over and over. Perhaps they need to stay as dreams to ward the dark away.

But back to machetes. I ran for miles in my dreams avoiding decapitation from that unknown machete wielding maniac. He swung blades of steel seeking my neck. Across dark woods. Through houses. Down lonely roads. He chased me.

Then one day a crowd came. They surged onto the machete murderer and whacked him to death with garden hoses. He disappeared and never returned. For the first time someone came to help me. And they destroyed the thing that haunted me most. They gave me hope. Someone finally came to my rescue.

Maybe this is the reason I write from the darker side with a touch of hope.  No matter how dark things are, there is hope for salvation. And then it hit me. The machete man was awfully familiar to the antagonist in my book, A Human Element, being released by Echelon Press in March, 2012. The power of dreams, right?

I looked up what this machete terror-filled dream could mean. When someone wields a machete at you it’s time to be brave enough to walk away from a situation that may be causing you to feel threatened and under attack. Check out what your dreams could mean here.

Death by garden hose

The man with the machete has never returned. I think he hides inside me and comes out when I write, and that is the only place he’ll remain safe from now on. If not, I’ll send back in the angry hoard of garden-hose attackers to get him good.

I wouldn’t mind the garden hose dream.  To dream about them suggests a washing away of mistakes, thereby giving a fresh opportunity to grow as a better person. I’ll take that.

Do you have theme dreams and do they affect what you write?



Filed under Characters, Inspirational

8 responses to “Do your dreams affect what you write?

  1. Absolutely!
    Almost every story I’ve written has it roots in my dreams. And funnily enough, one of the few stories that didn’t is all about dreams and harnessing the power of them.
    Hmm, I suppose I’m die hard dreamer.

  2. Yes, my dreams affect writing and vice versa. I’m always dreaming about my plots or something I’ve read, and like you, they aren’t about fairies and butterflies, lol. But I’m known for having crazy dreams that make no sense. I need to start keeping a dream journal just for fun, lol.

    • Stacy, thanks for posting! I used to keep a dream journal when I teen and I pulled it out and read them recently. They were wild! I am thinking of starting one again. I guess you never know where a story idea may come from! Glad to know I am not the only one with not-sweet dreams – LOL

  3. I don’t dream. More precisely, I suppose, I don’t ever remember my dreams. The last dream I actually remember having was from way way back in high school, and that one is getting vague as time goes on.

    I do occassionally have one of those “half-awake” dreams, where you’re not really asleep and not really awake. And those are filled with the obvious elements from my day. My half-awake side will say, “I see where that came from, and that, and that. Geez, this plot is so predictable!” I rarely get anything inspirational from those.

    Even those dreams are few and far between. I find I have dreams that I recall mostly when I have not been writing. It’s like all that imagination builds up and comes out in those dreams when it can’t get out on paper.

    So I guess my dreams do not feed my writing. Maybe that means I need to sleep more!

    • Kerry, that is so interesting you dont remember your dreams. I like your concept that your dreams get built up when you arent writing. Your imagination gets all backed up! You probably DO need to sleep more with a toddler 😉

  4. I’ve had some really out there dreams that I’ll eventually turn into novels.

  5. Donna, I’d have to say that a lot of my stories, and some of the key scenes in them, have come from dreams. The only thing I have to do is change me into the protagonist and give him clothes.

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