Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Manic Scribbler's A-Z Challenge - D is for Dreams

D is for Dreams

In common with many other writers, most of the ideas for my stories come from my dreams.  I also notice that I tend to include dreams in my stories quite frequently, so it seems natural to give the subject of dreams and dreaming a little blog space in this A-Z Challenge.

Everyone dreams but not everyone can remember their dreams.  In fact even those of us who have good recall will forget more than 90% of our dream content.  Waking up or being awoken during the REM stage of dreaming is the surest way of recalling dreams, but  to continually deprive a person of this important phase of dreaming can have serious consequences on a person's health.

Many dreams are universal and the symbols in them have been interpreted throughout the world and
throughout the ages as people have always wondered about their significance.  But dream interpretation can be quite a hit and miss affair.  The fact is that dreams carry deep and obscure meanings that only the subconscious mind can make any sense of.

Unconsciously, I seem to have made many of my heroines orphans or bereaved of one parent, so it's perhaps not surprising that when they dream, they seem to be searching for the parental love of which I've cruelly deprived them.  (Note to self: must be kinder to my next heroine and give her two healthy parents).  Their dreams mark or prompt a new turning point in their lives.  Even Ellis, in Killing Jenna Crane dreams, but his dream is brought on by his powerful fears and nagging guilt.

He didn't have too long to think about it, however.  That night he dreamt Emily was with him as her usual provocative self.  She invited him on a location hunt - which turned out to be a cemetery - one of those large, rambling spaces you find dotted around London filled with neglect and decay but among ancient, tired old tombstones newer burials are evident as old family plots are invaded by younger inmates and a few fresh flowers appear to mark the new arrivals.

Emily took his hand.  "Come and see what I found," she said encouragingly, leading him between the weather-worn stones of older graves.  "It's just perfect."

She pointed to a headstone without a surround, crammed in between far more imposing funeral masonry depicting cherubs and angels.  He saw Chloe Winterson's name engraved in the marble headstone and the dates.  In a simple small urn beneath the headstone sat a large posy of primroses so many, in fact, that the little yellow flowers spilled out all around it.  Primroses: I can't live without you, he remembered.  He looked at Emily who shrugged her shoulders to demonstrate her lack of concern.  "I always thought it must be so easy to be a man without a conscience.  Now come over here, there's something much more interesting for you to see."


moondustwriter said...

I agree that dreams are prevalent in stories and as a writer's inspiration.

My poem today is a A Dream of Love
Happy "D" Day

Amy Jarecki said...

Hi! It's Amy visiting from the A-Z Challenge. I wish I dreamed more, but love it when my characters dream. We learn so much about them through their dreams!

Pam Margolis said...

recently i had a dream in which i smelled something. or rather, I woke up smelling. how cool is that?

ManicScribbler said...

It's another lovely poem, Moondustwriter. Well done.

Amy, I think characters' dreams can be very useful in adding new dimensions to a story, but I don't think they should be over-used. I sometimes find it difficult to be interested when someone I know wants to describe their dream, so I worry the same might happen with readers!

Very interesting,Pam - I'm absolutely convinced I've had 'smelling' dreams too, but to wake up smelling the aroma is fascinating. Was it a special scent, I wonder? Could you identify it? Not fair...I want to know more!

Silvia Villalobos said...

"Killing Jenna Crane" sound like a great read from the excerpt here. Dreams ... oh yes, I include them in my stories. In the novel I'm editing now, one character is a dream decoder. As for me, one of the more prevalent dreams seem to be about places I have never seen, yet they don't only remain in my memory but seem to return to me later. Weird ... or interesting.

Misha Gericke said...

Sounds interesting, letting your characters dream about things they long for. It's a great way to give the reader a glimpse into the character's soul.

Mary L. Ball said...

Killing Jenna Crane sounds like a must read and you're right about dreams, they can be so mysterious. It reminds me of the story in Genesis Chapter 40. Where Joseph says "Do not interpretations belong to God."
Dreams are a fasciation. My coming soon novel "Stone of Destiny" is about dreams.

Elizabeth Hein said...

I find dreams incredibly powerful. I use my own dreams for story inspiration and use my character's dreams to show the reader what's going on in the character's subconscious.

alberta ross said...

I find dreams interesting from point of view of weired plots for writing:) - but I dont find anything mysterious about them, if I sit and unravel the dream I will find it is just a mishmash of stuff that has been in my lfe recently - a snippet of a film, chance remark, an unpaid bill. They are like household chores tiding up our lives - getting stuff aired and sorted.

But the way they are put together - amazing - wonder if I emptied a filing cupboard on the floor and picked up random papers I could get the same effect - prob. not with my filing:(

good posts here:)

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