Do your dreams give you story ideas?

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Have you ever been inspired to write a story based on a dream you had? Was the dream so intense and were the details so vivid that when you woke up you just had to get the idea down on paper?

Yesterday morning, I woke up in a stressed out sweat, thinking about the near death experience I had in my dream, saved only because I had to get out of bed. First chance I got, I wrote it down and it spewed out on the paper. I hardly had to think. Who knows if it’s a good one or if it’s even original, but it felt good to get it out of me. I haven’t tried to analyze it or turn it into a story, any more than it already is:

Knowing nothing except to follow, I’m being led through a forest, holding some kind of rope or vine. I can’t see the person leading me, I can only feel the line’s pull. Then the forest suddenly darkens and starts to grow, fast. I see branches grow longer and leaves explode out of them, trees push up from the ground and their trunks grow wide and tall with astounding speed. And the brush becomes so shockingly thick that the space is too dense for me to go through, yet the person leading me keeps pulling hard on the line, as if he or she is having no trouble advancing, and leaves me no choice except to push myself through impossible openings that smother and scratch me. I worry that my leader has become impatient with me, so I push on. I’m paralyzed with fear when I realize that if the line slips through my hands, and I can feel it already doing so, I will be forever lost. I call to my leader, to slow down, that the growth is too thick for me to follow, but I get no encouragement or acknowledgement in return. My leader’s only answer is the yank of the line…

I was glad to wake up from that dream, but it stuck with me for most of the morning and made me think about famous stories that were inspired by dreams.

Here are 6, taken from You can read the whole article, “6 Books That Were Inspired By Dreams,” here.

  1. Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
  2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  4. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  5. Stuart Little by E.B. White

Have you ever been inspired by a fitful dream?

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8 thoughts on “Do your dreams give you story ideas?

  1. Typically, I’m not able to remember my dreams, Barbara. I had no idea that was the inspiration for Stuart Little…one of my favorites childhood books. That was the first book I ever purchased with my allowance. 🙂

  2. I had no idea those books were based on dreams. Very cool. I’ve had poetry appear fully formed in dreams, but not a book… though occasionally sticky problems with scenes get worked out. Your dream is intriguing and kind of scary… I’m glad you wrote it down. Who knows if it will become a book one day?

  3. Dreams are a huge source of story fodder for me. The Gift Legacy series is based on a recurring drive I’ve had since childhood in which I can fly. Apparently that’s a very common dream.

  4. I’ve had several dreams that would make terrific action-adventure books or movies, but I get so many (Too many!) ideas from everyday life that I usually let the dream ideas drift into oblivion. However, as in your dream, you do experience intense emotions that you don’t normally encounter in your normal life and those reactions are always good to draw on as you write.

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