Dreams, Nightmares and dream logic: can writers use them?

Hello weirdos of the void,narrative-794978_1920

We have all had those moments: We wake from some kick arse dream and say to ourselves “Self, that kick arse dream would make a kick arse book.” So, we write that shit down on anything we can find on our bedside table. In the morning, sometime in the waking moments after coffee number 3 we remember said kick arse dream. But what was it about? Fuck, you genius! You wrote that shit down! So you go back to bed and find the written down stroke genius you can thank your subconscious for and … what is this? “IV drip. Morphine. House fire. Peter Quill. Hokey Pokey ice cream.” WTF brain! You used to be cool!

So, in my waking moments this morning, I remembered my dream. It involved (my obligatory) underwater creatures (which happens to me almost every night, but last night stared rainbow trout and crocodiles) and then me losing Jay Kristoff’s 3 children, but he was cool with it and gave me a cuddle to tell me everything would be okay, “don’t worry about my small children and the crocodiles roaming the shopping centre, I’ll just hug you in the front of this classroom/KFC…”

Now, despite the fact that it was nice to cop a cuddle from the literary giant, Mr. K, there is really not much use for this dream. Or is there?

I could spin it a little, I guess. Killer crocs loose in a shopping mall. Two nerds trying to find lost children to save them from a gory end. (Dibs) If you spin it that way, I guess you could have something, so maybe it is possible. But there are a lot of things that cannot be used unless you are going for crazy, surreal, things.

There is a thing called dream logic, which is basically not logical at all.

In a great little post by Mental_Floss called 5 Scientific Facts About Your Dreams they write:


Your brain’s activity looks very different when you’re asleep, which sheds some light on the nature of dreams. For starters, your primary visual cortex is out of commission during sleep (because your eyes are closed), but your secondary visual cortex (which normally interprets outside visual stimuli) is still going at it, trying to make sense of the images the rest of your brain is conjuring up.

Your limbic system (hippocampus and fornix––the wormy tangle all up in the middle of your brain) is the primary control center for your emotions, and it becomes especially active during your dreams. This explains why dreams are so emotionally charged, and often deal with feelings of imminent danger. Meanwhile, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which controls logic and rationality, is practically dormant, which explains why you can dream yourself marrying Hugh Griffith in an cosmonaut suit and be like, “Can we have the guests throw sand instead of Cracker Jacks, Hughie? Birds tend to choke on the prizes.”

You should check out the whole post and read the comments attached to the post. It is super interesting.

So, I still haven’t really answered the fucking question yet, have I?

I found another interesting piece by Clare R Johnson, Ph.D. where she talks about her The Lucid Writing technique. It is an interesting article. I feel that this would be possible for meditators. I have no science to back me up on this but I think that people that can meditate regularly and successfully would probably have a greater chance at being able to dream Lucidly. (Shit I typed in lucidly while laughing to myself, saying Adelise, this isn’t a word. Holy shit, it is!)

bed-1846251_1920I think if you want to start taking writing prompts from your subconscious, the best place to start would be to get yourself a dream journal. Be that one made of paper or just a note app on your phone. Just start writing down every dream. Some will be terrible, some may be gold. What works well for me (full disclosure now. Yes, I do use dreams) is that I write them down and then I let them sit for a while and age. I see if it still rattles around up there in the old brain pan and if it does then I will go to my notes and expand on them.

I am not the only one that has done this, of course. Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight was a dream, as was Stephen King’s Misery. So, if it works for the big guys then maybe it’ll work for us little guys.

Let me know in the comments below of any weirdo dreams you have had and perhaps turned them into a story.

Hugs xxx

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Aha! The reason for the notebook beside the bed…. I have the truly weird wake me all the time. The trouble is stopping myself from laughing at it long enough to write it down…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol really?
      I wish I had dreams that were funny enough for laughter. Most of mine are “funny” but not funny HAHA more funny strange.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yep…had one where my bookstore became a McDonald’s type building with a drive-thru and all of the books were underneath the building. People would place their orders and the book would shoot out of one of those bank vacuum systems, where I (according to my corporate training) would place the book in the customer’s hand….


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