The best writing comes from what you know . . . and if you don’t know, then do the research. For some, that can be boring, especially if you are not interested in the subject matter. What if you were looking for inspiration and there was another way find some reality in your character – say through a dream? Of course I’m only speaking hypothetically; but have you ever noticed that if you watch something calming you can never remember what you dreamed, versus what you remember when you wake up after viewing something thought provoking the night before?
Dream state has inspired such films as Inception, which is without a doubt one of the most mind-bending movies I have ever seen. Though dreams may never inspire the exact same concept, they may prove useful. It is the gate to your own subconscious, which in itself has been programmed by those around you who represent your target audience. When you have a problem, either at work with a fellow co-worker or your sibling at home, your brain is working on a solution. Even when you put it aside for a while to get a breath of fresh air and some perspective, your mind is still working . . . even when you’re sleeping. Best yet, you’re subconscious is working during your REM cycle in the form of your dream so that when you wake up, you have a solution or you’re at least that much closer to solving the problem. It’s a strange concept to wrap your head around.
Let’s start from the beginning, using my own personal dream as an example.
In the last month, my friend and I had discussed dreams and what they could be telling us about ourselves. More prominently were the reoccurring dreams that I had about being pregnant and constantly searching for my husband. I don’t even know who he is or what he looks like, but I have this overwhelming need to find him. He’s my other half, he completes me and he is the father of my child with whom I want to have a family. After a period of self reflection, I realized that I dearly want to have a family and the love that comes with it, but I feared never finding the man that I would love to have one with.
This ‘fear’ was reinforced by my friend, who’s dream went along the lines : he was climbing up a tree and the leaves were faces of his family and he looked at the one of his wife and couldn’t make out the face. It’s fair game whether others have the same subconscious fear about finding their soul mate; Though I have no solid evidence to support the fact, it’s that the concept of some of histories great stories and tall tales? There were other dreams as well, some that I remember because of the frequency in which I’ve had them while others were fewer and far between. My friend suggested have a dream journal to write them down, which would in a sense give me the opportunity to analyze and look for patterns or reoccurring themes.
So now I have a dream that reflects one of my own fears which I can in turn use for a potential character. I’ll know where he or she is coming from and I’ll be that much better of a writer for being able to accurate capture their emotions and inner turmoil. Now it’s just a matter of finding a similar scenario that would make for a good book. I have an idea or two, but I’ve been told it’s wise never to tell anyone or else you’ll never have the passionate desire to write it down. Perhaps a short story is in order for my next post . . .
So now it’s up to you to do the same, set aside a journal for your dreams and some time for exploration and self reflection to see what subconscious and underlying fears you may have that could inspire a character and your next story. Be Inspired.