Dreams are one of the great mysteries of the world, but one thing is certain – they’re a great source of ideas and inspiration.
Of course, it’s probably better to take inspiration from a bit here and a bit there, rather than the whole thing.
Perhaps writing your entire dream into a story would feel a bit too ‘Alice in Wonderland’ . . .
Just like a writing journal, you can keep a dream journal by your bed to record anything you remember when you wake up.
With writing journals, the more ideas you scribble down, the more ideas seem to generate. It’s similar with dreams – the more you make note of, the more you seem to remember.
Translating your dream
Our unconscious mind can conjure the strangest images while we sleep.
Therefore, it’s probably a good idea to act as a translator, rather than taking the dream too literally.
For example, the other night I dreamt that a miniature T-Rex had escaped and I was trying to herd it into a room to keep everyone safe. (It might have been small, but it was still quite feisty!).
This could be turned into a story about somebody discovering that a stray cat or wayward bird has got in the house.
How will they catch it? Do they need help from somebody? Will they call animal rescue?
Mind map it
Another way is to write down the keywords of your dream. Write down any associations you have with each word.
Can you form any connections between the words?
A theme may start to reveal itself and give you the idea for your next story.
Or perhaps the words can be reshuffled to form a more coherent narrative.
You’re feeling very sleepy . . .
Tonight, settle down with a book, drink some chamomile tea, ignore electronics and drift away.
See what you can come up with tomorrow!
Click here for more writing prompts from the Fiction team.