Dreaming up ideas

I don’t know about any of you, but I quite often find myself literally dreaming up my ideas for books and potential stories. Some of these dreams have been planned and ideas worked from them… and some have even turned into full-blown novels. I am writing this post, because at the moment, I keep dreaming about this one particular story I have churning over in my head.

Dreaming of Oceans

There are people who believe that each dream means something significant in your waking life. They issues in your life can be represented by an object inside a dream, or even how you feel about the dream can mean something different. They say that dreams are just reflections of your waking consciousness. I’m not so sure that I actually agree with that, but I’m no expert. I have no doubt that there are probably many meanings behind the dreams I have. I can only take what I can from my dreams… and I’m not going to spend huge amounts of time trying to define what a dream actually means in my real life.

I read quite a good article on dream theories that says: “While many or even most of these ideas may be nonsensical, if even a few of its fanciful products are truly useful, our dream time will not have been wasted.” Now that is a passage that seriously gels with my line of thinking.

There is just something rather magical about dreams that just carries you away with them. Your mind drifts into some pretty bizarre places within the subconscious. Some dreams are far beyond reality, and some are just far beyond any sane reality. In other words… you probably wouldn’t base a book on them.

Over the years I have kept notebooks in my bedside table, just in case I happen to have that subconscious idea that potentially inspires a bestseller. Not so long ago, I was cleaning my bedside cabinet out, and found 18 different notebooks with bits and bobs scrawled throughout them. A bit of overkill if you ask me. I remember thinking at the time that if my husband knew I was hoarding notebooks in my bedside drawer so that I could write down my dream ideas, he would probably kill me.

Within my dreams I am looking for storylines, interesting characters, scenery that is inspiring, and dialogue that is catchy and sticks with me. I have had some amazing experiences when I wake from the dream, immediately grab my notebook, and I either start drawing, or jotting down ideas from the dream. I can even start character profiling. But since this is all immediate brain-dumping, it obviously needs quite a few kinks ironed out before I can actually start writing a book based on them.

There are many other authors out there that have written books based on ideas from dreams. Some of these books have even hit the bestseller lists. Some of the more well-known are:

I’m sure that there are plenty more out there as well that have been inspired by dreams, but I thought that this small list was substantial enough to give you the general idea. Oh yes, Jane Eyre was another book as well.

So where do you get your ideas from? Have you ever had any come to you within a dream?

I know that I’ll probably keep hoarding notebooks in my bedside drawer just in case. And who knows – one day there could be a bestseller scrawled in there somewhere. (I know… I should probably just keep dreaming.)


Leave a Comment

  1. Chasing Ascension started out as a few notes scrawled from a dream. A lot of the imagery in that dream, and the thoughts and ideas are in place, along with a few of the characters 🙂

    Dreams are awesome!!


  2. Most of mine tend to originate from my dreams as well. They may not have the whole story, but normally bits and pieces from a dream will niggle at my brain until the beginning of a story evolves. ^_^


    1. Nope – shower totally works for me. I go shower when I’m stressed out about something or upset. Must be the watery feng shui washing all my troubles away.
      With all those steamy sex scenes you write – its no wonder that’s where you find your inspiration… in the steam 😉


  3. Hi, Leigh,

    I stumbled onto your blog by way of chance, actually; I was searching for a few pictures to accompany a blog post I’m writing simultaneously, and I saw that the picture in which I clicked led back to a WordPress blog. 😉

    I had read somewhere about Stephenie Meyer’s good fortune, having come into her much renowned books by way of a dream. Oh, if only . . . my dreams tend to be of the bizarre sort, and unless I plan to leap over to a different genre, I am not so sure they’ll be of much help. You never know, though; I suppose something might be of use. Until that day, however, I will have to stick with gleaning ideas the old fashioned way: inspiration.


    ~ Cara


    1. Hi Cara,
      Lovely to see you hanging out at Parchment Place 🙂 I haven’t had many dreams lately that would be good fodder for a book – but I do keep an eye on them still. For me at the moment it’s just inspiration as well. Anything and everything…
      But I do love a good inspiring dream!


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