One of the ways that I come up with my ideas for potential stories is through the practice of lucid dreaming. If you’re not familiar with lucid dreaming its basically where you have the conscious awareness that you are in a dream, which allows you to manipulate the dream environment, and also allows you to remember the dream. Many people don’t remember their dreams, but it is possible to. And as a writer, I can tell you its useful for coming away with vivid experiences that can be turned into stories.
My ongoing serial in my newsletter, When Magic Becomes Real, came from a lucid dream. I dreamed about the basic premise of the story and the characters and when I woke up I pulled out a notepad and wrote down the essentials of the story and the characters involved in the story. I didn’t have the full story from the dream, but I had the essential plot, and when I was ready to start writing it I could refer to those notes and create the story.
If you’ve never experienced lucid dreaming, it is possible to do so. I’ve included, at the end of this post, a couple of references which walk you through the process of lucid dreaming, but I’m going to describe mine as well. Typically on nights I have lucid dreaming I get around 6 hours of sleep. I find that in order to vividly recall a dream it can be useful to set your alarm to wake you when you’re in the middle of your sleep schedule. The other thing which can help is going to sleep with the intention of being consciously aware of your dreams. Each night, I meditate before I go to sleep and I set the intention that I’ll remember my dreams. This has helped me recall more of them than I otherwise would.
If you want to use lucid dreaming for the purposes of your own creative work, or just to remember your dreams, make sure you have pen and paper close by, so that when you wake up and have a vivid memory of your dream you can write down details. At the very least get a sentence down about what the dream is about. I do that, when I have to get up and go to work and then when I get to work I start writing out the details. I am able to recall those details, because I’ve written something down and impressed on myself the importance of remembering it until I can get more details.
What’s fascinating to me is the creative process that comes after the dreaming. The lucid dream gives you the story as an experience. But you need to remember the experience and then write about it, which takes some time. So you have this vivid experience which brings everything together, but there’s no way to instantaneously transcribe that experience. Instead you have to write it out, but the writing of it gives you the experience all over again. And then you get to share it.
Here’s a couple books on lucid dreaming…
And if you’re interested in an example of my fiction writing, get my free story The Deadly Mental Waves of Flower