Sweet Dreams

Do you dream?

I’m not talking about lifelong dreams of pursing your passions. I’m talking about the head on the pillow, eyes closed, catching Zzzs kind of dreams.

My hubby used to say he didn’t dream.  I was sure he did but didn’t remember them.

I, on the other hand, have vivid dreams and can often recall them with great detail.

As a writer, there are two kinds of dreams I enjoy.

The Good News Dream

These dreams are the best. We picture meeting with success. Perhaps we get a call from a contest coordinator telling us we’re a finalist or open our email to find a request for a full. I’ve heard of people who dreamed about making a sale shortly before they did.

I’m not one to put too much emphasis on dreams as predictors of future events, but I did dream that my agent called me a week before I received her offer of representation. No doubt, my dream came about because I was polishing the requested full and thinking about little else during my waking hours. Whatever the reason, it was a great dream.

The Story Idea Dream

One of Stephenie Meyer’s dreams led to unfathomable success. In the bio on Meyer’s website it says that her dream featured “seemingly real characters that she could not get out of her head.” From that dream, her Twilight series was born.

My first story was the result of a dream. I woke one morning with an idea, and from there I developed my first romance novel. Normally, I look at vintage photographs and choose my characters from those. In this case, I’d seen my heroine so clearly in my mind that I worked from that image. Unlike Meyer, my dream-inspired story is buried in the deep dark recesses of my hard drive. However, that dream was one of the factors that led me to begin writing fiction.

* * *

Have you dreamed of receiving good news? How did it feel?

Have any of your stories been based on dreams you’ve had?

Image: Woman Sleeping by Filomena Scalise via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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22 Responses to Sweet Dreams

  1. Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

    I often dream of things or foresee things which later happen, and unfortunately mostly bad things like quakes, accidents, illnesses, wars or conflicts. Luckily they never happened to us, but sometimes I was able to warn people and therewith keeping them from being in an accident or other problem.

    Of course I also dream of good things, and some of my dreams and visions I have put into my stories, my writing.

    In one case friends and my family asked me to stop writing a story, because all I wrote in it happened months or years later: the war in Iraq, a quake in Iran, a hurricane. So that story (which mainly played in the USA and on Hawaii) hast stayed unfinished…

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Martina, it sounds like your dreams could give you plenty of ideas for writing thrillers that would keep readers awake into the wee hours as they rush to find out how your characters handle the terrible things happening to them.

      I hope that if you dream about me you have good dreams. =)

  2. The idea for my first book, Canyon Walls, came to while I was sleeping. I’m not sure if I actually dreamed about it or if I simply came up with it in that strange half awake/half asleep stage.

  3. Wendy says:

    This is fun. I was kicking around posting about dreams on Monday. We’re on the same wave.

    Dreams…hmmm, let’s see. I believe I’ve dreamt I’ve gone hiking with your agent (not sure what that means). 😉 (And yes, I’ve had the other fun dreams too. But I don’t try to put too much weight in those).

    My post on Mon. would be called I Dream in Characters. Lately I keep planning my plot and developing characters in my sleep!
    ~ Wendy

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Wendy, it’s fun to dream about our characters and our stories, isn’t it? Since I tend to think about mine just before I go to sleep, they’re often featured in my dreams. Either that, or I’ll wake up knowing just how to pull a scene together, which can be fun.

      I hope you end up going on a real-life writing journey with my agent as your guide. She’s the best. (Yes, I’m biased. =) Plus, I’d love to have you as one of my agency mates.

  4. territiffany says:

    My husband too said he never dreamed until about a year ago. Even this morning he said he finally dreamed last night. I usually dream vividly but not of good news:) I wish!! Mine are normally about some fear I might have. I would love to dream about a character and then write about her:)

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Terri, fearful dreams are no fun. Considering the uncertainty in your life in recent years, though, that could be a reason for them. I wonder if any of the fearful things you dream about could be story fuel. Just a thought.

  5. Cindy R. Wilson says:

    I love when I dream about good writing news. But then I analyze it to death when most of the time it doesn’t mean anything except that I was already obsessing about it 🙂

    The second story I wrote was based off a dream, but that was back when I was a teenager. I wrote the entire thing out, then based a series around it (I’ve only completed three books in the series) and mostly just enjoyed learning how to write. I probably won’t ever revisit it, but I had so much fun writing it!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Cindy, I’m glad you had fun writing your series. I have several “practice” books that were oodles of fun to write but are riddled with jubilant newbie fluff. The lessons we learned from those early works stay with us, though.

      I hope you’re having a good time with your WIP.

  6. Fascinating post, Keli. I have many dreams and remember them. I don’t write them or keep a journal of them, so alas, I have no record. I soon forget them. The good ones usually involve a conversation or just being in the same room with someone I miss. I don’t think I’ve ever written a story or poem based on a dream. Blessings…

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Carol Ann, it sounds like you have an interesting and entertaining dream life. I wonder what would happen if you were to capture some of your dreams in a journal. Perhaps they would spark ideas for stories or some of your beautiful poems.

  7. Happy Friday Keli! 🙂 Dreams have always fascinated me–I suppose it’s because some of them seem so real! Ever since I lost both my precious parents (Mama in 2005, Daddy in 2007) I have had many dreams that my parents were still alive. They’ve been happy dreams, of course–but then when I awaken I always feel sad that it was “only a dream.” ~ As for story ideas–I’ve gotten “bits and pieces” of story ideas from some of my dreams. I think it would be wonderful to dream an entire manuscript! 😉

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Patti Jo, I’m sorry you’ve lost your parents, but it is special how you’re able to “see” them again in your dreams. I’ve dreamed about my beloved mother-in-law, whom we lost to breast cancer many years ago. It’s a bittersweet experience, though, because the reminder does renew the feelings of loss upon waking.

    • If you believe in an afterlife, some people call these kind of dreams “visits”. The concept is if the dream feels like a dream, it is a memory or wishful thinking type thing, but if it feels real , it is a visit from your loved one.

      My aunt (who I am not particularly close to) and I both had vivid dreams of the same lost loved one on the same night during a time my mother was very ill. I considered it a reassurance the person was with me and trying to offer comfort.

    • Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

      Patti, I am very sorry for your loss. I beleive that the souls of our beloved ones stay with us, and that is why we dream of them. And they live on in you.

  8. I often dream about what I’m writing… or a new idea. I’ve dreamt about my 1st book launch – which was so amazing!!!!
    Dreams can be fun 😉

  9. I almost always dream. My husband claims he rarely dreams. I don’t know that any of my characters come from my dreams, but I have reputation for being able to “interpret” dreams with some accuracy or at least will some entertainment value. 🙂

  10. Maybe I should start dreaming about “the call”. I’ll get right on that one. 🙂

    Honestly, I’ve been so exhausted lately that I haven’t had any dreams, or at least dreams that I remember in the morning. When I lay down for bed, I conk out.

    Hope you’re having a great weekend, Keli!

  11. I know I have dreams, but rarely remember them when I wake up. My most productive pre-dreaming happens when I’m on the verge of going to sleep. I’ve often been writing before going to bed, and my characters will carry on great conversations, solve plot problems and introduce all sorts of good ideas while my brain is heading for black out. Fortunately I keep paper and a light-up pen on my night table!

  12. Tana Adams says:

    One of my favorite novel’s of mine was born of a dream. I think it stayed with me because it felt so real.

  13. Keli – for some reason I keep missing your posts! I’m glad Wendy linked to your blog today! I had the SAME dream as you – Rachelle calling to offer representation a couple days before she did! So weird!

    I’ve definitely had dreams about my characters before. Very fun stuff!

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