The power of dreams
For me, dreams are an endless supply of fodder for story. I find - especially when a story is in its genesis stage - that most nights will bring more layers, more revelations about the inner workings of my story. I keep a pad and pen on the bedside table with a flashlight. I tend to take screes of notes in the wee hours. They say it is possible to ask your dreams for things, for answers, for storylines, for the muse to strike. However when a story is unfolding in my psyche and the possibilities are flooding in, sometimes I ask for the flow of ideas to slow down a bit and let me get some sleep!
I have also noticed upon reading back over my own stories that dreams often feature. In my first ever story for children, The Survivors, the Scrifs reach a new land and are lost. In order to find their way, Wyst - the apprentice - gets to spend a night in The Caves of Dreaming. Result: the answers and the guidance are received. The tribe gains direction.
In the first book of The Chronicles of Aden Weaver , titled, 'The Adventure Begins', I introduce both protagonist, Aden Weaver, and antagonist, Chief Wako, with the same motif. They both suffer recurring dreams. However in Aden's case the nightmares are warnings - they're prophetic - foreshadowing the terrors to come . They also say something about his introverted personality. Whereas in Wako's case, the dreams reveal his dark personality by showing his greed for power. Aden and Wako are polar opposites and yet the vehicle of the same haunting motif for both alludes to the fact that they're also connected.
Whatever the inward darkness may have been to which the shamans of those caves descended in their trances, the same must lie within ourselves, nightly visited in sleep. -Joseph Campbell, The Way of the Animal Powers
Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you. ― Neil Gaiman
As Joseph Campbell put it,
"Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths."
What is fiction if not a purposeful dreaming? When I'm writing I don't want anyone else in the room - including myself. -Jonathan Franzen
Dreams ask us something,” Borges says. “And we don’t know the answer; they give us the answer, and we are astonished.” The answer doesn’t fit within our concept of reality – it’s a dream, laden with all those gooey layers of symbolism, but within its own dreamtime logic, it makes sense. 'Everything has been prepared.' Dreams, Borges concludes, are the most ancient aesthetic activity; the roots of narrative. -Daniel Jose Older
The difference between reality and fiction is that fiction has to make sense. – Tom Clancy