Sunday, January 23, 2011


By Kate Collins

Have you ever dreamed the answer to a question, or solved a problem while you slept? I’ve always wanted to be able to do that, but no matter how hard I concentrate before I go to sleep, I don’t wake and say, “That’s it! I’ve got it!”

On the other hand, I did once dream an entire story, start to finish. The problem was that it was a Sci-Fi story, not a mystery or even a romance, and I don’t write Science Fiction. Never had any interest in it. Too bad, because it was a really good, kind of scary story.

Sometimes I wake up and feel inspired with what to write in my current mystery-in-progress. That happened yesterday morning, in fact. I woke earlier than usual and was determined not to get up until some light came through the curtains. I hate getting up in the dark. So as I lay there, my thoughts turned to what was happening in the story (due in four weeks - AAAACK!) And I had a sudden flash of what should come next – a brand new disaster for Abby and Marco. So I got up, had some juice, and sat down at my computer to write the scene. Strike while the iron is hot, right?

Getting back to my original question, have you ever dreamed a solution to a problem? Or felt inspired when you awakened? Or are you one who forgets your dreams the moment your eyes open?

Inquiring dreamers want to know.


pantomime said...

when I was learning shorthand I had a lot of trouble with dipthongs but one night I dreamt of them and hey presto in the morning I knew everyone. I also dream of things which happen a couple of days later, unfortunately I haven´t got the lottery numbers yet.

Princess Barb said...

I used to frequently dream of solutions to a problem or even dream things that had not happened as yet. And then happened exactly as I dreamed it. I don't as much anymore, but occaisonally now, I will dream a very vivid dream that does not make any sense until later when I am awake, I am able to kind of decifer it. Strange.... but sometimes fun.

Lynn Cahoon said...

Kate - my best thinking about my ms come in the wee hours of the morning. The house is quiet, I'm close to returning to dream land, then bam... my muse throws a curveball into the scenes I just wrote. Mostly a that won't work problem.

And yeah, I drag myself to the computer and make the fixes.

My muse - a slavedriver.

ev said...

I actually do come up to solutions for problems while I sleep and do a little precog sleeping too. I've done it all my life, as has my mom, grandmother and great-granny. To me it's just a normal way of life I guess so I'm not surprised when someone else does it.

Barbara said...

I dream what seem to be long involved stories, but they never make a bit of sense. Not helpful at all.

Kate Collins said...

I envy those of you who can dream like that! I've had 2 premonition dreams in my life and they both occurred when I was 10.
My muse has been sleeping in since my husband passed on, and it's been really hard to shake her awake, but lately she's been stirring, getting ready to take off. So when I get a burst of inspiration, I act on it quickly.
Any way to do that precog dreaming? Any tips?

signlady217 said...

Yeah, I do this kind of dreaming a lot; always have, but not always on purpose! :)

I've also had the "premonition" type dream and the recurring/rerun kind of dream (that kind is actually two specific nightmares and fortunately I've not had either of them in several years!).

When I was in college I was taking Spanish and also learning American Sign Language from some other sources/friends, and I would dream in both languages in the same dream at the same time! Really weird!

Aurian said...

I dream whole stories, and strange things, but they fade away so quickly when I am awake. Also never been inspired enough to write them down. To copy the famous quote I am a lover not a fighter: I am a reader not a writer ;)

Shiloh said...

I find dreams fascinating, because no matter how weird or insignificant (did I spell that right?) they seem, dreams can almost always give you insight. Into yourself, or a problem...even one you may not be aware of. At least, that's the way it's been for me. I used to be able to remember my dreams without problem, in fact, I would keep dream journals so I could analyze them. But about 14 years ago I began having seizures, and now because of them or because of my medication I take to control them, I cannot remember my dreams five minutes after waking. =0/

Kate Collins said...

Shiloh, I'm so sorry to hear that. Dreams have always fascinated me, too, and I love interpreting friends' dreams, but I hardly ever remember my own, just maybe a snippet. Usually I forget my dream a minute after I wake up. I wish I could get answers! In fact, I'm going to try to solve another scene issue tonight.

That's really interesting about dreaming in Spanish and sign language! wow. I think the real test of learning a language is to dream in it.

Maggie Sefton said...

Kate---I think you should actually write down that sci fi story you dreamed. Anything that came so vividly and intact, so to speak, came from. . .well, let's just say "out there in the Universe." Something to think about, girl. :)

D.B. deClerq said...

I agree with Maggie. I dreamed the protagonist of my first mystery and his daughter. As a matter of fact, I was the daughter in my dream. On waking, I said, "I don't write mysteries." But the characters wouldn't leave me alone.

His best friend, the sheriff, showed up. And on and on.

First draft is done and revisions have started. I have ideas for at least 6 more stories with these characters and for 3 completely different series.

Maybe you DO write Sci-Fi. That's what pen names are for, right?

Tiffany0227 said...

That is so funny that you write this. I have done that before it's like you remember the dream but absolutely nothing in the dream. I was trying to think of a word the other day and it had to do with taxes. It was driving me crazy that I could not think of that word. So I became obsessed with trying to figure it out; I googled, I tried to look up the post from which I had read the word. I was like doomed. The next morning I woke up and I remembered the dream but I still could not remember what the word is. The dream was so vivid I could see it as I typed it in google but yet I still couldn't see the word. I finally remembered my word yesterday while I was mopping. And this simple little word that tormented me is ITEMIZED, LOL