The Writer’s Dream: My First Dream with My Characters

Two nights ago, I had a bizarre experience. I had a dream featuring two of my characters from The Cogsmith’s Daughter, Aya (my protagonist) and Dellwyn (her best friend).

The dream took place in one of my novel’s settings. The conversation Aya and Dellwyn had did not align perfectly with my plot, but it fit in with the Desertera world. It was like watching a “deleted scene” from my novel, like glimpsing what my characters’ lives are like while I’m busy processing customer payments at the office.

I could see the women so clearly. I saw Aya — her tan skin, bright green eyes, curly brown hair, petite frame, trying to preserve her modesty in her provocative work clothes. Dellwyn, unfortunately, was not the voluptuous, ebony-skinned bombshell from my novel, though. She was replaced by an actress from a TV show I had watched earlier in the day, which was highly disappointing.

Regardless of this minor unconscious-blunder, the dream was splendid. I mean, I dreamed about my characters and my world. My mind summoned the details I have imagined thousands of times in my waking state all on its own. Isn’t that just cool?

Now, I like to analyze my dreams. I have a lot of apocalypse dreams and a lot of dreams about school, and I like to lie in bed in my barely-conscious morning state and suss out their meanings. Unfortunately, I’m not sure exactly what this dream means. However, here are the (logical and inflated) potential conclusions I’ve drawn:

  • My book has become a huge part of my life and thought patterns (obviously).
  • must have a strong concept if I can imagine it so clearly while I sleep.
  • I have passed into some mystical phase of creative proficiency, like when people learning a foreign language start to dream in the new language.
  • Some spiritual power (the sandman?) is telling me that my book is worth publishing.
  • My creative abilities are growing and working overtime.
  • I am meant to be doing this, writing, that is (though maybe sleeping, too).

No matter what my dream “means,” if anything, I am so thankful that I had it. On one hand, it boosted my confidence, making me feel creative and empowered to keep pursuing my novel. On the other hand, it was simply fun to get a sneak peek at my characters when they’re not “onstage” for their roles in my plot. Either way, my dream has left me inspired to push on with editing my novel and keep working towards publication!


Have you ever had a dream featuring your characters? What other ways do your characters pop into your mind at unexpected times?

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Kate M. Colby is an author of science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction. When she is not writing or working, Kate enjoys playing video games, antiquing, and wine tasting. She lives in the United States with her husband and furry children.

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Posted in Fiction Blog, Musings & Bookish Things, Writing & Publishing Articles, Writing Craft & Tips, Writing Updates
15 comments on “The Writer’s Dream: My First Dream with My Characters
  1. R. J. Nello says:

    You’re dreaming about your characters?

    Well, aside from the TV actress sorta supplanting one of them. I suppose that actress was too different so wouldn’t fit for a film adaptation? 😉

    That’s our minds while we sleep – sometimes doing the weirdest things.

    Thankfully, I’ve been spared that. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jonas Lee says:

    I had a dream about a character in my sequel, well, the dream inspired the character. Scared the piss out of me (not exactly easy to accomplish), so I thought, they’d make a great character. If you ever read it, remember “The Driver” and being locked in a room with her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s very cool. I’ve had dreams that inspire characters/stories before, but I’ve never had one about a pre-existing story or character until this one. I will definitely keep this mysterious “The Driver” in mind when I make it to your sequel (eventually — gotta finish the first one first!).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jonas Lee says:

        No pressure. That character darkens the sequel as Carter still tries to provide his own brand of levity.

        I think dreams help us inspire new ideas that develop into stories. Some of my best ideas come after I sleep, the trick is writing them down quickly enough.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had a few dreams about my characters, too. It’s very exciting! I take it to mean that your story is now firmly lodged in your sub- and unconscious, where it now stews in a delicious creative brain-soup. 🍲

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That’s so cool! Maybe its your subconscious filling in character background?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Think Always says:

    Wow! That is so cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. coffeennotes says:

    I dream about my book and characters and places set in that world a lot. I love it because it helps me a lot with my writing. I can see things better and feel and the memory of smells and how things feels are so strong that I can convey them better into my writing. That’s why I keep a dream journal where I write these dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] in the morning, I often only remember one or two key images. One time, this type of dream montage contained my characters, but normally it is a compilation of the weirdest possible elements from […]

    Like

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