Monday, December 6, 2010

What dreams may come…

Nope, I’m not referencing any movie or book specifically here. Instead, I wanted to talk about the use of dreams in books. I’ve started experimenting quite a bit recently with the use of dreams of main characters in my stories and have found it to be an intriguing way of getting into a persona’s mindset.

Depending on your outlook, you can approach dreams in many different ways in your own writings. There’s of course the Freudian Psychological view, which I do give some credence to, but overall I think Freud was largely unimaginative himself and that’s why he didn’t really understand dreams much. However, Carl Jung and other more intriguing psychologists offer some really intriguing insights into the realms of dreaming while we sleep.

I also like the more archaic version of dreaming where they represent portents of the future or goings on in other locations with other people. This not only fits in with classical literature and legends much better, it also provides a useful tool while advancing the story. But even this aspect of dream perception can become overdone and appear cheesy. The key I’ve found is to mix in a little of the mundane, a little of the supernatural, and a little aspect that handicaps the character in the dream, i.e. they lose their voice or they seem unable to run when they wish to do so. All of these things and more provide great fodder when crafting characters through their dreams.