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Writing Screenplays and Dreams

May 21st, 2009 · No Comments · Screenwriter Chat

By Raisy Roo

No one really knows where dreams come from. There are lots of differing books and theories on the subject, but one idea they all seem to agree on is that dreams are made up of symbols. Every character, item and detail in your dream represents something, and if it didn’t, it could not exist. It must serve purpose, and then be intricately linked and interwoven into every aspect of the plot that’s playing out.

You know that dream where you’re wandering the school hall in your underwear? Well, down the corridor, past all the leering students, beyond the mortified teacher and beside that kid holding the raccoon, is a locker. And on that locker is a number. That number cannot exist in your dream unless it has significant meaning and purpose. Talk about back story!

Your dream can’t simply write ‘INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – DAY’. Instead it must account for every minute detail in order to pull the story off. Can you imagine the processing power needed to structure a scene like that? God forbid you’re shooting outside! Every blade of grass would need to be written, rewrote, polished and tweaked – instantaneously.

I personally don’t believe that sort of processing power exists anywhere in the universe. I have a sneaking suspicion that dreams are not “processed” at all, but rather emanated. Like mist spraying from a waterfall, dreams emanate from your very essence, spawning a story about you. After all, every person in your dream is actually you.

I have a challenge. As you lay your weary head down after a long day of writing, try to pay attention to the images that continue to flash across your mind’s eye. They are always there; it just takes some practice to become aware of them. Some say it’s just the dream cycle ramping up for the nights show, others believe it’s a form of remote viewing.

I believe it’s the place where screenplays come from.

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