Worth of Dreams

I like to try something different each time a new story is begun. While using the YA genre as a base, the topics, locals, and message are far flung. Even a venture into a series was approached with a different twist. With that warning, the work underway should be no surprise. It covers teenage issues of homeless teens, suicide, gay and straight sex, domination, religion, bullying, the pursuit of love, respect, and dignity, and murder. Embedded within some scenes are dreams.

Dreams have been a part of literature for at least 5,000 years, first noted on clay tablets in Mesopotamia. When understood and used correctly, dream sequences can be an interesting addition to the plot. Rich and intense with symbolism, they can become an easy way to create drama or covey some piece of information when used in the right time and place in the story. Being a dream, it should feel odd and strange to the reader, maybe even a put-off as it is out of sequence, off topic, and often without conclusion. They are hardly ever linear and neatly structured. In a true dreamworld, the action leaps and jumps around like a water droplet in a hot pan. However, before jumping on this, one should have a handle on what dreams are.

Dreams are a succession of images (for sighted persons, not those blind from birth), ideas, emotions, and sensation that pop up during the REM period of sleep. (The two-hour period of deep sleep) This can happen anywhere from several seconds to thirty-minutes, and happen three to five times a nights, sometimes up to seven, and are usually forgotten unless especially powerful, or the dreamer is awaken during the presentation.

Different locations and objects can blend, like a pig chasing a Medieval knight down Manhattan Avenue. What does that mean? Only the Shadow Knows. (Old radio show) The brain seems to randomly pick a little memory here, an experience there, something seen, heard, or read. Current theory follows Freud that dreams reveal insight into hidden desires and emotions.

The most common emotion in dreams seems to be anxiety, but also abandonment, anger, fear, the negatives more common; however, joy and happiness were also recorded in studies. Dreams of sex account for 10% or less reports, although it is more prevalent in young to mid-teens (Go figure) which, at least early on, account in organisms or wet dreams.

As said earlier, most are not remembered (5%). People scoring high on personality traits associated with creativity, imagination, and fantasy, daydreaming, fantasy, and hypnotic susceptibility tend to show more frequent dream recall. Now, that is something these individuals can harness, using it as a tool for creative work. I was frequently teased by family for “taking a break,” and going on the patio to “take a snooze.” Teased, that is, until they realized I wasn’t sleeping, but allowing my brain to “mull over” what I was working on. Such could not be classified as dreaming because I never really fell asleep, only skimming the surface of that realm like a space shuttle when re-entering the atmosphere.

As for nightmares, they are unpleasant dreams that can trigger strong negative emotional responses from the mind. Generally, those responses are fear and/or horror, or despair, anxiety, and sadness. They can contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror. With these, the dreamer usually awakens (the reason they can remember what happened) and find themselves in a state of distress, unable to return to sleep for a prolonged period of time.

Dream sequences can be of great value to the writer—when used properly. If they are used to foretell the future (as supposed in centuries past), it will be the water droplet bouncing about a disjointed world of strange objects and need some explanation.

For those acquainted with the Old Testament (Torah), Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream about an impending drought is one of several excellent examples how dreams are presented. (Genesis 41:15+)

In the story under construct, a main character (age 15) dreams of tumbling through the sky heading for a face plant on the surface. He has recently been thrown out onto the streets. The meaning used is that his life is out of control (no kidding), but after being taken in by a kindly, older couple, he finds support and love. A another dream has him tumbling toward earth again, but this time there is a sudden snap, the sickening twisting stops, and he finds himself gliding to earth beneath a parachute.

Below is a quick guide to some of the most common dreams, but if that isn’t enough, there is a link to more than 5,000 dream symbols. Have fun, and take a nap every so often.

www. dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary [Good]
www. dreamscloud.com/en/dream-dictionary

Dream Dictionary
More than 5000 symbol definitions

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