Last night, I had a nightmare. It was kind of a strange half-asleep, half-awake one, where there was this malicious entity staring at my husband and me while we slept from the shelves in our bedroom, and I tried to scream and couldn’t…

We don’t actually have shelves in our bedroom. Thanks, subconscious mind, now I kind of want some.

When I don’t wake up from a nightmare – or any dream, actually, where I’ve become aware of being in a dream, my brain tries to make it into a story. It will add additional characters, try out some sort of arc, and, while I am dreaming, it will seem like a great story, and I will wake up thrilled.

The problem comes when I start to try and organize it to write it down.

There’s some sort of logic disconnect between your subconscious and conscious mind, and what seems complete while asleep will become insubstantial when you try to pin it down. Details slip through your fingers, and you find more holes and missing details than you thought you would, and the whole process is very disconcerting, because you  felt like you had a complete, engaging story and it turns out that you only have a few vague impressions.

And if you do manage to get a full story out of it in the end, a lot of times it doesn’t resemble the dream story at all. I, at least, have trouble matching the feeling of a fleshed out, sense-making story to the etherealness of the dream.

Squiders, how about you? Does your brain make lovely stories for you that fall apart upon waking? Do you find it easy or hard to convert them into a real story?

Converting Dreams to Stories
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Books by Kit Campbell

City of Hope and Ruin cover
Shards cover
Hidden Worlds cover