Do non-writers have dreams like this?

Just after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, I sat down and read through all seven books.  I had seen all the movies that were out by then, but that was the first time I read the books.  Now that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is about to be released, I thought it would be a good idea to reread all the books and re-watch the movies.  I’ll give J. K. Rowling this much, even the later tomes are quick reads.  Add in my general desire to be done with the series, it was a weekend, and I was getting over a head cold so I didn’t feel like doing much but read, I made it through the 870 pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in three days.

While some may applaud my devotion to reading in this age of growing illiteracy, I’d ask them not to because I ended up with a headache.  😀 Whether it was from the reading or the cold, I don’t know.  But a downside I do know came from all that reading were the dreams.  I’ve known since high school that if I do something too much, I’ll have dreams about it.  The two most common dream inspiring actions are video games (which started with Tetris in high school) and reading.  By reading dreams, I mean dreams where I have a book and I’m flipping pages.  These dreams most often pickup where I left off, but go in bizarre directions.  For example, while reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I dreamt Dobby took the three main characters to a deserted island and they set out to rebuild civilization.

Now the point of this blog, is that lately, my Harry Potter dreams – instead of going off in bizarre directions – have me rewriting the scene.  In one (I can’t remember which book this was part of) the main three characters were eating and talking about Malfoy, but I was trying to get Hermione to talk about Quidditch because it would flow better.  (I know that’s not much, but it’s the one I remember best.  Most are really cool while I’m half-asleep and in bed.  Once I’m up and about, I can’t remember what they are.) All this made me wonder 1) Does anyone else have reading dreams? and 2) Does anyone – writer or non-writer – rewrite stories they’ve read?

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2 Responses to “Do non-writers have dreams like this?”

  1. zaynawoman Says:

    ALL THE TIME. When I read the history of the Red Cross worker in WWII Europe, stories of her making donuts in her clubmobile translated into 3 nights of dreams about donuts. Concentration Camps on the Home Front (Japanese Internment in WWII) led to highly disturbing dreams of mazes (like hedge mazes) but made of fences topped with barbed wire. Tourists of History (about OK City bombing and 9/11) brought back most of my 9/11 nightmares.
    My writing dreams are much more about my research process rather than the narrative or argument. So I’m often surrounded by towering stacks of library books, desperately trying to prevent an avalanche. Or I’m desperately searching for the ONE book I need to find the ONE citation that proves my thesis. I’m waiting for the “lost in the archive” dream when I start doing archival work.
    I don’t necessarily rewrite the stories so much as expand on them. But that’s usually when I’m half awake, or woolgathering, and my mind wanders down alternate paths. It’s almost a fan-fiction sort of thing. When I’m sleeping, I tend to process the content I’ve read without a lot of change, just self-insertion.

  2. I remember dreaming about one of my characters once, but other than that I can’t remember ever dreaming about anything I’ve written. Of course, I don’t always remember my dreams. Most of my “dreams” I do remember are the half-awake mind wanderings. Now that I think about it, I wonder if the reason I don’t remember most of my dreams is because if it’s interesting, I try turning it into a story. I can remember the final idea, just not the origin.

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