Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dream Weaver

Liz mentioned in one of her “What If” posts the possibility of recording dreams, something scientists are actually working on. They use MRIs to scan people’s minds when they’re asleep and then interpret it to recreate an image they were shown. It’s pretty rough, but you can kind of see what they were shown (it starts at about the 33 second mark). Someday (I’d say a decade at the very least) this could be the next app. Hook some electrodes to your head, plug the other end in your phone, and bam! You’ve got a recording of what went on in your head last night.

Part of me is like, cool! Sometimes I dream of things that I think will make awesome stories but upon waking I can’t remember what made me so fervent about them. But then another part of me remembers some of the crazy, messed up dreams I’ve had (the curse of being imaginative, I’m sure), and I’m a little less eager and a lot more OMMFG no one can see this ever.

Once the initial embarrassment passes (yes, embarrassment over this hypothetical technology sharing my future dreams) and I can start wondering about it again, I can actually start to think of how writers could use a technology like this. Most of my ideas that have turned into full-length manuscripts are nothing like the original dreams that spawned them. Would it even help me to look at a dream record? I’m leaning towards no since it seems my books get better the further away they are from the nonsensical, jumbled dreams whence they came. But still. Those dreams evoke powerful emotions. If I could study them, analyze them, maybe I could translate that better to the page and from there, draw in readers.

It’s an interesting idea. And not much else since this is all speculation on a technology that may never come into existence. It sure makes me wonder, though (anyone else notice I used a lot of parentheses in this one?).


  1. Yeah. I'm more in the "OMFG, no one can see this ever" camp. I don't even want to see it.


  2. I'm not much of one for dreams as the basis for stories, although I do see how something like that could diminish the art of story telling forever. Kind of like reality TV.

  3. No, I didn't notice the parentheses until you pointed them out.

    And I'm definitely in the no-way-would-I-want-anyone-ever-to-see-my-dreams camp.

  4. I dream a lot... but I rarely remember them. Every once in awhile though, I get a recurring dream of being in a vast cavern at a bonfire, with dragons, knights, trolls, and all sorts of other creatures... and all of us are singing Take Me Out To The Ballgame.


Please validate me.