Michelle Renee Kidwell
5 min readSep 6, 2022

Do Your Dreams Tell Your Stories?

The Impact of Dreams on Writing

Thanks to Javardh @_javardh_001 for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/2q6C5zDJOsg

Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I thought?

Joan Didion

Have you ever woken up from a dream so vivid, the character in said dream seemed so real you could reach out in touch it?

Did that same dream wake you up scrambling for pen and paper, or your favorite note app on your phone, so you could memorialize that dream?

We’re you able to turn that vivid, technicolor dream into the basis for a novel, a short story, a work of non-fiction?

William Styron woke up to the lingering image of a woman he had known in his early twenties, one spring morning in 1974. He could see her standing in the hallway, her arms full of books, the blue numbers to a tattoo visible beneath her sleeve. In that moment he knew he needed to abandon the book he had been laboring over, to tell this woman’s story. He went immediately down to his studio and wrote the opening of what was to become Sophie’s choice.

I’ve had characters and plotlines come to me in dreams, some came nearly fully formed like the William Stryon’s vision of Sophie, but more often than not they were shadows, not fully formed, but ready to be fleshed out.

My most recent story came to me in a dream, I knew somethings about Anna-leis In Like Letters Written in the Sand, but others would reveal themselves after I begin writing.

I had an idea that Like Letters Written in the Sand, was a love story, but no idea how powerful this particular love story was, a love story that would defy all odds, and work when everything screamed it wouldn’t.

It had been six weeks since her world had turned upside down, a month since he’d declared his love for her, but the memories of being trapped in that car, or what seemed like an eternity, she’d have flashbacks of the truck coming at her, out of control, the impact crushing her car like an accordion, crushing her legs. Later Anna-leis would learn that the driver of the truck had an alcohol level over three times the legal limit, a fact that left Anna-leis seething with anger, and left

Michelle Renee Kidwell

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge in the light: Helen Keller http://www.facebook.com/fansofMichellerkidwell