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Semiformalishmaybe

Hands and Minds

Last night I had a dream that was kind of like a play or film; a group of people introduced themselves and described how they died, and they then went on the business of dreaming up a new universe. This task brought out some insights into human nature, what it means to have a fulfilling life, and how humanity approaches the big questions of philosophy.

I woke up really enjoying the dream and jotted down bits of it. I'm tempted to develop it into something really workable (perhaps performable); ever since 「The Man From Earth」, I've been interested in thin stories that are covers for intellectual exploration of philosophical topics (Sartre's 「Huis Clos」 and Shane Carruth's 「Primer」 are other good works of the sort).

I'd feel a little reluctant to do this though; I have some sense that because it's not a product of my conscious mind, it's not really representing the kind of creative output people normally share with others. Someone who can produce good stories when awake might deserve more credit because they could do it spontaneously, and they could have interesting discussions about process and why they chose various story elements. Even were I to imagine this content to be good, it's not something I consciously made, so it's not really testament to my storytelling ability. Maybe this is a silly worry, or maybe there's something to it but that shouldn't stop me from working on it (meaning less is not the same as meaningless).

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i like this idea! it sounds like you could get a very rich story out of it.

Someone who can produce good stories when awake might deserve more credit because they could do it spontaneously

i don't think anybody can have good ideas "on cue". what difference does it make which part of your mind the inspiration comes from? - it's all your mind in any case.

also don't forget: the devil is in the details. (put another way, "real artists ship".) most of the work remains yet in putting the idea to concrete form, and that's something that can only be done consciously.
Sounds cool!

"it's not really representing the kind of creative output people normally share with others."

Coleridge came up with Kubla Khan in a dream -- an opium-induced dream, at that. I'm glad that didn't stop him from sharing it!

Anyway, I agree with bubblingbeebles; the hard work of storytelling is not the idea but the manner in which it is conveyed, and that part is very much done consciously.
Dali would rig things up to fall off his lap and wake him up as soon as he started falling asleep as a scheme to get ideas out of dreams.

Ideas come from all sorts of places, so sleepy origin isn't a reason not to share something if it's good. The hardest part is telling the story effectively and evocatively now that you're awake. Writers are communicators.
Writers are communicators.

well put.