dreams books

From Dreams to Books



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A Dream

Throughout history artists, inventors, writers and scientists have solved problems and made discoveries through their dreams. Here are a few examples of book plots that have been based on dreams.

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

In June of 2003, Stephenie Meyer, a stay-at-home mother from Arizona, US, suddenly woke up from her sleep.

She had had a vivid dream.

In it, two young lovers, Bella and Edward, were lying together in a meadow, talking why their love could never work.

Meyers described it: “One of them was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkling — and a vampire.”

The Difficulties

“The difficulties were in the facts that a) they were falling in love with each other while b) the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately.”

This dream turned out to be the basis of what would become one of the most popular series of books in juvenile and young adult fiction.

To date, Meyer’s five vampire romance novels have sold 120 million copies worldwide, spent a total over 143 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List, and spawned five Hollywood movies. Her annual earnings exceed $50 million.

2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

In the summer of 1816, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover, the poet Percy Shelley (whom she later married), visited the poet Lord Byron at his lakeside mansion in Geneva, Switzerland.

Thunderstorms frequently kept them and other guests indoors, where they would tell each other ghost stories.

The Contest

One evening, Byron had a contest among his guests: who could come up with the best ghost story.

That night as Mary lay in bed, she had a mental vision: someone was putting together a body out of cow part — then, with an electric jolt from a lightning strike to his apparatus, brought it to life . . .

The monster was actually gentle and intelligent. However, everyone feared and mistreated it, thus causing problems.

“I have found it! A story that terrified me will terrify others,” Mary thought upon awakening.

Mary Started Writing

Mary began to write a short-story based on her dream. Later that year her husband, also a writer, encouraged her to expand her story into a full-length novel.

She did, and the literary classic Frankenstein was published. Mary was just nineteen years old.

3. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Scotsman Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was already a successful writer when he penned The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Stevenson said the novel had been “conceived, written, re-written, re-re-written, and printed within ten weeks” in 1886.

And the story plot had been born out of a dream he had.

A Dream

“For two days I went about racking my brains for a plot of any sort . . . then on the second night, I dreamed a scene outside the window.”

The Potion

Outside he saw a highly respected and admired doctor. One day he drank a potion. It transformed him into a vile, wicked, evil person. The doctor would turn into his alter-ego and back again haphazardly.

It formed basis of the work he is best-known for.

Exploiting Dreams

Stevenson wrote about his passion for writing interacted with his dreams, which were so life-like and moving that they were more fascinating than any literature.

He could dream complete stories and go back to the same dreams on subsequent nights to give them a different ending.

Later he programmed himself to dream plots for his books and remember them in detail.

Your Dreams

These dreams are just a small sample of those on record. There are hundreds of examples of famous creativity, ideas and discoveries that have materialized from dreams.

What secrets lie hidden in YOUR dreams?

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1. Stephanie Meyer had been a journalist before she wrote Twilight. Is this true or false?

2. In her dream, what two facts about Bella and Edward emerged?

3. Did Meyer just write one bestselling novel and nothing more happened?

4. Mary got her idea for her book in her home garden one sunny afternoon. Yes or no?

5. How was the monster created? What was the origin of the monster?

6. Frankenstein’s Monster was inherently evil, wicked and sinister. Yes or no?

7. Did Mary attend university and have a lot of writing experience? What advantage did she have?

8. Like the other writers, Robert never had any literary experience. Is this correct or wrong?

9. Robert consciously tried to write a good story before he had the dream. True or false?

10. Could he harness, utilize and exploit his dreams?


A. Does the Frankenstein’s Monster have a lesson or moral? What is the moral or lesson of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

B. Have you heard about famous dreams from history?

C. I dream several times every night. True or false? Do your friends talk about their dreams?

D. I seldom remember my dreams. Yes or no? What are some recurring themes of your dreams?

E. Do you think people could utilize or harness their dreams? How could you utilize or harness your dreams?

F. What solutions, insights, ideas, information would you like to dream about?



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