Thursday, July 24, 2014

What Messages Do You Receive From Your Dreams? by Donna McDine

What Messages Do You Receive From Your Dreams?
By Donna M. McDine

While working on your latest manuscript do you feel like you are living and breathing your characters? To the point, where you can’t get them out of your head, even in your dreams. What do you think your dreams are trying to tell you about your characters? Do you think they are trying to relay specific messages to you to include in your manuscript?

I know the non-writer’s out there who are reading this may think the above statements are outlandish and should land me in the local psych ward or at the very least to a therapist’s office. Please know I’m not delusional, I’m practical in this case. As an author, the creation of our characters is personal and they do indeed become part of us. Making it often times difficult for us to shake our characters actions and moods even in the twilight state of sleep.

One particular instance when my dreams began knocking me upside the head about one of my characters was the slave Jenkins I created for my first children’s book, The GoldenPathway. Jenkins originally was created for the Institute of Children’s Literature book course, but for one reason or another I shelved this manuscript. Quite some time passed and for what I thought was bizarre at first I began dreaming about the Underground Railroad and having dogs chase after me in the dark woods. When I shared this recurring dream with my sister, she was the one that connected the dots and brought up my long shelved manuscript. After her encouragement I “dusted” off this manuscript and resurrected Jenkins and David, hence the birth of The GoldenPathway.

I also had a similar experience with the creation of A Sandy Grave. After reading the news article of a washed up dead whale on a California beach I began dreaming about the ocean repeatedly. This time, I didn’t need anyone to put two and two together. I took my dreams as a positive force to get down to the nitty-gritty of the non-fiction research aspect and then creating engaging characters and storyline to be intertwined into one story.

I encourage you to keep pen, paper, and small flashlight (so you don’t wake your significant other) by your bedside for these often inspiring moments. This way you can write down your dreams immediately upon waking or for the times you are jolted awake by your characters screaming at you. Don’t ignore these instances, instead grab these creative outcries and use them to your advantage.

I’d enjoy hearing about your experiences with your dreams, whether they are writing related or not.


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist


  1. Donna,

    I too often have vivid dreams that speak to me loudly. . In my dreams ripe fruit represent success or victory in something that I am pursuing or praying fervently for. I have been praying for open doors for my daughter to get offers in her field of acting. Last week I had a dream of me walking down a field full of ripe mangoes and avocados.
    Sure enough my daughter just signed a contract for a feature film.

    As far as my writing, I have been working on a historical middle grade fiction. I need to re-edit the manuscript, but keep putting it off. I took a class and the teacher edited the first draft, I simply have to get off my lazy buns and take the time to edit. The main character has been bugging me to bring him out again. I need to answer his call.
    Thanks for sharing your dreams , this post made my day!

    Nicole Weaver
    Award-winning Trilingual Children's Author

    1. Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your dream experiences. How wonderful for your daughter, I'm delighted to hear she landed a role in a feature film…YIPPEE!

      Dust off your historical mg fiction manuscript and get down to editing!

      Lovely to engage with you today!

      Warmest regards,

  2. Hi, Donna. It's interesting how dreams can affect one's writing. I'm glad you listened to your dreams because both of the books you mentioned are winners.

    1. Thanks Susanne, your never ending support of my working is heartwarming!

  3. I have really intense dreams too. I love it when I have time to write them down in the morning. I have either a ya or mg ghost story started by a dream. Now I need to do some research on witches and barns...

  4. Keep the momentum going and get going on that research!


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