Dreams as Inspiration
Some people have a hard time remembering their dreams. It helps to lie in bed after you wake up from a dream and think about the context. Think about what the dream could mean, about where it would have gone if you hadn't woken up, and about what you could do to make it into a story.
In my college psych classes I was instructed to keep a notebook by my bed in case I woke up from a dream in the middle of the night. This helped me to start remembering my dreams. These days I use my cell phone so I don't have to turn on the light and wake the kiddies. I text myself the keywords in my dream then in the morning the texts help me to recall it more clearly . . . unless its jarbled and incomprehinsible as frequently happens.
If you get into interpreting dreams you'll find all sorts of symbolism. As writers we all love our symbolism! I've definately used symbols from dreams to help create a mood and setting for a scene. For example dreaming of an amusement park (my dream from last night) can mean that I need to let go and have some fun. If that fits in with my aims for my character I might have her go to an amusement park and let loose, if I do this right it will also show character progression.
Also, I'm the kind of writer who likes to know what my characters are dreaming about, it gives me insight into their psyche. I'll write out a character dream as a writing prompt to get the juices flowing. . . in one of my manuscripts the main character pays particularly close attention to her dreams so some of those prompts ended up in the final draft.
What about you? Have you had any useful dreams lately?