Introduction to “It Was All a Dream” Themed Writing Prompts
Delving into the vast expanse of the human subconscious, the “It Was All a Dream” trope remains one of the most intriguing and debated narrative devices in literary history. From ancient tales to the modern psyche’s twisted labyrinths, dreams have always served as a portal to our deepest fears, desires, regrets, and aspirations. This collection of prompts invites you to explore the surreal, often symbolic realm of dreams, where reality blurs, and the impossible becomes tangible.
Using the “It Was All a Dream” theme offers a plethora of narrative possibilities:
Exploring the Subconscious: Delve into your character’s deepest desires, fears, or unresolved emotions. Dreams can reveal hidden facets of their personality, allowing for profound character development.
Symbolic Storytelling: Integrate symbols and motifs that hold significant meaning to the story or characters. Interpreting these symbols can offer readers deeper insights and layers to uncover.
Blurring Reality: Play with the boundaries of reality. Have characters, and even readers, question what’s real and what’s a mere fragment of the imagination.
Exposition and Foreshadowing: Dreams can serve as a tool to introduce backstory, hint at future events, or expose hidden truths in an abstract manner.
Testing Scenarios: Place your character in hypothetical situations. How would they react if certain events transpired? Dreams allow you to experiment with scenarios without altering the story’s primary reality.
Addressing Regret or “What Ifs”: Dreams can explore alternate paths. What if a character had made a different choice at a pivotal moment? Dreams can give them, and the reader, a glimpse of that alternate reality.
Emotional Catharsis: After confronting and processing intense emotions in a dream, characters can awaken with newfound clarity, understanding, or resolve about a real-life situation.
While the “It Was All a Dream” theme can be divisive—loved by some readers and lamented by others—it offers a unique canvas for imaginative storytelling. These prompts encourage you to not just use dreams as a narrative twist, but as a tool to delve deeper into your characters’ psyche, the story’s layers, and the limitless expanse of human imagination. Dive in and dream vividly.
It Was All a Dream Writing Prompts
Events were the imagination or dream of a character…
- The protagonist wakes up from a vivid dream that provides a solution to a real-life problem.
- After defeating a great evil, the hero awakens in a world where no one knows their name.
- A journey through a post-apocalyptic world turns out to be a child’s nightmare.
- A character dreams of a parallel universe, then wakes up with an item from that dream world.
- The protagonist lives an entire lifetime in a dream, only to wake up young again.
- A dream of a long-lost friend prompts the protagonist to reconnect in reality.
- A character dreams of an ancient battle, only to discover they are the reincarnation of a great warrior.
- After a surreal adventure, the protagonist wakes up in a hospital bed with fragmented memories of both realities.
- The dream of a forgotten city leads an archaeologist to its real location.
- A character finds themselves in a utopian society, then wakes up motivated to change their real world.
- A dream reveals to a detective the identity of a real-life serial killer.
- The protagonist relives a traumatic event in a dream, finding closure upon waking up.
- After a night of lucid dreaming, the character wakes up with the ability to predict the immediate future.
- The dream world is a realm where the deceased communicate with the living.
- Every night, a character dreams of different versions of the same event, piecing together a mystery in waking life.
- After waking from a dream, the protagonist discovers a tattoo from the dream on their skin.
- A scientist dreams of an equation or discovery and brings it to life after waking up.
- A dream love story results in real-life heartache when the dream lover doesn’t exist.
- The protagonist discovers they can manipulate reality by controlling their dreams.
- A dream of a past life brings lessons into the protagonist’s present.
- The protagonist is stuck in a time loop, with each day ending in a dream that resets everything.
- An elderly person dreams of their youth and wakes up rejuvenated.
- A musician dreams of a symphony and creates it in reality, only to find it already exists.
- In a dream, a character sees the world through their enemy’s eyes and wakes up with newfound empathy.
- A character dreams of a post-apocalyptic world and takes measures to prevent it upon waking.
- Dreams of a sunken city lead a diver to a hidden treasure in the real world.
- A child dreams of magical creatures, which become real when they draw them.
- The protagonist dreams of the day ahead, giving them a chance to change their fate.
- A character is haunted by dreams of an alternate life where they made different choices.
- After a surreal dream, the protagonist wakes up speaking an ancient language.
- Dreams of flying lead a character to invent a new mode of transportation.
- A character wakes up from a dream with inexplicable skills or knowledge.
- The dream world is a mirror realm where every action has consequences in the real world.
- A character dreams of being an animal and wakes up with heightened senses.
- The protagonist dreams of a closed room and must solve its puzzle to wake up.
- A dream of a distant planet becomes the basis for a new sci-fi novel.
- Every night, a character dreams of a different era in history.
- The protagonist must decipher dreams that predict natural disasters.
- A dream of a fairyland leads to the discovery of a hidden world when awake.
- A character discovers in a dream that they are a fictional creation.
- A dream of being trapped results in the protagonist waking up in a real-life escape room.
- A lucid dreamer becomes trapped in the dream world and must find an exit.
- Dreams serve as a bridge between warring kingdoms in two dimensions.
- A character receives nightly dream training from a mentor, preparing for a real challenge.
- The protagonist discovers they share dreams with a stranger, leading to a unique bond.
- A dream journal becomes a bestseller, with events mirroring real-world events.
- After a dream, a character can see glimpses of the dream world overlaying reality.
- The protagonist must confront their biggest fears in recurring nightmares.
- Dreams become a new form of entertainment, with people sharing them like movies.
- A dream predicts the protagonist’s death, leading them on a quest to change their destiny.
- A character dreams of a library containing the world’s lost knowledge.
- A dream of a barren wasteland leads to real-life environmental activism.
- The protagonist’s dreams are gateways to other dimensions, with entities trying to break through.
- A dream of a castle results in the character waking up with a mysterious key.
- A student dreams of failing an exam, leading them to study harder and discover a hidden talent.
- The protagonist has a recurring dream of a carnival, each time revealing more secrets.
- A dream serves as a portal to the protagonist’s childhood, allowing them to reconcile with their past.
- Dreams of a labyrinth lead the protagonist to a real-life maze with a hidden treasure.
- A nightmare realm threatens to merge with reality unless the protagonist stops it.
- The dream world is a sanctuary for souls, with the protagonist serving as a guide.
- A character dreams of being a hero and wakes up with newfound confidence.
- The protagonist is a therapist who enters patients’ dreams to help them heal.
- A character dreams of a garden and wakes up with plants sprouting around them.
- A dream of a lost city of gold becomes an obsession for an explorer.
- A character’s dream wedding becomes a blueprint for a real-life event.
- After dreaming of an elixir, a character wakes up with a formula for a cure.
- The protagonist dreams of a tower they must climb, each level revealing a personal challenge.
- Dreams of an enchanted forest lead a writer to pen a bestselling fantasy series.
- A character’s dream vacation inspires them to embark on a real adventure.
- A dream of a train journey leads the protagonist to unexpected real-life destinations.
- The protagonist dreams of a world without color and wakes up with the ability to see auras.
- A dream of a lost sibling leads to a real-life search for connection.
- Dreams become a battleground for good and evil, with the protagonist as the key player.
- A dream of a mysterious stranger becomes a real-life love story.
- After dreaming of an apocalypse, the protagonist wakes up with survival skills.
- The dream world is a canvas, with the protagonist as the artist.
- A dream of a hidden chamber in a house leads to its real discovery.
- The protagonist’s dream journey parallels their real-life spiritual quest.
- Dreams become a currency, with the rich buying the best dreams from the poor.
- A character dreams of a great flood and wakes up with the power to control water.
- The dream realm is a school, with lessons carrying over to waking life.
- A dream of a sacred tree leads the protagonist on an environmental mission.
- The protagonist’s dreams connect them with ancestors, revealing family secrets.
- A nightmare of being chased leads the character to confront real-life fears.
- After dreaming of an arena, the protagonist wakes up with gladiator skills.
- A dream of a cosmic dance results in the character waking up with the universe’s secrets.
- The dream world is a puzzle, with clues scattered across different dreams.
- A dream of a treasure map becomes a real-life quest.
- The protagonist dreams of a palace of mirrors, each reflecting a different aspect of themselves.
- Dreams serve as rehearsals for the protagonist’s real-life performances.
- A dream of flying leads the character to wake up levitating.
- The dream realm is a theater, with the protagonist as the director.
- A character dreams of a grand ball and wakes up with an invitation.
- The protagonist’s dream diary becomes a guide to navigating challenges.
- After dreaming of an abyss, the character wakes up with a fear of heights.
- The dream world is a sanctuary, with the protagonist as its protector.
- A dream of a celestial event becomes a real-life astronomical discovery.
- The protagonist dreams of a clock ticking, leading to a race against time in reality.
- A character’s dream odyssey reflects their real-life journey of self-discovery.
- The protagonist dreams of a door they shouldn’t open, leading to real-life temptations.