If you’ve made it this far then you can see that CALD is a complicated technique that is very different for each person. This section covers some of the questions I’ve had since starting with this technique and I’ll try to answer them as best I can. If you can think of an issue I’ve missed then post it and I’ll see if I can add it.
Q: I don’t know what my character should be like.
A: Check out some of the characters created by other forum members. There might be some more links here but for now it’s just my character. Nova
Q: Can I talk to my character about the fact they are just a character?
A: Of course you can, there is no need to hide anything from them. It is probably for the best that your character knows what they are.
Q: My character is perfect/a Mary Sue. Is this bad?
A: Not at all. Your character can be as flawed or as perfect as you want them to be. Since they exist only inside your mind then it doesn’t matter how perfect they are. Would you rather spend time with an ideal character or one who has flaws just so they can have flaws. Unlike writing no one else is going to judge your character.
Q: Can I have more than one character?
A: You can have as many characters as you like. The more you have the more work you’ll need to put in to maintain them all. Before creating a new character take some time to decide if having a new character will help you.
Q: What else can I use my character for?
A: Anything you can think of. Talking with your character can help you to sort out your thoughts or troubles. You can use your character as inspiration when doing anything creative (arts, writing etc). Or you can ask them for their opposition on things. Your character can be as useful in everyday life as you want them to be.
Q: Can my character disappear or die?
A: Yes. Sometimes character’s may leave and disappear into the world you created for them. This could be completely unannounced or they might let you know well before they do. If you don’t want them to go then tell them. You could also go looking for them in a dream. A character can only die if you believe they can and if it does happen it’ll probably happen in a dream. You could avoid this all together by making your character an immortal. If somehow your character is killed then you could try bringing them back to life during a dream or asking another character to do it for you.
Q: Should I talk to my character more often?
A: It doesn’t matter how much you talk to your character. Some people will only talk to their character when they are in bed. Others will have their character go everywhere with them. You can make your character as intrusive or as passive in your life as you like.
Q: My character is a yes man and agrees completely with everything I say. Is that bad?
A: It’s only bad if you want it to be. Because your character is a part of your mind then it is understandable they feel the same way about things. Creating conflict between yourself and your character can be a double edged sword. If you force conflict in opinion simply for the sake of doing so then you’ll notice and end up getting no where. If you really want to disagree on something then try and find issues you don’t have a strong opinion for and give your character the opposing one. This can be a good way to build your character but be careful you don’t create a monster.
Q: Does CALD have anything to do with schizophrenia?
A: This thought is probably why some people avoid CALD all together. Generally society defines anyone who talks to voices in their heads as crazy people which is fair enough. The biggest and most important difference between someone who suffers a condition like schizophrenia and someone who uses CALD is clear to see. The person using CALD understands that the voices aren’t real. So long as you don’t talk to your character out loud in a public place then you’ll have no problems and so long as you remember your character is only a character for helping with lucid dreaming then you’ll remain as sane as you were before you started.
You might also find that by having a character you become more aware of yourself and who you are. Spending time inside your head and separating your thoughts to personify your character in real time can help you to better understand yourself and your feelings.
Q: You missed X topic. Are you ever going to add it? Because I think it’s really important.
A: Let me know! Post on the thread and we’ll talk about it. CALD is a complex technique and there is always more to learn and more things to consider.
I’d like to add some ideas here for people who want unique characters. If you have an idea for a character but don’t have room for more, or just haven’t gotten around to creating them yet then share your idea on the thread. If your idea is fun or unique I can add it here.
Give an object a personality: Do you have a favorite necklace or a watch you always wear? Give it a voice. Take it with you everywhere and if it suddenly begins talking then you are probably dreaming.
Create an AI. You can create a character that inhabits technology. It sits on your taskbar and gives your computer a personality. It can also upload itself to portable devices so you can take it with you wherever you go. It also gives you someone to blame when your computer crashes.
Create a “deity” or “being of great power”. Your character can be the ruler of your dream world. Other dream characters bow down to their presence and they have the power to manipulate the dream world. They can shoot lightning from their hands and most importantly they can find you and tell you you’re dreaming.