Evaluating the writing style of your DJ

Dream journals are how we personally record our dreams to remember forever. For a lot of dreams I find just reading some basic details can help me remember the rest of the dream as it happened, but the way you write your dreams is the only way other people will ever be able to properly experience them. In that regard, the way you actually write the dream actually can make a difference! And the way we write our dreams sort of reflects how we view our dreams in the first place. So… let’s discuss how we write our DJ’s!

I’ve noticed that most people who write their dream journals (in English, anyway) tend to write their dreams in first-person present tense. (For example: “I am in a car. I get out and close the door behind me. I then enter my house.”) This is different from standard narratives, usually written in past tense. When I think of how present tense used in writing normally, I usually think of either dream recall or “roleplayer voice” (For example: “I put on my robe and wizard hat. I cast Lvl. 3 Lucid Vibes. I meditate to regain my mana.”), although I think it’s becoming more common in narrative. Still, the standard first-person present tense definitely has a dreamy feel to it. Like you’re recalling some otherworldly experience. Anyway, do you write in this same style? Do you not, and if so, why?

As for me, I’ve actually consciously made decisions about how I want to write up my dreams. Initially, I used to write in the standard present tense that felt natural to write in, but I eventually found writing all my dreams like this was sometimes difficult. By my second dream journal thread on LD4all, I switched to writing in first-person past tense, so I could write the dreams more like stories than experiences. Initially I also used to not use a lot of detail. For example, I’d just say I dreamt of an “anime character” rather than specify the character’s name. After all, if anyone was reading the dream, they probably didn’t know who that even was. However, I’ve switched to including more details in my dreams now, since I want to preserve as many details as possible. Also because in a creative writing class I took in high school, my teacher said that weird, specific details were more interesting than generic descriptions. :tongue:

I am still aware of the fact that people can and maybe even will read my dreams, so I try hard to keep them up to squeaky clean forum standards. I know that DJ entries are kind of exempt from rules but for my own sake I’d like to keep the entries as clean as possible. If some memorable R-18 event happens, I’ll of course write that part out and just not post it later. Also any profanity I usually try to preserve, even if the forum does censor it. For more minor events that just involve a dirty word for description, I try to have some fun with it and use a funny sounding euphemism or otherwise deliver it in a lighthearted tone to match the rest of my DJ’s “voice”. :grin:

I stopped titling my dreams a few years ago, since I felt like coming up with special titles was becoming more and more difficult. I was giving my dreams some pretty generic titles, so I switched to just date-based ID’s for most of my dreams. I do give some dreams additional titles, usually quotes from songs or other media I enjoy. In addition, I now give all my single DJ posts “alt text”, which is just additional text in the post topic title. It’s typically a little joke that makes sense once you read all the dreams. Also each post now has Japanese date markers to specify the day of the post in Japanese… because it gives my DJ some Japanese flair or something. :tongue:

One last note I can think of about my DJ’s style is that I start off almost all dreams with the same basic template: “I was _____!”. This actually started off unintentionally… I just happened to start a lot of dreams with something like “I was at school” to establish the setting. There’s actually a period of time in my third DJ topic where I noticed my habit and stopped starting my dreams like that. Eventually though, I decided to own it and felt like it could add a bit of structure and voice to my DJ entries. That’s when I started using the exclamation point. :tongue: These days, I’m upset when my recall gets hazy and I actually can’t start my dreams this way. :tongue:

I think that’s about it when it comes to my own DJ. Hopefully you have something to share about how you write your DJ entries! :happy:

ok. I used to decorate all my dj posts with lots of smilies :spinning: but I seem to have discontinued this and add them more rarely now.
Every dream still has a title. I feel the title makes it an ‘entity’. Any lucidity has red font and stable LD is bold too.

Present tense and past tense - I don’t worry about this and just use whatever feels natural for that entry.

Real names and places I will often change to initials. So my children are eldest son, middle son and daughter. Sisters are denoted in same way.

I love this about your DJ :content:

I write my DJ in past tense, as if recounting a story that just happened, since my dreams actually did just happen (or I feel like they did). I usually write them right away after waking up, and try to include as much detail as I can remember.

Sometimes I’ll remember something after writing the part, and either edit the detail in, or just leave it out, usually stuff like what someone was wearing.

Usually I use actual names of people I know IRL. If they’re not a main character, sometimes I’ll leave the name out and just go with something generic like “friend” even if I know who it was specifically. At some point I changed this to using just an initial or another letter in their name, but this isn’t really my style. I did it because I saw others do that, but reverted back when I started my latest DJ.

In my latest DJ, I also started dividing long dreams into multiple subdreams to separate the main themes. When I started doing this, I used to make major edits and move the sequence of my paragraphs around to separate the themes more and better fit them into subdreams. Lately I just insert a new title between paragraphs.

In my last few DJ entries I also added some hyperlinks to grammar rules. I did this because as I was typing up my dream, I was unsure what the correct word to use was, so I googled it and decided to include the link as a kind of trivia reference thing.

In my Dutch DJ, I use present tense and write in brief sentences, since I don’t have a good grasp of the language and hadn’t learned past tense yet when I started it. I also don’t include as many details and dream elements, thus my Dutch DJ entries are much shorter. I don’t use direct translations from my English entries, and I find it a nice exercise writing the same story in a different way. Even the titles are different, so it has a slightly different focus.

In part II, I changed things up again and went back to using a single title for the whole dream instead of splitting it up. Also started adding emojis next to my dream titles, as inspired by LC60®.