The only time I've ever used dreams in my writing (that I'm aware of) has been for poems, and those were assigned. The basic idea was to transcribe the dream, not interpret or manipulate, and see what happens. Results varied.
Last night was weird though.
So I'm exhausted, right? (I blame being pregnant.) I go to bed and it's all snug and warm. Then the dream starts coming and it's odd because it's the scene that I want to write for the American Icon competition. And I'm in two places: at my desk with a legal pad and a pen, physically writing the scene and in the bar where the scene takes place. Like I'm watching it through the paper and pen.
The thought keeps running through my head that I've procrastinated too long, everything is going to suck...but the scene is good. And it's come to me whole...with only one question of continuity because there's something I want to happen that I may have to let go. I only have two minutes after all--that's about two-three pages depending on how dense I make the prose.
When I woke up I felt ready and raring to go. Has anyone else had an experience like this? Where you realized the dream was your work and you knew what happened next? It's pretty trippy. Goodness knows if it'll work, but I think I'm gonna try to do what I remember.