Lucid fiction is a thing. Really. It’s a phrase word, an inside joke that people inside a social group get but elders like me miss. In the writing world, you have to be there—it can’t be easily explained. It has no ethic. Younger writers tell me something is never going to be a thing. I start to answer, but they’re gone. That’s the thing, you know?

                The world of literature always lived somewhere between dreams and reality. Lucid fiction makes dreams its main source, describing surrealistic images of the unconscious and asking readers to solve a puzzle, determining what is real and what is not. Tantra Bensko[1] contrasts lucid fiction with mass media, which is also a fictional world of manipulative attempts to blur the ugly truth. Bensko draws analogies with progressive concepts of New Age literature and motivates readers to seek the truth within themselves. Lucid fiction writers present their ideas and images from their dreams as a reality of a particular book. This genre is, in general, a new approach to postmodernism in a world where we believe in aliens.[2]

                As best I understand this thing—Lucid Fiction—is writing lucid dream-inspired novels. I’ve never had one so I’m at a disadvantage in explain the thing. I’m told it’s pretty simple when you get down to it. “There are certain things a lucid dreamer never needs to say: I’m completely stuck on this project… All my inspiration has vanished..! That  blank page is slowly killing me: what on earth do I write next? When you notice yourself thinking these kinds of thoughts, don’t throw out your half-written masterpiece. Instead, take a nap.” [3]

                Apparently, writers with dreaming minds are gifted at combining unexpected associations and generating original ideas and solutions. Their stories of creative inspiration arise from dreams or the hypnagogic period where images spring to life before their eyes as they hover on the cusp of sleep.

                So, the ethics of this new genre are best acquired during rest periods. Naps are acceptable, but sleep may get in the way of keyboarding, and awakening might alter story line. So, it’s better to just write sitting up, taking nourishment, and writing as lucid as you can. The essence of ethical lucid writing is to express clearly, in easily understood words, that are either bright or luminous. That what it says in the dictionary. Look lucid up in your Merriam-Webster. It’s a thing.   

[1] Rosemary Bensko—writing as Tantra Bensko—has hundreds of flashes, short stories, and novelettes in journals such as Mad Hatters Review, The Journal of Experimental Fiction, Fiction International, etc. See  



Gary L Stuart

I am an author and a part-time lawyer with a focus on ethics and professional discipline. I teach creative writing and ethics to law students at Arizona State University. Read my bio.

If you have an important story you want told, you can commission me to write it for you. Learn how.