I've never had a lucid dream as such or been able to control one. I really want to experiment with this, and see how powerful the mind is. I want to ask you about programming dreams in advance: I have thought about things - such as my best friend, calling people, etc - and then I have odd dreams about my friend or calling people. However, many other details jump into place that are unrealistic and not what I thought about before sleeping. Does this happen because I didn't program enough detail, or what?
PS - I just wanted to say I love the information on your site.
Rebecca says: Yes, you are consciously programming your dreams - this includes anything you think of during the day that occurs in a dream at night. That's why reality checks are so effective; you are literally programming a certain action into your dream that gives way to lucidity.
I have never been able to program an entire plot into my dream, though, without becoming lucid first. So you may be able to add a little more detail and specify an outcome, but I would say it's a lot easier to become conscious in your dream, and continue lucidly. The dream will also be much more vivid and you will have self awareness. I'd suggest you program a lucidity cue next time; let's say your friend visits you and is really excited because they want to tell you something amazing: "you're dreaming!" Try it and see what happens :)