1. AlphaWerewolf10
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    AlphaWerewolf10 Member

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    A question, not sure where it belongs.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by AlphaWerewolf10, May 1, 2014.

    As I said, I have a question and I'm not sure where it belongs.
    Anyways, I am working on a novel (doing my "writing an idea" stuff really). In the beginning of the story, a man's plane blows up mid-flight. I then cut to the man's three children at their home. The three boys (17, 15, and 11) are awakened by a similar nightmare where they see their father dying in a plane explosion.
    Would it be logical to think that the 11-year old would be crying hysterically upon waking up?

    Sorry if this seems like a stupid question.
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If the other two wouldn't be, I don't think the 11 year old necessarily would be either. I think that 11 is old enough to have internalized the "boys don't cry" rule, to disbelieve dreams, and to have a moderate amount of emotional control.
     
  3. marshipan
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    marshipan Member

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    I find that in some dreams my emotional reaction is amplified beyond what I would feel while awake (or just flat out different) and can still be in effect when waking up from the dream. Also, I don't think that I'm the only one who experiences this, hah.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I don't see why not.

    Eleven is one of those tween ages, some kids are more mature, some less so. Some kids cry easily, some don't.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I dunno, my son cried when his girlfriend broke up with him when he was 17. Maybe he tried to keep it quiet, but a loss can be painful. A kid waking up from a nightmare, I would think crying hysterically can easily be credibly written.
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It depends on the boy, right? Not all kids will react the same way to the same thing. His character - his personality - will determine if he cries or not.

    In my own case, I probably wouldn't have cried, because I remember at that age feeling that "boys don't cry" was almost a commandment from God. That thinking probably stunted my emotional growth to a degree - it might even be one of the reasons I wanted to take up writing. I needed a way to cry without actual tears, and pouring my heart out on the page worked as well as anything else - along with wailing out on my guitar, of course! ;)
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I suspect I misunderstood the question. For some reason, I read it as asking if the 11 year old should wake up crying--as asking if that reaction on the 11 year old's part would be an "of course" expected reaction. Not sure where I got that reading from. I certainly agree that it's possible/plausible.
     
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  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    @AlphaWerewolf10 - Actually, I found that situation quite sad, just as you presented it to us. I think it's quite possible that ANYBODY who wakes from a nightmare like that might wake up crying—never mind the fact that the dreams turns out to be true later on.

    I believe you don't have the same control over your emotions in a dream sequence that you might exert in real life. I know I've had sad dreams that linger for many hours afterwards, and I've certainly been in tears when I first woke up. I see no reason why any or all of those boys might not react this way.

    If you're unsure, you might want to cut back on the hysteria, though—which can often seem melodramatic when it's written down—but tears are very believeable in this situation. Good luck with your story.
     
  9. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    Why not have the 11 yr old wake up crying for his mom? (Assuming of course that there even is a mother in the picture.)

    Most kids think they are big and tough until the crap hits the fan, then they are all humbled into become once again... the mama's boys that they really are.
     
  10. Slade Lucas
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    Slade Lucas Member

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    It depends on the kind of character that boy is. Some people would cry, some wouldn't.
     
  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    An eleven year old boy is having a nightmare that his father is dying in a horrific manner. Of course he's going to start crying/go hysterical/generally become distressed because of that.
     
  12. Bryan Romer
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    I don't think I would have cried. Not because I'm so manly and stoic, but because I would have woken up knowing it was a dream. I might have been upset by the nastiness, but at eleven I'm pretty sure I knew that dreams weren't real.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Have you ever had a dream that while you know it was a dream still left you feeling emotional? It may be more transient than the emotion of an actual event, but knowledge something was a dream does not always make the emotional reaction suddenly null and void.
     
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  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I did once, as an adult. I was in my early 20s when I had a dream that someone came up to me, shoved a pistol into my stomach and pulled the trigger. I woke up just as the gun went off. I was literally gasping for breath for a long time afterward, repeating to myself over and over, "It was only a dream...only a dream." It was almost 40 years ago but I remember it like it was last night.
     
  15. Bryan Romer
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    I did say I might be upset. But not to the point of crying. And no, I can't recall any dreams that affected me more than "Phew that was a nasty dream". I've never had dream emotions carry over into waking life.
     
  16. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have many dreams that are intense. Sometimes I wind up yelling in my sleep and my roomie has to come in and wake me up. When that happens, it takes me as much as a half hour or so to calm down and go back to sleep. The emotions I feel in dreams can be that strong.

    If a boy wakes up crying, I think that's perfectly reasonable.
     
  17. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    On a different note - I woke up snickering one night. I can't remember what the dream was about but I was laughing about something. It was like the total opposite of a nightmare.

    Alpha - I think it's a choice of character not really age. You could split the difference and surprise the readers - have the fifteen year old wake up crying. I don't necessarily think it's a sign of the most sensitive character though ( unless you want it to be ), a 'toughie' could be just as surprised to be overwhelmed by his nightmare and reduced to tears.
     
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  18. Okon
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    The 11-year old wouldn't be crying hysterically, maybe just a tear or two-- he knows what a dream is; he's been having them for 11 years. However, if a part of him just somehow KNEW that it was more than a dream, and he was crying a lot because of that, it would maybe add to the story's suspense. Kind of Stephen King-ish.

    I've woken up weeping before, but the feeling passes quickly, just like the memory of the dream.
     
  19. Lea`Brooks
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    I wake up crying because of dreams all the time. But I'm a girl. So I don't know if that counts. lol I think it would be a reasonable reaction though, if the dream felt reasonable enough. But I agree with everyone else, too -- it depends on the boy. If he portrays this tough image throughout the novel, waking up crying wouldn't really fit his personality.
     
  20. MrMidnight
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    I think it fits in the context of what you are shooting for, I don't see an issue with it. 11 year olds cry all the time, heck, people cry all the time. Its not the fact that they are performing the act of crying, its simply WHY are they crying.

    If you can come up with a good enough WHY, age really doesn't matter.

    Hope this helps,
    Midnight
     
  21. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    It could happen. I say this theoretically as I have never cried, but I've often seen children around that age do so when distressed or disturbed by something.
     
  22. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not the crying that I'm uncertain about here, it's the "hysterically."
     
  23. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    I've seen kids do that too.
     
  24. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Any of us can wake up screaming, our ego defences are inactive while we sleep and even the toughest guy can wake up screaming if his dream takes him in that direction. Although, the tougher you are, the more scary the dream needs to be. I wouldn't necessarily make any assumptions about boy awake based on boy waking up from a nightmare. However, I'd expect the nightmare to be proportionally more scary to the individual toughness of the boy.
     
  25. Moneica
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    Moneica Member

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    I don't see why he couldn't be. I myself have dreamed something so real I wake up just crying my eyes out. It took me a second to realize it was only a dream. So I would say yes, he could wake up that way.
     

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