1. CrystalWriter
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    CrystalWriter Member

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    Dreaming & Real Life?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CrystalWriter, May 10, 2012.

    Hi

    What's the best way of writing a dream, that the character wakes up from. Currently I've just put that my character has woken up suddenly. It doesn't feel right.
     
  2. louis1
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    Good question, i'm also struggling with this.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There isn't one best way. Read novels and stories where such a transition occurs to see various ways to handle it.
     
  4. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    Could you maybe describe some of the ways you enjoyed or some you didn't?

    I understand that to be a good author you have to read a lot but speaking for myself I'm still young and have probably read a lot less books then you have. So this is why we ask these questions so you can give an answer based on your experience.

    I'm still going to have to read the books, but something more specific than ''read more'' would be greatly appreciated.
     
  5. Lazy
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    Lazy Banned

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    Does the reader already know that it's a dream?
     
  6. CrystalWriter
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    CrystalWriter Member

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    In one chapter starts in the dream, and the character 1 wakes suddenly, then I have another chapter where it begins with character 2 being disturbed by the dream, dream scene, then being woken up by it.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't do much with dreams, but here is one of my earlier stories, which is dream themed: Blue
     
  8. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    thanks ! that was useful and a nice read.
     
  9. KRHolbrook
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    KRHolbrook Member

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    I can't remember very many books where there's been dream sequences, but I know of one I read about, as well as one that I've written. Plus you should base the moment of waking from your own experiences. Surely you've had a dream that startled you awake, or you jerked a body part in your sleep that automatically woke you up. These occurrences have happened to me several times.

    One of the books I read (can't remember the name, it's been a while) had the character's dream in italics. Can't remember how they woke or what awoke them, but it was probably something along the lines of "the world faded to white. I awoke." Crummy example, I know, but something like that.

    In my novel, my character gets knocked out. She dreams of a past event, with some changes in it, and it's when she plummets into ice cold water in her dream and is at the point of suffocation that she wakes up, coughing and gasping for air.

    Different styles of waking from dreams. It depends on the dream, really. How it ends.
     
  10. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Hey, "Awake" is on TV tonight. Maybe that can give you some inspiration.
     
  11. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    For the most part, dream sequences in books I've read tend to have the '...and then I woke up' tag. I think this method works especially well when the writer uses the experience of waking up as a device to shed some insight into the character and their psyche. I like the simplicity of stating that they just wake up as it's very true to life. We dream - then we wake up.

    If the dreams are important to your story, then make them a part of the story as though they are real scenes. Distinguish them as though the reader is living them just like the character and you choose whether or not to tell the reader if the dream is a dream during, or after the experience.

    I would avoid using italics for entire dream scenes as that can be off-putting and unnecessary.

    Also, I seem to remember that Harry Potter had a lot of dream scenes throughout the books. Not sure if that helps but I think they were done pretty well.
     
  12. phyrlord
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    I have a pretty decent wake up scene in my story I think. I want to post it soon, just going through the community motions on this forum first (which im enjoying).

    Basically there is real life elements, sounds and etc.. affecting things in the dream, the character realizes whats going on in the dream (that he's dreaming) and wakes. He hear's some clanging and that has adverse effects in his dream.
     
  13. PeterC
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    PeterC Active Member

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    I actually posted something recently in the Writer's Workshop where the narrator wakes up from a dream. I'm not necessarily a good writer but the link is here.

    In my case it's either easier or harder than normal because my character's dreaming self and wakeful self are, essentially, two different people. My piece may or may not handle that well.
     
  14. ronydu
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    ronydu Banned

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    When i dreamt and when i try to write,there is no similarity between two of them.........
     
  15. KaraLouiseGill
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    If you really want to get into detail, you could describe your different surroundings. Basically letting off the impression that you woke from your dream.
     
  16. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Also, remember to make the dream dreamlike. Dreams don't have the same narrative structure to them as real-life experiences, and weird things happen in dreams without anyone reacting oddly. (In my opinion, Buffy the Vampire Slayer did this pretty well - one of their best episodes, Restless, was entirely made up of mystical dream sequences for each character.)
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Good example. But I'm disappointed there really was no significance to Cheese Guy.
     
  18. JonSpear360
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    Just keep it real. How do you respond when you wake up from a troubling dream? It normally takes me a few seconds to figure out that I'm okay and it was just a dream. Just explain something like that. Give it a few lines for the character to figure out that they were awake and it was just a dream.

    The first short story I ever wrote dealt with that weird in-between where you aren't quite sure if you are still dreaming or not. I was fascinated with dreams and lucid dreaming for quite a while and even went as far as keeping a dream journal. If you are planning on writing a lot about dreams, it would be advantageous for you to look into the science of dreaming a little.
     
  19. Bluesman
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    Interesting thought. This is how I did it:

    I must have fallen asleep (...), because suddenly bright and warm sun rays snapped me back into reality.
     

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