1. JulesAnn5111
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    JulesAnn5111 New Member

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    Dreams to start off a story?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JulesAnn5111, Jul 3, 2012.

    Okay, so I know that a lot of people hate when books start with a dream, but what if the dream is recurring and the events involved actually happened? For instance, my character has a recurring dream about something that happened in her past that affected her greatly. It's not an action packed scene and there's no "she wakes up, sweat dripping from her forehead. It was just a dream, she tells herself. Just a dream." scene. I understand that that's cheesy and terribly overused. So, my question is, could this circumstance be an exception to the "rule"? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    *waits for Cog's famous line* :D
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    It depends entirely on how you write it.

    Things like this are often considered clich├ęs and can very easily be , but it will always come down to execution. If you can pull it off well then it will work. If not, then it won't. The thing you should avoid is starting the story with a dream sequence because it's easier to do so. If you do it, do it because it's what the story needs.
     
  4. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    One of the most enjoyable books I have read The Road starts with a dream, and I hate dreams in stories/movies.
     
  5. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    As Banzai pointed out, it will depend almost entirely on how well you write it: set up, depth of the dream, significance of the dream, rhetorical and literary devices used to set the mood without giving away it's a dream. The next most important thing would probably be how you wake them up without annoying the reader, then how you explain why we were in the dream in the first place-- that is the sequel the MC faces to the scene the dream portrays. It might be good for the dream to cause a dilemma right off the bat [i.e. the mc wakes up, reflects, realizes some kind of dilemma (perhaps a becision as to the importance of the dream) then chooses to act because of the dream or does or thinks something in response.] It sounds like it will be fine :0
     
  6. EstherAnn
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    EstherAnn New Member

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    I once read a story about the main character having a recurring dream, but each time the dream went a bit further. The reader knew it was a dream from the start.

    The story evolved to be about reincarnation and she was dreaming of things that happened to her in a previous life. It was very well written and I enjoyed it.
     
  7. KRHolbrook
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    KRHolbrook Member

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    My novel begins with a dream, and that's because the god of nightmares is toying with the character. If the dream pertains to what the story is about, then I say it's fine. but if it's a random dream or nightmare, I'd probably skip it.
     
  8. feathersinflight
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    feathersinflight Member

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    What was this book?

    Going along with EstherAnn, I read a story in which the MC tries to reach this deceased person who was like a mentor/maternal figure, and enters a series of dreams pursuing a symbolic representation of her. He initially tries to capture it and see what it is doing, but eventually the symbolic representation leads the MC to his mentor, where she delivers one last message to him.
    Actually, the whole series is pretty heavy on dreams...it's the Japanese manga xxxHolic if you want to look at it further.


    I also am starting out my story with a dream. I'm kinda having qualms about it- not because the dream isn't important. In fact, it's very important foreshadowing and also hints at the nature of one of the "deceased" characters (she's like a ghost who haunts the MC's dreams). It's just that there isn't much action after that...
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014

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