1. JustTonight
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    JustTonight New Member

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    Past lives and "dream world"

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JustTonight, May 1, 2011.

    First of all, hi… This is my first time here and I just want to say that it seems like a great forum already and I haven't even started digging into the awesome threads here.

    And I'm just going to apologize right from the beginning if I have some problems with my English. It's not my native language so excuse me if I make some mistakes…

    So I'm writing a novel about former lives and now I (finally) reached the point where my main character dreams about her former life for the first time. But I have a few problems with how to write it.

    So my first problem is whether I should say that it's a dream first or just start the chapter in the "dream world". I think it would be best to just start with the dream but I'm afraid people won't get it's a dream because it's the first time and there wasn't really preparation for it… what do you think?

    Now my other problem is the main one I'm writing you about. The people she sees in the dream were her family back then, and she somehow knows it, but they aren't who they are today. For example, her father in the present was the uncle who raised her in her past life. But how do I tell that in a way that my readers would understand but still leave her in the "dream world"?

    I can't just say "I knew he was my uncle somehow but he was really my father." I've been trying to write that part for a week and I just don't know what to do about it… So I would really appreciate it if anyone had an idea for me…

    Thanks so much, and sorry for my long message…
    JustTonight
     
  2. Velox
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    Velox Senior Member

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    Welcome to the forums! I hope you have fun here and get the advice you need!

    As for whether or not you should mention it's a dream...I think the best way to do that would be to start out in the dream. I like stories like that because it does throw the reader off. It makes them think twice [I dunno, but for some reason for me it's cool =P]. However, when that's done, I think you should have something after the dream -- for example, say "she woke up..." Otherwise, if you state that it's a dream at the beginning, I think that part of the story loses some of its mystery [which I like], if you know what I mean?

    As for your second problem...I can see why you're stuck on it. =P I mean, the only thing I can think of is if you name them and say that who they are in relation to her [e.g., you could say something like "my uncle, John Doe..." and then out of the dream say "my father, John Doe..."]. Of course that may not be the best way, and may confuse your readers [they may even think that it's a typo =P], so not completely sure about that...if I think of anything else I'll definitely let you know, but right now that's all I got.

    Hope that helps. =]
     
  3. JustTonight
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    JustTonight New Member

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    You're so right about starting it with the dream right away... I thought that's what I would do but I just wasn't sure. I like reading books like that too...

    And about the whole past/peresent characters thing I'm still not sure. I thought about what you said before too but It would just be a bit weird for her to wake up and start telling the readers which character in her dream was which in real life... It's not just the uncle it's most of them...

    Thank you so much! I'm sure I'll have a great time here :)
    :love::love::love:
     
  4. Velox
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    Velox Senior Member

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    But, when you said you can't say "I knew he was my uncle somehow but he was really my father," wouldn't she know that her "uncle" was really her father since they look[ed] the same? So like, even though the dream tells her the guy is her uncle, when she wakes up, she'd know it's her father since she knows her father in real life, right? Or no?

    Anyway, no problem; just glad to help!
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You could do it either way. One advantage of not informing the reader is that you can leave her off guard. There's a lot to be said for keeping the reader off balance, unsure at any time whether it is dream or waking reality, especially if the character is also having a hard time keeping track of what is real and what is a dream memory/

    It all depends on the tone you are looking for.
     
  6. JustTonight
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    JustTonight New Member

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    I think I finally established in my brain a way for me to do that, and you two helped a lot… I'll just write the dream as if only the past her is "talking" and when she wakes up she'll "explain" everything…

    Thanks a lot :)
     

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