1. Sarah's scribbles
    Offline

    Sarah's scribbles Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    america. sigh

    Starting with a dream.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sarah's scribbles, Jul 30, 2015.

    K so if you've ever watched the anime puella magi modoka magica then you have a rough idea of how I want t start out my story. For those of you who have not seen this, let me explain some. The main character is asleep in what appears to be a dead city, there's no sound other than the wind which wails sadly through the lifeless streets. and then she can see it, the only two living souls, both men about a couple years older than her, (she's fifteen). one, a black haired man with pistols, and the other a blonde with swords. she doesn't understand what's going on, but as she watches them fight she slowly hears a voice in her head. This is close to when she would wake up.

    is starting with a dream a bad idea? is there anything I should start with in the dream to draw people in?
     
  2. daemon
    Offline

    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    982
    Is the dream the natural starting point of the story? Does it give the reader a good idea of who the protagonist is and what is about to happen that will cause the rest of the story to follow?
     
  3. AspiringNovelist
    Offline

    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    My eight grade teacher would be horrified. That, and ending any story with, "Then, she woke up."

    Having said that, even I were to say: "if the first paragraph is compelling, gripping, then readers will let the 'dream' cliche slide." It's not good practice. Can you revisit your story's plot and start your story without a dream -- I think it would save you a ton of trouble.

    In fact, I can't think of any recent novel that started with a dream sequence. The last successful movie I remember is Nightmare on Elm Street. I just did a google search for: "novels that start with a dream sequence" and nothing came up...

    Just for fun, I watched puella magi modoka magica on youtube to get an idea.

    You know, you could start your story with: Madoka waking up and saying, "It was just a dream." Then have her confide with her teddy bear. "Those guns weren't real. Those...." etc. That way you can get the dream in, but not start with it.

    Not sure if that makes sense...
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  4. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,984
    Likes Received:
    5,503
    I have zero problem with starting with a dream, IF it's clear that it is dream.

    A "stealth" dream is more problematic. Could be fine, could be annoying.
     
  5. Sarah's scribbles
    Offline

    Sarah's scribbles Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    america. sigh
    well... I might be able to, but in the dream she see's the two guys fighting. she's never seen them before but introducing them and getting them set up is something that I find really important early enough because they will show up later, but still as mental figments not as actual characters however to some extent even though they do not physically exist within the realm of the story they're still important to the plot.

    and I won't do that this is simply chapter 1.

    Hm... I'll think on if I can introduce it some other way but like I said setting up these two mental characters can be very important for the story
     
  6. AspiringNovelist
    Offline

    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Just for fun, I watched puella magi modoka magica on youtube to get an idea.

    You know, you could start your story with: Madoka waking up and saying, "It was just a dream." Then have her confide with her teddy bear. "Those guns weren't real. Those...." etc. That way you can get the dream in, but not start with it.

    Not sure if that makes sense...
     
  7. Sarah's scribbles
    Offline

    Sarah's scribbles Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    america. sigh
    Um... I'm not sure how to spell it out to people "This is a dream." Other than the fact that the world is in ruins and the crazy ass stuff that's happening and the random voices and the two of them fighting that's clearly not within human fighting physics and the fact she'll wake up later and the world is fine.
     
  8. Sarah's scribbles
    Offline

    Sarah's scribbles Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    america. sigh
    Yes. the
    Um... besides the fact it's from first person... not sure
    no but this will be revisited later it simply has to occur before other instances in the story
     
  9. Sarah's scribbles
    Offline

    Sarah's scribbles Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    america. sigh
    start with the MC waking up and be like "that was strange." And revisit the dream some while she goes about her day?
     
  10. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,984
    Likes Received:
    5,503
    Well, it could just be said flat-out:

    The dream started out prosaic, one of those slightly surreal memories that you puzzle about later, wondering, did that really happen? Kate was at the coffee shop as usual, ordering a hot chocolate as usual, and they were out of croissants--as usual. But the barista was one that she'd never seen before, a woman in white tie with her hair piled on her head in braids and ringlets. And the music was.... (etc., etc.)

    But that means that there's some focus on the fact that it's a dream, and you may want a different focus.

    I was briefly thinking that it wouldn't be possible to do this with first person present, but, sure it would:

    The dream starts out prosaic, one of those slightly surreal memories that you puzzle about later, wondering, did that really happen? I'm at the coffee shop as usual, ordering a hot chocolate as usual, and they're out of croissants--as usual. But the barista is one that I've never seen before, a woman in white tie with her hair piled on her head in braids and ringlets. And the music is.... (etc., etc.)
     
  11. AspiringNovelist
    Offline

    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Exactly .....

    Well, as I was watching the video's I thought, maybe Sarah could start her story like this: (just brainstorming - quick outline)..

    1. Madoka is awaken by her mother opening the curtians.... (Time to wake up...)
    2. Madoka, relieved. "It was just a dream?"
    3. Then, after the mother is gone, Madoka has a magical encounter with a strange being...
    4. Strange being tells her it wasn't a dream. "Remember the black hair man with pistols?" "Yes." "And the blonde hair man with the sword?" "Yes."
    5. Madoka is hesitant to believe, goes to school, does what 15 yo's do, but it's in the back of her mind.

    Then, propel your story as you've plotted.
     
  12. Sarah's scribbles
    Offline

    Sarah's scribbles Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    america. sigh
    alright that helps out a lot. thank you.
     
  13. Sarah's scribbles
    Offline

    Sarah's scribbles Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2015
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    america. sigh
    alright thank you for all the help. it's a good series if you want to continue watching it. either way. And thanks again for all the help
     
  14. Daemon Wolf
    Offline

    Daemon Wolf Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2015
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    134
    As long as it ties into the story some how I don't see a problem with starting off in a dream.
     
  15. AspiringNovelist
    Offline

    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    You're welcome. Between 4 and 5 of the outline, you could add in all the action sequence as the strange being works to convince Madoka that it wasn't a dream. Then move into strange being "Do you treasure your life?" "Do you consider your friends and family precious...""
     
  16. live2write
    Offline

    live2write Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    53
    I am going to post a sample of what I wrote because I too wanted to start with a dream. I ended up writing what happened before to introduce the MC and the Supportive Character. Here is how I did the "Waking up from Dream".

    That is from my first chapter of the Second Draft of my Story.

    I did a transition similar to day dreaming or waking up abruptly. Where the reality clashes with the dream and the character is "disoriented" and snaps out of the dream. Still has the dream on their mind.
     

Share This Page