1. Angela Miller

    Angela Miller New Member

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    Dream sequence

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Angela Miller, Sep 1, 2017.

    Hi all, this is my first post, so if I have it in the wrong place, feel free to set me right!
    Below is an extract from a dream I am using as a plot device in a horror novel I am working on. What I'd like feedback on is how much sense it actually makes. Is it easy enough to follow what is happening? Is it actually comprehensible?

    It began with lights piercing her darkness. They seemed distant, moving along some hidden line in the darkness. She was so cold and so tired, it took a moment for her to realise she was in the sea, bobbing weakly on the rolling waves. The lights must be on the beach, which seemed a little closer now, though still too far away for her to to hope to reach it. As she looked on, trying to figure out what the lights were, they started to fade. Perhaps she was losing consciousness again though, because the blackness that swallowed them wasn't the deepening night.
    The lights were much closer when they reappeared. Some were attached to boats that were churning up the water. She could hear their engines, as well as the shouts of the men working on them. Beyond them, deep in the murky darkness there was a low rumbling like thunder, accompanied by bright flashes of light too close to the ground to be lightening. Somewhere too, there was screaming.
    A black wave rolled over her head, pushing her under without warning. She thought at first she did not have the strength to fight it, but she found a desperate energy when she became entangled with something in the water. Something with heavy limbs that she could feel but not see. Somehow she managed to break the surface, but she was still entwined with the body in the water. It's face was inches from her own, almost visible in the weak light, a pale and bloated blur with bulging, dead eyes reflecting her own face. A brief shaft of light escaped the beach, illuminating the face for a horrific heartbeat of time. Dark hair, green eyes. Not her father's face, even though she had expected it somewhere in the back of her mind. It was Fergal. She felt a numbing shock that was as brief as the sight of his face. as another wave pulled them back under together. Pure hysteria took hold of her, she fought to escape his long limbs. She broke the surface again with a scream and then woke from the nightmare.
    Her disorientation doubled as her foggy brain took in her surroundings. She was not in her bed. Instead, she was standing in the upper hallway, right in front of the top step of the main stair. Confused but too fogged to fully absorb it, she stumbled back to her room. Drawing the bolt inside her bedroom door, she made her way to bed once more. Climbing in, she pulled a teddy bear from from the pile around her and curled up tightly around it. The heaviness of the sleeping pills was bearing down on her, so it didn't take long for sleep to come and reclaim her.
     
  2. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Are you aware that dream sequences are a little... controversial? I'm in the 'kill them with fire' camp, because they come off to me as a convenient (i.e. lazy) way to get something across. I know that wasn't your question but feel compelled to check you're aware of the potential issues.

    To answer your question... you mix your tenses in the first paragraph, which threw me right away, and there are a few SPAG errors. Emotionally, it doesn't affect me because the POV is distant - you give me a list of things that are there and things that happen, but there's no emotion attached. I don't feel any fear from, and therefore FOR, the character. I'm a huge horror fan and the reason I (and probably everyone else) reads horror is to be scared. You need to make me feel like I'm the one drowning in a sea of dead things, not that I'm watching a stranger having a bad dream.
     
  3. Angela Miller

    Angela Miller New Member

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    I am fully aware of the issue with dream sequences, but I feel that it is something this particular story needs as there are a lot of things the the MC won't address when she is awake. It's also one of the ways the 'big bad' of the story manipulates her.
    I see what you are saying about tenses - sometimes it's hard to spot them yourself! Will fix that and the typos etc.
    I am still very early in the development of this story, so I guess that is why the character doesn't seem to have much depth yet. I will keep an eye on that too, cheers.
     

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