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dream sequence stryline

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Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:20 pm
cannoncomplex says...

One of the most basic warnings when writing a story is never to cheat the reader especcially when the ending reveals that the story was a dream by the character. However, where is the line drawn when the dream and ' real' is blurred.

The story I am writing (and soon to be posted here) is for a short story competition, and basically it is about a character with a vivid imagination. The main character/ narrator is not the dreamer but the muse of the character. No spoiler here but there will be an interweaving between what is actually the story and what is made up.

I just want to ask your comments on this kind of style, and maybe give me some points on where to draw the line to avoid having the whole story simply as a character's dream.
Lain Iwakura: If you're not remembered, then you never existed.

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Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:02 pm
Kyllorac says...

It's a cheap "twist" if you go the entire story without any indication that the events therein are anything but the reality of the story. In that case, you're basically telling your readers, "You know that entire story you read? It was totally pointless because none of it was real. Haha. Aren't I clever for playing with your expectations?"

If you do show that there is some flexibility as to what reality is, then you should be fine. Bending reality and its definitions and exploring the implications of this flexibility of reality is a perfectly fine theme to use in a story.

The best way is to include incongruities from the very beginning. Little things at first, but as you go along, keep building them up until they become completely obvious (or just shy of it). Something you could play with is having two separate realities, each of which are self-contained except for some crucial overlaps.

From what little you've mentioned, I don't think you'll have any problems with anyone screaming foul play or cheap tricks.
Screwing with gender since 1995.

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What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god -- the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!
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