Writing How do you write a dream scene

MasFaqih

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Emm, how do you write a dream scene, like after the character was unconscious. And have a dream before waking up.
 

Jerynboe

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End the scene with, "and then they woke up."
First you need to write an entire novel that is at least marginally better than your primary storyline, or at least caters to slightly different interests. Mark your primary novel as having gone on hiatus. Present the dream sequence as its own story. Abruptly cut it off. THEN do as Omnifarious suggests.
 

MasFaqih

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What I mean like its to open an chapter, did I just write it the entire scene and just write"and then he woke up? "
 

Nneeil

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What I mean like its to open an chapter, did I just write it the entire scene and just write"and then he woke up? "
What's the dream about?

You can start by highlighting the sensorial differences. A dream would feel vastly different from reality, even if the person dreaming might not realize it yet. You can describe how blurry some things are, muffled sounds, random scene skips; like walking on the beach and suddenly finding yourself somewhere else entirely.

It depends on the content of the dream. Is it supposed to be meaningful or outright nonsensical? Scary or R-18? If you can provide more contest, we'll be able to better help you out.
 
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MasFaqih

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What's the dream about?

You can start by highlighting the sensorial differences. A dream would feel vastly different from reality, even if the person dreaming might not realize it yet. You can describe how blurry some things are, muffled sounds, random scene skips; like walking on the beach and suddenly finding yourself somewhere else entirely.

It depends on the content of the dream. Is it supposed to be meaningful or outright nonsensical? Scary or R-18? If you can provide more contest, we'll be able to better help you out.
Its actually supossed to be meaningful, like its became a character trauma because his parent died.
 

HuaiChi

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If it is about truma, then it would be better transitioning from the reality.
Say, MC in a park. Saw a child playing with their parents. Lean back on the park chair, shadows of tree fell, he relaxed. Closed his eyes...
Some one wakes him up. He opened his eyes see his parents calling him to go some where. He was excited. Running around with the dog. Helped mother to carry the picnic basket to the car. Father started the car, but paused because MC forgot his fav toy. It was a fun day. Happy seeing the dog to put his head out of the car window. He did same too.
bam. The carsh crashed. Fragmented detail of grue some scene. Before fainting.
Wakes up as someone is calling him. Opens his eyes to find the same child standing in front of him. With the urge from his father, he said sorry for hitting him with the foot ball. The end.

Try to weave the dream with reality. It would be more fluent. If it is a sad memory use happy real event to remind him of the past before transitioning from the happy to sad part. If it is a happy one, start with a sad part then to happy part and wake up with happy tears on the face.
 

MasFaqih

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If it is about truma, then it would be better transitioning from the reality.
Say, MC in a park. Saw a child playing with their parents. Lean back on the park chair, shadows of tree fell, he relaxed. Closed his eyes...
Some one wakes him up. He opened his eyes see his parents calling him to go some where. He was excited. Running around with the dog. Helped mother to carry the picnic basket to the car. Father started the car, but paused because MC forgot his fav toy. It was a fun day. Happy seeing the dog to put his head out of the car window. He did same too.
bam. The carsh crashed. Fragmented detail of grue some scene. Before fainting.
Wakes up as someone is calling him. Opens his eyes to find the same child standing in front of him. With the urge from his father, he said sorry for hitting him with the foot ball. The end.

Try to weave the dream with reality. It would be more fluent. If it is a sad memory use happy real event to remind him of the past before transitioning from the happy to sad part. If it is a happy one, start with a sad part then to happy part and wake up with happy tears on the face.
Can I consult you privately about this?.
 

LilRora

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There's a lot of ways you can go about this. My piece of advice would be, focus on the character's perception. Dreams are peculiar in a way that they often don't really follow logic or cause-and-effect, which makes it impossible, or at least difficult and impractical to try and describe the whole surroundings or sequence of events. Focus on describing the thing your character is paying attention to at the very moment.
 

KersenBloemNL

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The way I did it was slowly making the mc realise that the world they’re in right now ain’t real life. It slowly started breaking down/showing subtle differences which became less and less subtle until he realised it was a dream. Jumping through time and weird skips such as “mc walks through door and is suddenly in a grassy field/space/michigan” is something I really like doing.

Basically, it’s free play, go nuts!
 

TheEldritchGod

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The nylon hair growing out of my tongue is tickling my brain. My priest touched me in places that made the god-emperor cry tears of blackest pitch, and yet sometimes I pee red. On the other hand, If you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce, they taste more like prunes than rhubarb does.

You are the wind beneath my wings.

A lifetime of not smiling has left my face youthfully smooth. I have all the emotional range of a botox overdose victim. I am truly dead inside. After all, What is the melting point of The Proclaimers? (500 miles, if not, walk 500 more.)

Put the bunny back in the box.

Furthermore, roller coasters are a rip off, because you wind up right where you started. It make more sense to have a series of roller coasters that went around the amusement park so you could get off at different sections of the park.

This raises many disturbing questions:

If the pie is going straight to my thighs, How will we get the weasel to stand still? Is it dishwasher safe? At the laundromat last night, was it you who filled all the dryers with cheese? And finally, are you saying I should kill my family?

Well, if you insist.
 

doravg

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I think one should make things vague. Let there be hints that the character is dreaming. But not such obvious hints, that the character will know it as well, until he or she wakes up.
 

CSDestroyer

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The difficult part with making dream sequences is that your prefrontal cortex has minimal activity when you're dreaming. That's the part of your brain that does the reasoning and logical decision-making. For me, anyway, that is why I can never lucid dream; when you're asleep, your brain usually does not have the capacity to know that the fantastical things happening in front of you are not real and have no consequences. You take things at face value. It's a weird kind of lizard brain that's difficult to emulate in reality, maybe except if you're lightheaded.

So, to write the most accurate dream sequence possible, you have to deactivate your reader's prefrontal cortex. But that would probably kill them.

The next best thing is to write a dream in a way that borders on what could be realistic and feasible, given your setting, while also having elements that give your readers moments to question themselves and to think that something might be up. In a dream, your brain kinda picks up on it, in a dream, but it usually can't put two-and-two together. Set something up that is just plausible enough where a few discrepancies can make it seem uncanny. Not only does your protagonist in the dream have to be unsure if it's reality, your readers should also be equally unsure if it's reality, if it's first person or third person limited.

That is how I would do a dream, anyway.
 

Premier

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Make it obvious it's a dream.

Use it to give insights into what the character fears or thinks of others. If it's stuff we already know don't bother.

If the dream is there as a fake out or a "It'll make sense later!" then you're also just wasting everyone's time.
 
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