When Dreams Go Bad—Dream Sequences, What Works & What Flops

Kristen Lamb's Blog

This GORGEOUS image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Aimannesse Photography This GORGEOUS image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Aimannesse Photography

In the past several posts we have been unpacking the “flashback.” But, over the course of us talking about flashbacks and how to deliver backstory, a lot of people have asked about dream sequences. Before we continue, I will say this again “Anything can be done.” Writing rules are always being broken but to break them well we need to know why they exist in the first place.

Thus, today we are going to talk about dream sequences and why they don’t work and look at instances where the do (which are rare, btw).

Dream Sequences to Hook

Often new writers will begin with some cool fantastical scene to hook the reader then POOF! The character wakes up and  “Ha, ha. It wasn’t real. It was a dream.” This backfires for a number of reasons. First…

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