Welcome to my new feature called Wednesday Wing where I’ll be passing on
observations, tips and information to readers I’ve made a note of.
Today I’m passing on a tip about DREAMS in you writing.
Using dreams in your work has been used for years, just look at Charles Dickens and “A Christmas Carol” but now it’s a technique which is often used poorly in writing. Kirsten Lamb explains it really concisely and much better than I ever will to check out this post
What happens when I read about dreams as a reader?
If your book opens with a dream sequence my eyes roll upwards and I think “OH NO!” This is because as Kirsten explains, the hook you use to open the book, becomes a lie and you are in fact sublimely saying to the reader at the end of the dream sequence “Ha, ha tricked you, this isn’t real”. Then the reader has to start all over again when the “Real” story begins. If you opened with a lie, the message to the reader is “You can’t trust my writing”.
It can be much better to go WHAM into a story with a high impact opening which will get a reader asking questions – a murder (murder mystery), a plane crash (thriller), an explosion (Sci-fi), a wizard in broad daylight on the streets of London (fantasy), hot rugged man stripped his shirt off (Romance). All these scenes well written will have me asking “Why is this happening?” and I WANT to read on to find the answers.
Dreams within the book
How useful are dreams used within the main body of the book? As Kirsten says in her article unless the dream moves the storyline forward in a significant way, DO NOT use them. So often they are used as an information dump, or a back story or a filler, authors use them badly as convenient ways to find answers and solve puzzles. Some writers try to disguise them as Day dreams or reminiscing BUT I’ll be HONEST here, as a reader this is a MAJOR area where I WILL SKIP these sections because TOO often they are BORING.
Dream scenes are NOT new, they are NOT cutting edge writing, they have been done before, are over-used and turn readers off.
So if you’ve used dreams, go back and check to see if they are REALLY needed and if you can, CUT them out.
Here are links to previous Wednesday Wing Posts.
May 6th 2015 – Checking your WordPress is linked to your Twitter helps others share your posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7L2
May 13th 2015 – Writer’s Craft books by Rayne Hall full of REALLY useful tips http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Ma
May 20th 2015 – Hyperlinks, Short links and Linkys http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Rl
May 27th 2015 – Making your post titles easy to share on Twitter to maximise views. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7SA
June 17th 2015 – Creating Twitter pics that fit http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Y4
June 24th 2015 – Creating a slideshow on WordPress http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Yo
July 1st 2015 – Getting the most out of Google+ posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7YM
July 8th 2015 – Automated Tweets, LOVE ‘EM or HATE ‘EM? make use of them http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Za
July 15th 2015 – What’s Your Book Genre? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84S