Writers sometimes use dreams to show something about their story, but do you know why that’s not necessarily the best approach?
-It’s cliché. Dreams have been used too often and by too many writers, so the idea is no longer fresh. Granted, there isn’t much new in writing, but coming up with a different twist to a dream may prove to be difficult.
-The actual dream can sometimes be more powerful and exciting than the regular story, leaving the reader feeling disappointed when the character wakes up and gets on with his regular life.
-Writers have a tendency to create long, detailed dreams, which take the reader away from the true story for too long.
-Starting a novel or chapter with a dream can sometimes be confusing for the reader. If this is the beginning of the book, a reader may grow to like the characters and situation in the dream only to be disappointed when they realize what they’d read wasn’t the real story.
If you’re planning on using a dream in your novel, write a short version using only the strongest elements and quickly return to the real story.
Have you ever used a dream in your book? Why did you choose to add this element to your plot? Looking back, did it add or take away from the main story?