Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dreams in books

Last week I talked a bit about dreams because well, they're something everyone experiences. Dreams are also something that play a lot of part in novels. Why?

Dreams are an insight into a character's mind, but just like anything, there's a line. It doesn't matter how great the dream is written, there's a time and place for them. They need to move the plot or else they are just there to drag the story down. But, when used effectively, the reader gets to know the character on a whole new level.

When it comes to Paranormal, often times, the dream becomes part of the plot. Psychic characters may be able to slip into the dreams of others or even control that of the sleeper. They may be prophetic dreams or something else entirely. This can be because dreams (along with meditation and various shaman practices) enhance and relax the conscious, directing brain activity from the left hemisphere to stimulate the limbic system to be more active than the cortex, allowing for a breeding ground of psychic abilities. A few of these abilities could be, for instance, clairvoyance (i.e. a psychic chasing down a serial killer), precognition (i.e. Harry Potter dreaming of Voldemort) or even out-of-body experiences (i.e. where the dreamer may not know it, but they are in an altered state of mind and wandering outside in the real world unknown to anyone else).

There are a lot of things that writers can do. So many possibilities. Can you thin of more instances where dreams are used in plots? What are your favourites?

There are a lot of options.

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