I will continue last week’s theme about dreams. Like I wrote last week, the story I’m writing deals with dreams. In it, one of the main characters acts as a conduit between the dream world (which is a plane of existence separated from the four planes that define the material world) and the real world (though one may argue how real can a fantasy world be).
That particular character is supposed to be a tragic one; she has sought for this plane for all her life, eager to gain power and knowledge (that’s what motivates her) and when she finally finds it she fails to realise what this new world actually is and what its denizens plan to do. It’s a bit ambiguous if she found the dream world or if it’s the other way around. That’s up to the readers to tell, when they will judge the character.
Which brings me to the next problem I’m facing: how does one describe a story that is both easy for the reader to understand where things are happening (real world / dream world) and maintain limited omniscient (third person) POV?
One of the ways I chose to deal with this problem was to change the tense of the narrative. Another was to occasionally break the narration by interjecting small paragraphs (no longer than a sentence perhaps) that described what the physical body did while the mind was in the dream world (twitches, sweating). I have to admit I’m not sure about this last bit though. It feels odd and… wrong, I guess, to break the narrative.
I have been reading for quite some time a long series of fantasy books (cause that’s pretty much the only genre that really excites me) called Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan. I started reading this story after I decided I wanted to try writing and without knowing that the story was about dreams. I can honestly say that I was happily surprised. The way Jordan describes his version of the dream world (he has given it a very strange name for me to type it here without messing it up) and the interactions of the characters with it is by maintaining the tense and adding things that could only happen in a dream. To me this makes more sense.
Another book I’m currently reading (or listening to, since I have it as an audiobook) is Bag of Bones, by Stephen King. In it, King chooses to change the tense and it works for him. The problem is that whenever the main character has a dream, music kicks in and the listener understands that something’s different. Would it have worked just as good if I was reading it instead of listening to it? I don’t know.
I’m at a loss to be honest and I don’t know which one is best. What do you think? What would you use? Leave a comment if you have an idea. Do you have someone you know who is either writing or has written something about dreams? If so, could you please hook us up here so we can exchange ideas?
Also, please take a minute to answer the poll I had posted last week about a new section that will deal with ideas. So far only one person (thank you by the way 🙂 ) has answered it.
Thank you all and take care!