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On Writing Dreams and Nightmares
Dreams are really interesting, and when done well, a dream or nightmare in a book can convey a few things:
- Flashback/memory. Dream sequences can be a great way to flash back to or hint at an event from your POV character’s life, especially if it’s a traumatic event. Dreams are sometimes the way the brain processes difficult-to-process life things, and in writing they can be an organic way to look back at an important event in your POV character’s life.
- A character’s fears, desires, or something they’re struggling with. I’m sure just about every one of you have dreamed about something you wanted, or something you were afraid of, or something you were sad about, or someone you missed, etc., etc. Likewise, in books, dreams can be a way to show character emotion—especially emotion that your POV character is trying to bury.
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