Nightmare scenes
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Thread: Nightmare scenes

  1. #1
    The benevolant creator ArceusAlpha493's Avatar
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    Default Nightmare scenes

    Since my second fanfic, there are times when Arceus or other main characters would have nightmares either from a traumatic event or a possible future event yet to come. Now in my current one, one of the antagonists would torment the victim in his or her dream and injuring him or her which would carry over the real world. An example was when in my current one is when Princess Celestia was tortured by Shadow Celestia and her injuries carried over to the physical world from the dream world. How do you think I would do a nightmare scene for my main character and either has one of the future, or is tortured by one of the villians possibly a reccuring one that has not appeared in a long time, or a traumatic experience in the past.
    I have posted a Pokemon/Zelda crossover. If you are a fan of both series, please check it out and review. :)

    It will also be a crossover with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Land before Time

  2. #2
    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Bergen, Norway

    Default Re: Nightmare scenes

    I don't have the time to write examples, but I'll give some hints. FIrst a few tips regarding what dreams are and how they should be experienced and portrayed, and then I'll give some tips on how you can make a nightmare from this.

    - They are often quite nonsensical. Try writing down a dream, just after you wake up, and you will see that it doesn't make as much sense as one would think while dreaming it. Meaning that for the reader, as an outside observer, it should be portrayed like that. Simply, random things should happen, there should be strange and inexplicable things. Maybe
    - What you see in dreams, are not their actual meaning. While maybe a tad metaphsyical, most studies (that I've read) argue that dreams are more metaphorical. Meaning that what you see, is actually a representation of something else. Seeing a ship sailing into the horizon can mean longing, or the feeling of loss. You have to get creative on visual representations. The feeling behind what one experience is the same (sadness, grief, loss, melancholy, despair, etc.), but it is represented by something else than what is actually causing it.
    - Dreams almost always start in media res. Meaning it is rarer for you to wake up somewhere in a dream, or something similar, than it is for you to simply be there, as if it was natural for you to be there, as if you'd been there a long time.
    - You usually don't realize it's a dream, so even the nonsensical things make sense, like I stated above (i.e. it should be portrayed nonsensically, but the characters shouldn't be aware that it is nonsensical). When you realize you are dreaming, it's usually when you are in the last stages of a sleep cycle, and about to wake up.

    With that boxed, let's see at how nightmares can be, and how to portray an outside influence inducing nightmares!

    The scene would naturally contain things the person associates with negative emotions, with negative things. Maybe they remember something in particular from that traumatic event; they could remember a chair, or a wall, or a special lamp shade. Maybe there was a pattern on the floor. The sound of a waterfall. These are things that carry with them in real life, manifested in the form of phobias and/or compulsive behavior/obsessive thoughts relating to this. This would then reappear in the dream, as something associated with negative emotions. If they are to be bodily harmed in the dream, and let this carry over, I would thus make this object (especially if they associate it with pain) be the harbinger o this pain, in one way or another. Remember, dreams are nonsensical. A chair can come to life. A pattern can envelope you, and the lines in the pattern cut your body. The sound of something can be so loud it can make your body "shatter", or become severely cut up. These kinds of things. But the would seem normal to the dreamer, that is important! That is not to say they won't be afraid, or feel the pain, or anything, but they will not think it strange that a wallpaper pattern is hurting them, nor will they find it strange that a sound is making their body crack up.

    As for what eventually wakes them from the nightmare - if this is done by the one who induces the nightmare, it is typically due to one's existence ending in the dream; going to sleep is one good example - but not for a nightmare. There it usually is due to something more grisly. An explosion, a fall, something killing them in general. If a friend realizes they are being hurt in their dreams, that friend would trey to wake the dreamer from their sleep. This can manifest in the nightmare as something one associates with something positive. A light, a friendly object. Maybe a character abused as a child had a doll they befriended, to escape the pain. This could be such a symbol of friendliness, of help. Of something taking you away from the pain. Or maybe they dream that they are ascending into the sky, or the heavens. A paradise at the end.

    As you can see, there are a ton of options. What is most important is that it doesn't make sense (it can, by all means, make sense though), and that dreams are often symbolic. They won't realize what is happening, either, i.e. won't know that it is a dream. And finally, they will themselves perceive the oft nonsensical content as something that makes sense.


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