What if a story is one long dream sequence?

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default What if a story is one long dream sequence?

    So a friend of mine and I were batting around writing ideas this weekend, and I suggested the idea of some of the Pokemon characters falling asleep watching cheesy kung fu movies/TV series, only to have a long epic dream of being the heroes of a kung fu movie/TV series themselves.

    My question is, is it possible to tell a story like this without it sounding like a cop out when the characters finally wake up?
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    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if a story is one long dream sequence?

    I had an idea a while back of a story where the main character, who is from the real world, falls asleep and finds himself in the Pokemon World. He finds adventure and danger in said Pokemon World before eventually waking back up... Only to find his backpack still containing his pokeballs! DUN DUN DUN!

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    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
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    Default Re: What if a story is one long dream sequence?

    I am personally not a big fan of dream sequence-y sort of things, unless the point of them is to make a mockery of the genre (ie The Family Guy 100th episode). I think a dream sequence thing could work, but only if it is something where people are really aware that they are in a dream rather than thinking they are real. And it would work better if whatever challenge they have to overcome would actually endanger them rather than being "Oh no, I have been killed in the dream world, but I can just wake up and forget about it"

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    CEO of the Monsters Lugion's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if a story is one long dream sequence?

    I think that, if you do write an extended dream sequence, the character has to grow in some way. The thing about dreams is that, unless you're having a nightmare somewhere in the vicinity of Elm Street, there's nothing at stake, as AceTrainer pointed out.

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: What if a story is one long dream sequence?

    Maybe the gang learns ways to fight back against TR from their dream adventure (since TR does play the bad guys in the dream--only their dreamsonas are much more dangerous)

    I may split the dream sequence into episodic dreams over many nights
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    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if a story is one long dream sequence?

    The only proper way to do this is to hint very strongly at it being a dream, so it doesn't come as a shock at the end - that doesn't really make sense and rarely contributes to the story. Overall I think dream stories make the most sense when they're a part of a larger whole, or something. Of course the alternative is writing something where the thematics are very much about lucidity and what is dreaming and whether or not reality is a dream and such themes - preferably accompanied by a rather surrealistic style of writing and/or setting so it's something recurring that the reader wonders what is real and not, then when they wake up at the end, while they might indeed have awoken properly from the dream (which was rather surreal, contrast this with them waking up being written in a more normal style), the reader might also wonder if they have truly awoken or if they're metadreaming ;) Mixing such themes with an action/martial arts story might be very interesting indeed!

    Another thought: What if you had two parallel stories and it's revealed in the end that one of them is a recurring dream the people in the parallel story had? Though even in this case they must relate to each other and the non-dream story and world must have some plot going that relates to what happens in the dream, otherwise it's too detached (that detachment is the main problem).
    Last edited by TheLlama; 7th January 2013 at 05:03 PM.
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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: What if a story is one long dream sequence?

    My plan of attack is to have the proper story be a long dream sequence, with the episodes being individual dreams in the sequence. Scenes in the real world would serve as the frame and as interludes where the episode dreams are discussed.
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    Default Re: What if a story is one long dream sequence?

    If the whole story is a long dream sequence and this is revealed at the start and not the end, I think this could be a really interesting and new way to tell a story. The italicised qualifiers are important in my opinion, though. Dream sequences that involve plot etc. can be frustrating and disappointing if done wrong.

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: What if a story is one long dream sequence?

    I plan to make this clear by referring to the episodes as "dreams", and not revealing the episode title until we cross into the dream world.

    The whole set up would probably look like this:

    The characters are tired, and they start to fall asleep...

    <i>Dream 1: Whatever The First Episode is Called

    The story would then take place in the dream sequence. They would usually end with one of the dreamers being called by name somehow...</i>

    The character being called wakes up first and says they had the coolest dream as the others wake up.
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    Moderator AceTrainer14's Avatar Forum Head
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    Default Re: What if a story is one long dream sequence?

    Quote Originally Posted by LightningTopaz View Post
    Maybe the gang learns ways to fight back against TR from their dream adventure (since TR does play the bad guys in the dream--only their dreamsonas are much more dangerous)

    I think having a dream that people learn a lesson would work only if it was a brief series. If it is going to be an extended saga, there should really be some sort of threat that endangers their true bodies otherwise it could come across as a bit unnecessary. At the very least, something could prevent them from waking up until they have defeated a foe to give it an added bit of danger. Otherwise, if it is a dream, they really could wake up at any point and the whole thing would be pointless.

    ^^^^ The GalacticVerse Bibliography (Thanks to Blazaking for Banner) ^^^^

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: What if a story is one long dream sequence?

    I like the "no-waking-up-until-defeat" idea
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