Saturday, 7 November 2009

Dream Sequences

OK, it’s time to oil up and grapple with the three-backed beast: the Dream Sequence.

Q: How do people really dream?

A: We dream in hazy subconscious images, surreal tapestries of fear and memory, or in cryptic, meaningless bilge. If we’re suppressing deep trauma, our dreams will be unpleasant lakes of fire and smouldering flesh. If we’re dead-brained optimists in white corsets who like candyfloss, our dreams will be about white corsets and candyfloss. Simple, sayeth Dr. Freud.

Q: How do people dream in books?

A: They dream in important facts that are crucial to the plot. They dream in vivid and detailed scenes. They dream in very implausible frightening things – gigantic snakes strangling their mothers or impregnating their unborn children with bearded frothing acids. They dream in imagery consistent with that in the text so far. They dream in profound-sounding images that relate to Greek mythology or that makes us stroke our chins and say, ‘Hmm, how very interesting and reminiscent of Rimbaud.’

Q: How do we put a stop to this ludicrous dream sequence nonsense?

A: Stop our characters from dreaming. Make them dream about normal things: hunks ‘n’ babes, corsets ‘n’ candyfloss, squiggly lines ‘n’ weird green fogs, and crap imitation Hieronymus Bosch paintings.

Here endeth the blog. (Yes, it was all a dream).


  1. Dream sequence usually = "Shit, I just wrote myself into a corner! Ah, I know......"

    The dreams that I can remember, usually because either they wake me up or I suddenly need a pee, are both sequential and have an innate logic. They actually follow a storyline. They hint at but usually have little in common with any aspect of my real life.

    I think that they are heavily influenced by all the acid I took as a youth.

    Perhaps books, plays, films and novels should have a warning label "THis contains dream sequence(s)". They're usually far more offensive than graphic sex or swearing.

  2. Ha! Agreed.

    Now what's that midget rhinoceros doing in the room?