Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dream On

Last night I dreamed I was at a hen party.
Miss Snark(!) was there and a whole lot of women I didn't know.
There's were prezzies and goodies.
It was all very "girly".
I believe I was bored.
I can't remember enough of it to figure out why my subconscious collected the trivia.
Which reminds me, why is Chocolate an article of faith among some writers? A rite of passage, a name tag, a I-am-woman-I-write-I-eat-too-much-chocolate thingy, a pass-word, even? Giggle, giggle, my weakness, my sin? And moan about over-indulgence and the effects thereof?
It's a bloody cliche.
Enough to drive a dog from a gut-wagon.
Back to Manderley.
How do you feel about dream sequences in stories?
I usually don't like them.
I think Oh Gawd, here comes another one of those deep meaningful, psychologically revealing, symbolic segnos; and you, idiot reader, had better get all the deep, meaningful, symbolic nuances.
Sometimes you can almost see the intellectual, supercillious sneer on the author's face.
Not everyone handles the dream clue well.
Other times it's like a clumsy 2x4 up the side of the head.
The hero/ine has unrealized issues. Fears. Forebodings. The dum, -da-DUM-dum dream. On a battlefield, in a gothic mansion, passim.
That gaping mouth in the dark reaches of the night is mine. Yawning.
And you know what?
I put a nightmare in book one of the amazing adventures of La Dame Tempest.
I did.
It's quite simple and straightforward, but I apologize, Rebecca.

Ammunition wife: A harlot; nautical, ca 1820-70; derived from gunpowder = hot stuff.
Angel's gear: women's clothes; nautical; mid 19c.>; obsolete.
Sprained one's ankle: to have been seduced; (cf. avoir mal aux genoux) late 18thc. ; obsolete.


Carla said...

"Sprained one's ankle: to have been seduced"

Ha! I didn't know that. Now I see Marianne's ankle-sprain in 'Sense and Sensibility' in a whole new light - because Jane Austen would certainly have known the phrase. Thank you, Bernita.

Bernita said...

Well, it was certainly a technique employed by maidens as an invitation or to compromise a male, even in the most genteel of circumstances.

Sandra Ruttan said...

How did you know it was Miss Snark? Could you see her face or was she sort of shadowed by synopses and query letters with only killer yapp out from under the papers?

I always find it fascinating when I dream about people I "know" but have never seen.

Bernita said...

I "knew" it was Miss Snark.
She was the guest of honor or something or hosting the party, can't remember. She had dark hair and was nice looking in an understated way.
Only dogs were mine. I had to take them out and prevent one from chomping a white rat someone else had on a leash.
The usual silly.

Erik Ivan James said...

I think a dream scene can work well if it is brief and sets the stage for an upcoming event in the story. The operative word is 'brief'.

Another good topic Bernita.

Rick said...

Well, now I'll be on the lookout for girls with sprained ankles!

I had a dream sequence in my (horribly long) first version, but it landed on the cutting room floor. So did lots of stuff, but for some reason I would be more hesitant to use a dream sequence now.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Erik.
My only excuse is that mine is brief,and fairly natural, a couple of hundred words maybe.
Suggests a link of fear/attraction.

Alas, for yesterday, Rick, along with the dropping of scented handerchiefs. Kleenix just doesn't cut it.
I just hope mine doesn't sound too techniquey. I am proved a blatant hypocrite here.

Savannah Jordan said...

Girly stuff?! Eeeewww No thank you. Give me camo, give me guns!

By your dream descriptions, I weild a 2X4. *sigh* But, at least it was an intense dream with death, blood and pain. :)

Ric said...

Dream sequences are almost like cheating. You use them to tell something of the plot that you can't figure out how to tell any other way.

that said, I still don't like them.

Worse, is if the entire story has been a dream - that's like aliens arriving in chap 14.

Chocolate is an aphrodisiac. There is a very sensual feeling to dipping a strawberry in white chocolate. Word Pictures!

Sela Carsen said...

I like hen nights when there's wine involved -- without wine, they're torturous. I enjoy chocolate, but don't crave it. And I don't usually like dream sequences. "Dallas" killed them for me.

Bernita said...

Those are the best, Savannah. I did say I was bored, didn't I?
Not just any other way, Ric, sometimes a reinforcement - possibly unnecessary.
I can see the aphrodisiac, if there's someone to aphrodite, but at a computer?
Yup, Sela, I'm appalled at myself.

Gabriele C. said...

I suppose Bernita can rip it off, but else I've had my fill of dreams. There's scarcely any Fantasy novel without them nowadays, and some hist fic ones, too (I'm so not reading Manda Scott because of all that dreaming stuff). Much as I liked Tad William's Osten Ard book, I skimmed the dream stuff. The best thing I can say about it is that the characters afterwards could make little sense of it, that at least was realistic. I can never make sense of my dreams.

Bernita said...

I suppose I could post the snippit, Gabriele, to see if you think it's less offensive than most.
But I agree,it tends to be over done.And she doesn't even remember it in the morning.
I'm a little ashamed, actually.

ivan said...

Don't read Jung on dreams,someone wrote long after both Jung and Freud were dead. Hard enough to figure our your own personal symbols let alone going through Jungs complicted totenism.

In my novel, The Hat People, I had the dreamer remembering a dreamstate wherein he drove a futuristic car down a long highway ,toward a contusion of water(Niagara Falls), there to be pursued by vicious border guards who found his papers not in order.
It took me thirty years to understand my own personal symbols, give or take a black cat or two.
The car is you. The road is life.
The garden is the marriage bed. A rush of water,especially with dead or mutilated fish is a marriage gone bad.
Trouble is, you have to live through some of this.
Some kettle of fish, no?

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Yea...word picture the white chocolate, but strawberries!

Love chocolate...started reading the post and had to go grab a handfull of the colorfully wrapped morsels!

Are you going to post the dream, Bernita? Let us read it!

Bernita said...

As a child I viewed dreams as entertainment, my night time T.V., then one encounters life and one have no time for that.
You're right, Ivan, if there is symbolism in dreams, they are more or less unique to the individual.

See above, Bonnie, I 'fessed.

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