So, I've been itching to get back to editing my two "finished" novels, A Place Called Earth, and Beginning Near the End. The problem is, my beta reader and outside editor is taking her precious time with them. I don't mind that, except its making me super impatient. So, I read. You'll probably see at least one or two more book reviews posted up before the A to Z Challenge starts. Unless I can't find anything and start working on something new again. Who knows?
Last night, I had a bit of a breakdown. Anyone from facebook reading this, or even my closer twitter friends may know a bit of what's been going on this week. If not, here's a bit of the skinny. The fam and I went up to Minneapolis this weekend for a minication. It was fun, we did some shopping, swam at an indoor water park. Then Monday night, I got the flu. I missed work tuesday and wednesday. Wednesday, I had to take my older daughter to the doctor to try and get the back of her earring removed from her earlobe, it had sunk all the way in. It was a mess, they couldn't help her in pediatrics, so they set up an appointment with the ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT). It would only be a consult though, so I took her to the clinic at the hospital how also got her into the ENT because they didn't want to do it. The ENT wanted to have her come in today for surgery! By that evening I was a nervous wreck, so I took her to the emergency room where they gave her a shot, cut open the back of her ear and took it out.
Last night, thinking about all the things that could have gone wrong in surgery, that was my nightmare. No monsters or bad guys, none of that. I had an anxiety attack.
Anyway, all that got me thinking. I don't spend enough thought on that realm of my story that is sleep. When a character goes to sleep in a scene, I give it that special double space and then they wake. Dreams and nightmares are important, though. They are how we sort through and proccess information every day. Sometimes they can be important though. I remember when I was young, having the occasional snippet of dream that would seem out of place only to relive it the next day (I know that seems hard to believe, but I swear, I can think of at least six different occasions throughout my life).
Dreams can foreshadow a story well, especially when your talking about fantasy. You want them to remain vague (like they are for us) to give it an air of mystery and excitement. And then to add all the details and let them fall into place to reveal what the dream meant pulls a reader in. Its great! It should be done slowly though, or it won't hold interest.
To give you an example, I started reading the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. I had just finished the Percy Jackson series and wanted to see what else he had to offer. In my quest to find something on the second book in the new series, The Son of Neptune, I started reading some fanfic. Some of the stories and chapters were all right, but a few of them, with their own prophecies for this new camp were revealing information too quickly. I lost interest in them right away. Too much was given leaving me no need to read further to find out what this would mean. It all fit too easily.
These are things you need to keep in mind with dreams and foreshadowing. They can both do amazing things for your story, but only if you do them the right way!