Thursday, September 1, 2011

To Dream or Not to Dream...

That is the question.

Sort of.

My current WIP starts off with a dream. I've been told (a lot) that it's cliche, it gives a false start to the story, can be a let down when you realize that it's just a dream.

Honestly, I don't know. I can't use my own MS to judge because I know it's a dream, I know where the book is going, I know it's important. But the reader doesn't. I've also never read a book that started as a dream (except New Moon, which actually starts with a preface and Bella states she's 99.9 percent sure she's dreaming).

I posted the first five pages over at writeoncon and one response did mention starting with a dream. Then a friend read over my first chapter and said that she was kind of let down after the dream (yes, I still like her. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even about my MS). She also gave me an idea of a way to start the chapter without the dream.

So last night I wrote a few paragraphs for new opening. I sent the new start out to my beta readers/critique partners and I'm getting mixed responses. A few yes, a few no, one in the middle. Still waiting on a few responses and trying to decide which way to go. In the end, it's my story, but I do value each and every opinion and comment from those that have read (they know who they are and all super awesome).

So my questions for everyone:
1. Have you read a book that started with a dream?
2. What are your thoughts about it.
3. Can you recommend any books that do start with a dream.

I welcome all and any comments!
XoXo
Mandie!

8 comments:

Melanie_McCullough said...

You know my opinion already. :) Whatever you do will be awesome because you're an incredible writer.

Jamie Manning said...

I have to ditto Melanie's response. I've read both versions, and both are awesome!

Kelley said...

I have started books that started with a dream, but I rarely finish them. Most times, I'm browsing shelves, I pick up a book, see it's a dream beginning and I put it back down. I have actually read a few that started that way that have been good (can't remember names though, really sorry about that), but they are very few and far between.

I do have a friend though that's going that route, and I like her stuff, so it's hit and miss, but I typically shy away from reading it.

Hope that helps? Best of luck with the wip, either way!

Wendy Jane said...

I said it once, I'll say it again.... Love the cover!

In other news:
I've enjoyed following your blog. Now you get a badge (if you don't already have it). I'm passing the Liebster Award to you for your writing. Thanks for sharing as you do.
http://wjsmithblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/share-wealth.html

Wendy Jane said...

Thought I was posting on the cover post, oops. Anyway, to go along with the question you posed, yes, I started a WIP with a dream. The editor said it was cool as long as I made it clear that it was a dream and that it went along with the story. So I left it. Hope it wasn't a no-no. :)

Mandie Baxter said...

Thanks all! Still unsure. :-/

Thanks wendy! Will check it out. Also, in mine, you don't know it's a dream til she wakes up.

Christa said...

Anna's cover is so fabulous and gorgeous. I can't wait for the two of us to brainstorm something great for Anna's release.

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

You know my opinion too :). In your case, the dream is important and relevant. But I understand why people might be let down after they realize that first scene is a dream.

With questions like these about where to start the book or which scene goes where, I almost think it's better to finish the first draft and then go back and edit/move things. But that's just me.

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