Using Dreams as a Plot Device: Yay or Cliché?



You’re welcome.

Don’t worry about being cliche, each plot device have been used over and over. Therefore it would be impossible to write something completely original. Just make sure to add your own twist to it and you’ll be fine.

And good luck on your writing!


Ooo I like that dream sequence you have going for your android character!! That’s an awesome way for her to regain her sense of self and remember who she truly is.

See this is another reason why I’m glad I never watched 13 Reasons Why. Besides my personal views on how they handled the topic of Hannah’s suicide, that would get on my absolute nerves too, finding out that he was only imagining talking to her when she was never there to begin with. Even if it was a coping mechanism for him, it’s aggravating for the audience.


That sounds delicious! It reminds me of one of Inception’s most tragic plot twists at the end of the movie, concerning the MC’s deceased wife’s appearances in his dreams. It was a perfectly written scene that crushed my heart. Sounds like your readers thoroughly enjoyed how you wrote this character’s sexual frustration dream, that sounds delightfully psychological!


The only time I’ve used dreams is in my 2nd WIP where my main character sees into the future through her dreams.

If I’m a reader and seeing too many dreams that have no connection, or a loose connection, to the plot, I’d definitely label it a cliche.


Exactly! That’s why I loved Inception, the use of dreams in the movie made sense without detracting from the plot. But like you say, they shouldn’t be used as a cheap means of furthering the story.


Wow I didn’t know that! Well that definitely explains why he’s so successful. Also explains why The Terminator is still so memorable so many years later.


Damn, I was trying to remember a good example of a dream sequence and completely forgot Inception! The whole film is dreams :joy:

Another, I think, would be Blade Runner. It’s brief yet completely changes the way we see Deckard’s character depending on the version you watch.


Thank you :grin: that’s my one worry, that my dream scenes will be too weird for the reader instead of being natural, which I need to do better at looking out for :sweat_smile:


And did probably the most effective business deal of all time. Because he wasn’t an established director then he sold the idea for The Terminator for just $1 but only if he was allowed to direct it.


Thank you :grin: that’s something I try to remember, everything’s been used before, the trick is finding how you can put an original spin on it.


Thank you, though she doesn’t regain her true self as by this point she has practically developed a separate personality after the wipe.


I have done it before:):):slight_smile:


I would suggest read books that contain similar plot devices of your own and analyze it. Also, do TV shows and movies that really helps too.


OMG I loved that twist. Inception was a great movie.
Wow. Thanks. I do love writing psychological stories, but I’m not that good yet ^-^

I just remembered you. You once told me about a story about a girl investigating another girl’s fate through her dreams in a Silent Hill kind of realm.

I also realized that I used “it was just a halusination (not a dream)” cliche, but I showed in the end that it was actually not a halusination :wink:
I won first place in @fright 's summer contest with that short story. It’s also a Silent Hill story

I am a huge fan of Silent Hill. :heart:


I use a dream as the opening scene in my most popular story, but with the realization that I will have to most likely revise it if I want to publish outside of Wattpad.

For the story I’m currently writing, I don’t use a dream and instead include action in the opening scene, which I think I like better.


I don’t have a problem with dreams


I like that idea a lot! And I absolutely agree, dreams must have a strong, firm and understandable connection to the main plot or they’ll simply fall through and become ineffective.


I need to watch Blade Runner, especially now that you bring it up. I know it’s one of the most treasured movies from that era but I feel silly for not having watched it yet :sweat_smile:


Good on him for demanding that he be allowed to direct that, him refusing to back down on the deal definitely helped him get where is now!


I only watched it recently too, I think it’s good but not everyone’s cup of tea.