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Old 11-20-2012, 01:20 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Stella_Omega View Post
I totally agree, that a sex act isn't actually happening if it's happening in a dream or a fantsy. Taboo isn't in context of the story's reality, it's not really taboo.

But--- It's not incest unless Sis gets knocked up?

Does that follow into other types of relationships-- if your girlfriend is on the pill you've never really had sex with her?

I bet she's gonna be real surprised to hear that.
I don't care if protection is being used (or it could also be the wrong time of the month, or one of them is infertile, or has had an operation, etc.) as long as cock enters pussy.

Penis should never go where s*** comes out.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:37 AM   #27
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The final episode of Newhart did the "just a dream" thing very well, but that's one in a thousand IMHO. For the most part, I hate the gimmick.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:40 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by topace View Post
The worst way is when I think a taboo has been broken during the story, and it turns out the whole thing was just happening in the main character's dream.
Actually this was one of the aspects I was particularly interested in when I started the thread. When a story reaches a particularly defining moment (it doesn't have to be breaking a sexual taboo, can be any pivotal point in the plot-line really), is it then a cheap trick to effectively pull the rug out from under the reader and reveal that the event actually never happened? Would you, as a reader, be a little (or a lot) pissed off if you just read something that seemed to be a pivotal event in an established characters life but then it turned out it... wasn't?
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:44 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by SevenSquared View Post
Actually this was one of the aspects I was particularly interested in when I started the thread. When a story reaches a particularly defining moment (it doesn't have to be breaking a sexual taboo, can be any pivotal point in the plot-line really), is it then a cheap trick to effectively pull the rug out from under the reader and reveal that the event actually never happened? Would you, as a reader, be a little (or a lot) pissed off if you just read something that seemed to be a pivotal event in an established characters life but then it turned out it... wasn't?
I would be.

I like understanding characters when I read a good story, so a trick like that is no fair to me and fellow readers.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:44 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by SevenSquared View Post
Actually this was one of the aspects I was particularly interested in when I started the thread. When a story reaches a particularly defining moment (it doesn't have to be breaking a sexual taboo, can be any pivotal point in the plot-line really), is it then a cheap trick to effectively pull the rug out from under the reader and reveal that the event actually never happened? Would you, as a reader, be a little (or a lot) pissed off if you just read something that seemed to be a pivotal event in an established characters life but then it turned out it... wasn't?
Personally, I wouldn't be pissed off if it was handled extremely well. Otherwise, it would strike me as the cheapest of cheap tricks. Like anything, it depends almost entirely on how imaginative and well-written the device is.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:25 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by SevenSquared View Post
Actually this was one of the aspects I was particularly interested in when I started the thread. When a story reaches a particularly defining moment (it doesn't have to be breaking a sexual taboo, can be any pivotal point in the plot-line really), is it then a cheap trick to effectively pull the rug out from under the reader and reveal that the event actually never happened? Would you, as a reader, be a little (or a lot) pissed off if you just read something that seemed to be a pivotal event in an established characters life but then it turned out it... wasn't?
I think thats sort of the theme of the whole thread isnt it?

If you go through the whole ordeal with them but it never happened, I think most have shown they feel like its a " so why did we do all this again?"

Anything pivotal or defining that ends up being made into a gotcha is likely to play poorly.

How would a kidnapping movie play if at the end it was all just a "playdate" mixup?
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:28 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by EdwardMidweston View Post
The final episode of Newhart did the "just a dream" thing very well, but that's one in a thousand IMHO. For the most part, I hate the gimmick.
It did but you should read some of the reviews from the time. I remember more than a few of them being final Seinfeld-esq.

Its a slippery slope when you toy with your audience. In rare instances you do better than the standard. In some cases, you incite the mob because they feel like you intentionally pulled one over on them.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:42 AM   #33
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I think thats sort of the theme of the whole thread isnt it?

If you go through the whole ordeal with them but it never happened, I think most have shown they feel like its a " so why did we do all this again?"
Well I consider it two different problems really. The first is the one you highlight, where the reader is angry that they have spent a load of time reading something that never actually happened (although of course they know it never actually happened anyway, which makes the whole thing a bit metaphysical, but that's a topic for another thread).

The second is more one of 'betrayal' where the reader puts their trust in the writer and takes it as axiomatic that what the writer writes is the truth and then that trust is betrayed.

I don't know how many people are old enough to remember it, or how many of those were fans, but what did people think about the last episode of Roseanne? For those not familiar with it, the sitcom ran for 9 series and in the last episode it is revealed that what was presented as 'the show' was in fact Roseanne's memoirs and that while most of it was true she had changed certain details (her husband actually died from the heart attack he 'recovered from' in series 8 and she switched the husbands of her two daughters for example). I guess this is an example of essentially the same mechanic without the use of an actual dream. Unfortunately I don't really remember what the reaction was to the episode at the time.

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Old 11-20-2012, 02:47 AM   #34
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Well I consider it two different problems really. The first is the one you highlight, where the reader is angry that they have spent a load of time reading something that never actually happened (although of course they know it never actually happened anyway, which makes the whole thing a bit metaphysical, but that's a topic for another thread).

The second is more one of 'betrayal' where the reader puts their trust in the writer and takes it as axiomatic that what the writer writes is the truth and then that trust is betrayed.

I don't know how many people are old enough to remember it, or how many of those were fans, but what did people think about the last episode of Roseanne? For those not familiar with it, the sitcom ran for 9 series and in the last episode it is revealed that what was presented as 'the show' was in fact Roseanne's memoirs and that while most of it was true she had changed certain details (her husband actually died from the heart attack he 'recovered from' in series 8 and she switched the husbands of her two daughters for example). I guess this is an example of essentially the same mechanic without the use of an actual dream. Unfortunately I don't really remember what the reaction was to the episode at the time.
Seven you bring up excellent discussion points but the overall is youve left your reader with a negative impression. The who whys and wherefores are all interesting discussion but the house has already burned down so to speak.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:35 AM   #35
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Not totally sure what you mean by that last post.

But regardless, I think this thread has convinced me not to mess around with this mechanic. I was going to use it as a means to to give a satisfying ending to a story that is struggling to find one. But judging from the general feeling in this thread I think my idea for a kind of reality-flipping ending might generate more ill will than it will prevent..

Thanks for your opinions all.

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Old 11-20-2012, 04:07 AM   #36
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Not totally sure what you mean by that last post.

But regardless, I think this thread has convinced me not to mess around with this mechanic. I was going to use it as a means to to give a satisfying ending to a story that is struggling to find one. But judging from the general feeling in this thread I think my idea for a kind of reality-flipping ending might generate more ill will than it will prevent..

Thanks for your opinions all.
I meant you made an excellent point as to the types of the negativity and how you can avoid the specific types if you so wished.

However, like it seems you sensed, at the end of the day its playing with fire a little bit. A gasoline fire, wood fire, chemical fire, its all gonna burn you badly if it goes wrong.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:09 AM   #37
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Penis should never go where s*** comes out.
Theres a whole lot of AHers who are gonna have to stop sucking dick.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:52 AM   #38
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I've used it twice -- sort of.

In the one, I reveal that he was dreaming, and some of the scenes in the story didn't really happen. I give the character a few moments to lament after he figures it out, then a couple of paragraphs later, I do a double flip and reveal that some of it did happen with a text message from one of his "dream" partners.

It's pretty easy to figure out what's dream after the reveal, because I left clues sprinkled all through the scene in reality.

In the other, multi-part story I have the main character wake up and realize he's been dreaming. Then at the dead end, I drop a clue in reality that maybe it wasn't a dream after all, and cut to a character from the "dream" who reveals what it was all about.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:54 PM   #39
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...

Honestly, it isn't taboo or incest until the deed has been done for real (and I don't consider anal sex incest either cause sperm has no chance to meet ovum, in fact that's a major turn-off for me).
Huh. Then oral sex between family members isn't incest either? Or female-female or male-male either?
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #40
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Huh. Then oral sex between family members isn't incest either? Or female-female or male-male either?
I have a Winter contest story posting maybe tomorrow that I think topace is gonna love.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:30 PM   #41
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I have a Winter contest story posting maybe tomorrow that I think topace is gonna love.
I never read your world sr71plt.

What makes you think I'm gonna start now?
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:41 PM   #42
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I have a Winter contest story posting maybe tomorrow that I think topace is gonna love.
I'll be on the lookout.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:49 PM   #43
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I don't care if protection is being used (or it could also be the wrong time of the month, or one of them is infertile, or has had an operation, etc.) as long as cock enters pussy.

Penis should never go where s*** comes out.
I have a feeling that I would really hate you if we ever met.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:55 PM   #44
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"It was just a dream"? I regularly threatened sixth graders with 'D's' if they wrote anything like that. You get your character in deep doo-doo, you jolly get them out again. Simple-minded, I call it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:59 PM   #45
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I'll be on the lookout.
I think I have time to write in an "It's not incest if the penis goes in the ass" line. (The story is a satire on incest anyway). Actually, I think that will be a great addition.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:29 PM   #46
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I think I have time to write in an "It's not incest if the penis goes in the ass" line. (The story is a satire on incest anyway). Actually, I think that will be a great addition.
Ha!
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:36 PM   #47
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I have a feeling that I would really hate you if we ever met.
Same here C2BK. Glad we'll never meet in that case.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:35 AM   #48
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I have used it in an extensive scenario for two of my stories set in a mythical 19th Century India. Harold Plays The Hero is the first.

...
I'm quoting myself because I have thought further about the OP.

My story isn't really a dream and I too dislike the cop-out that "it was just a dream" represents.

It is a fantasy taking characters from a semi-realistic recent past or present day series and using them in a fictitious 19th Century India. I wanted an excuse to involve them in activities that would have been wildly improbable in the context of the main series.

I knew that the world I was trying to create was unrealistic even in the 19th Century. Mine was a Ruritanian version of a historic India that uses some historic information with a version of what a reasonably intelligent person might have imagined parts of 19th Century India to have been like without doing research.

The last few paragraphs that suggest 'it was a dream' are unnecessary. I won't edit them out because I prefer to leave my older completed stories alone. The story can be read as a simple fantasy without the dream explanation.

My excuse? My use of 'dream' does not invalidate the story. The 'dream' is unnecessary for the plot to work. Perhaps the 'dream' is only an attempt to divert anonymous from complaining that 19th Century India wasn't like that. Of course it wasn't. It is a place that only exists in my imagination. To that extent perhaps all fiction 'is only a dream'.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:19 AM   #49
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Yes I consider that a bit of a paradox really.

In any work of fiction, all events contained therein are a fantasy - that of the author. Readers are quite willing to accept this fantasy on one level, but as soon as that fantasy takes on a second layer - the story is a fantasy of one of the (fantasy) characters in the story then people feel cheated somehow. Like somehow the imagination of the author has a level of reality to it that the imagination of one of the characters in the story (which is also, of course, just the imagination of the writer) does not.

And I can't criticise people for thinking in this way, because subconsciously I do too.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:48 AM   #50
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Yes I consider that a bit of a paradox really.

In any work of fiction, all events contained therein are a fantasy - that of the author. Readers are quite willing to accept this fantasy on one level, but as soon as that fantasy takes on a second layer - the story is a fantasy of one of the (fantasy) characters in the story then people feel cheated somehow. Like somehow the imagination of the author has a level of reality to it that the imagination of one of the characters in the story (which is also, of course, just the imagination of the writer) does not.

And I can't criticise people for thinking in this way, because subconsciously I do too.
Agreed. I think the problem with the it-was-all-a-dream ending is that it's often employed either as a twist that fails to have impact for exactly the reason you describe, or else it's used as a deux ex machina by an author who's written himself into a corner and can't think his way out.

That said, I've never seen this device used in any stories at Literotica (other than my own Halloween story "Moan," and I was only using it to spoof the convention as used in horror movies). Does it actually get employed here?
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