So, a moray eel in a white tuxedo…


True story or rather true nightmare —

Okay, this seven-foot slimy green eel in a tux chased me around and around a hotel room. It tried to get me and I tried to get it. I rushed to the door, hand on the knob, ready to open it and push the eel out when water started flooding through the door cracks and out of the closet and vents. Panic sets in. There’s no way out. Oh no, a small child is asleep on the couch. He’ll drown or the eel with eat him. Now, I’m holding on to the child with one arm and fencing the eel with my other. No way out…

I woke up stressed, my heart racing.

Upon retelling my drama, I downgraded my nightmare to a bad dream, and then to merely an “odd dream.” Most people don’t take you seriously when you start out with “a moray eel in a white tuxedo.” Go figure.

This made me think about writing. Writers are told that when their protagonists are in trouble, get them into more trouble. Then add some more. My dream taught me that one must be careful with what problems one chooses to throw at ones character. Sometimes it’s just not believable.

My subconscious editor clearly did not feel this was an issue.

Have you ever read a book or seen a movie and felt the author/director went too far? Do tell?

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  1. I could name lots of movies!
    And I don't think an eel in a white tux is too far fetched.

  2. What a wild dream! I have some bizarre ones too 🙂

  3. I think when authors exploit young children to furhter the plot or make the villain more evil goes too far. I don't care for these stories and more often than not stop reading the book.

    Stephen Tremp

  4. You must have been watching my dreams. I've never dreamed of an eel, much less one in a white tuxedo, but I do have some doozies.

  5. I'm sure I have, but no one comes to mind.

    I think it's about first building trust. You build your readers' trust within the manuscript, and you can tell them anything.

  6. i can visualize it perfectly…which is what makes the emotions real, whether it's believable or not.

    (did that make sense?)

  7. I can’t think of a particular movie off the top of my head but I know I’ve seen them. I love the image of an eel in a white tuxedo – maybe it could be made into a children’s book. You can get by with a lot more when people are expecting nonsense.

  8. Sometimes I'll have a dream and as soon as I wake up I think it'll be a great book. Then as the day wears on, I realize it's completely ridiculous. Oh well, maybe someday I'll get a good one. 🙂

  9. 🙂 Heard recently that the difference between truth and fiction is that fiction has to make sense. So I guess eels must like tuxedos?

  10. I love the crazy things our minds make up when we sleep. Crazy awesome!

  11. I have some truly insane dreams, but while I'm having them they seem real and I believe every second.

    IMO, most contemporary horror movies go too far, they're gross rather than scary, too much blood & gore and too many characters who are too stupid to live.

  12. I have weird dreams like that, too! But I've never had a dream with an eel in it. That is scary.

    You're right about having realistic problems thrown at your characters. I always try to keep mine realistic and unique at the same time!

  13. Great post! Dreams can be so real – terrifying or hilarious, but real. I agree that there can come a time when we cross a line of believability, but o0f course I can't think of any examples right now! LOL. 🙂

  14. Thanks for sharing your dream.

  15. Hilary Melton-Butcher said…
    Hi, that was some crazy dream .. an eel in a white tuxedo .. imagination for a new character ..

    I hate it when I wake with my heart pounding .. it doesn't often happen fortunately ..

    I can't think of any movies of that ilk .. but there must be many I've seen .. Star Wars for one – but I'll now be hung, drawn and quartered I expect! ..

    Cheers Hilary

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