My novel starts with the character believing she is outside, naked, because she is delerious. After less than a page she realizes where she really is. She was delerious because she fainted and she is ill--but will it be seen as too much like a dream sequence?

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    Why is it important that the reader know it's not a dream? Also, welcome to the site. Jan 29, 2015 at 1:51

2 Answers 2


Have you ever been drunk or had a high fever? It feels quite different from being in a dream.

When you dream, you feel normal, and only after you woke up may you realize that what you experienced was extraordinary, e.g. flying.

When you are delirious from a drug or illness, your body feels different and your perceptions are changed.

Whatever causes your character's delirium, all you need to do is research its physiological symptoms - such as nausea, dizziness or coordination problems - and describe how your character is having these.

If your character took a psychotropic drug, then the only symptoms may be hallucinations, and then there is no way to tell if the character is dreaming or delirious.


This is a good point, I would try too add more details, trying to make the point that it is not a dream that she is in.

Hope this helps.

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