I'm writing the introduction to a story. The intro starts with a dream, then the main character wakes up, and then he and one of the secondary characters have a conversation while waiting for a bus. The dream is extremely different from reality and so I wanted to have the main character being jolted out of the dream. This is the first rough draft I've written for it, but I'm having trouble with it. It's annoying me and I can't keep writing because there's something off about it. I've never started a story with a dream sequence before, so I'm having difficulty pinning down exactly what's wrong about the dream sequence without also trying to add more to the dream itself.
There's a lot of stuff about this opening that's annoying me. It seems sort of not-quite-there when I read it. It feels really... I guess maybe segregated from the reader? I don't know how to put it, but it feels really clunky. I want it to be slightly unsettling, it doesn't come across in my writing at all (to me, in any case). And I don't particularly like the transition out of the dream either.
So I'd like a critique. Specifically:
- Does this dream sequence work as an introduction? I'm worried about how long it is and whether or not it's boring. The dream sequence is pretty important and needs to be exciting, but I don't think it is. But I'm also worried that if it's too exciting, it might act like an anti-hook and make everything after it seem boring. What I ended up with seems drab, though.
- Is the dream sequence unsettling? I'm not really going for mysterious, but I don't really linger on any of the images in the dream, so I feel like the whole scene isn't "strange" which is how I want it to come across.
- Is the transition from the dream into reality okay as it is? What I mean is, is it not jarring enough to break out of the dream? Is it too weak a transition for the dream sequence?
- The characters Felix and Dante have a conversation afterwards that I think is sort of unwieldy/unrealistic. Would you say the same? It's supposed to be a pretty lazy conversation that could go anywhere... but I don't think that comes across very well.
Excerpt is here at Pastebin.com. For some reason, though, the bolding and the italics in the piece kept deleting words when I entered this into Pastebin, so in the end I just used the notation that we use on SE for bolded words and italicized words. ** surround bolded text and * surround italicized text.