I thought we might occasionally pick a topic and try to list all the various wrinkles on that theme that we can think of.
For the first, I chose monsters and nightmares, partly because I think our definition of what consititutes a nightmare may vary, and it would be interesting to try to get a read on that as well.
For monsters-- are we talking monstrous people? unseen malevolent forces? animals in which the Beast is the most evident feature? Demons? Or something else altogether?
I look forward to reading your ideas on this topic!
Here's a start:
-- Bugs/spiders/crawly things (5 legs+)
-- bees/scorpions/sting-y things
--inanimate objects somehow come to life
-----sometimes combined bizarrely with other objects/living things (here' a great example)
--unseen malevolent presence
--monster-y creatures that are also somehow loved ones
--Politicians/people from government agencies/fascists/oppressors/prison guards, etc.
--people with supernatural powers (wizards/witches, etc.)
--damaged people("I will hug him, and squeeze him, and name him George!")
--loved/familiar people who are somehow now enemies /with inability to use violence to defend oneself
--stalks/chases/attacks/crawls on you
--kills loved ones
--drugs/poisons you/loved ones
--enslaves you/loved ones
your reaction to monster:
----with regular weapons
----with illogical/fantastic weapons
--unable to do anything
--run away from monster
--killed by monster
--good defense against the big monsters, but the small things get you in the end
And (this might play into the nightmare thing? Guessing.)
your reaction on waking:
--feel monster is still physically present
--feel monster is still with you, even though unseen
--feel uneasy about dream events, as if they were real
--feel emotional distress about dream after waking, even though you know it's not real
--dream events remind you of conscious worries and you remain distressed
Nightmares without monsters:
Walls closing in/suffocating/drowning/being pulled away from safety(washing out to sea, etc)
Feeling trapped with or without suffocation
Feeling that you're going mad
Loved one with life threatenining illness or loss of body part/functioning
Loved ones dying
Being under fire(at war)
Experienceing a natural disaster
For hummingwolf,a nightmare is "a dream which scares me enough that I wake up with my heart pounding."
For shadefell a nightmare is "unpleasant dream experiences which cause fear, stress and anxiety, even upon waking."
For crowleycrow, a nightmare is "a distinct physical experience, unlike a bad dream. Whatever the content -- and it is sometimes quite innocent or banal -- there creeps into a sense of horror, foreboding, or alarm that becomes suffocating, until finally the dreamer awakes in physical distress, crying out etc."
Anyone else want to put their definition into concrete terms this way?