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Author Topic: Dream Lab  (Read 3138 times)

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Offline DevilPogoStick

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Re: Dream Lab
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2016, 11:38:46 AM »
Quote
1. I see what you mean about the Stark vibe but Lance wasn't really based on him. He's actually based on a guy I know who has the personality traits without the money haha.
2. I know exactly what's happening for the next volume and a half but I expect it to be at least five volumes in total. There's two possible endings that I haven't decided between yet.       

Nice. :)

But yeah, that's pretty cool that you know a guy like that. Only mentioning Stark because of how he's been in recent memory....Movie Stark that is, since I don't follow comics that well. lol

And I liked that you planned this out and there they are two possible ways it could end.

Offline Hope4Future

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Re: Dream Lab
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2016, 12:20:37 AM »
review:

ok, just to start off: well performed, well placed, and kept me reading

i liked the quotes at the beginning, even though idk who most of them were, they certainly give some greater insight.

the character interactions between Lance and Elliot very well explain their individual personalities by their conversation alone. and when roles changes, it took a big U-turn when Lance got serious; it really shows how someone that can appear so loosely about life can suddenly take you by surprise ... it makes you think how dark he really is.

i was a little surprised to see Evan and what his job was during the tutor, from another point of view at that.

now if i may be frank, when Lance was "attacked by the colossus" i wasn't sure if it was actually happening or not and after he jumped down the stairs i still wasn't sure if the colossus was still attacking the building or not ... i mean, i'm sure it wasn't ... because somebody would've noticed ... right? near the end, i was certain it wasn't.

questions:

1. long term or short term? (i sorta already got my answer but i feel like its a standard question for me to ask)

2. does this, in any way, have any common ground with the movie "Inception?" (that's the vibe i was getting from this. also, i feel like this may go off as a 'dream within a dream' sort of thing)

3. considering how many people were working on the V-Wear project, how is it that none of them spilled the beans about their job?

4. i don't fully understand why the older Velmont, who was talking to Elliot in Ch.5, felt like he had so much control over Elliot ... i mean, isn't Elliot suppose to play his cards a little better than that? ... Velmont's got nothing if Elliot doesn't give him the information, so why is he the one being whipped? is that Elliot's natural state?

alright, well i think that's everything but i did this half-assed so idk if there was anything else i wanted to ask or say (i mean, i know i can always add to it). i will definitely look forward to more chapters.  ;D

Offline MisterSherbetLemon

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Re: Dream Lab
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2016, 04:21:21 AM »
Thanks for the review dude. :)

The quotes were all made up, the people are mainly insignificant characters and it's just a way to sort of build up the world's perspective on virtual reality and dreams.

The attack by the colossus worked exactly how I wanted for you then haha. I wanted people to wonder "is this real" until Evan starts talking about Lance's brain doing something it scientifically shouldn't be able to do. ;)

Quote
1. long term or short term? (i sorta already got my answer but i feel like its a standard question for me to ask)

2. does this, in any way, have any common ground with the movie "Inception?" (that's the vibe i was getting from this. also, i feel like this may go off as a 'dream within a dream' sort of thing)

3. considering how many people were working on the V-Wear project, how is it that none of them spilled the beans about their job?

4. i don't fully understand why the older Velmont, who was talking to Elliot in Ch.5, felt like he had so much control over Elliot ... i mean, isn't Elliot suppose to play his cards a little better than that? ... Velmont's got nothing if Elliot doesn't give him the information, so why is he the one being whipped? is that Elliot's natural state

1. Short project, long term for how often I'll write it possibly.

2. There'll be none of that dream within a dream stuff. Dreams will occur that have meaning and it's up to the characters (and readers) to decide what those dreams may be trying to tell the subconscious.

3. V-Ware is widely known but the multiple floors deal with different stages of it. Only those on Floor Forty and a select few others know about the Dream Lab itself. People dealing with the commissions  on the lower floors are doing pretty much the same job they were doing before the Dream Lab was built.

4. More will be revealed in later chapters. Elliott's got several motives but he may be in deeper than he ever planned to be.

Thanks again! :D

Offline Walter B

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Re: Dream Lab
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2016, 04:27:13 PM »
Read chapter one. Liked it  ;)  Nice writing, and the ending made me curious about chapter 2 which is the most important thing chapter 1 should do. Who is there that Lance dislikes so much?  :-\

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Offline MisterSherbetLemon

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Re: Dream Lab
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2016, 01:14:45 PM »
Thanks for the review Walter ;)

Offline Nairbons

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Re: Dream Lab
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2016, 10:56:09 PM »
Okay, I've had some time to sit on the first reading, and re-read things to hopefully justify the HUGE delay. Here goes!

I like it! Overall, I think things flowed very well from one scene into the next, and the chapters were all succinct enough that I was compelled to keep reading at the end of each chapter. The characters were all easily identifiable from one another, and interesting enough to be invested in. I liked Lawrence had a kind of Steve Jobs/Tony Stark vibe. That was great for setting up the whole plot, and then giving an eventual protagonist switcheroo when he dies (Maybe?). The quotes that start were a great touch. No real complaints about the grammar or spelling, either.

The little bits that I think could be improved on aren't too big. The constant swapping of perspectives works pretty well, but when you go into the italicized internal monologues, I'd appreciate if you could label who was having which thought. I also want to more about V-Ware, and how it's different from the Dream Lab. I'm also unsure of why IDT would need so many investors if the V-Ware market was big enough to cover their expenses. How do you think the Dream Lab could be utilized for offensive military purposes? I think you mentioned that you haven't looked up how the brain performs during sleep, but I'd appreciate a LITTLE bit more research on that front. Or a bit more about the setting. I'm still not sure if this is set in the near future, or in some kind of fictional location.

Looking back, most of my biggest gripes are about wanting information that you just haven't gotten around to revealing YET.  I'd love to know more, and would be happy to read it.

Offline MisterSherbetLemon

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Re: Dream Lab
« Reply #36 on: February 29, 2016, 12:39:54 PM »
Thanks for the review dude!

The perspective of the internal monologues is always aimed to be from the perspective of whoever the story is centered on at that point but I can see how it could do with a little extra confirmation.

There's more on V-Ware in future chapters as well as where the location is set. I avoided giving details on the setting because when I began writing I didn't really know myself if it was fictional. I've since worked that out and it is in a real-life setting in the near-future. More on that in the next installments.

Again, there's a chapter in progress now that explains why the Dream Lab requires funding. To sum it up though the Dream Lab's development has been expensive beyond measure and it took a lot out of the company just to have one built and maintained before they've even began to make a product they can sell with it.

I did basic research on the various stages of sleep and dreaming but I definitely need to do more, particularly for later chapters where it's much more relevant.

Thanks a lot for the feedback and compliments dude, working on the second Volume now so hopefully get something out soon. I want to add more to the first volume but have decided to hold off until I've gotten much further in the story otherwise I'll spend way too long changing things and never writing anything that progresses the story haha     

Offline MisterSherbetLemon

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Dream Lab Volume II: Chapter One
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2016, 09:39:12 PM »
Dream Lab Volume II: Chapter I


Volume II: Chapter I

"Achieving your dreams doesn't just complete you, it inspires others to complete themselves long after you're gone." - Jenna Cannell, motivational speaker.

“So what do you think?”
John raised the visor and looked at his sister who was sitting expectantly on the edge of the desk. He responded with a shrug while he undid the straps under his chin.
“I think this thing is uncomfortable.” He said. “At the very least they could make it lighter.” 
“Oh come on.” She said. “Even you have to admit it’s pretty cool!”
“Do we still use the word cool at our age?”
The look Lori gave him suggested he was well on his way towards a slap in the face. Lori was only a few minutes older than John but she’d become much more sensitive about her age since they’d hit their thirties.
“I really don’t get you.” Lori sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose in frustration.
“How many times have we been through this?” John rolled his seat back and rested his feet on the corner of the desk. “It just doesn’t feel...natural. You know I hate this tech stuff.”
This kind of back and forth was the sign of a slow morning at the office, a scenario that was becoming more and more frequent lately.
John wouldn’t have been caught dead using V-Ware if they had a damn client.

“Uh huh, I know...” Lori’s voice was dripping with sarcasm. “You should do talks at the Ulysses Memorial... You can go on all day about the ‘old ways’ and show off your paper strips.”
“They’re called comics.” John interjected. Lori ignored him save for a less than discreet rolling of the eyes.
“When are you going to clean that *censored* up by the way? They’re just littering the sideboard.”
John glanced over at his small collection and promptly decided that he had no idea what she was talking about. They were neatly stacked together on their side in an organized pile.
“How exactly do you define ‘clean’ sis?” He asked. “You want me to throw the sideboard out for some more floor space too?” 
“I just don’t want a pile of scraps sitting out for our clients to see.”
“They’re not scraps, they’re collectables... You do realize there was a time that just about everything was recorded on paper, right?”
“There was a time when they called this city ‘Port Land’ too John but the nearest coast is eighty *censored*in’ miles away. Things changed for a reason: The past generations were pretty stupid.”
John had no response for that, not one he would dare to give his sister at least. Luckily he was saved from saying anything by a sharp buzz on the office comm.
“Do we have an appointment today?” John asked. Reception was shared with the other, more successful businesses in the building. As a result, calls from downstairs were few and far between.
Lori shook her head. John accepted the call and leaned towards the microphone.
“Harrower Investigations, this is John.”
He instantly recognized the chirpy voice of Kelly-Anne, the perky one of the reception team and the only one who bothered to give John and Lori so much as the time of day.
“Hi John, just letting you know there’s a walk-in on their way up to you.”
“Thanks Kelly.” John paused. “Wait, a new one? At this time?”
“Think so. Seems like a handful, a real snooty type by the look of it.”
Lori eased herself off the desk and brushed herself down. She shoved John’s feet off the desk before picking up the V-Ware to stow away out of sight.
“Duly noted,” John said, shooting a dirty look at Lori. “Speak to you soon.”
Lori hardly waited for John to disconnect the call before speaking up.
 “If this is another ‘I think my husband’s cheating on me’ gig then you can deal with it.”
“I don’t think it is.” John said thoughtfully. “Those ones try to be discreet coming here, sounds like this one’s dressed to impress.”
“Whatever. Just know now that I’m not sitting on another fire escape waiting to catch panty shots...”
John gave a snort, shaking his head.
“There was me thinking you were excited for a moment.”
He still did. Lori was pacing the room, scanning it for anything that may be off-putting to the potential new client. Her eyes kept glancing over to the sideboard.
“I really wish you’d clear that *censored* away.” She muttered.
Before John could reply, the front door opened.

For the first time in a long time, Evan was up and dressed early. He sat with his heels on the edge of his office chair, anchored in place by the oversized heels of his dress shoes. Resting his chin on one knee, he stared at the wall, searching for an answer.
On the floor lay the picture frames that had previously occupied this wall space. They had been neatly aligned by Elene to indicate where they would rest once Evan was ready to put them back up again.
In their place a hologram projection glowed on the wall from his computer. It was less impressive than the interactive one he had at work but it was sufficient for his current task.
All the data he had been able to gather from the day of the incident was on display, scattered in some obscure order only Evan understood.
Elene entered the office and took a seat at her own desk by the opposite wall. Evan could feel her watching him but he ignored the feeling.
“You’ll crease your suit if you sit like that...” She said. The concern in her voice was genuine but Evan didn’t turn around. He continued to stare silently, biting his lip in frustration.
It had been eight days since the incident yet all work on Floor Forty was still completely halted. Elliott Fyres had suspended use of the Dream Lab until further notice and many people were concerned for the safety of their jobs.
They were right to be. IDT had bet everything on the success of the Dream Lab. Investors had already begun to drop out and Elliott was holding on to the remainder of them by a thread. If the company didn’t get the project back on track soon then the costs would force them to shut it down completely.
Evan stood and straightened his clothes out as he tore his eyes away from the wall. He turned to find Elene approaching him. She drew close and tucked her arms under his jacket for an embrace.
“I wish I could come with you...” She said, nuzzling herself deeper into his chest. 
“Me too...” The words felt hollow despite the truth in them. He tensed at the weight in his chest. The comfort of Elene’s touch wasn’t enough to ease it but it was something. The prospect of letting go and continuing with the day ahead was daunting.
As if on cue a car horn sounded downstairs.
“Your cab’s here...” Elene said.
Evan drew back from her, nodding. He approached his computer and began to close down the hologram.
Moments later he was in a cab bound for the West side. Not once however did his mind stray from the writings on the wall.


The new walk-in observed the office with a look of utter disdain yet she somehow still strutted in as if she was its owner. 
“So, you are the Harrower twins.” She said, barely looking in their direction.
It wasn’t a question so much as a challenge and John didn’t like that. He would have happily met the challenge by staring her down but Lori had already stepped in with a welcoming smile.
“Yes ma’am.” She chirped. “Please, sit down. My name’s Lori Harrower and this is my twin brother, John...as you can see, I got the good genes.”
Both John and the newcomer ignored the jest. John was noting down every characteristic he could deduct of the woman, trying to get a read on who exactly they were dealing with.
Straight backed with naturally good composure. Seems to be in her fifties but she’s had work done so probably older. Surgery and clothing suggests money. Handbag is very high end, costs more than my car...Seems uncomfortable with her surroundings, she’s unfamiliar with this part of the city but not frightened...More like disgusted. Kelly was right. “Snooty.”
Peering over at Lori, John suspected some of his thoughts were going through her head as well. If so, she was doing a good job of hiding it.
“So, how can we help you Mrs-” John began.
“That remains to be seen.” She replied. “You are no doubt aware of recent events at Imminent Dream Technologies?”
“You’re referring to the accident.” said Lori. The woman inhaled sharply.
Agitation... Something personal... 
“So they’re referring to it as the accident now...” She spat. “Does anyone in this city know a damn thing?”
Doesn’t live in Ulysses but accent suggests she has previously...
Lori shifted uncomfortably, unsure how to respond to the insult. John on the other hand leaned forward, his arms crossed.
“I’ll tell you what we do know ma’am... Whatever you think about it all, you wouldn’t be in a place like this if the police agreed with you.”
Her eyes squinted at John with what he presumed to be scorn but she said nothing.
“We don’t tend to have clients of your standing so there’s nobody you’d rub shoulders with who could’ve recommended us, meaning you’ve actively sought us out and approached us for some reason.”
“John...” Lori started but John didn’t stop there.
“Considering all that, I’m sure you don’t want this to be a waste of time so rather than dancing around the subject I suggest you just tell us what this is about...Oh, and speak a little more respectfully to my sister if you want assistance with anything.”
The ensuing silence wasn’t as uncomfortable as the new look being thrown in John’s direction. He had expected this woman to be affronted, to perhaps insult him and storm out leaving John with the fresh scorn of Lori for losing them a client.
Instead he had the feeling that she was analyzing him just as closely as he had analyzed her.
“He has absolutely no grace,” she finally said, a hint of a smirk crossing her features. “But quite brilliant, isn’t he?”
John returned the smirk, more at Lori’s lack of words than the client’s backhanded compliment.
“What makes you so certain the authorities are wrong about this?” John asked.
“All secrets come to light eventually Mister Harrower.” As she spoke she opened her bag and pulled out a small object. “This holostrip contains more than enough to convince you of my claims.”
John reached for the memory strip but the woman pulled away.
“Can I take this to mean you’ll agree to the job?”
The bait is cast first, cautious or just cunning?
“You haven’t even told us what the job is.” John countered.
“I want you to access Imminent Dream Technologies and uncover the truth.”
Lori snapped out of her silence to scoff.
“Is that all? IDT is a fortress! We’re private investigators, not spies.”
“That won’t be a concern.” The woman said, waving the strip casually.
Confidence, she thinks she’s already won us over. 
John turned to Lori and saw that she was right. The hungry look in his sister's eyes said it all.
“If that holostrip has what you’re suggesting...” Lori began.
Then it will be the biggest case we’ve ever had. John thought. One of the few things he had in common with his twin was that hunger. That urge to uncover the truth in a true puzzle.
The woman saw it too. She surrendered the strip and leaned back as John and Lori observed it.
“It’s an older model.” Lori muttered, taking it delicately in her hands. “They stopped producing these about three years ago...Move.”
John stood up and Lori took his place, wheeling the chair closer to the computer. She placed the strip over a slot on the top of the casing which began to scan it.
A single file was present in the strip, a recording. John closed the curtains to dim the room before joining Lori as she brought up the recording.
A light flickered and formed a small hologram on the desk depicting a young man seated in a chair. The quality of the hologram was diminished by the age of the strip but the audio was crystal clear.

“My name is Lance Lawson. I have prepared this recording to reveal a truth about Imminent Dream Technologies that should never have been hidden...And to give my confession...” 

Victoria looked out at the world from her spot at the top of the hill but she couldn’t focus beyond the mist that formed with each breath she took. The skies were clear over Ulysses yet a strong wind chilled the air.
Not that she felt it much, her mind was elsewhere. She wasn’t sure how long she’d been sitting at this bench but it wasn’t time to move on yet. Time seemed slower today and part of her thought it was trying to spite her.
The silence should have been calming but she doubted anything could tear her away from her thoughts today.
Occasionally her attention would be captured for a moment by passers-by going about their daily lives. Dog walkers and joggers were common here in the morning hour but they often took the path below rather than traversing the slope of the hill.
Victoria preferred the solitude up here but it still angered her to see them. She didn’t understand how life could just go on for those strangers. 
Not today.
Tucking a hand in the pocket of her overcoat she pulled out a crumpled packet of cigarettes. Putting one in her mouth, she raised her lighter to it but the wind foiled her attempts.
“Miss Yale?”
The voice startled her, she hadn’t heard anyone approaching. She looked up at the man who had called her but his face was unfamiliar.
“I’m sorry...” she said hoarsely. “Have we met?”
The man sported a green beanie hat and his matching jacket gave him the look of a groundskeeper.
“Guess we haven’t, sorry...Just passed each other a coupla’ times...” He removed the beanie hat revealing a wispy head of blond hair as thin as his beard. “Name’s Kelvin Birch, I work security on Floor Forty y’see...”
“Oh. I’m sorry Kelvin.” Victoria said, unsure what else to say. Her train of thought didn’t seem to be working. “...Is it time?”
“Not yet, y’got time for your smoke.” He replied, offering her a lighter of his own. She took it with a faint smile and proceeded to flare up the end of her cigarette.
Kelvin took the lighter and joined her on the bench, lighting his own cigarette up.
“Never took you for a smoker if I’m bein’ honest...” Kelvin said. It irritated her that he had invited himself to join her but not enough to ignore him completely.
“I’m not really anymore... I quit before I started my internship.”
“...Grief can do that sometimes...Brings back the bad habits.” The pity in his voice hurt more than the words themselves so Victoria chose to say nothing. 
“Were you close?” Kelvin asked after a while. “I only spoke to him once or twice...but it still don’t feel real.”
Victoria took a slow draw of the cigarette to cover her hesitation but the question simply raised more questions in her mind. She’d spent a great deal of the last year by his side but she’d always been strictly professional, had she not? Their relationship was only as close as a personal assistant had to be to their employer... Wasn’t it?
Then why am I being like this?
Kelvin seemed to take her silence as an answer as he didn’t press the question. He flicked his cigarette and stood up.
“Should probably head down, they’ll be startin’ soon...sorry to have bothered you Miss Yale.”
“It’s Victoria...” she said quietly. “...and thank you, I’ll be down shortly.”
Kelvin started down the path and was soon out of sight. The wind rose up again and Victoria felt something wet on her cheek.
She hadn’t even noticed that she’d begun to cry. Drying her eyes, she started down the path towards the Cathedral. She wasn’t ready but there was no choice in the matter.

It was time to say goodbye to Lance Lawson.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 09:59:08 PM by MisterSherbertLemon »

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Dream Lab
« Reply #38 on: May 29, 2016, 01:24:48 PM »
Volume II: Chapter I
Spoiler
1.
"Achieving your dreams doesn't just complete you, it inspires others to complete themselves long after you're gone." - Jenna Cannell, motivational speaker.
- Nice quotes as always.

2.
John wouldn’t have been caught dead using V-Ware if they had a damn client.
- I'm confused about the meaning of the sentence haha. He means even if they had a client he wouldn't wear V-Ware?

3. “They’re not scraps, they’re collectables... You do realize there was a time that just about everything was recorded on paper, right?”
- Haha nice. It would be interesting to reach an age where paper is seen as wasteful and slobby to have lying around.

4. “I really wish you’d clear that *censored* away.” She muttered.
Before John could reply, the front door opened.
- Geez, it's almost like he's smoking and blowing it into her face haha. Just want to say that you have a great knack for making engaging character conversations and dialogues. Lori and John are such common names, but I have a picture of their relationship in my head in such a short amount of words. Dialogue man, you're doing it right. I feel annoyed at stories that finish without you knowing much about the characters

5. It was time to say goodbye to Lance Lawson.
- Where the hell is the shounen ressurection no jutsu when you need it? What about his brain data, what happened to him at the time. Dammit it's all post morten now. Fyre must die.

General Thoughts
Spoiler
Nice start to the volume. Though I still feel a bit odd about the volume thing because while a lot of stuff did happen, it only had one day in it. I unforunately forgot the name of the wife as well, and I still haven't gotten to see what the wider world looks like. It would be nice to know what sort of tech we're dealing with on a basic level.

I'm interested in knowing what's going on with Dream Labs. I thought they were on the verge of releaseing their product, and that Fyre had ensured they get the cash. Lance making a confession suggests that he wasn't as innocent as I thought he was, so maybe it'll take the edge off a little from what happened to him. One can only guess.

Great writing prose. Great characterizations. You're really in your element when it comes to doing that dude. Serious props.
Sorry it took so long to review this. Hope it helps, and cheers!

Offline MisterSherbetLemon

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Re: Dream Lab
« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2016, 01:42:32 PM »
Response to your points
1.
Thanking you kindly. Not sure how long I'll be able to keep them coming mind you haha!

2.
The idea was that Lori encouraged him to try out the V-Ware at the beginning of this scene and that he'd normally refuse. They've been without clients for so long he's bored enough to try out something he hates. I'll work on reinforcing that a little.

3 and 4.
I thought so too. ;) Thanks very much man, I definitely enjoy working on dialogue over descriptive text! Glad you enjoy it. :)

5.
All will be revealed. I blame Velmont over Fyres but I'm happy to invoke a reaction from you haha

Response To Your Thoughts
Thanks man. I suppose I'm treating each prose volume as if it were a single long manga chapter (at least that's how I was treating it when I came up with the ending to Volume 1. I definitely need to work on including more descriptive text of the world itself. The fact that the city of Ulysses has been identified as formerly being the American city of Portland is hopefully my first steps towards that. Volume 1 was very focused within IDT itself so I'm hoping to branch it out and introduce the world little by little.

Not sure how the confession will affect your opinion of him but it will be some time before the full message is revealed. This story is probably going to be a lot longer than originally planned so don't hold your breath for too many of the answers in the next Chapter. The current status of the Dream Lab will be revealed though.