Workshop Episode 48 (Guest Host: Myke Cole)

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 48, with Myke Cole and Tim Niederriter Myke Cole – author of the much-lauded “Shadow Ops: Control Point” and the just-released sequel “Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier” –  returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable, bringing his experience and insights to bear in the workshopping of a tale offered up by Guest Writer Tim Niederriter. Tim’s YA story concept of a world where dreams are being converted into energy – and the nightmarish (yes… I went there) fallout of that industry – was not only a blast to explore, but was a great opportunity to discuss the YA genre, working out protagonist motivations, and ratcheting up the stakes in a story. In short… a classic RTP experience in digging up a great shiny stack of Literary Gold. (and there’s even more writerly goodness to be had in Myke’s latest Showcase Episode!)

PROMO: Guild of the Cowry Catchers – Book 4” by Abigail Hilton

Workshop Episode 48 (Guest Host: Myke Cole)

[caution: mature language and themes – listener discretion is advised]

Check out this and all our episodes on iTunes and on Stitcher Radio!

On Myke Cole’s SitRep…

  • Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier” has arrived! Go! Get it now!
  • “Shadow Ops: Breach Zone” – the fabulous conclusion to the Shadow Ops trilogy is written and being edited!
  • And, if you haven’t read “Shadow Ops: Control Point“, you really need to move it to the top of your TBR list



… and Master Niederriter’s awesomeness:

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Comments (10)

Psst! I think you guys need to change the “Forthcoming from Lady Emma” tag on what Myke is up to.

Also, Roarke’s Drift. Damn. Should have seen that.

I have no idea what you’re talking about… the page NEVER read that, as that would imply we’re copying pasting post content and then updating it for the current show to save time. We would never indulge in such a base dereliction of…

Oh, who am I kidding. *fist bump* Thanks, Paul. We appreciate the vigilance and the heads up (before Myke – or Emma – came lookin’ for us) 🙂

I think, the tag should have ‘Nightmares’, not ‘Nightmates’.

I think I need an editorial staff… or to not post these episodes so late (thanks, Tim… fixed) 🙂

Dave touched on the physics of stealing power from the dream plane, but I want to play with that some more. There’s a lot you can do with this.

Dave had assumed that if we’re taking energy from Dream, we must also be sending it back somehow. Generally a good thought, but what if that wasn’t the case? What if we’re creating an imbalance by harvesting dreams? This could have huge ramifications for both planes. (Plus you get the subtext of “humans not caring about the consequneces of where they get energy from” if you are into that sort of thing.)

Maybe not having enough energy is creating more nightmares in Dream. Or it’s twisting normal dreams into nightmares. Maybe there’s a reflection here, where the imbalance causes dreams to mutate, and causes humans to go insane. (I like the dichotomy of the (ostensibly insubstantial) dreams being affected “physically” while the humans are affected mentally.) Or maybe the nightmares are just trying to stop the harvesting to protect everyone.

Also, perhaps the imbalance is causing the veil between planes to become weak. People (maybe even places) are getting sucked into Dream randomly. (One would imagine dreams having a harder time getting through to Prime, since the “flow” of energy would be going from us to them as soon as it found an outlet.) Hauntings are down, but missing persons are up.

Or maybe the imbalance is becoming so great that people are becoming overloaded with used dream energy. (Once it’s used to power stuff, it has to go somewhere, and it has to change somehow or there’s no release of energy.) Maybe this used dream energy is twisted. People start hallucinating, dreaming while awake. Maybe if a person ends up with too much, they become a mini gate and dreams can enter Prime through them. (Failed Dreamers are more susceptible?)

Maybe the dream energy that gets harvested first is the gentle, good dream energy, and the nightmares are stronger so they stay intact better. People start having more and more nightmares, which makes the nightmares stronger.

Maybe Vein has realized all this and is trying to stop the program. Instead of trying to exploit Dream, maybe he’s actually trying to get things back to the normal order. So if Rem is trying to preserve the program and protect this avenue through which she has all this power, then she would be at odds with Vein, even though he might actually be the “good” guy. (Rem would then have to choose between her own selfish desire for power and whatever terrible consequences the program will have.)

Maybe Vein’s AIs are supposed to be a way to funnel that tainted dream energy back to Dream. Perhaps, though, the tainted energy is messing with Dream (or the AIs are what’s tainting it after all!), and he’s really only making things worse, despite the best of intentions.

Maybe if the imbalance becomes great enough, a chain reaction starts wherein the two planes merge into one. Waking and dreaming will be equally real. And how would Rem feel about that, considering she has power in Dream but not in Prime?

Anyway, just some thoughts. Make the stakes big. I love the romantic identity subplot; that’s something very pertinent to young adults today, through which they can relate to Rem. Also, I like her having this unresolved nightmare hanging over her, but what if instead of always fearing it, she’s been hunting it? She might still be afraid of it, sure, but she deals with that by trying to hunt the thing down and conquer it so as to overcome her fear. But she hasn’t been able to find it. Maybe one of the reasons she won’t give up on the program is her need to deafeat this nightmare. Then work that into the resolution somehow. (I make it sound so easy…)

There’s a lot for me to think about in this post.

Having begun writing the book and being about a quarter of the way through a rough draft, I’ll say I’m trying to lean away from the physical aspect of the dreams. I’ve written some ‘other dimension’ stories and I’m not particularly interested in treating the dreamworld in this story the same way.

As usual when I actually started writing the book the parts that really interested me came out quickly, and shaped the story down different paths than expected. Anyhow, I’m not completely positive how much I want to change at the moment.

Basically I’ve pushed the timeline back. I’m trying to eliminate the thriller element of the original idea in favor of a more character driven long-term conflict.

Like the disclaimer says, it’s your story, and this could all be BS. 😉

Yeah. Hope I didn’t come off as snappish above.

TYVM you’ve solved all my prbmleos

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