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How can I end this without a Deus Ex Machina?:

I'm writing a story that features a Dream Apocalypse at the end, but I don't want a Downer Ending so I have to save the dream characters somehow. The problem is I don't see how I can do it without an Ass Pull or a Deus ex Machina.

Any suggestions?

This may count as Deus Ex Machina, but perhaps one way to save dream characters is to literally save them, to a computer. With the right foreshadowing it could work.

[up] This kind of works, if you wanna go for a hard reality aspect, let's talk about what dreams are. for the most part, they are our thoughts and part of us. So maybe if your MC has a strong enough imagination, the dreamland characters will live on, even after the dream ends, perhaps the MC becomes an author and begins writing down adventurers for his dream-time characters, in a way, letting them tell the story to the MC.

It also depends on the setting really.
 
 4 nrjxll, Sat, 26th Mar '11 8:22:01 PM Relationship Status: Not war
[up]Yes, I would say that there needs to be a lot more detail on the setting before anyone could give you answer. For starters, does the "real" character know he or she is dreaming?

 5 JHM, Sat, 26th Mar '11 8:30:13 PM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
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My advice? Use a Chekhov's Gun, carefully interwoven into the plot but just out of the obvious line of narrative sight. That way, your readers will feel clever if they spotted it and intrigued if they didn't as opposed to just confused and annoyed.

edited 26th Mar '11 8:31:59 PM by JHM

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Mention that the dream characters were all the creations of whoever was dreaming, and therefore, at some level, are all a part of that person.
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wild mass guess Have the theory about Many-worlds interpretation, the theory that there exist an universe for every possible event, appear quite often in the story, creating a feeling that it might just be a dreem there, but that there is a universe where there was no DreamApocalypse and they lived happy ever after...

edited 27th Mar '11 7:44:59 AM by TheBorderPrince

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[up]No

Since you want more info, the guy does know he's in a dream because one of the dream characters proves it to him.

He's hooked up to a Lotus-Eater Machine. There's a Five-Man Band for the good guys and a Five-Bad Band for the badguys, one of which who followed the protaginist into the dream and is trying to steal the secret for how to create the dream machine so he can make it himself and get rich.

The machine is supposed to allow someone to enter the mind of someone who is mentally ill in dream form and use key objects to repair their mind. It can also be used for more sinister means, such as brainwashing and stealing knowledge.

Every member of the five man band is a dream character except for the hero and the Big Bad. If you die while using the machine you go into a coma.

I want to save the dream characters by putting them in a hardrive so the hero can visit them everynight, but how do I use a {{Chekhov'sGun}} to do so?

edited 27th Mar '11 9:50:14 AM by TheProffesor

 9 jasonwill 2, Sun, 27th Mar '11 5:31:01 PM from West Virginia
I'm not sure what elements the dream machine puts in the plot, but as a lucid dreamer I can give you some input.

Lucid dreams can happen again, and are easier to remember. The MC could wake up, think about how to fix it when he goes back to sleep, and do that. Though in real life dreams are not always consistent (mine almost NEVER are).

Experienced lucid dreamers, and I have done this with various success can manipulate the dream. It is entirely possible, and I have actually done anything from fly, to will the ground to move, to make cars coming at me fly over my head. It is not easy, and some physically intensive actions CAN make you wake up if your not careful (it has for me, and I have even been careful not to in the dream, knowing I do not want to wake).

If your character has messed with the dream before, he might be able to out do his opponent. Now if you are wanting to save save the other characters so that they are not lost, your character could save their lives in the dream, and then visit them in a latter dream. I've seen re-curring characters before, but not often as most people in my dreams are fictional characters from games or someone I really don't care to see again.

If the problem is saving them in the dream, then that is something I really can't say how to without knowing the plot in and out.

edited 27th Mar '11 5:32:45 PM by jasonwill2

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As the troper above said, and actually stealing the idea from Gant Z, the characters can be "saved" in the protagonist's memory, so when he dreams again while he will not be meeting the "originals" he'll be able to meet with exact copies of them, if you want a semi-bitter ending you can just imply this and have the characters be oblivious to it.

edited 27th Mar '11 9:16:26 PM by redpyro

I'm not a native english speaker, please forgive my bad grammar and misspells.
Ok, how's this: While in his mind, the Protaginist builds a safe room in his mind the dream characters can go into till he comes back again. Do you think that would work?

Also, the idea is that there are objects in the world that represent things in the mind, such as C Ds being memories, and buttons or levers you can pull that flip the world sideways, and buildings representing things.

Science labs and computers that can be used to create crazy things inside the mind, prisons containing nightmares that the Big Bad uses as Mooks, ect.

How is this: All human minds in the system have at least some degree of control of it. The big bad is eventually killed in the dream and his mind goes offline. Full control of the machine then defaults to the only active human mind left in the system. The Hero gets a splitting headache, as full control is transferred to his mind, it nearly kills him. But then he opens his eyes and realizes he can give the machine commands. He orders the machine to save the characters he likes to the hard drive. Then he orders it to release him. The hero then awakens in the real world and dismantles the machine, taking with him the hard drive where his friends are saved when he leaves.

For foreshadowing all you’d need to show is that every human mind in the system has at least some degree of control of it, and mention that the hero has a safer version of the system at home.

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Total posts: 13
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