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Literature / Dream High School

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DO NOT PINCH YOURSELF.
YOU ARE DREAMING.
WELCOME TO DREAM HIGH SCHOOL.
—The floating sign

A Web Serial Novel about a high school that exists in a shared lucid Dream Land. Every school night before midnight, high school students in real life fall asleep and are pulled into this dream by an unknown dreamer. Though it is a serious educational institution, the story focuses on the main character meeting other students and learning about the school, which often leads to crazy and ridiculous adventures- in no small part due to the interactive aspects.

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Dream High School is similar to a Gamebook except that it's more of a choose-our-own-adventure — you decide with other readers what the main character does next through a variety of events. Readers have also won various prizes, such as giving sentences to the author that he has to use in the story and naming characters.

The story opens with you (the main character) reading the welcome sign "DO NOT PINCH YOURSELF. YOU ARE DREAMING. WELCOME TO DREAM HIGH SCHOOL." You don't understand it, even when you see students flying and racing invisible cars to the school building. Over time you meet and connect with students, mysteries are revealed, you learn how shared lucid dreams work.

After the latest page you're given several options to choose from that affect what the main character does next. That event eventually closes and the story is locked down a certain path based on reader input.

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Dream High School is available here.


Dream High School provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Corliss calls you G-dow because she doesn't want to call you Grok, Destroyer of Worlds (which you've already insisted isn't your real name). She also calls Gavin Gav-Gav.
  • The All-Concealing "I": you don't know your gender for a few pages, and you still don't know your name. Pretty common in Gamebook stories, however.
  • Beat: ".." are not typos but represent beats in dialogue. They occur quite often. For example: "I need to run through.. some things with you..." Dashes and ellipses are also used and differ slightly.
  • Big "YES!": Unsurprisingly, both are from Corliss: when shes tries to cover up to your brother about Dream High School, and (though less big) when you agree to be friends.
  • Big "WHAT?!"
  • Cry into Chest: Page 34, "Miss Paloma". Depends on interpretation, though it seems she's crying into your chest.
  • The Ditz: Corliss, all the way. Some examples:
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    • When you joke that your name is Grok, Destroyer of Worlds, she believes you:
    Corliss: Oh my gosh, I'm soo sorry! Is that a foreign name?
    • And when you let her know it's a joke...
    You: It's a joke.
    Corliss: Don't say that! I'm sure your parents had the best intentions! Is it European?
    • And when you later on explode:
    You: And my name's not Grok, Destroyer of Worlds!
    Corliss: We went over that already, didn't we?
    I give her a death stare.
    Corliss: Oh, maybe that was just me and the Principal.
    • Her cheerfully chasing you while you're hiding, going "Boo!" while it would seem pretty apparent you're freaking out and aren't responding very well to it.
  • Dialogue Tree: Most events are this, but every reader who wants to can get involved in making the choice.
  • Dream Land: Exactly what Dream High School is.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Corliss calls you G-dow, Gavin Gav-Gav, Micah Mickey, and Nara Rara.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Dream High School is about... dreaming a high school. This trope is also in effect In-Universe.
  • Extranormal Institute: Students can fly and seemingly do whatever they want outside of the school. They seem to have limitations inside of the building, though.
  • First Big Choice: All of the first choices have a big impact on the story, but the most evident one is when you tell Corliss your name is Grok, Destroyer of Worlds, she believes you, and tells everyone. Over 30 pages later and people still know you as Grok.
  • First-Person Perspective
  • Gamebooks: A variant in that you actually vote on what happens next and are locked on a path with everyone else. So it's more like Choose Our Own Adventure.
  • Kidnapped by the Call: You have no idea how you got to Dream High School when you first arrive. Apparently, neither does the Principal. Turns out that the dreamer mistook you for Nara and pulled you into the dream instead of her.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: It's just a colorful circle around the text "Dream High School" with the author and his company listed below. (only found on Wattpad)
  • Naïve Newcomer: Your character.
  • Neologism: From Page 21, "loudspers"; and from Page 35, "Her eyes saucericize."
  • Present Tense Narrative
  • Scoring Points: Anyone with an account can rack up points by submitting tickets for events, getting friends to sign up, reporting site glitches, and more. Everyone's points are also combined into a Story Bar that needs to be filled up for the next page to be written.
  • Score Screen: Read through the novel, and you'll be greeted by a point bar and a leaderboard with everyone's Story Points. If you're logged in, you'll also see your points stated in big letters.
  • Slice of Life: At least so far; it focuses more on connecting with students and learning about the school than an overarching plot. Since it's a Gamebook, it could become a part of a larger plot, though.
  • Shout-Out: A reader won the option to add a sentence into the story; "We need more dakka." was their choice.
  • Stunned Silence, mostly from Corliss.
  • They Just Don't Get It: You with the floating sign:
    DO NOT PINCH YOURSELF.
    YOU ARE DREAMING.
    WELCOME TO DREAM HIGH SCHOOL.
    The floating sign unnerves me. I'm not sure why or what it means, but I look forward to learning in class tonight!
    • On Page 5 you even quote it again, but still don't get it.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: You have no idea what Dream High School is or what's going on when you first get there.
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