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Lesson 1: Dialogue

#25
Don't know if this is still ongoing, but I will also put a quick dialogue here! (specific version)

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John sighed, with his palm firmly pressed against his face. He and his childhood friend, Teresa, were alone at the classroom.

“John, it’s not that bad, don’t act that way!” Teresa was trying to cheer him up, as she always did since they were kids.

“Tessa, we promised to complete the project over the break. But they did absolutely nothing! We had split the assignment between we four, and the only one who completed their part was me!” John threw his hands into the air, exasperated. “Really, what you did during the break that made you forget about the project?”

Teresa looked away, her finger slightly scratching the side of her face. “Well, my neighbors needed some help with their garden, and I volunteered to help them. And spent the rest of the morning with them”

“That’s not enough to prevent you from completing your part.” He glared at her.

“Well~… I also give a hand to auntie at making some cake for a meeting she was going.”

“Aunt Sofie?”

“… Yeah”

Both of them sighed.

“Okay, I see how your day was spent without doing anything. But what about your night?”

“That’s a funny story. Remember the jar my mom bought last winter?”

“The one that she put the sunflowers in?” John pinched his nose bridge, already imagining where this was going.

“Yeah, that one. So, my brother went to visit us for an afternoon tea. Mom wasn’t home, so he let my nephew play around the house. Long story short, he broke the vase, and we had to go out to buy a new one.”

“Why he didn’t go alone?”

“You know my brother. He would buy something completely different and would end with a quarrel between him and mom.”

“It was partly his fault. Maybe some shouts would make him get his act straight.”

“Aw, don’t be mean… He gets too down when he fights with mom. I didn’t want to let him hanging there.”

John sighed again.

“Okay, I’ll pretend to accept you story.”

“Hey!”

“This still doesn’t change the fact that we are delayed. I’ll go talk to the others and try to make them do their part.” He had already left the room, before turning around and pointing accusingly at Teresa. “And you better finish your part also. I’m trusting on you. And remember that I learnt how to scream with you mother!”

He left, stomping angrily.

Teresa sat down on the teacher table, swinging her legs and chuckling to herself.

“It seems we managed to wake the demon again.”

Her cell phone gave a small beep, and she picked it up. It was another friend of her.

‘Tessa… I need your help with something.’

“No worries, I’ll help you out.” Teresa said, with a happy smile before also living the room.
Read my fiction! (maybe rate?)

http://royalroadl.com/fiction/5150

I finally stopped being a leecher...
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#26
@andor

This forum is kinda dead since the person doing the night school had something come up IRL.
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#27
I'm aware this is mostly dead, but I wrote this mostly for self-practice. I think I did okay with John, but Teresa's personality is hard to capture correctly in a 1 on 1 setting. Introducing more characters or a different setting might have worked better...

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John suppressed a sigh, opting instead to lean back heavily in his chair and rearrange his posture. The chair groaned ominously, a wooden wreck that the school clearly had no interest in replacing. Mentally fortifying himself, John gave Teresa his partly-divided attention. 

"Look, if you don't like that idea, we have others", She was saying. "Actually, I have a whole list". Teresa paused and began distractedly pawing through her bag.. Teresa was a nice person, no really, but no amount of niceness made up for a lack of imagination or plain bad ideas...

Teresa slapped the notebook on the table. "Here. Look, I uh". Pausing, she turned the notebook around, so John could read it rightside up, and then continued. "We could set up any of these for our project. The actual goals are quite open ended. Whatever we choose, the outcomes don't even matter much, it's ...uh... supposed to instill us with responsibility." She finished the last part with the a mocking-deep voice that their professors usually used when lecturing.

John was skimming the list of ideas Teresa had come up with. Teresa apparently had honed her handwriting to ridiculous levels, every letter on the page seemed to be stolen from a perfect typeface. Why did Teresa even bother with paper? Typing on tablets, or the new mental links were so much easier. Sadly, no amount of typographical perfection compensated for the problems in every item on the page.

"Unicorns? Really?" The idea was so laughable it broke John's usual composure, and he spoke his thoughts aloud. Teresa at least had the dignity to blush.

"There was this show a while back I found in the archives. It was about magical...", she trailed off, blushing harder.

John was already shaking his head. "I can't even begin to describe the problems with that. Or rather, I can. Monocultures are problematic in general. Magic is hard, it adds a lot of complexity. A free-will based magic system, that's particularly taxing to maintain. You'd just be dooming these poor creatures to a scarcity-driven apocalypse. We aren't going to get a passing grade by engineering a magical wasteland."

Teresa leaned across the table, flipping the page over in the notebook. How many ideas had Teresa come up with? The list continued on both sides, and John experimentally flipped forward a few more pages. "Did you fill the whole notebook with ideas? How long did this take you?"

Teresa was still trying to stammer a reply, but John was reading over one of the ideas in the back of the notebook. Build a system from first principles. Model off their own rules, but strip away a lot of the complexity. Trade a simpler model that could be run for much, much longer, and let results stack over time. A directed but unknown outcome. There was a lot of prerequisites to get right, but the core implementation seemed straightforward. Teresa had penned a name in for their simulated world project. Earth. 

John pointed at the item, "How about this one?"
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
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#28
Specific Prompt and I didn't really do action, just dialogue. Was it too confusing?

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“Teresa, what are you doing?  Don’t we need to put the ground down first before we can even think about buildings or landscaping? Didn’t we agree on that?”


“Haha! Relax John. It’s all good. I am just getting a little head start on the details.  After all we only have three more days to turn it in to Professor Laytom. Also, you are doing so well on the mountains and rivers and valleys and stuff. I need to do something to earn that participation grade, no?”

“Grrr… haaahhh.  Teresa. We discussed this.  We would both work on each aspect so that neither of us felt a burden, we both have two other separate class projects to finish for other professors.  I would do the heavy lifting and material acquisition since I am taking metal and wood working technical courses this semester. You would be doing the details and the painting since you told me that you are taking the photography and painting courses.”

“But John! We have been working on this mountain for three days! And the whole thing is due in three more days! I know that you have been sneaking in here on your breaks between classes to work on it and I know that you have actually bought supplies, don’t think I don’t see the brand new clay and brick!”

“Ah! Before you interrupt! Ok, John. I know that you are going above and beyond and I know that you really want to impress the Professor. I know that. That is why I am trying to contribute however I can but until you give me something to work on I can’t really do anything. I also want a good grade but I can’t have that if I don’t do anything! So come on, give a girl a break would you, please? I can just work on the trees and bushes and the paper mache for the grass. I will do the detailed work like you said and just paint and paste, easy peasy!”

“Teresa, I know that it is taking me longer than was planned to get the base down but I think you have a misunderstanding of just how much I am doing. I have scheduled only three hours a day for Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays to work on this project.  The rest of the week I am doing other work. Also, don’t think I don’t see you sneaking out of here to get to Professor Laytom’s class right before it starts. I know you are doing more than you think. So please, leave some for me to work on?”
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#29
I know it’s ded and the guy had some rl stuff happening, but I wanted to practice so... here it is.
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“Hi Johnny!” Teresa playfully greeted. Walking in with her oversized sweater and skinny jeans, a smile on her lips.

“Hello Teresa.” John replied without looking up. His hands continuing to type.

“So.. how’s life Johnny-boy?” Teresa asked, as she pulled out a chair and set her laptop on the table.

“Oh you know the usual.” John replied, monotone.

“Is it Jennifer again?” Teresa gave an exasperated sigh as she begun typing. “You’re always working, working, working. How are you gonna get back at the dating scene if you never have fun?” 

“I do have fun. I have fun in the work that I do, and the research I do with Dr. Hoffman.” 

“I know, I know. You do those things, Every. Single. Day!”

“I fail to see why my personal life is so important to you. I just do what I do everyday. Without fail.” John said, turning his head towards Teresa. “And as for my love life, I don’t really want to hear this from Jennifer’s best friend.”

Teresa sighed, “Johnny, if I knew what she would do, I would have never introduced you guys. Johnny, you’re also my best friend. Plus, I haven’t talked to Jennifer in a month. I just can’t believe she would do that to you.”

“Teresa, I don’t want to get in the way of you and Jennifer’s friendship,” John said. His hands stopped typing as he frowned and let out a frustrated sigh. “Whatever it is between Jennifer and I…” John paused while starting to type again. “It’s in the past. I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Johnny…” Teresa said, giving John a hard look and closing his laptop. “You can’t keep going like this.”

“Hey! I was using that!” John said as he pulled his hands off the keyboard.

“Don’t ignore me John James Edwards!” Teresa huffed, becoming annoyed at John’s aloofness and indifference.

John sighed and turned to Teresa, knowing that Teresa wouldn’t let this go. “I know, ok? But it’s what keeps me going. I don’t want some stupid relationship to ruin my education and future. And, I was like this before dating Jennifer too.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t work 14 hours a day before you dated Jennifer,” Teresa snapped back, before deflating and saying, “Look I’m sorry for introducing you to Jennifer, but you need to relax a little. We’re already done with the project… Two weeks before the deadline.” Teresa deadpanned, “We don’t need constant revision and review sessions. How about you and me, let’s go out and get some drinks? Just like the old times?”

John lifted his glasses to pinch his nose before giving a deep sigh, “You know what screw it. Let’s go!” He said getting up and pausing. “But… we finish all the revisions by next week, I want to clear my schedule for my other class projects. I don’t need this on...e”

“Johnny!” Teresa interrupted him, “I get it already. Let just go! We’ll figure this out tomorrow, tonight, we go clubbing.”

Grabbing her keys and a jacket, “I’ll drive.”

“No!” John all but screamed. “I… just can’t with your driving. Let’s just call a Uber or something. We’re gonna be drinking anyways.”

“Fine….” Teresa let out.

“The ride will be here in a minute, you got everything?”

“Yep! I’m single and ready to mingle!” Teresa laughed 

John shook his head as they walked out the door.

566 Words
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