Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Jan 14 2004

I’ve been working on the VR story over the past few days, partly because I’m rather unhappy with what I’ve posted here so far.

It’s moving along very slowly, and I find it somewhat boring. The mundane details of conversations take up too much space in this sort of format. I need more action.

So, I followed some writing advice (I think it was from Orson Scott Card): When all else fails, have two thugs with guns burst through the door.

So. Literally, two thugs with guns burst through the door.

And it worked. The story is rushing forward now. It’s stumbling a bit at this unaccustomed pace, but it’s definitely moving forward fast.

Funny how simple advice like that can work so well.

Also, ironically, we’re a long way from that point. We have another four or five entries to go before the two thugs with guns burst through the door.

In the meantime, what I post here will be good build-up to the background of exactly why the two thugs burst through the door, which I don’t know myself yet for sure.

Thomas stopped. Ah. There was Client D’s office, barely a minutes’ journey away at his current speed. Thomas decided to increase his pace somewhat; his nerves were already humming, and he wanted to finish this job sooner rather than later.

He made it to his client’s office without bumping into anyone or anything. This was expected, as Client D had said that everyone would be out of the office at a party by this time. However, the silent, drab emptiness only served to increase Thomas’ nervousness. He’d spend some time in khakis and a tie; this place was not altogether alien to him. It was one of the reasons why Thomas was now a VR detective, to escape places like this.

The office itself was bare, also as expected. The VR world has no need of workspaces in the physical sense. Your VR office is simply a convenient representation of a conduit between you and data. While in your office, you could summon any sort of data and it would appear there, hanging anywhere within the confines of the office walls. Of course, the higher up you were in the organization, the larger youf office, because of the larger amounts of data you have to access. An executive’s office might be littered with hundreds of windows and deeps1, providing a dizzying cacophony of status and progress in a dozen different ways.

And so, in the digital world as well as the real one, your status is determined by the size of your office.

1 Deep — short for “datapoint,” normally represented by a small cube in VR space. A deep can be manipulated to express data in a variety of three-dimensional (and other) forms not easily expressed in a flat window.

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