In 2013, the Dreams to Reality series was revisited by its creator, Michael Fackler. In the years since the defunct web series stopped being updated in 2004, the series was completely re-worked, and the cast of characters was greatly expanded upon, with numerous new storylines being thought up and planned for. Several times between 2004 and 2013, there has been a chapter or two written here or there before being scrapped and redone. The series as it now stands is in its earliest stages, with the author choosing to spend time chronicling the web series first before beginning again, in order to have accurate notes to look back on when writing the new novels. However, information about the new novel series is being released in order to give potential future readers ideas on what they can expect when the novels do get written.
On January 9, 2013, Michael Fackler announced that the original script for "Darkness Awakening" has been abandoned and that yet another re-boot to the series has been planned. This re-boot shifts the series timeline five years ahead, and now begins on December 21, 2012. It is not yet known if the series will end after five years on the series timeline, but the series is now planning to abandon the rigid 130-chapter-per-installment format with four to six chapters devoted to each day on the series timeline. At least one chapter per timeline day will be utilized, but numerous chapters may now be devoted to each timeline day. This is due to the planning of a large storyline that will take up more than only three or four chapters per day in the first installment, as well as difficulties planning story material in between major plotlines.
On February 7, 2013, Michael Fackler hinted that the Coral Beach, Florida, setting may actually be dropped from the series, and is currently trying to work out a way to utilize the Florida-based storylines in a setting much closer to Eagle Creek, Ohio, such as in Cleveland, Akron, or Youngstown, Ohio. Fackler would not confirm that the Coral Beach, Florida setting has been abandoned yet, however, but that he is currently re-tooling the series once again to simplify overly complicated plot points keeping him from getting the series off the ground.
On February 9, 2013, Michael Fackler announced that he is considering writing the new series as an episodic web series, but in a different format than the 2000-2004 web series, which was written in a script-like format. Should the new series be resurrected as a web serial, it would be written in a novel-like format, but installments would be referred to as "episodes" rather than chapters. Fackler has not yet decided what format the re-vamped series will take.
On February 14, 2013, it was announced that the new series will no longer utilize two primary settings and that the planned storylines that had been based in Coral Beach, Florida, will now be moved to Eagle Creek, Ohio. The Coral Beach setting is now effectively being abandoned, and all characters based in Coral Beach will now be moved to Eagle Creek. Whether a secondary setting--Coral Beach or any other location--will be utilized in the future has not yet been decided, but for simplicity's sake, the series, at least initially, will take place only in and around Eagle Creek, Ohio. Author Michael Fackler also confirmed that the series will also be written in an episodic web series format, but will not follow the same formula that the 2000-2004 web series did. The re-booted web series will be written in a narrative format rather than a pseudo-script format as the original web series did.
The format of the series is set up as follows:
- Each installment will encompass one month on the series timeline, beginning on December 21, 2012, officially at 6:12 AM, though the first installment's prologue will cover events that occur between 12:00 AM and 6:11 AM on that date in order to set up storylines in progress as of the official start of the series.
- Each yearly season in the series will encompass three installments of the series, like each yearly season encompasses three months of the year. These three installments are attached an umbrella title and packaged as part of a "volume" of the series. All three installments of each volume will have similarly-named titles, and oftentimes, larger story arcs will be designed to play out over the course of an entire volume rather than over the course of a single installment, though other storylines will start in one volume and end in another as well.
- The series will have multiple storylines occurring concurrently with one another, so as to appeal to as broad an audience as possible.
- The series will start off resembling our own world very much so, but as time goes on, it will become very apparent that the world of Dreams to Reality and our own are very different places indeed. Therefore, earlier installments of the series will focus quite a bit of attention on more everyday problems such as marital problems, typical high school teenage drama, and the like, giving the series a distinct "soap opera" style feel to it. There will, however, be quite a few fantasy-style elements to the series almost immediately, with the introduction in the first installment of a ghost storyline, and the introduction of a set of cursed jewels that begin to cause numerous problems.
Eagle Creek, OhioEdit
See Main Article: Eagle Creek, Ohio
Eagle Creek, Ohio is a small town located on a small tributary of the Cuyahoga River in northeastern Portage County in northeastern Ohio. This is the town the series has taken place in since its earliest beginnings in 1998, and thus is the more dominant of the two settings as a result, with the majority of the series' planned material taking place here. Taking its inspiration from real-life Garrettsville, Ohio , Eagle Creek is a small town with a population of approximately 2,500 citizens. It is located near Tappan, Ohio, where the multi-billion dollar electronics company Park Enterprises is headquartered, and much of Eagle Creek's economy is dependent upon Park Enterprises today. The town has a mysterious past, with numerous cases of supernatural events occurring with the town since 1877, when the original town was nearly completely obliterated in a supernatural firestorm, forcing the survivors to rebuild the town in its present location the following year. No known supernatural events occurred in the town between 1947 and 2012, but for 65 years, terrifying events occurred in the town every two decades or so, due to the curse placed on the town by the supernatural Coralian Jewels.
Tappan, Ohio is a small city located in central Portage County in northeastern Ohio. The city serves as the county seat of Portage County, and is where the Portage County Courthouse is located. The city is where Lawrence Bennett established a multi-billion dollar electronics company, Park Enterprises in 1984. The company's corporate headquarters are now located in Cleveland, Ohio, but Tappan continues to operate a Park Enterprises satellite location, which is the primary employer in the county today. Also located in Tappan is Portage General Memorial Hospital, the primary healthcare facility in the county. Tappan is based on the real-world city of Ravenna, Ohio.
Strongsburg, Ohio, is a small town located in eastern Portage County in northeastern Ohio. The town is located southeast of Eagle Creek and is just north of the expansive Connecticut Reserve Army Ammunition Plant. The school district in Strongsburg is the primary rival of the Eagle Creek school district, and there is a rivalry between citizens in Eagle Creek and citizens in Strongsburg.
Strongsburg is based on the real-world village of Windham, Ohio.
Franklin Mills, OhioEdit
Franklin Mills, Ohio, is a city located in western Portage County in northeastern Ohio. The city is a southeastern suburb of Cleveland, and is the largest city in Portage County. The city is the home of Franklin State University, one of the largest public universities in Ohio. A secondary Park Enterprises location is based in the city as well.
Garfield, Ohio, is a small town located in northern Portage County in northeastern Ohio. The village is located northwest of Eagle Creek and is home to Garfield College. It will be established that former United States President James A. Garfield attended the college here when it was known as the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, and the town and college was later renamed to Garfield in his honor. In the real world, President Garfield attended the same college, now known as Hiram College in real-world Hiram, Ohio, the town Garfield is modeled after.
Crestwood, Ohio, is a small town located in northern Portage County in northeastern Ohio. The village is located west of Eagle Creek on the Cuyahoga River. The Eagle Creek tributary empties into the Cuyahoga River just east of the town's limits. The Crestwood School District is a major rival of the Eagle Creek School District, though not quite as heated as the Strongsburg School District.
Crestwood is based on the real-world village of Mantua, Ohio, and borrows its name from a real-world school district that exists within the town.
Shady Lake, OhioEdit
Shady Lake, Ohio, is a small city located in western Portage County in northeastern Ohio. The city is a major transportation hub in Portage County, serviced by the Ohio Turnpike (Interstate 80) and Interstate 480, which are major highways to Cleveland and beyond. Numerous major national retailers exist in the town, making this city a major destination in the series.
Shady Lake is based on the real-world city of Streetsboro, Ohio, and borrows its name from a former amusement park that once existed in the city.
Volume I: Dawn of the Solstice (December 21, 2012-March 31, 2013)Edit
- Arc #1: Break the Ice (December 21-31, 2012)
- The first arc of the re-vamped series introduces the primary protagonists to the series and their respective backstories. On December 21, 2012, an ancient evil is awakened, and an insidious plot begins to unfold that will change the lives of everyone in Eagle Creek forever. As the new year approaches, a party on a secluded island in Lake Erie takes a terrifying turn, and the implications of the events of that party will play out in Eagle Creek throughout the second arc and well beyond, as everything and everyone may not be what they seem....
- The first arc will be shorter than the arcs that follow, serving as an introduction to the series, and establishing storylines that will play out in subsequent arcs. The first 35 or 40 episodes will be covered in the first arc, while all other arcs will have approximately 100 episodes or more.
- The second arc's title and theme is borrowed from the song "Break the Ice" by Britney Spears, with symbolism from the title focusing on the show "breaking the ice" and introducing itself to readers, as well as covering a massive snowstorm, "Winter Storm Euclid," which wreaks havoc on Eagle Creek midway through the arc.
- Arc #2: Die Young (January 1-31, 2013)
- The second arc of the series will wrap up the "Death Island" storyline on Bennett Island, and the implications of that storyline will play out throughout the arc.
- The first arc's title and theme is borrowed from the song "Die Young" by Ke$ha, with symbolism from the title taking on several forms, with many characters wanting to live for the moment, but also several of the younger characters being thrust into life-threatening situations that may end with them dying young.
- Arc #3: Disturbia (February 1-28, 2013)
- The third arc's title and theme is borrowed from the song "Disturbia" by Rihanna, with symbolism from the title focusing on Eagle Creek's continuing descent into a disturbing place to live, with numerous deaths having taken place amongst the populace since the beginning of the series. The quest to stop the madness continues as a supernatural curse continues to grow strength.
- Arc #4: Breathing (March 1-31, 2013)
- The third arc's title and theme is borrowed from the song "Breathing" by Jason Derulo, with symbolism from the title focusing on the series' failed or failing romantic relationships and/or the deaths of characters who have died since or prior to the beginning of the series. Also around this time, the series will become more slow-paced and focus on building the characters' backstories and making them more three-dimensional, as the series begins to "breathe."
What to Expect from Dreams to RealityEdit
In response to the clear implication that the series will come down to a cliffhanger that may or may not decide the fate of the world depicted in the series on the fateful date of December 21, 2012, Fackler stated, "I know what the implication is, that it's going to be some kind of end-of-the-world scenario that will end either with the world being destroyed or being spared destruction in some way at the last minute. I'll say that one would not be wrong to assume that to be the case. Right from the get-go, every installment of the series will be laying the groundwork for what will happen in this universe on that date, and everything is significant. The series as a whole is going to seriously look into involving just about every genre of literary entertainment throughout its original five-year run--from the campy soap opera-style drama to slasher flick-esque horror, from the supernatural to natural disasters, from science fiction to fantasy epic." Fackler would go on to list some of the story elements he plans to incorporate over the course of the 60 installments, some of which will be given more precedent than others, with some story elements receiving multiple installments or even multiple volumes to play out, while others will play out quickly over the course of several chapters in a single installment:
- Supernatural cursed jewels
- Serial killers
- Alien invasion
- Demonic possession
- Superheroes and Supervillains
- Time travel
- Parallel universes
- Family secrets revealing themselves
- "A major player develops spinal meningitis and nearly dies"
- Teen pregnancy
- Drug addiction
- Alcohol abuse
- Mental health disorders
- "Several major players will learn throughout the series that the parents they thought they had actually aren't their parents."
- Secret lovers and affairs
- Divorce and its effects on children
- Gang violence
- School violence
- Mind control
- "It won't be all that apparent at first, but over time, the series will gain a clear sense of good vs. evil."
- "A bewitched garden maze."
- "And last but not least, a sunken city and a floating island in the sky!"
Fackler noted that while much of the above list seems to imply that there will be a large amount of doom and gloom in the series, the series will also contain happy scenes between characters, who usually will work together in many adverse situations and look on the bright side of things whenever possible. Many "funny" scenarios are being planned, as well as other happy occasions such as several marragies and births of new babies, graduation from high school and college, and plenty of happy scenes between couples, parents and children, and friends. "There will be an appropriate balance, sure, but a lot of the things I listed are all part of the big picture that leads up to the end of the series, and thus are the key points to the series," Fackler hinted. "All the big, warm, cozy moments are really just filler, for the most part, but there's a need for a lot of that kind of filler, too, over the course of five years' worth of material."
Fackler would not elaborate on the specific order of the list of things listed above, saying this was just an idea of what to expect from the series. However, he would say that it will be focusing on the more "everyday" types of storylines--such as the family secrets and teen pregnancy and school violence--in the first year or two of the series, while the majority of the more outlandish storylines will become much more commonplace in the second half of the series.