TTC: Commentary 06

“Time & Tied” PARTS 11 & 12

DAE_MathTans1. Original Date Of Completion: FEB 22, 2001
2. What I Was Doing: Looking For Work
3. Hard Date Change: Used to be Thurs. Sep 27, 2001
4. Other changes of note:
-Dialogue bits. Nothing major.



At a writing panel at Anime North this past year, a panelist asked what program people used for their writing. Word? Pages? Google/The Cloud? I use none of that. At present, I write everything in a text file. No frills. No joke. But back in 2001? I used WordPerfect 5.1, running on Windows Millennium. Yes, really.

If you’ve never heard of it, WordPerfect 5.1 (released in 1989) was one of the most popular word processing programs of it’s time. Sure, it was DOS based, but the file format was supported by pretty much everyone. This being around when I started high school, it was basically my introduction to writing on a computer. (Heck, in Grade 9, typing class was still done on electronic typewriters.)

One particularly nice thing about WP5.1 was that the program file size was not terribly large – it fit on a floppy disk. As a consequence, I carried it with me after our computer was upgraded. And when WordPerfect 5.2 (1992) didn’t make the Windows transition very well, it was WP5.1 that got installed on my subsequent machines. Including Windows ME around the turn of the century (an OS I’ve never had a problem with, I don’t know what all the fuss was about).

The other thing I came to like about WP 5.1 was how easy it was to make these serial episodes the same length. I didn’t count words or anything. I would simply write towards having a cliffhanger shortly after the end of Page 6, at which point I’d write towards wrapping up the episode by Page 13. Easy.

When I finally got to Episode 23 (aka Part 46) in “Time & Tied” (remember, most of this is pre-written), I decided to change to Microsoft Word. I hated it. Without WordPerfect, I didn’t have the same rhythm to my writing. For Episode 24, I switched back. I wrote in WordPerfect 5.1 until 2009. That’s when I finally transitioned to a Mac, and left WP 5.1 behind, in favour of straight text. But it was a good run.

So what program do YOU use, and how long have you been using it?


XoversCSpoilers (up to part 12) follow.

Why a part with Clarke? Mainly because I wanted to showcase Julie – but I couldn’t do that effectively if I used her point of view. In part because there’s some things I needed to keep secret (not to mention Julie was keeping some secrets from me), but also because the only person who sees Julie in a somewhat sympathetic light is Clarke. And not even Julie herself really understands why he does that. Hence, Clarke gets a flashback episode.

We also got to meet Mary! Carrie and Julie have no siblings for plot reasons. Frank and Luci don’t either because, well, I didn’t give them any, which leaves Clarke. So he gets an older sister, someone he can talk to who isn’t an adult. (Why a sister, not a brother? See my Commentary 04, I seem to have a bias towards females.) Of note, I’d never drawn Mary before illustrating this part. Meanwhile, “Lance” got his name because it was an alternate choice by my parents for being my own name.

Plot-wise, Julie has confirmed the existence of a time machine. Not normally something one needs to account for in a high school – unless you’re at Hogwarts or something, and I wrote this before “Harry Potter” came out. You can perhaps guess how well Julie is going to take this. We also have a new mystery, in why Carrie’s hairband is going to end up missing for several decades. So stay tuned!

Episode 6 was originally called “The Clarke Side” (a pun on ‘the dark side’ given how Julie was being set up as a ‘villain’). This means “Phil Doubt” was the new title, a pun on “Filled Out” (as his character gets filled out), which also worked as a nice follow-up to “Time Doubt”. Up next, a time travel tribute episode.

Coming This Friday: Doubletakes.
(That chapter is already up on Wattpad, if I remembered to upload it yesterday.)


  1. My early work was done as text files, using in DOS. I even kept that with WinME before installing OpenOffice. Now, I use WordPad to get the story down; it has lower overhead and fires up faster than any office suite I’ve seen.

    Mary may be the first sibling to appear, though I know Corry has a sister, too. (I had the sneak peak.) It’s something I tend to forget about, too. My current serial, I think just three characters have siblings, and two of them are twin sisters.

    The headband is a neat mystery.


    1. Yeah, I did start using WordPad for my non-TT stuff. Now that I’m on a Mac, I use TextEdit. In fact, that’s about all I can use when I want to edit HTML source, to avoid superfluous tags creeping in!
      It’s funny, I sometimes forget that Corry and Laurie are siblings (they’re both on the cast page, so I figure it’s not a spoiler) because usually, family relations are secondary characters. I suppose that’s the nature of things when the story doesn’t take place much at home. Flora and Fauna are unique for you. 😉
      I sometimes wonder if I have too many unanswered questions. Though some stuff gets answered soon enough.


  2. It’s been a while since I’ve done HTML coding, but Notepad’s the go-to for that in Windows. Text editors FTW!

    I think part of it is that we’re both focusing on characters in high school, whose main contact is with other people their age. The siblings don’t get involved that often unless they’re also of the same age or tag along to be a nuisance. Parents also don’t get that much focus as a result; teachers are more likely to appear. Though I should think about having someone with a younger sibling at the Academy; it is possible.

    As long as questions eventually get answered, having a few of them around isn’t a problem. The hairband is a neat artifact of time travel, as was the apple in previous chapters.


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