TTC: Commentary 19

“Time & Tied” PARTS 55-56
1. Original Date Of Completion: DECEMBER 28, 2002
2. What I Was Doing: Teachers’ College in Kingston
3. Changes of note:
-Valentine’s day dance became generic formal dance
-Chartreuse falling for Carrie scene has seen adjustments

“Time & Tied” PARTS 57-58
1. Original Date Of Completion: JULY 24, 2003
2. What I Was Doing: Teachers’ College (Kingston) then Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-Azure and Faye now in high school too, not middle school, causing name adjustments
-Actually having cell phones, plus a reason not to use them
-Lost in the snow became lost in the mud

AN_Luci

LUCILLE PRIMROSE
Commission from Linda Ng

BIGGER CHANGES

Some “bigger changes” are coming to the site. It’s now two years old, having begun Aug 31, 2014. And as of this week, we’re going SEMI-WEEKLY. I had planned on this for T&T Book 4, I stepped it up when a week ago John Golden suggested a “Previously On” segment via twitter. I’ll be adding that too. My hope is that posts half the size, but more frequently, will help the plot stick in peoples’ minds.

Also, in theory, it’ll double the view count. Because the negativity is setting back in. Three days after Part 57 went up, it had 5 “ReTweets”, 1 FaceBook share… and 3 actual views. (It now has 7.) More, the only comment on either of my fiction sites in the past 3+ weeks has been “Get off the internet”. How eloquent. Sun August 20th is the last time the site achieved over 30 views & 10+ visitors in one day.

One tries to focus on the positives. Late July’s “Silent Statistics” garnered the most comments ever, ChrysKelly wrote a 4-Star Review at WebFictionGuide on August 12 (yay), Scott Delahunt gave me a shoutout in this post last week, and I got a new subscriber last week too. But having dedicated the majority of August to new T&T writing and edits, I need motivational feedback somehow. Is this change a good idea? Bad idea? Let me know; I’ve got the next 6-week arc cued up this way. That said, there were “Bigger Changes” needed to old 2002 rewrites in the prior published parts too.

Last commentary (#18), I said shifting the storyline from February/March to September/October had necessitated only “minor tweaks”. There was more to adjust now! Some things likely work better, like Corry’s band performance occurring after more than a couple months, and some things perhaps less so, like how Corry’s been able to prevent an act like Sue’s for over half a year. (I did offer a reason.) The dance also couldn’t have a post-Valentine theme, that would be silly, so I took advantage to play around with the theme choice in the writing.

Slightly bigger scale was Azure and Faye now being in Grade 9, instead of Grade 8. While I could have simply widened the age gap between them and their siblings (Chartreuse and Lee) from 3 years to 4, I disliked modifying those character designs without good reason. The fix of Faye leaving school at the bell didn’t feel too out of line, and there was an even younger sister (Soh) to use for confusion purposes.

MOBILE HOLIDAYS

The biggest issue was March Break (second full week of March) versus Thanksgiving (second Monday in October). Yes, Canadian Thanksgiving is different from the US, hence I also put in Chartreuse lampshading the late American Thanksgiving for international readers. (If you’re wondering about the history there, I go in depth about it in one of my math columns.) Logically, I could simply align these two breaks. Except I couldn’t.

In the original writing, a few parts back, I’d ALSO mashed together Carrie feeling better on Saturday (end arc 3.1) with meeting Julie on Sunday (start arc 3.2). Which wasn’t feasible now that Carrie had an extra time trip to take (to Part 48) in there. Consider September: It’s initial week, then one leading up to Carrie and Glen going out, NOW one leading up to meeting with Julie and the lab, then the last (4th) full week leading up to the dance. The Sept/Oct weekend immediately after would be too soon for the King Affair (Part 57), but could I fit in another weekend before the extended one of Thanksgiving?

In 2016, the Friday dance would be Sep 30th, and no, no I couldn’t. Ditto 2017 (Sep 29th), and looking back at 2015 it’s worse, the “late September dance” would be Oct 2nd. It works for earlier years, 2014 (Sep 26th) and 2013 (Sep 27th) giving a full weekend in September before one more in October prior to the holiday, but that’s because Labour Day was early and Thanksgiving was late.

I decided the best plan was to have the group travelling back to Lee on the Saturday of Thanksgiving, which fit the model of 2016 (this year), and could be written off other years as an extra time skip of a week. Making the alignment different from the 2002 original (when this would have happened the weekend BEFORE March Break, not during).

I guess what I’m saying is, mobile holidays like Thanksgiving and Easter are a pain. But if I did my job right in the story itself, you wouldn’t have had to think about any of that.

OLD TEXT FILE

I also have something rather unique here. A text document from Sunday May 25, 2003, two months before “Episode 27” was finalized. It contains all of what became Part 57, and a lead-in for Part 58 (“after the commercial”), along with some point form notes. Those notes including “Trippers think sister is Faye” (updated to Soh now that Faye’s in high school), the fact that Sing got her necklace for Christmas (changed to birthday), and the mysterious line “Faye meets with Sing to buy a book, that’s when things go wrong”.

I do not know exactly what I meant by that last one. My suspicion is that originally, stuff wasn’t going to happen at the middle school itself. I probably shifted things there because otherwise the episode would have run long. Also, the original title in the file for Episode 27 was “Lost and Found”. I prefer the updated “Help Wanted” (from that July), and then of course my late addition “See Kings” (this year). See below for more about the King family name.

What’s particularly curious is I don’t know why I exported things out of WordPerfect 5.1 to that text file at all. It’s the only time I have anything like this. It would have been right around when I was getting my Bachelor of Education degree from Queen’s University (May 29th 2003). Maybe I was moving? I’d done that before, so why nothing before or since? Had I wanted to show it to someone?

I do remember showing part of T&T (then “Time Trippers”) to someone, but I feel it had been a month or so earlier. I had participated in a voluntary creative writing group “Writing From Our Hearts” at the Faculty of Education. (I have a certificate signed by Rebecca Luce-Kapler and Sheila Pinchin, everything warranted certificates back then.) I even remember we had special paper we used to write on. At the end of the group, I showed the instructor a printout of some of my “Time Pilot” (the bit with Luci that now begins Book 2). After looking over a page, she recommended I describe less, and show/demonstrate more.

Had that been my text file motivation? Yet I showed the Pilot only? It’s weird, the things we remember, and the things we forget. Remember to leave a comment if you agree (or don’t?).

SPOILER SECTION

XoversCSpoilers for Books 1 & 2 may now creep in, as some elements are unavoidable.

Let’s again start by hitting character. The last month has been devoted more to the people outside of the core time travel group – Lee and Glen, with Tim and Laurie to a lesser extent. They’re all linked to Corry’s band! How convenient!

We should touch on Chartreuse first though – her budding romantic interest in Carrie WAS in the original 2002 version, but it came a bit more out of nowhere, then vanished and returned sporadically, whereas I’ve tried to have a bit more throughput here in terms of her reactions to Carrie post-dance. Hopefully it’s working. I’ve also retroactively added some “Spoiler Warnings” into Epsilon Project’s “Wish Fulfilment” index, which does touch on the destination after Book 4. Even if you HAVE read that, this journey may not be what you expect. (When I first started the “Wish” story, I hadn’t intended to put T&T online at all – oops on foresight.)

Exploring Lee’s family again was fun. Faye’s attitude towards their single mother was referenced back in Part 39, and now we meet Lee’s sister in person. I am curious as to whether you picked up on her line to Azure about their parents “sharing a bizarre sense of humour when it comes to naming their children”. Chartreuse Vermilion and Azure Vermilion are rather obvious. So did you notice…? At the risk of explaining the joke, here’s the only time you’ll see me link Lee’s family name onto their given names: Lee King. Faye King. Sing King. Soh King.

Tim and Laurie were seen more in passing, as reminders they exist, they’ll have larger roles later on. If you’re wondering about the additional focus on Joe and Tommy, part of it was red herrings against Corry, but we will see them again too. As to Glen Oaks, you won’t have to wait very much longer to find out what his deal is. Feel free to keep theorizing in the comments. It’s (unsurprisingly) tied in with plot. Ah, plot.

Slow plot is slow! They have started time travelling again. Carrie’s powers continue to trouble her. She’s progressing on having some mental shields, and being able to project herself along the timeline, astrally or otherwise, but not for great distances, and she tends to need anchors to grab onto. So what’s the deal with her random precognition, and what time did she end up slipping to with that vision at the dance?

We’ve also got Linquist’s cipher, his hidden lab, unrest within Corry’s ranks at school, Lee owing the group a favour, and various stages of romantic relations between main characters. The pieces are coming into alignment. Before the end of this month, the pin WILL be pulled, and all hell will break loose.

To conclude, some random anime references: “Fly Me To The Moon”, played by Corry’s band to start Part 55, was a reference (via Laurie) to the original “Evangelion” ending theme. (Chartreuse had made a similar “Laurie likes anime” reference earlier this book, with her “Card Captor Sakura” mixup.) The joke that followed it, with the “theme song”, would have been funnier with a cut to an actual Season Two theme song (very possibly from the anime visual novel “Shuffle”, if you saw commentary #18). And the art teacher’s name in Part 57, “Readman” comes from “Yomiko Readman”, the substitute teacher in the anime OAV “Read Or Die” from 2001.

Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis. I actually had 7 votes back at the start of August, and made it onto the main page (#42 of 45). These days, we’re lucky to get about 3. Maybe we can relive those days.

Parts 55/56 were originally “Tune Up”, thus “Tone Down” continued the musical play on words. Parts 57/58 were originally “Help Wanted”, so “See Kings” is a play on words for “seekings” given the charm search, as well as the King family name. I suppose you could also interpret it as “Sea Kings”, the old helicopters of the Royal Canadian Navy, but I’m not sure how you’d link the 30-year-long attempt to replace those into this narrative.

Coming This TUESDAY: Julie resumes asserting herself at school.

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