TTC: Commentary 23

“Time & Tied” PARTS 71-72

1_carrieglen

Old sketch of Carrie & Glen

1. Original Date Of Completion: NOVEMBER 5, 2004
2. What I Was Doing: Extended Occasional Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-Added Chartreuse talking to Carrie on Phil’s behalf
-More done with the Frank/Luci scene

“Time & Tied” PARTS 73-74
1. Original Date Of Completion: SEPTEMBER 11, 2004
2. What I Was Doing: Extended Occasional Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-Cassette tape changed to a USB
-Altered ending for more Chartreuse, leading to 75

“Time & Tied” PART 75
1. Original Date Of Completion: AUGUST 13, 2016
2. What I Was Doing: Full Time Contract Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-*ALL NEW*

HAPPY NEW YEAR

If you were planning on time travelling away, and returning to the present, now you can’t – there’s no 2017 coins yet. Back in Commentary 15, I did a roundup of 2015 coins. Over 12 months, I had obtained 42, the majority being quarters and toonies. The roundup for 2016 is less, at 37.* I did manage one of each type, pictured below (Canada has no pennies any more) with way more dimes this year. First coins were in July. Last coin was a nickel, on Dec 27. Obviously part of the difference in count might be in number of purchases, though I think I got more sets in 2015 (e.g. 75 cents in change, all three quarters of the current year). Could also be less coins around this year though.

*: An earlier version of this post gave the number as 32. Five more coins were found on a corner of my desk early in 2017 (four quarters and a dime) and the photo was updated.

2016coins

2016 Coins

Serial Highlights of 2016: A guest post at “Legion of Nothing” in June, taking place right near the start of my T&T Book 3: “Power Play”. A guest post at “The Archive of Unusual Events” last week, playing with time travel in his universe: “13th Floor Concerns”. Two WFG reviews for T&T, by Inky Llama (Maddirose) in March, out of the blue, and ChrysKelly in August, after making the most comments of anyone (and that just across the first 27 parts). CrysKelly also gave me a shoutout within “Sanctioned” with MJ’s “Cats, School & Planned Parenting”, and k-fish mentioned this serial in the RRL forums.

Which brings us to December 2016, and what I would call a statistical anomaly. Since July peaked in views, at 942 with 230 visitors (due to the LoN guest post), and every subsequent month declined in both categories. Yet December had over 870 views with 126 visitors, with both Tartra (from WFG) and Mez (from TWF) starting to read and comment. Lightdefender and Scott Delahunt also chimed in with comments that month. I know it helps that more posts exist now TO read, but whoa. Thanks for all that.

For prior year comparisons, 2015 had 776 visitors; 2016 nearly doubled that to 1,450. 2015 had 2,208 views across 101 posts. 2016 had 5,495 views across 190 posts. Top referrers in 2015: 1) Twitter. 2) WebFictionGuide. 3) Facebook. 4) TheChaosBeast (Unruly) & InMyDaydreams (LoN) tied at 51. Top referrers in 2016: 1) Twitter. 2) InMyDaydreams. 3) Facebook. 4) WebFictionGuide. 5) TopWebFiction. (ChaosBeast still holding fast next at 52.) That’s not counting links in from my forum posts.

The most popular post for 2015 was actually the first entry in “Epsilon Project” (181) not the first for “Time & Tied” (149); now the first “Time & Tied” entry is on top (596) followed by the indexes and About Me page before anything else. Incidentally, as of today, my site’s been protected from over 1,000 spam comments. Anyway, that’s far too much on stats. WordPress does a yearly round-up anyway. (Compare yourself to 2015 if you like, links to come.) On to Book 4.

ABOUT THE WRITING

As I indicated in the prior Commentary, the initial order of writing was flipped here for Parts 71-72 and 73-74. It made more sense to start Book 4 with Clarke’s sister, effectively a time travel themed episode, versus the violin story, which was school centred. The other thing I decided to do starting in Book 4 was give each partial part it’s own title.

My reasoning for all the unique titles was that I wasn’t sure about inserting new episodes. My initial Book 4 writing back in the 2000s was jagged, and spanned years… so I thought I might need to include “half parts” between old episodes, to deal with narrative gaps. As it turned out, that never really happened, but I decided to keep the separate titles anyway. This is also why I shifted to two-parters for the second part of Book 3, as I knew I’d be doing it when we got to this point.

2_frankluci

Old sketch of Frank & Luci

Part 75 was the first completely new part – and to some extent, became the ONLY new part in the whole Book. Other “new” parts (upcoming) are better described as additions within existing parts, or even complete rewrites of the old material. Whereas dealing with the Chartreuse-Carrie romance came in outside the old framework. I felt there was a LOT to cover, not the least of which was how Carrie felt about everything. All of which I opted to write from Chartreuse’s perspective.

I didn’t want two entries (75a/75b) of only Chartreuse though, so there was the Frank-Luci scene to get some better closure on their relationship (while foreshadowing something that originally had no foreshadowing) as well as the Clarke-Tim scene which let me call back to Julie’s November birthday (while showing what Julie had decided after seeing Mary, instead of merely telling later on).

This worked out fine from an in-story perspective too. After writing the part with Mary Clarke (late 2004) I actually didn’t resume the writing for almost a year (late 2005), and hence I dropped in a short time skip. Part 75 now fills that void of a week or two, while trying to recover the dropped ball of Chartreuse’s feelings. Something that we will see more of later too.

Unrelated to the narrative, we have new pictures in this post for Book 4 Commentary! They’re not commissions, but old sketches I drew – of uncertain origin. Because I don’t remember when I drew them; I stumbled on them some weeks back in an old binder. They must have been after 2005, for reasons I will explain in a later Commentary, yet obviously it’s before the pictures I drew when I started this site, to accompany Book 1. Are they worse than those images? Better? I don’t know?

One last thing. I’m very bad at creating last names. Frank’s last name (Dijora) I created by mashing my hands on the keyboard and rearranging vowels. Tim’s last name (Whitby) is a region just outside Toronto. Glen Oaks was literally the name of some memorial gardens I used to drive past. And Carrie? Carrie Waterson? (Water’s-on?) Her last name was a riff on Carrie Fisher. (Fish/Water.) With the actress’s passing last week, this feels like a time to mention that.

SPOILER SECTION

XoversCSpoilers for the past are unavoidable, Book 4 pulls in all the plot lines.

The main dangling plot from the prior book was Julie, and why she was pulling away. That’s resolved fairly quickly – she’s rebuilding the time machine, in secret, supposedly due to a message from the future. Of course, she might not have told Mary if she’d known about Carrie’s deal with Clarke, involving Glen, but that’s what happens when people don’t talk to each other.

Also trailing in from Book 3 was the Frank-Luci situation. They do split up. I’m curious as to how you feel about that; I can say there’s a couple of reasons why I did it. Granted, I’m hesitant to mention the one that connects to time travel (you’ll see it narratively later), but I also wasn’t sure where else to take that pairing – and the large gaps in my writing at the time didn’t help for continuity. Plus, with Julie and Clarke as my on/off couple, I didn’t want to make Frank-Luci equally wishy-washy.

Relationship-wise, Chartreuse’s feelings for Carrie also trail in from Book 3. We saw that Carrie, while conflicted about it, brings Chartreuse back into her confidence. That’s actually new from the edits. I realized with the new Timelines 1-4, covered in Book 3, that I needed a sounding board for Carrie who was not Glen. Particularly with Mary not staying in the picture. Chartreuse was the natural choice. Carrie has now told two people about Frank’s death.

Plot-wise, outside of time travel, we see a bit of Corry and Megan and the school situation. It’s not going to be a major component like it was in the first couple books, but it is still there, as a thread that needs to be addressed. Plot-wise, more temporally relevant, I dropped that hint about Mindylenopia. She is coming back, and she won’t be the only incidental character who returns from prior Books. (After all, we saw Azure and Mary too.)

Laurie, Tim, Glen and Lee start Book 4 primarily in the background. Even Carrie is kind of in the background, curiously enough. They will get their chance later. I hope you stick around for it. Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis. There were 54 votes in 2016; we waffle between 3 and 4 votes weekly, depending on whether I remember to vote for myself.

A final bonus, here’s what was in the original 2004 “outline” file before I started writing what became the start of Book 4. The “BREAK” denotes the commercial break, where parts split:
-TEASER: Clarke tells Mary about the time machine.
-Frank explains to Clarke how there is no time machine to show as proof any more.
-Clarke speaks with Laurie about convincing Julie to talk to Mary.
-Luci speaks with Mary about her surfacing memories of Linford and childhood abuse.
-Corry speaks with Julie about talking to Mary.
-After BREAK: Carrie speaks with Mary about the death of Frank.
-Julie speaks with Mary about how she’s putting the time machine back together.
-Glen uses his mind powers to alter Mary’s perception of events, but not before getting her to tell him everything the others spoke to her about.

Parts 71/72 were originally “Shrink Rap”, which became the title of 71a. Parts 73/74 were originally “Four Part Harmony”, the title of 73a. Part 75 was brand new.

Coming This Tuesday: Tim ends up with a larger role.

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5 comments

  1. Eek! Looks like I’m up to date. I’m done archive bingeing and have to wait for the next instalment.

    Also, if you were referring to me when you mentioned “Maz” from TWF, it should be Mez.

    Like

    1. I was wondering if you’d catch up just before, or just after, today’s entry. (Tuesdays are cued for 7am EST, Fridays for 3pm EST. Not sure I’ve ever mentioned that.) You’re actually the first person to binge through, commenting as you go, and remark that way on being caught up… in fact, you’re now in the top 3 for commenters (not including me). Thanks for speaking up!

      Fixed. I can’t believe I did that. I’m so sorry. As a poor excuse, I normally proofread more carefully, but with events around the New Year (I went to Toronto) and the fact that I had a cold while finishing this (Commentaries aren’t prewritten like the story, they get done in the week or so prior), I obviously wasn’t as careful. That’ll teach me. >.<

      Like

      1. That’s cool. Also explains how Australia was the 3rd highest for pageviews in 2016. (US had 2,500+, Canada 900+, then Australia with nearly 400… I know since I summarized stats across all 5 of my websites on my personal blog early this week.) Sorry you’ll have to wait until Saturday morning for the next part then.

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