TTC

TTC: Commentary 22

“Time & Tied” PARTS 67-68
1. Original Date Of Completion: NOVEMBER 24, 2003
2. What I Was Doing: In Ottawa, looking for a teaching job
3. Changes of note:
-Removed an allusion to nudity that felt wrong (given the in-narrative author)

“Time & Tied” PARTS 69-70
1. Original Date Of Completion: JULY 30, 2004
2. What I Was Doing: In Ottawa, after an EOT, looking for a teaching job
3. Changes of note:
-Altered an element of Luci’s backstory (see below)
-Different “split” (commercial break) location for balance with:
-Added Carrie’s mental conversations with herself (“Elizabeth”)
-Added references to various timelines at the end

an_frank

FRANK DIJORA
Commission from krakenface

BAD NEWS FIRST

Stats! For anyone who feels like their website views are horrible, lets see if mine are worse. “Time & Tied” started in April 2015. Here we are *20 MONTHS* later. We just finished T&T Book 3. There’s some fun parallels.

Right before starting T&T, I wrote an “April Fools Swap” entry for Jim Z’s “Legion of Nothing” site. April 2015 saw a surge of views from about 100 per month (for Epsilon) up to 300 per month (for T&T). Except by the end of Book 1 (in Sept 2015) I was at my WORST month EVER – only 91 views. (That’s page views, not viewers.)

Right after starting T&T Book 3, I wrote a “Guest Post” entry for Jim Z’s “Legion of Nothing” site. July 2016 saw a surge of views from about 300 per month (for Epsilon) up to 900 in a month. And now, at the end of Book 3 (in Nov 2016) we are at UNDER 200* page views for the month.

Yet it’s even worse. Not only has the site again plummeted to being less hyped during the climax of an arc than the beginning, Book 3 started running *twice-weekly* postings in September. (Including a “Previously” to help occasional readers.) So I have LESS hits on DOUBLE the posts! In fact, when Book 1 ended there were only 85 posts garnering those 91 views in a month. Now there are 176 posts garnering 190* views this month (projected). [*Final total: 220 views.]

Here’s how stats have looked on a weekly basis; the week before Sept 12 was when I shifted to TWO posts per week (can you tell??):

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-11-38-26-pm

Isn’t that worse? I feel like that’s worse. Hell, “Shattered Part 2” (from four weeks ago) has ONLY FOUR VIEWS. Only three days out of the last thirty have over 10 page views (across 170+ posts) and only one of those days is over 15. All this despite getting a 3rd T&T WFG review from ChrysKelly in August (and a shoutout in his serial last month!), which was actually quite good. (Bright spot! Also the blog now has 10 followers. Woo!)

Conclusion: Is the “Time & Tied” story THAT boring? Or that inaccessible? Will no one else tell their friends? I know, I know, I waffle back and forth on making peace with my stats (I’m great but I can’t market) and throwing up posts like this (I fail as a writer). I’m not sure where I am now, but hopefully YOU feel better about yourself. Moving on to story analysis.

JUMBLED ORDER

You might recall that Parts 65-66 were originally completed in April 2004. So the entire “Woodlands” section was written BEFORE those parts (Clarke’s trip around to visit everyone, in the prior commentary). In fact, “Woodlands” came right off Mr. Waterson spotting Mindy’s letter. I changed that here because it’s less like a speed bump now, allowing the prior parts to “arc” together by placing the Mindy fallout after her event, without interruption. Now, “Woodlands” arcs towards the Book’s final climax and denouement instead.

ttani

Old animals sketch circa 2003

I didn’t remove it entirely, because I thought we needed the mental break before the literal Luci/Frank mental “break”. It also foreshadows Glen’s actions (admittedly right before them, with no Clarke in between). Plus, hey, I wrote it, so why not. “Woodlands” itself was an attempt to recapture the “lightning in a bottle” that was Chartreuse’s story earlier in this Book about Tope Diamond. To that end, I think it fails? But does it still work as a comedy piece? … I hope so? (Does anything work on this site?)

There’s another jumbled order coming up – the start of Book 4 will be better served by swapping the order of the next two episodes, one acting as a better recap of this book’s events. Those will mark the last set of entires completed in 2004. Yes, *four years* of on-and-off writing, and the T&T storyline was getting away from me. I’d started it in University, then completed a year of private school teaching, a year of getting a formal Education degree at Queens, and a year of looking for high school work in Ottawa (and scoring a semester Feb-June 2004).

Speaking of teaching… yeeeah… as originally written? Luci was abused by a teacher, not a next door neighbour. (The “backstory element” I mention above.) Yikes. When I went back and looked at that on later edits, I had a serious WTF moment. I was not only disparaging my own profession, I was possibly making people wonder about me. (Hopefully NOT, I’m also not a misogynist like Julie’s father, but still, I imagine some cannot separate a writer from their works.) Changed at the first opportunity, and that’s the last I’ll say about it.

Something NOT changed was a sneaky hard date in the Woodlands story: Security Breach 08/22/88. That was the date of Carrie’s mother’s disappearance. And thus the date of the second time travel trip (Frank’s first). I didn’t see any other way to make reference to that in Hank’s story, so I simply left the cryptic numbers there… only if you’re reading this now, will you know it’s a reminder that no, I have not forgotten about Elaine Waterson. Hey, if that’s not incentive for Book 4, I don’t know what else is.

Book 3 is now DONE, as is Timeline 3, in a sense. The picture you see above is a sketch I made during the “Woodlands” writing. Laugh at my inability to draw. Let’s now get more into the rest, with spoilers for Books 1-3 only (not the one that’s incoming).

SPOILER SECTION

XoversCSpoilers for the past are unavoidable, I’m putting a bow on things.

Did we have character arcs this time? Carrie was, of course, coming to terms with her temporal abilities – first through interactions with Chartreuse, then everyone, then Glen, and finally on her own. Hence how I labelled the arcs. I’m not sure how much she grew as a character; in some sense, she’s regressed, closing everyone out again. I hope her motivations make sense. Did you see any growth?

Frank’s arc went from being unsure how to behave in a relationship with Luci to literally giving up his life for her. Luci’s ran in parallel, as she tried to figure out her own emotional well being, while coming to terms with how demons from her past were a hidden influence on her present. Julie’s arc was largely building her back up to the force she’d been in Book 1, following her psychological crash in Book 2. Clarke didn’t really have an arc; one could argue he needs to find himself, he’s so tied to Julie – and now she’s cut him off.

Secondary characters? Well, Chartreuse’s arc was tied to her increased romantic feelings about Carrie. It was cut off by Carrie (but will keep arcing forwards). Corry’s arc involved his hubris and overconfidence, and now that Megan’s in charge, he may need to admit he can’t handle everything he thinks he can. Laurie and Tim didn’t have much of an arc (they’ll get more later). We saw more of Lee’s family, but again not much to him. Glen hasn’t really grown as a character either, he’s largely tied to plot.

Hey, plot! Hello! Hopefully timelines make sense.

We got our first explanation of Timelines 1-4, and that WILL be helpful knowledge in Book 4 (don’t worry, no memorizing, it will be in context). They’re actually something that came out of the re-edits more than the original writing. We also got expansion on the “Future War” that Shady discussed back in Book 2. Glen (Glinephanis) and Mindy (Mindylenopia) are Temporals, in a conflict with the Mundanes. Carrie remains at the heart of it – she is tied to time.

Related, Temporals have the power to (temporarily) control people’s minds, the way Shady did. (Except Lee’s immune!) The time machine has now been destroyed, but Carrie has demonstrated an ability to time travel without it. Again related, Glen indicated that Carrie has the power to bring others along on the time trips she takes. (Alas, not Chartreuse?) There is a “temporal gun” that Linquist apparently invented for shutting down someone like Carrie.

Plot loose ends? I don’t think there are many, in that a reader potentially has enough information to extrapolate the situation however they like. Does Carrie succeed? Do the relationships come together? Does Linquist return? Well, hey, what do you want to happen? I feel like Julie and that note is the only element really dangling out there as “the author’s up to something”. (Am I wrong?)

With that said, there IS a lot we’ll be revisiting in Book 4: Julie’s note. Mindylenopia’s location. Carrie-Chartreuse as a relationship. Megan running the high school. Linquist’s language. Even Carrie’s mother, from way back in Book 1. ALL of which can be read about without prior knowledge, so PLEASE encourage some other readers to join in, maybe??

Do you think I missed anything in my analysis? Was there something you particularly enjoyed, or hated, about Book 3? Are you EXCITED for what’s to come? (Are you out there?)

Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis. I consistently seem to be hovering at 2 or 3 votes, so thanks for that.

Parts 67/68 were originally “Woodlands Detour” so, uh, “Woodlands Omen”, sure. It was a stand-alone effort, I felt like I needed a similar title. Parts 69/70 were originally “Do You Mind?” so the new title was the topical “Timeline Four”.

Coming This Tuesday: BOOK 4 Begins. Note to self, post the index tomorrow.

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TTC: Commentary 21

“Time & Tied” PARTS 63-64
1. Original Date Of Completion: OCTOBER 16, 2003
2. What I Was Doing: In Ottawa, looking for a teaching job
3. Changes of note:
-Tried to fix constantly changing Point-Of-View perspective

“Time & Tied” PARTS 65-66
1. Original Date Of Completion: APRIL 9, 2004
2. What I Was Doing: EOT position, teaching computers at SWL
3. Changes of note:
-Venitis were originally leaving for March Break, adjusted to family outing
-Fixed conclusion, Carrie had reverted back to being really bitchy

cb_clarke

PHIL CLARKE
Commission, from Storm Cup Creations

TEXT FILE TRACKING

At this point in the writing, I needed to track a number of temporal events. I’ll save specifics for Spoilers (below), but will speak here of a file labelled “TimelineA”, last accessed November 19, 2003 (so before starting Part 65). It’s the first such splinter file; files updated later (and possibly in later commentaries) would end up with the names “Timeline” and “TimelineUsed”.

As I’ve mentioned, the original T&T writing used hard dates, so the file begins with 1955 (the visit to Beth) and runs through to “Mid 2013” (when Glen was sent back), the majority of the story taking place in 2001. So, yeah, we’ve passed that year. Silly hard dates.

Also, 2013 raises questions of Glen’s age… let’s just say early drafts had more to do with “aliens” and less with the final product you get here. I’m not saying aliens WON’T factor in, but if and when they do, it won’t be as initially envisioned. (One rough plan was to have a time trip land on a space ship.)

The other text file updated at around this same time was “TimeCha”, my Character file. I last referenced this file set way back in Commentary #8, when TimeCha3 first included character birthdays. This file, TimeCha4, last accessed Dec 4, 2003, incorporated a lot of plot elements to this point from “Season 1” (S1) aka Books 1 and 2. For instance, the date of Julie’s first encounter with Phil, reference to Luci’s missing day, the age of the Venitis were when they left Miami, that sort of thing. Carrie’s powers are also itemized in this file for the first time. And Chartreuse? She got promoted.

CHARACTER UPDATES

The original character file was kept roughly in order of importance/volume of content. File 3’s order listed: Carrie, Frank, Julie, Clarke, Luci, Laurie, Corry, Lee, Chartreuse, Tim. The new File 4 put Chartreuse after Luci, as a LOT had been developed about the Vermilions through her story near the start of Book 3 here. Azure and her cards were also included as a sub-point.

Then there’s the fact that Glen Oaks also got an entry at the bottom, including his cover story, and there was a section added for “Minor Reoccurring Characters”. That last section included Linquist, Beth Parker, Theresa the waitress, and the teachers to date (Fisk, Willis, etc). Amusingly one remark in Glen’s section is that he “may or may not remember his mission (trigger word?)”. In these rewrites, he remembers.

Not much else to discuss before spoilers; for now, I’ve made peace with my stats. October looks much like September did, with a notable difference – there were actually two different people commenting on a T&T post *in the days following publication*. (The discussion of banishment with Part 62.) That was a first, and it DID lead to changes, with Glen giving more information to resolve those questions in the subsequent part. Plus me realizing I may need some timeline clarifications.

That sort of pushback is how I’d always envisioned this. Yay! Two years in, and things are sporadically working as anticipated. Even if the month as a whole is down by almost 100 views (441 in Sept to somewhere around 360 this month, if I’m lucky), while daily tallies very rarely manage to claw their way above 15 hits. On a site with 165 published posts. [EDIT: October saw 345, I was massively optimistic with 360.]

Okay, I’m not looking at stats again for a while. Oh, and I don’t know why Phil has glasses in the commission; artist’s prerogative? Either way, nice background there.

SPOILER SECTION

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

Here’s the thing. Even though a lot of the stuff in the old “Timeline” file doesn’t factor into what happens any more – I still don’t think I can talk much about it. Because TELLING you that ‘such-and-such’ won’t be a thing might squash some reader theories who think it COULD be. (Not that many of you are theorizing out loud, but still.) I mean, maybe aliens were really high up in your theories, and after what I said above, they’re lower?

I *will* say that the Timeline Entry for “Mid 2002”, which read “Glen gets Carrie’s friends to start the war against the aliens”… would turn out to not be a thing. There was enough causality floating around already, and ultimately I wanted most of the paradoxes to be centred on Carrie. Also, the original writing got even more sporadic going forwards, and that would have been even more to keep track of.

Somewhat related, any thoughts on the future war? Glen was pretty blasé about it in his talking to Clarke. And we only have his word on things, now that Mindy’s gone. Ah, and we saw Mindylenopia make her grand entrance and exit! Was she right, in the note she left for Carrie? You actually won’t have to wait too long for resolution there… we’re really close to finishing Book 3 now. As far as the Temporal/Mundane front goes, please stick around for Book 4. (Which I basically finished edits for today, yaaaay!)

Sidebar, the only people who actually got a decent look at Mindy in the present were: Carrie, Julie, Corry, Laurie, and Hank (yes, she was the “plainclothes officer”, that’s when she left the note). In faded light, add Lee, Frank, and perhaps Luci and Clarke. Not Glen himself. Isn’t that interesting? Well, maybe not.

Now, let’s tackle character. After the temporal action came together, I used Clarke as the vehicle there – much like I did in Book 1. (Does it work?) He’s a bit of an “every man”, in how he gets drawn into events. Where he’s savvy enough to say the right things, but not predict all the consequences in advance. And after he’s seen everyone, I dealt the death blow — Julie’s on her own again. Was the “farewell kiss” too mean? Frank and Luci are also on the rocks. Everything’s fragmenting (“shattered”) due to Mindy!

Guess what? It can (and will!) get worse, as I aim to conclude the book “Destruction” by having it live up to it’s name. But first, in the coming weeks, something more lighthearted… an episode that was actually written BEFORE the Clarke piece. I switched the order, so that the arcs work better, and because the tonal shift is a bit jarring in retrospect. You’ll see.

Final sidebars: Did you like the return of Clarke’s sister? She did feature in his flashbacks, way back in Book 1 (parts 11 & 12). I mentioned that in my remarks at the bottom of posts, but I don’t know if people care about those. Do you have any theories about what Julie was talking about last part? Apparently something to do with Glen, and a letter, but is it temporal? And do you see Linquist and his gun figuring back into things at all?

Parts 63/64 were originally “The Conspiracy Unfolds Part 2”. In my 2014 edits, I called the chapter “Banishment”, hence the lead-up “Blame Game” was new. Parts 65/66 were originally “Making the Rounds” so “Shattered” was the new title. Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis. I do get some referrals in from the “fantasy” subpage, where 3 votes is enough to put us on the board.

Coming This Tuesday: The bizarre chronicles of Hank Waterson.

TTC: Commentary 20

“Time & Tied” PARTS 59-60
1. Original Date Of Completion: SEPTEMBER 5, 2003
2. What I Was Doing: In Ottawa, looking for a teaching job
3. Changes of note:
-Hunt thinking to himself became talking to Melanie Willis
-Computer teacher is now Mr. Burke, another shout-out
-Added mention of Catholic religion

“Time & Tied” PARTS 61-62
1. Original Date Of Completion: SEPTEMBER 24, 2003
2. What I Was Doing: In Ottawa, looking for a teaching job
3. Changes of note:
-Carrie/Glen timeline discussion altered to increase coherency

an_juliel_bygen

JULIE LAMILLE
Commission from Gen Ishihara

CLASS SCHEDULES

I mentioned back in Commentary #8 that I’d created class schedules for my characters, following the writing of Part 18. Some months later, I photographed 2015 coins on the manual sheet for those schedules in Commentary #15. Hard to read there, so I’ve decided to provide them for you in this post. For a couple reasons.

First, to point out how Book 3 keeps the “Semester Two” schedule, importing it into “September” – I mean, why draw up a new senior year schedule? Second, because this is possibly the last time their courses are relevant to the story. Originally, it helped not merely to know where they were, but for the sort of electives they took. Fringe benefit, I then knew the classes when Mindy rammed the van into the library.

Most were in Physics. Carrie (and Laurie and Glen, identical to Carrie) were in drama. And Corry, well, you’ll see was listed in physics too, but it felt more sensible to have him meet Julie in the hall. (Maybe he was skipping class!) There’s no more focus on the school for the rest of Book 3, and when the school is revisited in Book 4, course schedules are unlikely to be a major issue. So enjoy!

JUNIOR YEAR aka SEMESTER ONE (Books 1 & 2):

NAME Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4
CARRIE ..Maths.. Home Ec PhysEd Geography
FRANK Maths French Chemistry Geography
JULIE Maths French Law Geography
CLARKE Maths Tech/Shop PhysEd Geography
LUCI Maths French Chemistry Music
CHARTREUSE Maths Home Ec PhysEd Music
CORRY Maths French Chemistry Music
LAURIE Maths Home Ec PhysEd Geography
TIM Maths French Latin Geography
LEE Maths Tech/Shop PhysEd Music

SENIOR YEAR aka SEMESTER TWO (Books 3 & 4):

NAME Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4
CARRIE .English. History Art Drama
FRANK English CompSci Business Physics
JULIE English CompSci Business Physics
CLARKE English History Biology Physics
LUCI English CompSci Biology Drama
CHARTREUSE English History Art Physics
CORRY English History Business Physics?
LAURIE English History Art Drama
TIM English CompSci Biology Physics
LEE English History Art Physics

Extra bits: I actually had lunch staggered, because that’s how it was when I was in high school. But Tim was the only one who didn’t have it between 2 and 3, for the Latin. I also tracked some of the minor characters, like Joe and Sue in Chemistry (recall Part 7, the chemical switch), that concert band was Monday evening (for most in Music), Choir was Tuesday (never a factor), Cheerleading likely Tues/Thurs for a game on Fri (Carrie + Laurie), Track team likely mornings (or Wednesday) not really a factor either.

STATS AND COINS

It’s October 2nd, so I suppose there’s some sense in looking back at September 2016. It had 441 views on the site, with 10 new posts under the new twice-weekly format. By contrast, August had 699 views, with only 5 new posts that month. So, MORE posts now getting LESS views. (Part 59b from 09/09/16 has 7 views.) Two days in September saw more than 30 page views (highest on the 18th, admittedly with 66) and the lowest count was 1 view on Sept 12th. To remove the daily fluctuations, here’s a screen capture of the overall weeks (current to Sept 30):

onoct12016

As you can see, we’ve been on a downturn since the spike to end June (when I guest posted). Everyone who joined via “Legion of Nothing” seems caught up, and… hm, I was going to say “no one new is really checking the place out” but early this past week there was a LoN hit from someone who made it to Part 17 before stopping.

I have had also some hits in from a post in the RRL forums, where kaleidofish gave me a reference (Thanks!), but those viewers don’t seem to get past Part 1. By the way, mid-September I rewrote the first paragraph of Part 1. Doesn’t seem to have helped. I think I’ll keep the new twice-weekly format though, barring complaints?

On a slightly brighter note, I took a trip to BC in September, and I got five new 2016 coins (four quarters and a dime), proving that you don’t have to live in Ontario to get coins minted in the current year. That brings the total to 21 coins (one of those from Hamilton, and five locally in the last week), now including one of every denomination (the toonie was the last).

Library60

This really was my school.

Speaking of coins – OMG, my childhood. When I was home for the summer, I found the case for an old geometry set. It didn’t hold mathematical implements. It held the coin tallies from coins I’d picked up in the halls while in high school. Yeah, that used to be a thing I did, picking up coins and looking at dates. I’ve tried to refrain, now that I’m still in school as a teacher, to leave them for the next generation.

The record papers mostly occur at the end of the year, so I’m going to assume it started some time near the start of 1991. Here’s the tallies:

DATE Pennies Nickels Dimes Quarters American*
Dec 23/91 292 12 15 0 17
Dec 19/92 389 13 14 1** 32
Jan 2/94 260 13 7 1 18
Aug 23/94 223 9 14 4 18
Dec 29/94 381 13 25 1 21***

*: American coins were all pennies, except a nickel ending 1992 and a dime ending 1994
**: Quarter marked as being from the coin slot in the pay phone
***: 22 counting a ‘British New Penny’.

I graduated 6 months after that, in June 1995. When found, the geometry case held 14 pennies (one is American), unchronicled. I must have decided to stop after December, but couldn’t quite do it. My childhood, gentle readers! Since that time, Canada began the two dollar coin in 1996, American currency became par with the loonie in 2007 (didn’t last), and our bills became polymer starting in 2011.

One last note before we hit spoilers, the original Computer Science teacher was given a name by me mashing my palms on the keyboard and adjusting vowels. It generated “Mr. Orbison”. Instead, you got “Mr. Burke” because he writes the math comic (x, why?) and is a pretty cool guy on Twitter. (Not saying that just because he let me use his name.)

SPOILER SECTION

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

Major Plot is finally happening, thanks to Mindylenopia. The original writing didn’t have the emphasis on “Timelines”, with Glen’s idea of preserving “Timeline 3”; Future Carrie had sent Glen back more generically, due to clouded elements in her past. In retrospect, this seems a better way to explain it. My hope is the whole ‘Future Carrie in conflict with Past Carrie’ has been an element since the start of this book – and it will occur again.

The other major change in the narrative was actually Melanie Willis joining Dell Hunt in his musings about the school. As originally written, he was having a dialogue with himself, which, yeah, probably as boring as it sounds. This rewrite gives Mrs. Willis a bit more characterization, introduces Megan later in the scene (not at the start) and ideally made that part more dynamic. Musical pun somewhat unintended.

One other minor insert was due to my August work on Book 4. (I’m 20 parts ahead.) Namely religion, an element I tend to avoid (along with race, which I discussed in Commentary #4) primarily because I don’t know much about it. Yet a character convinced me to at least consider Catholicism, so okay, it’s been foreshadowed. If you were paying attention, you who know I mean. Stay tuned for Book 4.

That’s looking forwards. Looking back, other elements have been falling like dominoes – Julie is back on equal footing with Corry, we know who Glen is, what the deal is with Linquist’s logbook, Lee’s favour was called in, the time machine’s being put to use and everyone’s back in the know… hopefully the buildup was worth it. There’s been less in terms of characterization these past weeks on account of all that, but I still try, like with Carrie’s reactions to Glen. Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis. And comment, also an option (thanks John “Doc” Golden!).

Parts 59/60 were originally “Power Struggle”, so the new second title was “Under Attack”. Parts 61/62 were originally “The Conspiracy Unfolds Part 1” so “Fragmented Plans” was the addition. This means the next part would have been “The Conspiracy Unfolds Part 2” (essentially making for a four-parter), so lots of new titles next commentary. Oh, and that cliffhanger with Frank? Yeah, you’ll be waiting on that for a while. Sorry, not sorry.

Consolation prize, the original part grabbed “NEXT TIME” quotes to use after a “TO BE CONTINUED”. I present those heading out, with a side note that apparently Willowdale Park used to be called Placid Park; I had no idea I renamed it.

Coming In The Following Weeks:
[at the LaMille mansion] “What do you mean,” Luci began, “when you say that Frank is now somewhere in the FUTURE?”
[in Linquist’s old lab] “In my haste to act, I made a right mess of things,” Julie fired back at Clarke.
[in a warehouse] “You’re right,” Glen admitted. “You’re the one person we can’t risk altering directly, Carrie.”
[in Willowdale Park] Carrie spun to face Glen, placing her hands on her hips. “You REALLY think I’m ready to face Mindy?!”

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.

TTC: Commentary 18

“Time & Tied” PARTS 51-52
1. Original Date Of Completion: JULY 14, 2002
2. What I Was Doing: Summer before Teachers’ College
3. Changes of note:
-Jean Chretien changed to being a communications filter instead of BEING PM. Originally Azure commented on past politics, Chartreuse the future, and Amber the present.
-Carrie’s thoughts at the end, including taking the trip back into Part 48.

“Time & Tied” PARTS 53-54
1. Original Date Of Completion: AUGUST 24, 2002
2. What I Was Doing: Summer before Teachers’ College
3. Changes of note:
-Placeholder psychologist name Sara Bellum (Darkwing Duck ref) changed; see below
-Producing more coins was a bigger issue, because February instead of September.
-Checking for Julie’s tracks in the snow became checking security footage.

AN_Chartreuse

CHARTREUSE VERMILION
SD Commission from Neil Buday

MINOR TWEAKS

The updating of this story from “Semester Two” of Grade 11 (as written in 2002) to “Semester One” of Grade 12 (via edits in 2014 and now) progresses. Despite the time shift, no major changes have been necessary thus far, and most of the minor tweaks are a result of adding “Part 48”, where Carrie loops back to her birthday.

Part of the reason for having a commentary now is because this is the last of “Season Two” that I was able to complete in the summer of 2002 – as of September, I was in Teachers College, and had to cut back on my writing time for this story yet again. But another thing I completed that summer was a new “Opening Sequence” for “Season Two”… in fact I finished it on July 3, 2002, before the first episode itself had been finalized.

That’s below – first some quick notes about Chartreuse and Julie. I think whenever one creates characters, there’s a piece of them in the writer themselves. For Chartreuse, I feel the link to me is the weird and random thought processes. Which is not that hard to write. For Julie, it’s more the self questioning, and her becoming withdrawn.

While I don’t have first hand knowledge of Julie’s situation in terms of her family (mine is very supportive), I did go through a stage in university when I cut myself and sought psychological counselling. I’m also very hesitant about making friends. That’s what I’m drawing on for her scenes; I hope it’s realistic enough without hitting any triggers or massive implausibilities.

The name of Julie’s psychiatrist, “Doc Golden” is a shoutout to John Golden, once the only person to have commented on the 50+ individual T&T story posts thus far. (To my delight, there have been two others in the last 8 days.) I okayed it with him; he’s also been supportive with my personified math, we did a comic co-venture recently. Originally, I had a placeholder name (Sara Bellum) but I wanted to honour John here in the same way principal “Dell Hunt” comes from Scott Delahunt, my main beta reader.

I suppose the other link we could make between the characters and me is how both Chartreuse and Julie have a desire to please others, going about it in different ways. As does most of the cast, for that matter. Or so I think – feel free to correct my perceptions in the comments.

OPENING SEQUENCE NO. 2

As mentioned in the “Season One” opening (see commentary #10), the music from the Japanese visual novel “Shuffle! (appearing in 2004) works surprisingly well with what I’d envisioned – as did the VISUALS from that novel (“The innumerable possibilities are now in your hands”). Huh.

Guess what? There was a spinoff sequel, “Tick! Tack!” in 2005. Guess what? THAT audio and video works surprisingly well with this “Season Two” opening. (“The sequel, but diverged from the destiny.”) It’s like someone’s pranking me, given how I wrote these first. Here’s a link, if you want to watch it with/before reading below. Which is again a direct cut-and-paste from 2002, apologies in advance for any typos or terminology. (Realism!)

<OP2:
Fade in on a close up of Carrie Waterson’s face. Pull back to reveal she is sitting in the frozen homeroom picture from OP1, with the caption “Homeroom 3; Class of 2001”. As we pull back, we hear Carrie’s voiceover, over music:

“What if you had the power within you to control time? To see all of history laid out before your eyes… to know what’s happening anywhere in the world at this very moment… to foretell future events with alarming accuracy. Well, I have this power. But it has come with a price.”

The caption suddenly ticks over to read “Class of 2002”. The image comes to life, with Carrie jumping up and running forward. Screen pauses on a waist-up shot as the caption CARRIE WATERSON flashes across the screen. Screen unpauses, and she moves offscreen to the right, revealing a guy with short brown hair, wearing glasses, who is trailing after her while looking down at a handful of notes. He looks up as the screen pauses, caption: FRANK DIJORA.

Frank continues offscreen to the right as two more people move in behind him, heading left. They are a girl with medium length brown hair and a tall blonde male who appears fairly athletic. He is smiling down at her, her expression is somewhat distant. A pocketwatch drops down between them to split the screen as the scene pauses, caption: JULIE LAMILLE. PHIL CLARKE.

Pocketwatch rises back up and Phil guides Juile off to the left as a boy with shoulder-length red hair runs in after them from the right, shouting at them. He is followed by his fraternal sister who has identically styled hair. Pocketwatch split screen with caption: CORRY VENITI. LAURIE VENITI.

They continue out as a girl with pink hair containing colourful bows enters, also following the others. A male with short red hair comes in too, going in the opposite direction (the same direction as Carrie and Frank did). He attracts the attention
of the girl as they pass. She turns to look at him just before the pocketwatch splits the screen with caption: CHARTREUSE VERMILION. GLEN OAKS.

Chartreuse frowns slightly as both of them proceed out of the picture. Camera shot now moves in slightly to show two people still standing where the original homeroom shot was taken, one is a shorter, depressed looking boy, the other a guy who his combing his somewhat unruly hair. Pocketwatch split screen with caption: TIM WHITBY. LEE KING.

Pocketwatch withdraws and camera turns to reveal that someone has actually been holding the pocketwatch. It’s a fairly short oriental girl with dark hair brought back into two small ponytails. She half smiles as she tucks the pocketwatch away in her jeans. Screen pauses with the caption: LUCI PRIMROSE.

Luci turns and walks away as a small square appears in the middle of the screen, flashing a montage of images. The square continuously grows in size as the pictures continue,
the sequence including:
-A black box with a lever on its side, sitting in a ravine.
-Carrie propped back up against the trunk of a tree, looking up at another girl with long, blonde hair.
-A 21 year old oriental girl writing in a diary.
-Frank peering out of the bushes at Glen, who is walking down the street.
-Corry standing at a microphone during a school dance.
-An older man with a concerned look watching Carrie, who is lying on a hospital bed.
-A waitress in a cafe handing some papers over to Lee.
-Julie sitting on a couch with Phil, her head on his shoulder.
-Laurie and Carrie next to each other in cheerleading outfits, shaking pompoms.
-Luci holding a candle and reaching for a file folder.
-Tim and Chartreuse waiting in the sitting room of someone’s house.
-Frank in a basement lab, peering down into the black box with the lever.

The last picture fills the screen, it’s Carrie staring out at you with golden eyes, her hair flowing out in waves behind her. She does not look pleased. Final chord for music.
>

A number of those pictures were illustrations I drew for previous parts. There was a “commercial bumper” for this series too – you may recall the first (in season one) was Carrie and Frank on a clock. This time: “Carrie and Frank attempt to raft down a swiftly flowing river.” I never tried to draw it.

SPOILER SECTION

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

Let’s start with character. I don’t think I’ve ever matched the comedy stylings of Chartreuse’s story in my later writing. (I do try later in this very book; you can decide then if I in any way succeed.) In a sense, Chartreuse has presented the most bizarre backstory for a valley girl accent ever.

One of the things I had to be careful of was to not have any “like” or “you know” remarks in Chartreuse’s past dialogue. Did you notice the foreshadowing? The slight paradox is, if she’s telling the story, wouldn’t they be there? Well, it’s kind of through Carrie’s eyes, so if you squint, it works. And we now have an explanation for why Chartreuse speaks that way when her sister doesn’t, not to mention having that inflection in a small Canadian town. Assuming you believe the tale!

In the midst of that, Chartreuse surprised me with her bisexual nature. Theoretically, Tope could have been a guy, and while I admit I seem to have a thing for girl-girl love, that added complication between Chartreuse and Carrie felt somehow realistic. (Perhaps the interest is a fault of anime; in my personified math, ParaB and QT – the parabola and quartic – are in the same romance boat.) I don’t know if it puts a different spin on Chartreuse coming to Carrie’s aid back in Book 1. I do know it will influence things coming up.

On the Julie side of things, the main reason I made her rich way back in character design was so that there wouldn’t be a shortage of coins, what with the “date checking idea” presented in the recent part. Of course, with Julie being the antagonist (somewhat) in the first two books, I also knew that wouldn’t come into play until this point. Side bonus, it was handy having a teenager who could fund research or the like, if that was a route I wanted.

The other main character piece of late was the discussion between Frank and Luci, which I’d been somewhat foreshadowing in prior parts. No relationship is perfect, and there are some personality differences there. Recall also that neither of them are great about talking, between Luci dropping the romance bombshell only after she got aged up, and Frank’s need to wait before responding.

I’m hoping their conversation, sparked by the movie “Carrie”, worked well. (No idea if said movie was the original or the remake.) The dialogue gives me some feels, at the least, and tends to be tweaked less whenever I go back over it now. It also implies conversations between characters (like Luci and Chartreuse) outside of the main narrative, because you might have noticed, I’m doing weekly time skips. Which brings us to plot.

Yes, the time group is back together, but no, they’re not time travelling right away, and the characters will be into October before you know it. As I said in the last commentary, I go for the slow burn. The pieces are still being set up for a larger altercation – pieces including Linquist’s old lab – and all I can say is, I hope you agree that the eventual payoff will be worth it.

Coming up next, we’ll get to see a bit more of Glen, who got shunted to the side this past month, along with the trio who played much larger roles in the prior books: Lee, Tim and Laurie. Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” – and much like the former TV show starring Frank Parker, the votes expire after seven days. (Here, have a link to my 7 Days AMV.)

Parts 51/52 were originally “The Visionaries”, thus the addition of “Tope Springs Eternal”, a play on how Tope’s accent is now “eternally” with Chartreuse. Parts 53/54 were originally “The Mansion”, so “Mental Strain” was the new title to harken at both Julie and Carrie’s mental issues.

Coming This Friday: Things go awry at another School Dance.

The Silent Statistics

The last month has been a little crazy. On Sunday, June 26th, I wrote a “Time & Tied” guest post at Jim’s serial site, “Legion of Nothing”. Then on Saturday, July 9th, my third Epsilon story appeared at the top of “Web Fiction Guide”’s main page (it’s still there, towards the bottom). I’ve also had a few votes giving me pings from the “Top Web Fiction” fantasy page (feel free to vote in the above menu).

Having been curious in advance about any possible effect, I’ve been grabbing daily stats screen captures, in the name of research. At this point, we seem to be back to “normal”: less than 15 views per day here, since Monday. So here’s the month (June 25-July 24) in a nutshell.

Chapter22a

There, there. It could always be worse.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Zero comments. Nothing, nada, zero, zip. Arc 3.1 done, and nothing on the blog in the last 30 days. Unless you count the spam remark that got through, which I deleted. Maybe people need to sign up for a WordPress account, and don’t want to? Though no emails either. No idea why people are staying, or aren’t staying. All I have is my statistics captures.

Okay, there has been some external feedback, which I will get to, but if people aren’t saying anything here, what HAVE they been doing on this site? Let’s get into it.

INTERPRETING THE HITS

It looks like I might have FOUR readers who archive binged. Hello! Feel free to introduce yourselves. One person caught up on June 28th, the next on July 4th (though they may have only read Books 1&2 and not continued), the next on July 7th, and the latest on July 16th. In all cases it seemed to take only two days. June 28th is a curious one – someone might have read the entire T&T archive then, or they might have read to Part 27 even as the person who got that far on the 26th continued reading.

This brings up the question of where people are cutting OUT, and not reading any more. Someone cut out around Part 27, implying they read Book 1, peeked into Book 2, and decided this wasn’t for them. (The June 26/28 case above.) Someone who started on June 30th got as far as Part 34 a few days later, and dropped it. I can’t figure that one out, it’s not a natural stopping point, maybe the Julie family thing was a trigger?

Two people dropped the story at Part 10. One person at Part 8, another at Part 7, four people at Part 4, and everybody else gave up after 1 or 2 parts. “Everybody else” being the 77 other hits that Part 1 received since June 26th.

It’s a bit tricky to tell if anyone simply picked up at “Book 3” (Part 48) with no backstory, but “The Visionaries”, Part 51 from over a week ago, has only 9 views. So between the 4 new readers (above), the 4-5 I think I already had, and past experience, I’m going with “no”.

As far as my “Epsilon” interactive fiction is concerned, forget about it. Out of 55 views this month, only ONE person read past Part 1, and they only went to Part 4. Granted, they’re the ones coming from “WebFictionGuide”, who haven’t seen a prior sample of my writing like Jim’s group did. Before I get deep into referrals, here’s an amusing screen capture from late in the afternoon on Sat. July 9th, where you can see exactly who came from where.

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 4.08.05 PM

INTERPRETING THE REFERRALS

At noon on June 26th, when my post went live on Jim’s site, I had zero views for the prior 12 hours, and my June 2016 total was clawing its way to 200, which would have made it the second worst month of the year. Instead, June would finish with 486 views, my best month ever, and July has already pushed past 600.

Note I’m talking views there, not visitors. My June visitors was 149, thirty better than my previous record (119 in April). July is at roughly the same number right now. The surge from Jim’s site in late June was likely duplicated by the WFG entry earlier this month. The highest visitor counts were: 21 on Mon June 27, then 20 on Tue June 28, then 18 on July 10th (after I went up on WFG). All other daily visitor counts are below 15.

Jim’s site, “Legion of Nothing”, gave me 47 referrals in just the first week. The second week had 9 referrals, and by July 13th I was starting to see consecutive days with no arrivals from his site. At present, we’re looking at a total of 68 people (possibly double counting any who clicked in twice). At least two of the new readers must be from his site.

Web Fiction Guide” listings gave me a total of 57 referrals over the month, four of them “Time & Tied”, the rest “Full Scale Invasion” links (that, as said, no one continued with beyond Part 4). So nothing stuck there, nor with the 10 referrals from various “WFG” forum posts.

I also got 9 referrals from “Top Web Fiction: Fantasy” which is kind of exciting. At one point “Time & Tied” had 4 votes there (well, 3 + 1 was mine) which allowed it to be visible (near the bottom). It’s theoretically possible that the complete archive readers July 3rd and July 15th came from TWP and not Jim’s site, but I have no way of knowing.

In the “Miscellaneous” category, I got 3 referrals from Graves’ serial; I hadn’t realized L.E. Erickson had linked me, so go check that serial out. Also 1 referral from RedWood Crossing, and 1 from one of my other blogs. Then 12 from Twitter, 9 from Facebook (T&T has a page with 9 likes), 6 referrals from random Google Searches (most unknown, one was “principal tt2”), 4 from WordPress dashboards/readers, 1 from “mail” (the link is in my .sig) and 1 from “feedreader”.

Here’s a screen capture of views over the last month:

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 11.56.18 PM

“All Time” comprises almost 23 months (693 days)

INTERPRETING THE FEEDBACK

While there’s nothing “on site”, I have heard things. Like a friend at the math camp I went to last week said that if someone is subscribed in a reader (like feedly), I’ll get no notifications here at all. I also have 7 WordPress followers (wait, 8 – hello chryskelly!), two of which joined in the last 30 days (plus one in the last 24 hours). I admit I have no idea how any of that factors into anything.

Of interest, I also discovered at that math camp that Hedge had been reading my interactive fiction, and doing her own personal vote considerations, which blew me away. Also Justin Aion said that my T&T story was interesting, another a pleasant surprise. And I had a conversation with John Golden, who has been with me for a while. He’s fond of Chartreuse, like me, also likes Frank (though noted he wasn’t around as much later), and as to Carrie he’s warming up to her though didn’t like her initially. Which John feels was part of the point, and yes. I’m big on redemption arcs.

Outside of those 3 “in person” talks, ChrysKelly made a comment over on Jim’s site at my guest post. Seemingly another Chartreuse-style fan, she noted the entry was confusing until you really get that it’s a time travel story. Valid. Elsewhere, on the WFG forums in the thread “Clever/Funny Lines?” I posted an excerpt from “The Visionaries” (the Queue & Eh session), to which Walter said “That’s hilarious”. So that’s good. And Scott Delahunt (my beta) has continued to campaign for me, sharing my FB posts and RTing my updates.

That’s it. To date, of 52 entries, the only T&T posts with actual comments (not counting Commentaries like this one) are Part 21, Part 36 and Part 37, all by John Golden last year. Which makes this serial a massive failure as compared to “Full Scale Invasion” where TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE actually commented on ONE post (I know, right?!) within the first month. On the other hand, no one who started “FSI” this month actually continued with it, whereas four who started “T&T” caught up.

A good question that Sonal raised with me on my personal blog is why “feedback” on something already published in a post is of any use. Just to give a sense of that, there’s two relatively major changes I’ve made thanks to two reviews I got at WFG. The first review was by Billy Higgins Peery VERY early on, mentioning the main character was a horrible, selfish person. So, despite me already losing him, going forwards I muted some of Carrie’s edges and bumped her ‘redemption’ arc back from Part 23 (end of Book 1) into Part 21. The other review was by MaddiRose, which indirectly convinced me to put better ‘breaks’ into earlier chapters, so it’s more clear when I’m changing Point Of View.

I… don’t know what else to do. I mean, the majority of this thing is written, so it’s mostly editorial tweaks like that which are at stake, but even Mark Dittmer’s tweet from reading Part 42 stand-alone and wondering about there being a “Carrie” and a “Corry” was illuminating. Are the names too similar? ARE THEY? Or if you’ve read from the start, is it okay? Does any of it matter??

Maybe I just need to stop going to other serial sites where there are occasional comments, it’s depressing.

Chapter4a1

It’s all YOUR fault, alternate Carrie!

WRAPUP

In summary, Jim said LoN gets 2000-4000 page views and 300-600 users most days. So at best, I pulled in maybe 5% of his viewers, and maybe 5% of those I got stuck around. (5% of 5% being 0.3%, or about 2 people. It presumes the same 600 users each day, but then again maybe all 4 readers came from Jim over two days.) In the past, I’ve picked up a single reader from Maddirose’s review (my previous best day before June 27/28), and that’s about it.

I guess, all I can think is, if you have been enjoying this thing, maybe tell someone?? I suspect comments beget more comments, but that’s supposition. It’s also possible I’m being too self conscious, or have self esteem issues. I’m still KINDA planning to write a T&T Book 5 with a bunch of new characters, but maybe I should write something else instead? Time travel doesn’t seem to fly. That said, we’re stuck with it for at least the rest of this year, I’m no quitter. Plus I need to keep 9 people entertained.

Thanks for reading! Oh, I now have two 2016 dimes to go with my loonie and quarter, and hey, the fact that such an event still makes me grin means something.