2020 Hindsight Commentary: No, For The 13th Time & Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods

I’m revisiting Timely Persuasion 12 years after releasing it / 17 years after writing it / 6000+ days since I jokingly told Jon Mack “maybe I’ll write a book…” with a new round of fresh eyed commentary. Today’s look at yesterday’s chapters is brought to you by The Wonder Stuff and Beck.

No, For The 13th Time

My (completely unrelated) work in progress novel starts a chapter with the same exact “Seeing the maid of honor reminded me of the Hearts tournament” sentence as this one. Originally it was an early draft lark for a laugh, but my unreasonable side wants to keep it.

By the established rules, he should have accidentally blinked to the hearts tournament upon seeing the maid of honor.

The change of pace to have only his head above the floor is a more clever scenario than I remembered, though I wish it went further than a one-off inappropriate upskirt crack. (At least my past self had the decency to dress the players so it was only a passing thought.)

I vaguely recall doing this to avoid/discourage another “tell yourself you’re from the future” redux. It’s effective in that regard. And I still buy the floor of a busy party is a great place to hide in plain sight. People rarely look down! (I’ve worn mismatched socks for nearly 30 years and very few people notice until someone in the know points it out.)

Changing the Violent Femmes line for grammar misses the point of musical Tourette’s.

Today I could pretty much rewrite the party arrival paragraph by fully quoting “Why Do These Parties Always End the Same Way?” by Benji Hughes.

You aren’t going to sneak hiding or re-playing the queen of spades past anyone while during a game of Hearts, but somehow Nelson didn’t get busted.

It’s a little too subtle here (which might mean I did it right), but the version of the narrator scribbling on the chalkboard is another instance of his older self head hopping in to take control.

Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods

Having a line like ”My father and myself were closest to me…” make logical sense still makes me proud.

Though not incorrect to refer to the multiverse here (the narrator is writing this down after the fact), it’s not the best place for the first reference to it.

I wish I flashed back to the comment about the in-laws vs the way younger author me handled it here.

That “stain on my shirt” bit is one of the more subtle lyrical allusions. I love it, but understand not everyone will connect the dots even if they know the song it comes from.

The section breaks come at odd places here. Younger me must’ve thought it was too short as 3 separate chapters.

Convincing the father to take the bet is too conveniently easy, and weaponizing the younger dad’s womanizing hasn’t really aged well. (The intent was to trigger the time travel reproduction dominoes while also juxtaposing the two versions of the father in a nod to BTTF. It’s innocent enough and in line with the period, but still interesting to think about how I’d handle it today.)

There should have been more to the dad being unemployed vs criticizing his son for wanting the same.

The part where the narrator justifies his crazy, potentially paradox inducing plan is a solid section. (At least until that AWAB part. Ugh…)

Check out the original 2008 commentary for these chapters:

No, For the 13th Time  |  Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods

 

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