Commentary 9: Drivin’ On 9

Everything before this was setup and foreshadowing. In this chapter we finally kick off the mission that will be the focus of the main story.

Other tidbits:

  • I really liked the idea of placing the sister’s death on 9/11 by pure coincidence, as I’m sure there were other real life passings overshadowed by the gravity of the day. Not to take anything away from what will always be one of the darkest tragedies of American history, but the less obvious stories beneath the surface are sometimes more interesting.
  • The part about a guy demanding to be put on a plane even though all air traffic was grounded was loosely based on an actual incident that happened to a friend of mine, and the pogo stick retort was something that unfortunately went unsaid in real life.
  • “Call me Edgar Allan, ’cause I’m so Po'” was a common joke during college. As most of those jokes go, it’s both hilarious and not funny at all…
  • The Waiting for Godot reference proves that high school English can have a lasting effect. But unlike Trinity, I’ve always loved this one.
  • The name of the bar on the answering machine message changed with almost every draft as a funny little inside joke to someone, but in the final edit “no names” kicked in. So in the end it was just “the bowling alley,” which really makes the most sense in the scheme of things.
  • Another quick foreshadow of the cute little redheaded girl. If he saw her in the present, would she have the same hair color?
  • The first meeting between the narrator’s younger selves was tough to write until I decided to put one of them under the influence, thus raising the plausibility factor.
  • I liked the moral dilemma of having to ponder one life over many, but was a little worried about coming across as insensitive to the bigger event. At the time that’s why this particular conundrum wasn’t explored more, but in hindsight I wished I had dug in a little deeper.
  • There are 30 known musical references in this chapter.

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