Commentary 10: 10 A.M. Automatic

Our hero pays a visit to his sister for a progress report, and ends up in a place that was as surprising to the author as it was to the character. Read on…

  • Observational blinks alternate between being up high, down low, or (almost) just right to keep things interesting. I tried to fit in a lyrical reference to the Pavement song Elevate Me Later when talking about his proximity to the high ceilings, but couldn’t find a way without forcing it.
  • Intent of the timer/oven is to hint at a suicide method, while the ensuing argument with Nelson points more towards a murder. Both are red herrings, but the manner of death is intentionally danced around in the early chapters based on Nate Pepper’s astute suggestion to play it like a mystery.
  • The first scene at the hospital happened completely by accident. It wasn’t a part of my outline or notes at all, but while I was writing the story took on a life of its own and that’s where the narrator ended up. The scene was way too good to cut, so I found a way to pull him out of it quickly and get back on track. Subconsciously I probably knew we’d return to the hospital at some point.
  • We finally learn the sister’s manner of death from the narrator’s committed counterpart right around the 1/3 point of the book.
  • I love how well the Pearl Jam lyric flows with the story and is nearly undetectable unless you really look for it.
  • I just found a minor typo in this chapter, which will be fixed in the online edition momentarily… 🙁
  • The unread objection was the real end to the narrator’s writing career, not the old “lost the passion” excuse he gave previously. He feels that his inability to object was the final cause of what eventually played out, and his guilt rendered his pen impotent.
  • April 12th has a dual significance: It’s the real date of the Metallica/Napster lawsuit, but also the birthday of 311 singer Nick Hexum. My high school friends and I used to have an unhealthy 311 obsession and would follow them around the greater New England area during the early Grassroots tours. Whack!
  • There are 40 known musical references in this chapter.

Read Chapter Ten Online

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