coa//002 is checking out, no tip

27 07 2012

And then I was finished. Tons of new scenes, and the finale.

This was a rough one to write.

For starters, it’s a pure character piece. No supernatural scary stuff. (Well, okay, LOTS. But not “Aieee Picasso run for it.” That’s a rut I need to avoid.) It’s just people with their hopes and dreams and fears and failings and insecurities, piled on top of each other, dealing with it or failing to deal with it as the case may be. Not particularly FUN to read or write, as it’s sour even if it’s meaty and goes down well.

Also, honestly, I think I completely borked up writing Jayden’s dialogue. It’s hard to write that far outside your cultural background. Hopefully it’ll stand up enough.

This marks a major turning point for Dave, but it’s time to leave him behind… for now. We’ve got another tale coming up, one of the inner city natives, and what moves them. A certain person who just popped up in the gallery is going to be featured (which is why I asked Allison to draw her next). Get ready for it.

Also up on the docket will be some web banner ads to spread the word. You can help me there, by telling folks you know about the series; tell your friends, tell your enemies, tackle people in the street and pin them down and forcefeed them the URL if need be. Let’s get the City of Angles out there.

Meanwhile, I’d love to hear your reactions to coa//002. You can post anonymously below or use a wide variety of social internetty structures. Your call, mate.

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20 responses

28 07 2012
Lirazel

I haven’t been commenting because it seemed to me like the last few chunks were all prep-work, of a sort. But this made them into a story.

If I were going to try and “fix” Jayden, I’d have him be much more “too cool to talk to you” at the beginning, and not open up until he’s in Dave’s room. I might have him mention his aunt somewhere along the line. That would make it more likely he’d be happy to go with her. Something like, “My mother, she’s had her own life since I was five. I lived with an aunt for a while… she was good. Church lady, but not stiff with it, y’knowhamsayin? But… auto accident. Hit an’ run. My mom, she cried and fell out and everything at the funeral, like the world had ended, but really, she was just pissed she had to take me back home.”

That’s IF I were going to try and fix him.

And I like the prophetic dreams.

28 07 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Technically he does mention the aunt and her death during the story — but it’s swamped in with a Bel Air joke. I may augment a bit, I like your suggestion there.

Prophetic dreams are fun. Those were an 11th hour add to the story, mind; sort of a “I think this needs some sort of bridge” mixed with “Well, I may as well get these concepts introduced now…”

28 07 2012
Jeremy Jinkerson

Pleeeeease keep the Bel-Air joke. Also, I’m a White guy. Been white all my life. But I grew up in a black neighborhood – went to a black school school in a black town. I do think you captured the (accurate) idea that Scary Black Guys aren’t really all that scary. The part that you may have missed a little bit is that black males can’t help but be cool. It comes with the territory; they can’t turn it off. In addition to not opening up at the meeting, he might just be a little bit aloof about the whole thing.

28 07 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Yeah, but we already have Brittany for the aloof thing. I don’t see Jayden doing that… maybe back home, but now that he’s here on some level he’s very, very relieved that he can be an open sort of guy. No local rep to maintain.

29 07 2012
Lirazel

Maybe said aunt grew up in the country? My experience (years ago, in Georgia), is that there’s a bigger difference between urban and rural than most people know.

30 07 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I did this in revisions today, which I think makes him try to be standoffish until he quickly gives up — and also fits in a very telling and short line about his aunt and mother which suggests how he feels about both.

“Oh. Well… if I gotta. Name’s Jayden,” he said, despite being called by name three times already. “I’m… be honest here, may as well be given the situation I’m stuck in, I’m just some kid from Sacramento. –I’m not a kid, I mean, I’m twenty-one, got the card to prove. Raised by my aunt until she went, then back to my moms. Learned tough after that. Uh, but I’m not really lookin’ for any trouble or… lookin’ for anything. Nothin’ specific. A job, I guess. They get you a job if you sit through this thing, right?”

31 07 2012
Lirazel

Yup. That’d do it.

28 07 2012
Lirazel

And speaking of foreshadowing — “The conversation lasted maybe twenty three minutes.”

I see what you did there… :)

29 07 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Derp? Did I do something geniusy?

…I mean, yes, I did something geniusy! Ha ha! Clearly you saw the… thing I put there. But, you know, just to confirm that, what exactly did you see me foreshadowing? (I mean, *I* know. Do you?)

29 07 2012
Lirazel

All’s I’m seeing is a lot of “23s”. Or maybe just threes. Dave starts with twenty-three dollars and three keys, but they change. He talks to Penny for twenty-three minutes, and he changes. What would happen if they’d talked for just 22 minutes? There’s SOMETHING up with the threes, or the 23s…

Maybe when he shifts from a prime to a divisible number, things… change?

Or maybe not. You’re the author; I’m just one of the Observers of the Pattern, and maybe mistaken about it.

29 07 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

You know, I honestly hadn’t noticed that. I think it’s just a good easy to reach number when I need something in that range.

Sure, I’ve done arc hints based on colors, and on names, but nothing on numbers yet. Maybe I need to do that and find some reason why “23” is important… happy accidents are still happy.

29 07 2012
Lirazel

So, I saw what you did there even when you didn’t do it?

The City must be smiiiiiiling.

29 07 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Lucidity moves in mysterious ways.

30 07 2012
30 07 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Interesting. I may need to see that movie.

30 07 2012
LoopyChew

a path of self destruction
“self-destruction”

some washed up MILF
“washed-up”

30 07 2012
LoopyChew

Stupid WP. More incoming.

30 07 2012
LoopyChew

“I’m not in the mood to sugar coat this,
sugarcoat

I got no bites. Not a single one. Nobody cares.”
Reality check on aisle five!

next day, it’s a block further away,
Semicolon at the end there (“it’s a block further away;”)

Jerrymandering, my man. Jerrymandering in full tilt swing.
Gerrymandering

That means even if, like, okay, here’s a working example,
Probably works better if it’s an ellipsis after “like.” Something along the lines of, “That means even if, like… okay, here’s a working example:”

http://www.google.com just returned a big page reading “LOL FUGEE NOOB.”
Imagine him trying to access Bing.

convincing and compasionate smile.
compassionate

Department of Safety is ever-vigilant
…I think this is one case in which there isn’t hyphenation.

Given only one student was left, that was the unofficial end of the seminar. Especially since that student was holed up in his motel room, refusing to come out.
While Brittany may not be participating any more, I’d think even she’d be shaken out of her pity-party-fueled sabbatical by a suicide.

The conversation lasted maybe twenty three minutes.
twenty-three

I’m presuming this isn’t the end of Dave’s story, even if the update reads “the saga is complete.” We’ve got Bedlam (appearing to manifest as Seth Dougal) and Lucid (Lucidity? Which one is it?) as apparently malevolent forces that don’t like our mappers (and for some reason taking an interest in Dave, who apparently has minor reality-warping powers or something like it), and probably other forces in play we know nothing about as of yet.

This’ll be interesting.

As a character piece, this does a good job of focusing on Dave, but I’m curious to see if we’ll come back to Group Four in the future–Brittany, Jayden and auntie, and/or Hollister.

30 07 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

The “saga is complete” in that 002’s in the can. We will be getting back to Dave at some point; although 001 and 002 are direct continuations, City of Angles is designed around presenting standalone stories that then tie into the overall story of the city. For instance, 003 is focused on new characters in a new situation, but a few ones we’ve met already will be returning for the ride.

Brittany didn’t count because she left the motel at that point, as Hollister predicted. We may see her or Jayden in a future story.

31 07 2012
Lirazel

Don’t forget Echo and the Echo Chamber! (Sounds like a girl group!)

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