coa//004 has a big ‘ol convoy

16 09 2012

When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like that: “Have ya paid your dues, Jack?” “Yessir, the check is in the mail.”

(Winner of longest nonsequitor linking quote of all time, right there.)

Okay, so this update carries with it a LOT of tweaks and some new scenes.

I’ve been worried this chapter is inconsistent in tone and theme. I had some narrative gimmicks which I dropped later, Cass’s voice wasn’t completely consistent, etc. I’ve done an editing pass to tweak word choice here and there. There’s a changelog at the top of the page which links you to specific critically important changes.

Oh, and new scenes.

This story’s been a bit rough to develop because it changed drastically in the middle of writing it. Originally it was just “Hipster taxi driver with odd dreams has to switch to country trucking and experiences culture clash.” Which was boring, so I added in an uberplot supporting subplot with teddy bears. But I can’t dump the culture clash angle because it’s also thematic, and… agh. It’s a bit of a mess. Hopefully I’m overstating the mess. I’ve never been a good evaluator of my own work, after all.

Your feedback is welcome. We’re nearing the end — Cass has a delivery run to make and then there’s a bit of a crisis, and some revelations. Hang on tight, folks.

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5 responses

17 09 2012
Jen

“Mouse army” heheh, very Stephensonian.

I like how Cass’s reaction to the bear scenario lampshades the oddity of it all, even as Scarlett smooths it over. And hey, the kids seem happy, soooo…

Greasy trucker stop? Ooh, maybe she’ll swing by the notorious Melba’s… and there it is! So I take it it’s actually adjoining this parking lot. Nice. “owner of a vagina” XD Poor Cass… and oh Melba, I like you.

“There was no conceivable way in which that would be unpleasant or strange.” — …

Typo brigade: exisence, widower (should be widow since she’s female), tounge, busses, forclosures +e,

17 09 2012
Lirazel

I, too, really like this. I particularly like the changes. All the characters are more fully realized, and the “writerly” touches are great. The old lady’s giggle made me grin.

One question — how come Cass and Fi are clued in to “what could possibly go wrong,” and seemingly oblivious to “weird old lady, too-smiley children, and Creepy Dolls”?

17 09 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Cass is aware of how weird the sitch with Scarlett is — hence “I think she’s a mutant telepath or something.” And Fi did admit it sounded wild and like good novel fodder.

But fortunately, the dolls are ordinary looking teddy bears rather than creepy dolls with a ruined eye that’s always open etc. That makes them SEEM to be normal enough. Quite wrong, but.

HINT: Where have we seen teddy bears before in City of Angles?

17 09 2012
Lirazel

Penny has one. Takes it with her into the Sideways, too. :)

17 09 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

*ding*

And the story behind that bear will be told in… hmm… probably two weeks.

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