K3 Commentary: Cutting the Turtle and Writing like an Egg

Once again, I find myself running out of topics for commentary. There’s not a lot in this section I haven’t already discussed. So, I thought I’d discuss something I cut when I wrote this new draft.

In the exploratory draft (which you can read, if you support me on Patreon!) I wasn’t sure what should happen to Faith in the afterlife. To compensate, I added another character to take up narrative space: a turtle who dispensed fortune-cookie wisdom. He didn’t do anything, or mean anything, and he only appeared because I wanted to fluff up the word-count. But including the turtle did make these sections easier to write, so even though I removed him, he was an integral part of my writing process. Like a bay-leaf added to soup and removed before serving.

H4 Commentary: The Beatific Vision

H4. Dan’s Final Presentation involves several final presentations. Dan gives his final presentation in High School. Dan presents himself to Beatrice with a gift from Faith. And, Dan provokes Leo into presenting his swastika tattoo for the party-goers. It’s the longest section so far, and it will probably be the longest in the book; it was originally a whole chapter, but I decided to condense it because no one wants to spend a whole chapter about a guy with anxiety trying to go to a party.

Dan’s moments with Beatrice reflect the Beatific Vision, the direct religion revelation. In the commentary for B2 I discussed how the poet Dante Alighieri loved a woman named Beatrice but she married another man and then died young. Dante never stopped obsessing over Beatrice, and wrote her into his vision of heaven in the Paradiso. It’s said Dante once had a dream that God made Beatrice eat his flaming heart, which is fucking metal, but also wonderfully symbolic.

F3 Commentary: Power Dynamics

In F3: Ferryman the tour buys seashells from a ferryman to gain passage to the main island. Aside from alluding to the river Styx (the Greek river bordering the afterlife, for whose crossing the ferryman Charon would demand two coins), this is a chance for characters to show their position in the group’s power structure. On the ferry we see those power dynamics come to a head. Subtle power dynamics can make conversations as tense as action scenes. (Have you seen the new Spider-Man movie, Homecoming? You know what I’m talking about.)

E3 Commentary: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

In E3: In-Flight Entertainment Jay watches another episode of LuLu’s Space-Time Acceleration to avoid conversation with an obnoxious man on a plane. I know I promised to discuss Paradise Lost the next time we watched anime, but I lied. Paradise Lost comes later. For now, let’s talk about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. (Spoiler alert.)

E1 Commentary: Crafting a Culture

The common element of stories with great world-building is the interaction of the fictional setting with the themes and plot. Hogwarts changes as much as Harry, sometimes a safe haven and sometimes a war-zone. Tolkien’s linguistic efforts built the elves and dwarves we know today and sent them on a quest.

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