What I Would Have Done Differently

Question: Why does Kathrine spell her name without an “E” in the middle?
Answer: Because she is from the future and in the future the name “Katherine” will be spelled that way.

As I am working on season 10, I am thinking about the structure and continuity of the two stories, “Story 8” and “The History of Twin Bayous” (THOTB), that were merged in episodes in seasons 8 and season 9. Here are a few of the things came to mind.

First, if one is so inclined as to read “Story 8” and wants to know where it branches into THOTB. There are two places where that happens.

Story 8 Part 4 Episode 7 merges into THOTB Season 8 Episode 17 and this is where Mihai leaves Universe-4, having previously come from Dimension-A, and enters the dimension known as Dimension-D.

Story 8 Part 4 Episode 9 merges into THOTB Season 9 Episode 9 and this is where Kathrine leaves Universe-4, having also previously come from Dimension-A, and enters the dimension known as Dimension-D a full twelve years after Mihai left Universe-4. Although to Kathrine, less than a day has passed.

Question: Why does Kathrine spell her name without an “E” in the middle?
Answer: Because she is from the future and in the future the name “Katherine” will be spelled that way.

I was recently listening to a lecture on creative writing and when I heard the lecturer say “the result is that your plot can seem contrived and your characters can seem more like puppets than real people.”

When I heard that I sat up and thought that “I could blame that on the Sims”, but in reality, I take the blame for all of this.

And this made me think about what I would have done differently if I were so inclined to go and rewrite or restructure any part of the two stories without changing the basics of the story.

First off with “Story 8”, I do not think I would change the structure of the story except that as I have said before regarding part 1 of “Story 8”: If I had planned things a little better there would have been about half that number of episodes or it would have been split into two parts (1 through 23 and 24 through 44).

I have a different view of THOTB and it is one that would not have been possible for me to achieve given the way in which I construct these stories.

The History of Twin Bayous is the name of this series and it is also the name of a history book that appears in various editions throughout this series and in the other series titled “Story 8”. I lost count of the number of different editions that I have told the reader that they were and also I do not believe I have ever said who wrote the history except for a minor part that is supposedly written by Mihail LeFey.

The question of who wrote the History of Twin Bayous that is told in the third person POV for the first six seasons is something that I considered when I asked myself if there was anything that I might have done differently if had the chance to do so. There are two things that I have thought of doing, restructure the beginning and then completely rewrite season 7 – that is to say to actually write episode 7, instead of a series Let’s Play! videos.

And then I thought not. I will not change things, but I do want to share with the reader what my idea was. Had I written THOTB in a conventional manner, here is what I would have done:

When I look back at the beginning of THOTB, it is fairly obvious that the first two parts, season 0 and season 1, with 5 and 6 episode respectively, are not really seasons at all. Together they constitute a very sparsely written prolog that describes the physical layout of Twin Bayous and then introduces the core families.

The narrative actually begins with season 2 and if I were to restructure it I would combine seasons 0, 1, and 2 and then split it into newly structured seasons 1 and 2. I would rewrite the first part and pick a person in the town to be the narrator. It would be a minor character and the person that I have chosen is Tam Clemens, son of Mark and Julia Clemens.

The story would begin in the year 1909 (Anno Simulacrum) and it would open with Tam describing an incident that changed his life and caused him a great deal of embarrassment.

The story would start with the incident described in second half of episode 21 in season 2. This is where Mark Clemens suddenly jumps up one lazy Saturday morning and proclaims, “That woman put a spell on me.” His son Tam, who is busy playing video games, has no idea what his father is talking about as his dad drags him out of the house and because Mark has been drinking, makes Tam drive him to the sports bar in town where illegal gambling occurs in the attic of the building.

Mark had met with a witch named Morgan LeFey the previous day and he believes that she had cast a good luck charm on him. He and Tam gamble and continue to drink until Tam loses his money at which point Mark decides to quit while he is ahead instead of loaning his son money. Tam recalls how his father taught how to cheat at cards and he hopes that his father is not cheating. They go downstairs and continue drinking. One of the people in the bar is a young woman who is a little older than Tam. Her name is Veronica Ringwald, but she is known to her friends as “Ronnie”.

His father mistakes the girl for the girl’s mother, Celia Ringwald, whom with he has a past and he flirts with the daughter. Ronnie is having fun and she flirts back. Then when her favorite song comes on she says she feels like dancing and Mark dances with her.

Tam is a bit jealous and he reveals to the reader that he has had a crush on this woman for a long time, but she is now married and has a kid.

At closing time, everyone goes outside and while they are waiting for a cab. Mark makes a move on Ronnie and tries to put his arm around her. She freaks out, embarrassing both Mark and Tam. Tam tells the reader that his father may be an embarrassment and people may look down on his family, but the rest of town’s people are no better. He eludes to an incident involving his niece and Anton LeFey, but he feels that he needs to tell the reader everything there is to know about this town before he can tell the story about his niece and Mr. LeFey.

He then proceeds to tell the “History of Twin Bayous” starting with a brief tour of the town (0.1 to 0.6), Introduces the families (1.1 to 1.5) and then tells the events relayed in episodes 2.1 through 2.15 up to the point where Tam’s teenage niece Jacqueline is being pursued by a vampire named Anton LeFey. When Tam gets to the part about his niece and Anton LeFey he cannot go and he says that someday someone ought to write a History of Twin Bayous.

Then comes season 2. It is now someday and Tam is a well-known journalist, historian, and writer. He comes across the journal that he wrote in 1909. It is 65 years later and in the early 1970’s. Tam, now 84 years old, has no problem telling in a straight forward and objective manner the events that occurred in episodes 6 through 32 of seasons 2.

He reminds the reader about the incident where his drunken father put the moves of Ronnie Ringwald and in comparison, he says that was bad but that it was nowhere near as bad as what Anton LeFey did to his niece Jacqueline. He then proceeds to tell the story of Anton LeFey.

Season three is short because I did not know what to with the three years between episode 17 and 18. The whole jelly fish war idea was silly and in hindsight, I should have had an actual war over something like fishing rights. Maybe a “war between the States”, specifically two states, Louiesimania and Missiimmssippi. One state is claiming fishing rights in an area that has been historically in dispute between the two states. Between episodes 17 and 18, I should have had six episodes (two 3-episode story arcs) that deal with the lives of other people in the town and how is the war affecting their lives.

I would leave seasons 4, 5 and 6 as they are. Tam Clemens, the author of the History of Twin Bayous would have died sometime between 6 and 7, at which point the private-eye, Dobbs James Dobbs would take up the narration in seasons 7 and 8. I would do a complete (re)write of season 7, having Dobbs James Dobbs tell the entire season in a flashback as he is crossing the ocean on his way back to Twin Bayous from where he has left Jamie in France.

I would leave seasons 8 and 9 intact.

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