Since hearing in the first week of February about Bryce entering the hospital and his subsequent death, I’ve completely lacked any creative urges. It’s been all I can do to keep up with my blog posts as well as I have. But earlier this week, the dam broke.
The biggest issue with the original manuscript of Masks was that it meandered. In reading through it a few weeks ago, I realized I had no idea what I was doing with it. What I mean is, that while I had an idea of the overall story, I had no conception of how to get the story I intended to write, so I was questing around, via prose, for the point of the story. Taken on its own, the original manuscript reads fairly well; it’s strong, technically speaking, and it has voice and is interesting, but it’s bloated. It’s clear, to me, in that manuscript I had little idea just what I was doing with the story.
Unfortunately, my creative mind’s hiatus began about the time I realized this, so I couldn’t do anything to fix it. In any case, I think it was too “soon” to fix things anyway; my mind would have needed time to consider how best to fix the bloating issue, come up with better ideas for plotting, and, generally, give me a much better line to follow on the whole thing.
In Masks, I have the main plot thread of them solving the murders of the Maireadi people working on the Jodalur side of the wall, and several subplots. The first, and most important subplot to this particular novel, is Eirni’s reaction to having to work with a Mairead himself; he holds certain prejudices and will be the character doing the most changing throughout the story, so I began the book in his pov and consider it mostly his story overall. There are a number of other subplots going on in this book, also, and I intend them to span one or more other books in the series: Yavaniel and Arua beginning the adoption process to form a family; setting up Eirni’s relationship with the Temple of Eolith for a couple later novels and to merge in part with another subplot when trouble strikes Yavaniel’s home life; I’ll be setting up some worldbuilding facts, such as the one regarding Kaatje-Kalamren resistance to magic for a later novel (though I’m not sure just which book I’ll need that information for; all I know is that I will need it); Eirni’s continuing close friendship/brotherhood with his very first partner, Famir, who retired from the Constabulary Force when he lost a limb. So, lots of stuff going on in this first book, and I haven’t mentioned all of the subplots and future main plot threads I’ll be establishing in this book.
Last week (not the week this Friday is in, but the week previous), ended hard. First my firstgen Nook developed issues, and I had to replace it, then, on Wednesday, my desktop computer crashed and had to be taken in for repair, which I did this past Sunday. I spent most of last Friday huddled in bed because I couldn’t deal with the stress of facing the computer problems on top of the rest of the week.
This week, I had a breakthrough on Masks. It was fantastic. I finally have all the conspirators in line, a massive list of plot points and their subpoints I want to make sure to hit in the outline and wip, and I solved a major plot hole that developed with all the reworking I’ve done so now my Fantasy Sleuthing Duo will be even more challenged to solve the crimes. I’m really looking forward to writing this in April Camp Nano, which I’ve joined since they fixed my only real complaint with the event from randomly selected writing buddies to having “cabins” where we can join friends.