Well, my rewrite of Masks is progressing quite nicely. I’m doing two plot cards per scene written, and taking my time writing. This generally means I spend a day or two writing scenes, then a day or two conceiving plot cards. The Plot Points list I made is helping, and I color-coded it in highlight colors to make it easier for me to pick things out, since sometimes huge blocks of text can overwhelm me to the point of anxiety.

What this basically means is that I have a list of main plotpoints and a series of subpoints that derive from each of the main points. Some plot points and their subpoints are all one block of color, usually because they’re main plot thread info. Other plot points are in different colors, or have subpoints in different colors, to indicate whether the information in question is ongoing info (for the series), tied to the main plot thread in this book, a subplot in this book, related to something my sleuths uncover in the pursuit of info regarding the various victims, or a red-herring.

In the scene I wrote a few days ago, I introduced the main red herring and one of the culprits, which was fun. Also threw my sleuths a curveball in the form of a cooperative anti-Maireadi Chancellor who doesn’t want to ruin his reputation as someone who abides by the law and is more than happy to cooperate with investigations. This is the same Chancellor who wooed his way into close (but not romantic) friendship with a previous Chancellor who was subsequently rightfully convicted for skimming public funds for his private use. Yavaniel thinks the anti-Maireadi chancellor has the funds still missing from that investigation, and doesn’t realize one of the others he meets is the one who actually received the funds—and is now using them to pay the other two conspirators.

I’m having a lot of fun.

In my original version of this WIP, I had a lot more conflict and animosity between Eirni and Yavaniel, most of it coming from Eirni. There hasn’t been quite so much this time around, but I’ve been working on what of the outline I have to insert more, which is part of the reason why I’m going so slowly with things and why my CampNano goal is for only 25,000 words. I’m not going to let Yavaniel complain about Eirni to their superiors, because Yavaniel needs Eirni too much for their investigations. What I’m going to do is probably save Eirni’s eventual suspension for another book, for a time when it’ll be even more difficult for Yavaniel to function without him. Well, it may happen in this book, but I’m not sure I can make it reasonable. The thing is, I want both my sleuths to forget about that suspension hanging over Eirni’s head until Eirni does something to induce someone besides Yavaniel to write him up the third time, and right now, it’s still very fresh in Eirni’s mind and one of the few things inducing him to cooperate at all with someone whom he’d far rather not have to associate with at all. As much as it would drive him nuts to be suspended, it would also be a relief to him, and I don’t want to make things too easy for him. And, as I said, there’s the possibility of making things more difficult for Yavaniel later on—or having Eirni disobey the restriction and risk getting in trouble to investigate when he’s not on payroll. Depends on what the story requires.

And, as if to prove I’m on the right track with this version of Masks, I’m plotting a lot of scenes I look forward to writing and writing a lot of favorite scenes. That’s always a good sign that a story is going the right direction for me.

As I said, much fun.