Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Jodalur Investigative Division Series

I finally got around to adding Elindu and my Nano ’14 project to my Projects list. Not only did it pass 10k, but I also won Nano with Masks.

Over the course of November and December, I came up with a whole list of other projects for the Jodalur Investigative Division series. I’ll be honest though: in a lot of cases, all I know about the particular stories behind the titles listed on the JID page is that little teaser line. Due to this fact, I have a suspicion the JID books will be written rather more slowly than average, though I’d like to have three or four by the time I get to publishing any of them.

One thing I don’t want is for my stories to have my sleuths operating in a vacuum. I want them to grow and change and for their lives to have ups and downs. I know some mystery writers do this, but I can’t recall any I’ve read who did. In a way, it would be easier for them to exist in a kind of timelessness, where they don’t change, but I enjoy showing the characters’ non-working lives. I need to show just enough to provide hints to character and push plot forward whenever possible, and there’s a lot of plot to push forward, though some of it won’t come into play right away. I have to foreshadow things a bit, because there’s a subtle subplot that’s going to arc through the first 4 or so books of the series.

Since December, I’ve been stalled on Masks. I couldn’t figure out why at first, but I had a recent epiphany on the project. Apparently, my creative mind stopped working on it because it hadn’t had a chance to come up with some vital things. Masks previously stood at 58,611 words. It was bloated, and I’ve cut over 46k words on it. Now that I know who all the suspects are—both those who are the actual perpetrators as well as those who are the diversions—I’ve decided to write from a particular point about 12k or so words in. I feel very good about the cut, and about my prospects for streamlining the story from this point on, though, if I find I need to, I will cut to a manageable point again.


  1. That’s a lot of words to cut, Ashe but glad it got you to where you feel comfortable with it. Sounds as though it will be a great series.

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