Unmasking My Illusionist
I need a writerly war cry, something that that doesn’t look too stupid in a blog post. Anyone interested in supplying me with suggestions, please apply in the comments section. Yes, this means I need one now, but I will settle for later, if only because I don’t have one now anyway and impatience isn’t going to fix that problem.
Yes, this also means I’m sort of back on track with Unmasked. I’m sure that at least one person (who shall remain nameless but needs to get that blog started) will have guessed the subject of this post already, but I’m still going to write it because, well, I’m a writer and slapping words together is what I do. Besides, at least some of you might well be scratching your head thinking, “What is she blathering on about now?”
In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m in a slightly odd mood tonight. Oh, you did notice? Aren’t you perceptive. I blame the combination of a long, somewhat boring day at work and a major bit of success with Masques.
It’s amazing how many small things change from one project to another, particularly in the order of things I do to prepare for writing a draft. I more or less do the same tasks every time, but this time I did them in a different order, at least from Necromantic. With that trilogy, I used the event arcs for each book to figure out what to name them. Yes, every one of the titles of my books actually means something for the book. I’d probably be highly resistant to the notion of changing them at all, in case you were wondering.
This time, I more or less had the titles in place for Masques. I knew them before NaNo started. They sort of go with the very broad portion that each book tells of the overall story. But I really didn’t know much for the specifics of each book, and it was driving me a bit nuts. Yes, I’ve started the new outline and it is going much better, but it’s still hard to build toward something that you don’t know, hard to lay hints and red herrings if you’re not sure what’s coming.
Today I decided to do something about the problem instead of blindly plunging forward. I took a sheet in my steno book (I always carry paper and pencil as a back up in case all batteries are dead), divided it into four parts and put the title of each book at the top of a section. I then laid out the major events of the plot for book 1 as I know them. Then I started realizing stuff for all the other books, and was scribbling away. Yes, the handwriting is atrocious, but I’m used to it, as mine has always been like that. There’s a reason I type everything humanly possible.
So now I have a full, and I do mean very full, sheet of notes, and the basic arcs and events for the entire quartet. Some of it will probably change by the time I get to those books. I know the arcs I had for Necromantic did somewhat, but I can live with that. This gives me the base I need to build toward the conclusion of the quartet through each book. I also feel better able to deal with Unmasked, knowing where it needs to lead and what Cayle’s facing (seriously, you should already pity this guy as much as I do, which is to say a lot), as well as how he’ll grow through these challenges. Having all these things in place for Necromantic made writing that trilogy so much easier, though no less emotional.
I suppose what I’m saying is that, once I’m finished drinking this salted caramel mocha (omg this is good shit), I’m going to go home and continue pounding away on that outline. I feel more ready for it now, like I have the tools I need but didn’t have before. I also realized a number of things about Cayle in the process of doing this, not to mention just generally being unable to take my mind off him, that helped me see him more clearly, to let him be the person I know he wants and needs to be in this story, both the book and the quartet.
Maybe I can get most of this written tonight fuelled purely by enthusiasm and caffeine. I mean, I don’t need sleep, right? It’s only work tomorrow…