Monday, August 27, 2012

News, and what’s going on with MASKS Season 2

Hello. I’ve been away, haven’t I?

I’d like to tell you where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing, but I can’t. I will almost certainly get sued. So I’m going to describe what’s been going on in very general, non-suable terms. And I do mean very general.

There has been a problem. Part of the problem is a person (well, a couple of people), and part of it is technical. It has been a very stressful problem to deal with. And the long and the short of it is that dealing with this problem has sucked up so much of my time and energy that I am way, way behind on getting the second volume of Masks written. As in waking up one morning and muttering, “Ye gods, what month is it?”

So, because I don’t think it’s really fair to make you guys wait forever to find out what happens to Rae and Trevor, we’re going to try a little experiment.

Waaaaaaay back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was first writing Masks for my friends in high school, it was a monthly series. One short story per month, usually written within two weeks of the due date. In some ways, I enjoyed that—I got near-instant feedback on my characters, my stories, all of it. It was good training. One of the reasons I went back to writing serials was that I wanted that feedback, and that interaction with readers.

Now, the first volume of Masks was written in almost total isolation—no feedback from anyone but the beta readers. So I’m going to try something a little different this time. I’m not going to be writing and posting a chapter a week—there’s too much that can go wrong with a schedule that tight, to say nothing of how nasty it is to revise that close to writing time—but I’m going to break the story down into four chunks, and write and revise one chunk at a time. That means that if something is going massively wrong in the first quarter of the story—the first six chapters—you’ll have a chance to weigh in down in the comments and tell me I’m screwing things up, and see how I deal with that in the next quarter.

Because, you see, I can’t get a whole novel written in a hurry. But I can do a quarter pretty fast.

So here’s how it’s going to work. If I have my way, there will be something Masks-related up on Pocket Coyote on September 10. Why September 10? Because I used to release new Masks stories on the tenth of every month, and it seems appropriate that I go back to a more interactive format on that date. Now, I’m not going monthly here—we’re still doing Wednesday chapters, even though September 10 is a Monday. But there will be something on September 10—maybe a short story, maybe the first chapter of Volume 2, maybe both—and something—either the first or second chapter of Volume 2—on Wednesday, September 12. And then we’re on Wednesdays.

Think I can do this? I’m a little scared, to tell you the truth, but I’ve been dealing with Teh Problem for way too long. It’s time to solve Teh Problem in the only way I know how—by doing something absolutely batshit crazy.

That’s where the photo at the top of this blog entry comes in. I picked up a four-inch-high Bucky Barnes action figure for good luck, and was playing around with him yesterday. Call him the patron saint of batshit crazy, mostly because of one of my favorite moments from his brief tenure as Captain America. One of his early outings in the costume ended with a villain firing a rocket launcher at a presidential candidate (who was actually working with the bad guys, but superheroes don’t get to be picky about things like that). Bucky, whose unofficial motto might be “Always lead with your face”, took bullet-catching to a new level and blocked the path of the rocket … from midair … with the shield. There was a large explosion and Bucky landed very hard on top of a parked car.

All of that led up to this magnificent panel:

"Okay ... at least I survived ... ow ... EXACTLY according to my half-assed plan ..."

Now if that’s not a valediction, I don’t know what is!

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