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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/2156493-The-Book-of-Masks-Homepage/month/12-1-2021
by Seuzz
Rated: 18+ · Book · Other · #2156493
A hub for the "Book of Masks" universe.
The Interactives
"The Book of Masks: A high school student discovers a grimoire that can make magical disguises.
"The Wandering Stars: Sequel to "The Book of Masks."
"Student Bodies: A high school student is turned into a blue goo that can possess people.

For non-WdC Members
"The Book of Masks: Archives: Dodges the "Servers Busy" barrier!
"The Book of Masks (Abridged): Introductory storylines for new readers.

"BoM/TWS Message Forum: Community for readers of the interactives.
"BoM/TWS/SB Wiki: Notes and documentation for authors. Spoilers!

Current Polls

The Latest
1/18 Interactive: "The Man of the House
1/18 Public: "The Man of the House
December 31, 2021 at 11:58am
December 31, 2021 at 11:58am
It's the last day of 2021—and good riddance to it, by the way—which brings the last chapter in the storyline I wrote to go with the Blind Polls. I hope people enjoyed it. I had fun writing it, but I don't deny it was sometimes a very hairy thing, trying to keep the plates spinning given some of the choices you guys were making.

I think I want to continue it, but where and how? Pick it up where it left off? Or pick a choice not taken and write an alternate branch? Since I'm ambivalent, I'll let the readers vote, in another Plot Plinko Poll. First one here: [Poll completed and deleted.] The poll closes on Sunday at 12:00 PM EST.

It will be a while before any such chapters appear, though. I've got a backlog of chapters scheduled through the middle of February (hurray!), and though I am going to keep publishing BoM stories, I'm going to take January off from writing BoM to work on something else. I've not quite decided what, yet.

Anyway, I don't plan on going anywhere while I take that writing hiatus, and if this works out I'll be able to pick up things up again in February without missing a publication date.

* * *

Meantime, what can you look forward to, starting tomorrow? Something starting off here: "Gemini Falls.

Will and Sydney are creating their own "Brotherhood of Baphomet," and they have been converting the family of Alec "Brownie" Brown. In "Gemini Falls they have just captured the last two members of the family.

That branch was the subject of a poll, but before we can get to the choice you voted for (to recruit additional members by hijacking a second family) I need to get through the rest of the branch that has Will and Sydney inhabiting the roles of Micah and Riker Brown. That will take five chapters, and then we'll detour onto something else before returning to the Brown saga.
December 26, 2021 at 12:03pm
December 26, 2021 at 12:03pm
So I took Christmas Day off. Normally I would just leave that as a skipped day. But I decided to make up for it by giving you two chapters today:

* Interactive: "Something Like Witchcraft + "How to Replace an Absent Friend
* Public: "Something Like Witchcraft + "How to Replace an Absent Friend

That way I will still be able to wind up this storyline on the last day of the year, and start a new one on January 1.

Reminder that there's a Talkback thread for this one, in case you want to go on record as saying you would have voted for a different choice if you'd known what was going on in the chapter: "Blind Poll Talkback: "The Coward's Way Out""  
December 25, 2021 at 9:31am
December 25, 2021 at 9:31am
Here's from me, hoping you all are having a safe and happy holiday.

I am going to be taking the day off from publishing to be with family, but I will be back tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing the rest of you around too!
December 24, 2021 at 12:15pm
December 24, 2021 at 12:15pm
In the forum I've put up a Talkback thread related to the current storyline: "Blind Poll Talkback: "The Coward's Way Out""  

Feel free to comment on anything related to it, but I posted it because I'm particularly curious about voting regrets. This is the story I wrote using the blind, context-free choices I gave you in a series of polls. I'm curious to know how many people would have voted differently at the end of each chapter, had they known what the story was and how it was developing.

Oh, and today's chapters:

* Interactive: "Hustled and Bustled
* Public: "Hustled and Bustled
December 23, 2021 at 12:12pm
December 23, 2021 at 12:12pm
Today's chapter—

* Interactive: "The Coward's Way Out
* Public: "The Coward's Way Out

—starts a new storyline. This is also the branch that you guys helped co-write with the Blind Polls a week or so back. It was sometimes a challenge to keep things going and to keep them developing. I hope the results are entertaining.
December 22, 2021 at 12:00pm
December 22, 2021 at 12:00pm
Today's chapter—

* Interactive: "In Which Chivalry Gets Its Nose Punched
* Public: "In Which Chivalry Gets Its Nose Punched

—rounds off the current branch with the standard arc-ender. The plan is for Masktrix to pick things up at some point.

Tomorrow I start publishing a branch in a section that hasn't been visited in a long time: "A Cry for Help. The story thus far:

Will Prescott picked up a book of magic in town, but freaked out when it demanded some of his blood. So he sold it to his best friend, Caleb Johansson. Caleb seems to have been experimenting with it, but Will doesn't want to know about it. So it's a shock when he (Will) gets summoned up to Westside late one Friday night by the school's head cheerleader, Chelsea Cooper. She babbles about some stuff that Will doesn't understand, and tells Will that her boyfriend has somehow hurt himself. Will is further mystified to see that Chelsea has somehow acquired possession of that book he sold to Caleb.

This storyline will carry us along to the end of the year.
December 16, 2021 at 12:10pm
December 16, 2021 at 12:10pm
So I just closed the last polls. Here's a word about the results.

In the Plot Plinko poll "Leave Caleb in the dark" was the runaway winner. So much so that yesterday I did some preliminary thinking about where to take the story. And after thinking about it ... Well, with rugal's permission I'm going to rewrite "Getting Familiar with the Unfamiliar to give it a different climax and a different choice, and one consequence is that Caleb is going to disappear from the scene, rendering this last poll moot. But, in a sense, my revision will still respect the vote. That vote was to ignore Caleb's presence, and removing him from the scene is another way of ignoring him, and leaving the focus on Will and the original quartet.

Nor will the revision materially change the story. I just want to simplify the ending in order to focus on a different and more manageable crisis. And I've already made some nearly invisible changes to earlier chapters in the branch, changing the timeline without altering the fundamental plot.

Meanwhile, the "Next Story Choice" poll ended with a victory for "Convert another family," but the vote was closer than it appeared, with a big batch of GPs for "Convert people at Fort Suffolk" taking that choice to within a whisker of an upset.

I thank everyone for their participation in both polls, the results of which (knock wood) will appear early next year.

For now, I've started publishing another Will-and-Sydney-and-Baphomet love story, starting here:

* Interactive: "Freshman Frolics
* Public: "Freshman Frolics

That branch was not written in conjunction with Masktrix, but it was written with him in mind, after he queried whether I had plans for that area. I said I did, and after a short exchange of emails I saw that my plans could set up ideas that he was playing around with. I'm sure I won't be alone in hoping that he'll follow up what I wrote with another one of his smashing storylines.
December 15, 2021 at 12:06pm
December 15, 2021 at 12:06pm
Everything reaches a climax almost at once. Monday brought the last of the Blind Polls. Yesterday brought the last of the Plinko Polls. Today brings the end of the commission I've been publishing. Tomorrow I start publishing a new branch.

It's a return to the story of Sydney and Will and their "Brotherhood of Baphomet, but it's nothing to do with the still-running Next Story Choice poll. This one branches off of "Breaking Bodies. Will and Sydney have hijacked the identities of two Westside teachers, Hannah Cho and Michael Hagerman, with the aim of spreading their Brotherhood into some of the lower grades. Last time, they started with the junior class. This time they will start in a different class. Which one? Tune in tomorrow to find out.

And speaking of the Next Story Choice poll, and storylines about Will and Sydney: I forgot to mention that I'm accepting GPs as votes in the Next Story Choice poll as well as in the still-running Plot Plinko poll. Some readers already took it upon themselves to send me GPs, and to keep the voting fair I want everyone to know that that is a voting option. Remember, if you vote GPs for a losing choice, you will get your GPs back and maybe collect a dividend. if you vote GPs for a winning choice, you forfeit your GPs but will have helped put your choice over the top.

The polls (which don't close until Thursday at noon) are here:

[Polls completed and deleted.]
December 14, 2021 at 12:07pm
December 14, 2021 at 12:07pm
At every turn and twist of the Plinko Poll, you guys have voted to continue down a path that rugal has already written. Sometimes it's been by the thinnest of majorities, but that's the way you've voted.

Well, you take it any further. "Getting Familiar with the Unfamiliar (which won in a landslide after a surge of overnight voting) hasn't got any sequels, and that means that today you get to vote for which unwritten path to carve out after it. Like I warned at the start, I do not guarantee that I'll write a branch based on the results, but I will give it some hard thought and effort.

As for the Blind Polls, there too you guys have managed to vote consistently for paths that led away from climaxes and turning points. Yesterday, though, it finally ended. It wasn't quite my design or intention to decisively wind things up. But Will's room to evade or maneuver finally narrowed to nothingness, and every choice in yesterday's poll was going to twist things into a new configuration. The only question was going to be: What configuration? To my immense surprise, it turned out to be the configuration that follows from the choice "Confide in Carson."

So that's the end of the Blind Polls. But today still brings a second poll. I want to continue the branch that was suspended with "Gemini Falls, and though I have ideas for all the possible ways to continue it, I'm not wedded to any of them, so I thought I'd let you guys choose. The background: Will and Sydney, working to create "Brotherhood of Baphomet" set about converting the family of Alec "Brownie" Brown, one of the wrestlers at school, and had just succeeded. But that only gave them six members. Where are they going to find the other four?

I'm going to leave both polls up and open for 48 hours. They will close at noon EST on Thursday, December 16.

[Polls completed and deleted.]
December 13, 2021 at 12:02pm
December 13, 2021 at 12:02pm
The vote in yesterday's Plot Plinko poll was very close, but "Leave it as is for now"—a vote to continue down an already-written path—kept a small but steady lead throughout the day, and won in the end. The Blind Poll result was much more decisive, with "Eat with Rachel" dominating from the start.

Today's polls:

[Polls completed and deleted]
December 12, 2021 at 12:12pm
December 12, 2021 at 12:12pm
Yesterday brought two clear winners, despite some efforts to change things with GPs: "Seal the mask" in Plot Plinko, and "Talk to Rachel" in the Blind Poll.

In the latter, you managed to steer your way past that climactic turning point that I warned you about. You also keep voting for choices that have already been written. So you get two new polls again today:

[Polls completed and deleted.]
December 11, 2021 at 12:08pm
December 11, 2021 at 12:08pm
Yesterday's "Plot Plinko" poll spent most of the day in a dead-on tie between "Will volunteers" and "Straws are drawn to pick", with "Fairfax gets volunteered" trailing far behind. But some GPs broke the tie, delivering victory to "Will volunteers."

There were some GPs sent for the "Straws are drawn pick," but they came through the Anonymous system, so I am unable to return that person the GPs they sent, or the dividend they would have collected.

Meanwhile, "Tell Caleb he's being weird" surprised me with a win. The other choice, "Make the call to your dad," would have brought things to a climactic turning point, but now the story gets to continue. There are four choices in today's "Blind Poll." One of them, I'll tell you, will bring things to a head. The others will string the plot out further.

[Polls completed and deleted.]
December 10, 2021 at 12:08pm
December 10, 2021 at 12:08pm
"The Westside Book Club" was the landslide winner in yesterday's Plinko poll, and for most of the day "Text Keith" had a commanding lead in the Blind poll.

Then, with forty-five minutes to go, "Keep Chelsea all to yourself" roared ahead into a tie. Which was bad news as far as I was concerned, because I got up extra early today to write a "Text Keith" sequel so I could have a Blind Poll ready today. If I had to throw it out ...

But an extra vote came in at the last minute, and "Text Keith" eked out a win.

I'm curious to see what today's Blind Poll results will be. The choices are weirdly specific.

[Polls completed and deleted.]
December 9, 2021 at 12:01pm
December 9, 2021 at 12:01pm
Yesterday's Plinko vote wasn't as close as it looked. "Show Josie, etc." picked up the most free votes anyway, but a bunch of Gift Points got dumped on it also, so it was the winner going away when everything got tabulated. Meanwhile, I wasn't surprised that "Try for cred-- tell Gordon to get bent" won in the Blind poll. It sounds like the choice that would lead to the most interesting results. But will it? I guess we'll find out.

We'll also see what you make of the choices in today's Blind poll. Don't forget that there's also a forum associated with the interactive, where if you want to speculate aloud about where the "Blind" story takes place, you can.

Here's today's polls:

[Polls completed and deleted.]
December 8, 2021 at 12:08pm
December 8, 2021 at 12:08pm
The results in yesterday's polls were a lot more lopsided than the day before, with two very clear winners: "Show the book to someone else" in the Plinko Poll, and "Look for Rachel" in the Blind Poll. The last one surprised me, but I guess people are wondering "Rachel who?" and "What has she got to do with the story?"

So I guess we'll all of us (including me) going to find out!

Anyway, today's polls:

[Polls completed and deleted]
December 7, 2021 at 12:11pm
December 7, 2021 at 12:11pm
Wow! Yesterday's Blind Poll wound up in a squeaker. "Talk to Caleb about Friday night" established a big early lead, but overnight the choice to "Forget it" caught up, and for awhile they were tied. But "Talk to Caleb" ended one vote ahead, so that's the choice that sets up the choices in today's Blind Poll.

There's also a new "Plot Plinko" poll, where "Keep investigating the book" won by a landslide.

[Polls completed and deleted.]
December 6, 2021 at 12:01pm
December 6, 2021 at 12:01pm
It's been a long time since we've had a poll. Let's have two of them!

[Polls completed and deleted.]

I am working on a storyline, and I have a number of chapters already lined up to publish, but I figure there's no harm in having a "Plot Plinko" storyline in my back pocket. I make no guarantees that I will write a storyline for the ultimate "Plot Plinko" choice, but let's see where the voting goes.

This is also a poll where you can vote using GPs. See the bottom of the poll for details.

The "Blind Poll" goes with the branch I'm currently writing. I will be writing ahead and making my own choices, and if you choose the same route I did, all well and good. If you pick different, then I will break off to continue the choice you guys made, and try to continue that branch instead. The result (I hope) will be a way of keeping me productive even without a solid plan for a storyline.
December 4, 2021 at 12:08pm
December 4, 2021 at 12:08pm
Today's chapter—

Interactive: "A Motel Room and the Girl of Your Dreams
Public: "A Motel Room and the Girl of Your Dreams

—rounds off a short commission. Now on to another one:

In "Pulp Friction Will is in a lot of trouble. He and Caleb were screwing around with masks—pretending to be each other—when Will lipped off to Chelsea Cooper, who retaliated by sending her brutish boyfriend to beat the snot out of Will. So, one thing happened and then another and then another, and now ...

Well, Gordon is now trapped in Will's body. Dane Matthias is trapped in Gordon's. And Will is stuck in Dane's. And that's bad news because Dane was acting as a drug courier for his lowlife criminal, delivering weed to the school's primary dealer, Gary Chen. Will failed to make the delivery, and now Chen has the underworld's permission to do anything to Dane (that is, to Will) short of killing him.

Oh, and Will has agreed to put on a mask of Caleb and go on a date as him with Eva Garner.

What happens next? Well, there's already one sequel written. But tomorrow you'll get an alternate ...

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/2156493-The-Book-of-Masks-Homepage/month/12-1-2021