A hub for the "Book of Masks" universe.
"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!
4/8 Interactive: "The Inside, Looking Out"
4/8 Public: "The Inside, Looking Out"
Interactive: "The Cherry, Hung with Snow"
Public: "The Cherry, Hung with Snow"
—rounds off a palate cleanser that was also a commission. Now it's time to jump back to the previous commission and finish it off.
In "Joint Ventures" , Will traded the grimoire to Spencer Osbourne for a couple of doobies. At the end of the chapter he had a chance to talk to Spencer about the book, but he turned Spencer down. That led to two short branches. In "Some Ginger and Mary Jane" Will's friends and acquaintances started acting strangely, and in "Portable Bodies" Will found himself body-swapped with a cheerleader.
In tomorrow's chapter, though, we'll find out what happens if he decides to meet with Spencer, to talk about that book he traded away ...
Separately, Tal gave me a book-cover-style image for "Student Bodies" , so that it matches the style of Book of Masks and The Wandering Stars. It's up now!
|I am away from my regular computer today, and forgot to bring a copy of today's chapter with me, so there will be no chapter published by me today. Sorry.
EDIT: Meantime, let me try to catch up with some thanks to the various people who have sent me WdC Gift Points. I really do appreciate it!
That One Guy
Theresa Daoang [a.k.a., Freakyduchess]
|Interactive: "Gallons of Gossip"
Public: "Gallons of Gossip"
Those chapters suspend one commission. Now comes another commission that doubles as a short (4-chapter) palate-cleanser.
Like the last palate-cleanser, it involves Sydney McGlynn, and her and Will's plan to create a "Brotherhood of Baphomet" out of magical clones. In "Demons by Night, Demons by Daylight" they have taken over the identities of Kelsey Blankenship (that's Sydney) and Amanda Ferguson (Will), but Will hasn't forgotten that he was being bullied from a couple of different directions before he made the switch, and he's thinking about now doing something about it ..
Interactive: "Coach Class"
Public: "Coach Class"
—rounds off a palate-cleanser/commission. Tomorrow—internet access permitting—I return to a commission I suspended work on earlier.
In "Joint Ventures" Will sold his mystery book to Spencer Osbourne in return for two joints, one of which he contributed to his class's time capsule project. In "Stoned-Cold Stupids" that plan backfires after he changes his mind and lifts the joint from his teacher's desk and replaces it with a different contribution. The result is that he gets detention and gets grounded.
The story went in one direction after that—one that climaxed in "Room Services" with Will bagging up a bunch of weed for Kim Walsh. But tomorrow we'll start exploring a different path things could have taken.
|My internet was out this morning [Sunday]. Given the weather it is possible that I will be off and on the internet over the next couple of days.
EDIT: Today's chapters are up early, on account of I'm not sure if I'll be able to stay online today.
Interactive: "She Who Runs the Show"
Public: "She Who Runs the Show"
There are also some new chapters for the Archive readers:
"New Boss, Same as the Old Boss" --> "Senior Secrets"
The last of these also will pop up for Interactive readers as a new chapter. It's actually a replacement chapter for one of two chapters that I moved to the NC-BoM and deleted from BoM. It's not much of a replacement -- a little revision here and there. The main changes are at the very end, to set up a wider array of choices. Depending on whether I can get online, I might post some short sequels to further set up choices.
|Besides today's BoM chapter—
Interactive: "Avalanche Girl"
Public: "Avalanche Girl"
—I've got a bonus for anyone who has been casting a curious eye at my Spider-Man project: "S02E12 "The Master Planner""
To briefly backstory the project:
DisneyXD produced (and still produces???) an animated Spider-Man show, called (with a dull lack of wit) Marvel's Spider-Man. Thirty-odd episodes into it, they began an adaption of the comic books' Superior Spider-Man storyline, the one where Dr. Octopus body-swapped with Spider-Man. I heard about this before it started airing, I it gave me the notion of writing my own adaptation of that storyline, to see what I could learn by comparing my efforts with those of the pros.
The adaptation has long-since aired, but I haven't watched it yet. My ambitions had gotten very big in the meantime—I wound up reimagining the series almost from the ground up—and I exhausted myself a couple of times while trying to fulfill them. The results (thus far) of that reimagination are in my portfolio here: "Marvel Spider-Man: The Alternate Series"
After finishing off the last batch of BoM commissions, I decided to return to this fanfic to do some more work on it. I had already written everything up to the point where the Superior Spider-Man launches, and was just waiting for a break in BoM to throw myself into outlining and writing the 13-episode arc itself.
Well, since returning to the project I've got that arc outlined, at least in enough detail that I can start outlining and writing the scripts. And yesterday, after two days of work, I wrote a first draft of the first script in the arc: "A Day in the Life," I'm calling it.
But that's not the bonus I'm publishing today.
"A Day in the Life" is Episode 14 in my version of Spider-Man's Season Two, and I suspended the publication of my own treatments with Episode 11. I don't want to publish Episode 14 until I've got some additional scripts written. But to mark the occasion, I am publishing Episode 12. Episode 13 (also already written) will follow in a week or two. Then, at after I've got a number of new scripts in the backlog and I'm comfortable that I won't have to make extensive revisions to them, I plan to start publishing the actual Superior Spider-Man arc.
The new entry comes with two important caveats. The first is that it is almost entirely unoriginal, being a very close transcription of the IRL-series episode "Brain Drain" by Jacob Semahn. The second is that it is written in the form of a script.
I hope the script format isn't too troublesome to readers. I tried to upload a Word document in script format, but the WdC machines wouldn't preserve the format, so I had to improvise. In writing this script, I have done my best to minimize action description and camera work, which is the most tedious part of a script, and the part that the writer should concern himself with the least. The idea is to get across the story: Who does what and why do they do it? Actual choreography is for the director to handle.
To get up to speed on what is going on, it is best to start with "S02E02 "Between an Ock and a Hard Place"" and read forward, though the story has roots extending all the way back to the very start of the series. But Episode 12 is the first where the Superior Spider-Man first heaves into view, as Doctor Octopus makes reveals himself and makes his first overt move against Spider-Man.
|Interactive: "Getting to Know All About Me"
Public: "Getting to Know All About Me"
The chapters above conclude a commission. Now comes a palate cleanser. (Except this one is also a commission.)
Will has partnered with the ravishing Sydney McGlynn to study the grimoire and magic in general. She wants to use it to create a bunch of magical clones that will form a "Brotherhood of Baphomet" that she and Will can control. They've talked through it far enough to decide they want their "brotherhood" to be a coven of covens (three covens of three girls each) and that the school sports teams are where they will look for "recruits." But which teams? In "Three by Three" they are weighing the possibilities ...
|I accepted six commissions late last year, ranging from three chapters to twenty-five. I have been working pretty hard on them, not only to keep up with my one-a-day publishing schedule, but to get ahead and build up a backlog.
Well, yesterday I finished writing them. Though I still have to publish them all, I have completed the commissions, and have a backlog of thirty-two chapters.
So that's enough to fill up the rest of February and early March with new BoM content for you guys. I'm going to take a break from writing BoM for a little while—two to three weeks, at least—and write some other stuff while the backlog empties out. I'll say something when I'm ready to return to writing BoM material.
* * *
In the meantime, I'm flattered and abashed to share the news that "Book of Masks" has been nominated for WdC's Quill Awards, in the category of "Best Campfire, In & Out, or Interactive": "2020 Quill Nominations" . Given the kind of thing "Book of Masks" is, it is more than the usual rote expression when I say, "It is an honor just to be nominated," and I thank whoever made the nomination.
"Book of Masks" has been nominated for Quills in years past—though it's been a number of years since the last time that happened—but it has never won. Which is okay. I'm astonished to see it even nominated, and that is quite enough.
|You might have noticed a common theme in the commissions I've been fulfilling, and it might have been frustrating you. (I've not forgotten what genre "The Book of Masks" is in, and therefore what its readers come to it for. Honest.) By a quirk, most of the story plots have surrounded Will with surreptitious substitutions while leaving him not only untouched but unaware.
Interactive: "Public Parts and Private Parties"
Public: "Public Parts and Private Parties"
—marks an end to most (but not all) of this pussyfooting, and the commissions from here on will start moving out of their establishing situations and into the real crises. Tomorrow's chapter, which will continue a commission I was working on earlier, begins with just such a crisis.
It is a sequel to "Drama in the Drama Department" , which ended with Will and Leah Simmons going into the school theater and each getting knocked out. What were they doing there? Will was still trying to track down that grimoire that he sold off, and the last he heard it had wound up as a prop in the drama department. What was Leah doing there with him? Well, she and Will have been spending a lot of time together.
They may be about to get a lot closer to each other than either could have conceived.