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!
5/6: "The Book of Masks: Plot Plinko (4)"
4/8 Interactive: "The Inside, Looking Out"
4/8 Public: "The Inside, Looking Out"
|There's five chapters posted today, but they're kind of repetitive with each other, and nothing happens. Collectively, they set up 25 possible choices for Will to pursue as he picks himself a new identity inside Westside:
"Marching to a Different Beat" (Interactive) + "Marching to a Different Beat" (Public)
"Orchestrating a New Plan" (Interactive) + "Orchestrating a New Plan" (Public)
"The Play's the Thing" (Interactive) + "The Play's the Thing" (Public)
"Deal Me In" (Interactive) + "Deal Me In" (Public)
"The Friend of My Friend" (Interactive) + "The Friend of My Friend" (Public)
Tomorrow will also bring multiple postings.
|It's the 28th, so time for another weekly update of the other stories I've been writing this month. There's only six this time, because I've been running out of steam, and I missed a day. "The Resurrection of Meleck-Taos" (written under the joint influence of H. P. Lovecraft and Hammer Pictures) won both a daily contest and a weekly contest, but it's probably the one of this batch I like the least. Oh well. Two others were daily co-winners.
|I forgot to note on the blog that yesterday's chapter would be the last in that set. But if you read the Archive pages, you will have figured it out.
Anyway, that is all of the new branches that I have in the backlog. Starting today I am going to dip back into a stream where I recently did some pruning.
The story picks up with "Senior Secrets" . Will and Caleb were playing around with masks, with the plan of copying some of the alpha jocks so they could get close to their girlfriends. But things went sideways when they accidentally tipped their hand to one of the alpha-est of the jocks, Steve Patterson. Patterson seized the Libra and set up a kind of secret club, forcing Will and Caleb (and later on, Keith) to get masks of various girls, which Patterson and his friend Gordon Black would then hang on a golem so they could ... Well, you get the idea. Caleb has recently met his quota of mask-making, and has been rewarded by being allowed to take over the identity of Seth Javits.
Will has also just made his quota, with an additional twist. He scored a copy of Joe Durras of Eastman High and gave it to Patterson; Patterson (for reasons that Will does not know of in this branch) has decided to make Joe and Frank his private, personal property. Patterson offered to let Will move out to Eastman with him, to become a kind of deputy, but Will has declined.
Will is now at a cross-roads. Does he continue to hang out with his friends Caleb and Keith, and help out with Patterson's schemes? Or does he try to distance himself from them all?
I've got a bunch of chapters to post, but they won't start or develop a story. They will just set up some choices. The chapters are big enough, though, that I won't be dropping them all in one batch, but will space them out over the course of a couple of days. Today's chapter:
Interactive: "New Bosses"
Public: "New Bosses"
Interactive: "Green Meanies"
Public: "Green Meanies"
—conclude the latest short branch. It was a set of chapters I had on my computer for ... well, a very long time. It's the same thing with the chapters I'll start publishing tomorrow, which are also some old things I found while rooting around my files.
They take place at St. Xavier's. Will was infiltrating that very snobby school by pretending to be a girl named Abi Steiner. But he got busted by Abi's friends, who took the Libra from him and tied him up in their secret hideout. This basic situation—Will imprisoned while Abi's friends take turns pretending to be Abi—has been developed before, but this branch sprouts off in a different direction from "Pulling a Switch on the Old Switcheroo"
* * *
Meanwhile, here are seven more stories from my March of Madness:
Six of them are contest entries, of which five were winners; the sixth contest hasn't been judged yet. So, yeah, that's a pretty good record, if I may say so.
|Today brings an end to the 5-chapter run I've been working on:
Interactive: "The Best Defense"
Public: "The Best Defense"
Tomorrow I start publishing some chapters that I wrote a long time ago but left in the files. It branches off of "Body Swapping as a Solution" . Will and Sydney are planning to make their own "Brotherhood of Baphomet" using golems, and are trying to figure out where to start. Will, meanwhile, is being bullied by friends of Blake O'Brien, the football player who has a crush on Sydney.
The new branch begins with "The First Step of a Random Walk" , which is a chapter that was published in the interactive but never published in the Archives. I'm publishing it there today so as to prepare for the new chapters, which will begin appearing tomorrow.
|March 15, so it's time for another link-fest. These are stories from the first week of March—the official start, I suppose, of my March writing project.
There are 8. That's because two of them—"Mid-Season Replacement" and "Date from Hell"—were written the same day. The two contests that day were extra-inspirational.
I'm tickled to say that three of them were winners in competitive contests for their respective days, and two of them shared a first prize. One was also named a weekly winner in its contest.
|In addition to today's chapter—
Interactive: "Getting Real with Charles Whitney"
Public: "Getting Real with Charles Whitney"
—there's an extra: "Schools of Thought"
I'm still revising the interactive, and this morning I chopped out a tangle of branches. I also revised one of the major nodes in order to open up more possibilities, and the extra chapter is an insert made as part of that process.
Interactive: "Laura Comes Clean"
Public: "Laura Comes Clean"
—finishes off the commissions that I started accepting late last year.
But that doesn't mean I'm done publishing BoM chapters. Even though I've been concentrating on non-BoM stuff this month, I've been carving out an extra hour each day to put into the interactive. Some of this takes the form of editing/updating old branches for continuity issues, but I've also been adding chapters or parts of chapters. At the moment I've got 10 more chapters I can publish. With luck and stamina, I might be able to write enough more to carry us to the end of the month.
Tomorrow's entry will start a 5-chapter run that picks up where "A Meeting of Minds" left off. Will and Caleb have been experimenting with masks and golems, but disaster strikes when they sell some of these items to Caleb's cousin, Dylan. The golem, disguised as a student at the tony St. Francis Xavier prep school, has run off, and they need to capture it before it does something to the real guy. Will and another Xavier student, Roxanne Hurley, have just gone for a short drive when they are intercepted by a quartet of hijackers, including two who appear to be twins ...
* * *
Because I'm still concentrating on short stories I am not officially open to commissions. But I am open to listening to pitches for commissions. If you'd like to commission something from me and you have an idea, feel free to send me it, so I can mull it over.
|I haven't managed to write any more Spider-Man scripts, not after the first, because I bumped my head on some continuity issues and have been nursing the bruise since. Instead, I've decided to devote March to writing short stories, with the aim of writing one a day. Most of these are written for contests here at WdC.
I know people come here for "Book of Masks" stuff, but once a week I'm going to trouble you anyway with links to the stuff I've been writing on the side. I mean, it's up to you whether to click on the links or not!
The first batch of seven actually come from late February, as I was warming up. Most of them are in the "weird" genre, meaning grotesque fantasy, and all of them are written tongue-in-cheek in the manner of old pulps from the 30s and 40s—or from the 70s at the latest.
At least one of them—you'll have to find it yourselves—might amuse the BoM readership as having a similar story motif.
Interactive: "A Dane Disguise"
Public: "A Dane Disguise"
—I've finished off another commission, one that I've been returning to off and on over the past few weeks. Starting tomorrow I will publish the last chapters in the first-and-last commission that I had on my plate: the first I accepted, and the last I will finish.
It picks up with "A Trap of One's Own Making" . Will's life is going to shit on account of some weird crap with the girls at school. A bunch of them have been coming on to him, then denying it. Now, people are accusing Will of inventing fake girlfriends, and of sending fake DMs and texts to himself in order to back up those lies. Our hero is angry and bewildered.
Last we saw he set a trap for his persecutors by arranging for all the girls that have been flirting with him (including a cheerleader, Maria Vasquez) to meet up at a coffee shop. He has just arrived to confront them, but none of them seem to have any clue as to what he wanted to see them for ...
This will be a ten-chapter run.