This really wasn’t my plan for the night (I thought I’d write a bit, then stop), but I finished “A Mask of Flesh.” Total of 4296 words, when all is said and done; 2538 of that was tonight.
I found the description in this story to be interesting. Ordinarily, me describing something (a person, a building, an object) is a sign that it’s important. For much of this tale, though, the two most important people in it — the lord of the land, and Neniza herself — were not described at all. Those omissions, surrounded by description that’s lusher than my usual and should probably get more lush when I revise, speak quite loudly. It’s an interesting inversion.
And I had fun with the description overall. I’ll need to go back and consult some visual references when I edit it, to make myself be even more concrete, but it was neat to sink my brain into a Mesoamerican context. So many details change. The people coming into the city don’t have carts, just packs — I didn’t have to keep to real-world Mesoamerican technology, of course, given that this is a fantasy setting, but I wanted to. They don’t eat beef or mutton or goat, but peccary and monkey. Clothing, even for the elite, is minimal, because of the heat of their environment. I had to fight not to shoehorn all of my ideas and research into this one vessel, and even then, I couldn’t resist slipping in touches like bloodletting and the World Tree. The whole point of this project, after all, is to present a society that is not what we’re used to.
So it’s done, which is nice, given how few short stories I’ve been writing lately. <looks around> Okay, what next?