Sekrit Projekt R&R: Chapter 9

Last week was stupidly productive: we wrote most of Chapter 8 and all of Chapter 9. And they weren’t short, either. But it may be a while before I report in on Chapter 10, because Worldcon is going to eat a lot of this week.

Chapter 9 is in some ways an exemplar of the book, I think. Much of it is taken up with politics of the social variety: not the formal, “let’s negotiate a treaty” kind of work, but rather the ways in which things like being fashionable can translate into attention and therefore into connections and therefore into power. The ability to get something done politically in exchange for talking the right person into publicly having tea with a social outcast, thus tacitly granting that outcast readmission to polite society. Offers of marriage as a strongarm tactic. Etc.

But it isn’t all social politics. Some of it is also a duel with bonus trash-talking. Or breaking into a house while disguised as a servant. Or flirting. Because we’re us, and we enjoy those sorts of things, too.

Word count: ~73,000
Authorial sadism: Some sick burns in that trash-talking. And some actual burns later on — evidence came out regarding a certain fire. But I might give the nod to the thing I didn’t see coming, which was Alyc realizing that, logically, what we had set up would mean a certain character unexpectedly caught sight of their mother.
Authorial amusement: We’ve been waiting seventy thousand words to stick those characters in a very small closet together. 😀 Honorable mention, though, to the formal debut of the World’s Gaudiest Spider.
BLR quotient: Despite all the political maneuvering, and the duel, and that evidence about the fire, I give the award to love. Because of hiding in that closet . . . and because this is the moment you see the whole T— family pull together.

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