The problem with writing a thesis is that it’s just no fun to talk about. The novella, on the other hand, creates the kinds of problems that I find interesting . And thus there is nattering on about it on the blog.
The nifty thing about getting back to this story is that I’ve had the first scene in my head for a long while now – Miriam Aster holding a gun to a cat’s head, threatening it for information on the sly while the owner is off in the kitchen making some tea. The details around that image have shifted a bit since I first came up with it – originally she’d gone there looking for the cat, forcing her to bluff her way past the owner, but now seeing the cat is a by-product of showing up to talk to someone else. On the whole it’s lots of fun – both because Aster is the kind of character who takes threatening a feline in her stride and because the cat is becoming increasingly creepy and unpleasant as I go along – but it’s also trading an aweful lot on backstory that’s hard to drop in on the fly. And, since I’m fond of over-complicating things, this backstory is completely divorced from the “book 2 with the same characters and setting” kind of backstory I was struggling with yesterday.
At present the plan is to continue forward and see how much I can get away with – explaining Aster and the Cat is actually pretty easy to do without disrupting the flow, but now that the third character has entered the scene it’s getting harder to hint at backstory without disrupting the rhythm of the scene. The easy solution is to start the scene a little earlier than it does, providing context for everything that follows, but I suspect this will make me sad because I kinda like the immediacy of Aster with a gun pointed at a Russian Blue’s forehead.
Not that there’s any real point to sharing this, it’s just my brain bubbling over because it’s been permitted to work on a story again.