What's my best metaphor? I like ridden by the muse because it has this being screwed in both a good way and a bad way implication that fits the way that writing has (yet again) taken over a lot of my quality time. Then there's sunk into fantasy. I'm definitely sinking, although there's a quality of being swept along a swollen river factor, probably with a waterfall coming up soon. In the zone: definitely zoning out for very long periods of time whether I'm at the computer or not, working out what's going to happen.
What's getting written? I've been swapping between Signet, the sequel to Masks, and a concept that I've restarted twice before and I think I've got it right this time--working (ugh, can't even bring myself to call it a title, more like calling it names when it gets on the bus) King's Breed, which was previously Kingmaker. Really need a new working title for it.
Anyway, I started out Signet wrong, which is normal, so I restarted it. Following the theory of deleted writing isn't always wasted, I realized that I could use that false start as a logic train for Lark. Basically, on his long ship voyage back to the mainland, he thought out as many possibilities as he could. If he'd picked the most paranoid and reactive path, like I started him out with, he'd quickly paint himself into a corner and wouldn't be able to do anything without taking even worse risks than the ones he'd been avoiding. So, rough draft two starts out with him taking the tiger by the tail, and when Winsome protest that ack! too dangerous what are you doing?!! he can honestly say I couldn't think of a better way to get it done. Call me stupid, but this is how it has to be or we'll fail. Believe me, my writer tried it a way that seemed much smarter and we got stuck in an incredibly crappy place. So just relax and enjoy the impending doom.
The issue with King's Breed that I'd been having was not enough of the right kinds of magic. I tried writing it completely without magic and that didn't work either. The characters themselves, their souls are steeped in magic and under the threat of gods and creatures far more powerful than them and that's where they operate best. 'Normal' problems roll off them like water off of oilskin. And yet I didn't want the typical amorphous, worshipped sort of gods and typical magic, because then everything comes off shallow. (See how many drafts of this damned thing I've tried??!! You'd think I'd just give up on it altogether.) I think I've got it this time. Magic is soul, and soul is magic. The farther away you get from the soul's tether, the more difficult employing magic becomes. Most can't affect anything outside their own bodies. Really magical creatures/people can affect things they are intimate with (interpret intimate freely here.) Super magical creatures can affect things they touch as long as the other soul is on board with the changes. Very powerful magical creatures can overcome another soul's will and dominion within the husk. And the most powerful of all, those refered to as gods, can affect things with souls without even touching them (though even they need to be pretty darned close.) Suddenly my conflicts clarified, and the danger was clear. It's been a fun ride for this first 5000 words. Don't. Want. To. Stop ...