Writing Wednesday: Masks Upon Masks

I’ve been balancing revising the Phantom and plotting for NaNoWriMo lately.  I’m almost done putting together background for major characters for my NaNo novel, and I’ve gotten through the (I hope?) most difficult section of my third Phantom novel.  I got past the opening, very rushed section (now very expanded) and am into a good stretch that’s already pretty solid.  So it should be clearer sailing…at least until the last couple chapters, which I’m pretty sure are rushed again!

For now, here’s a bit that I wrote forever ago that didn’t call for hardly any revising…and which is something of a fun nod if you’ve seen enough versions of the Phantom!


My attention lit on the narrow table at the far side of the room.  It was a dark wood that matched the bed, and a row of masks lay lined up along its length.  I went that way.

There was Red Death’s skull mask and the metal half-mask I first saw the night Buquet died.  Next to it was the cream-colored one he had worn the day we first spoke in the auditorium, and for Easter at Notre Dame; it matched in style the black mask Erik was wearing now, cut to hide everything but his mouth and chin, but the different color made it so much less ominous.  A similarly shaped one I didn’t recognize lay beside it, pale gray, cut in more gentle curves at its bottom and suggesting a hint of curved eyebrows above the narrower eye holes, a similar hint of cheekbones below.  That one actually wasn’t too bad, having a serene aspect.  Still, I reached instead for the last one, the familiar white half mask he wore most often, covering from forehead to jaw.

“Here.”  I held it out to him.  “It’s by far the least forbidding.”

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