Beginnings and Endings

Quasi-philosophical questions of the night:

When / where does a story begin?

When / where does a story end?

Does the story ever end?

Or does it go on and on, my friends?

[Apologies for the inadvertent ear worm.For those who don’t know the reference, search for “The Song That Never Ends” on YouTube.]

To paraphrase from the aforementioned song, some people starting writing stories, not knowing what it would become, and they’ll continue writing them because…

Well, you know.

Anyway.

As I attempt to extract the ear worm from my brain space, my thoughts wander quasi-aimlessly back to when and where (how and with whom) the narrative arc should / could start and end.  Since the MASC Chronicles, often mentioned yet never in much detail, spans across time (and possibly) space, the task of finding its start and its conclusion is a never-ending quest – a task that will most likely be a story in and of itself, which will be written (or at least outlined) sometime in the near(ish) future. In finding where the “true” beginning of a story, mapping out the history (real, imagined and exaggerated) looms large, leading to the environs of the Land of Exposition and all the paths down which the narrative can travel.

Sometimes it’s easier to start at the “end” and work backwards, or somewhere in the middle and go back and forth with numbing regularity. Determining that point is probably the hardest part, though I have a distinct feeling I am (and have been) overthinking it. Not to mention I’ve probably expounded this notion before (and most likely will do so until the End of Time).

The characters for Series One of the MASC Chronicles (still set in the late Victorian Era, though whether it’ll be historically accurate or a quasi-alternate version of that era remains to be seen – toying with a variant of Steampunk is temping) are pretty much set, though their motivations are a bit murky. The plot for (almost) each book is (fairly, albeit generally) set, with only the details missing.

Series Two may or may not continue in the same exact universe as Series One, and Series Three might be different from both (or not). While much of the structure of Series Two and Three are sketched out, it’s not exactly set in stone (the fact that I’ve plotted that far into the future – in terms of the idea of actually!writing them and in terms of where the characters’ descendants end up  – is a milestone in and of itself, even if it’s not been planned out in full detail).

Which brings things (almost) back to full circle – where / when to start and how much explanation is needed.

Minor updates of the goings-on in the Land of Exposition:

  • There’s a chill in the air (wind’s in the east, and a mist is coming in, though upon closer examination, it’s just some mischievous plot bunnies playing with a fog machine)
  • Winter remains in full effect, despite promises of an early spring, and the smell of bacon accompanies the lingering aroma of maple syrup
  • The Real Life Brigade is busy inquiring about metrics for the costs and consequences of the minor skirmishes, analyzing how the imploding conflict could have been avoided and what improvements can be made in the future to guarantee stability and overall cooperation.

As it is really a chilly weekend (quasi-ironic for Single Awareness Weekend), I might end up hibernating (with copious amounts of coffee an chocolate) and attempt to figure out (once and for all) where/when/how/with whom to start the MASC Chronicles.

Then again, when I first pondered my first pondering about what became the MASC Chronicles, Series Two was the “start” with Series One as the (unwritten) exposition to explain Series Two, and Series Three was the consequence of the goings on in Series Two. At this rate, there might be a pre-Series One series to explain the goings on in Series One, and a post-Series Three to show the consequences of Series Three.

Maybe.

It will continue forever just because…

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