Trying to write this morning. Very difficult finding Trace's mood/voice at the beginning of Curious Weather--one of the problems I always had with this story. He's back in Miss Fairweather's house, trying to learn from her, and of course she immediately cuts him off at the knees.
Learning is by nature a submissive process. I'm one of the worst people I know when it comes to submitting to authority and yet I yield to my Sifu every time. I'm more humble before him than anyone else in my life. And it's not because he requires it, it's because I know I won't learn if I don't.
But it feels tremendously tricky to pull off that same submissiveness of Trace before Miss Fairweather without completely emasculating him. Trace is the hero, a grown man and we've already seen him be quite the badass, so I'm worried about making him put up with this mean little woman's crap.
Further complications ensue from the point of view. Trace is by nature a watcher, a doer, and while this makes him a reliable narrator, in her presence, her personality is so dominating that his tends to get lost.
Maybe I'm overthinking it. There are plenty of fantasy stories that involve the hero learning his chops, but those are almost always a young person learning from an elder. How to keep the balance? How to let Trace assert his own power? Once I get the ghost action rolling, it should be easier, but right now I'm flailing. Ach, soggy writing muscles.