523 words.

There’s a character in Loss of Separation who wears a mask. He’s meant to be threatening. So, what to go with? It took a long time to decide upon the kind of mask because there have been some pretty big shadows cast by mask wearers, particularly in cinema history, although I’ve read a few novels in which they play quite a part, if only symbolically (I’m thinking, predominantly, of The Dead Zone).

Jason and Michael, of course. And the dead Presidents in Point Break. The opening sequence of From Russia with Love. More recently, the clown masks littered across the first ten minutes of The Dark Knight. All good masks. As are the hyper-real masks that you’ll find in many instances of commedia dell’arte. But for my inspiration I turned to the film Eyes Wide Shut. I love the film (I’m a big Kubrick fan) and there’s something about its cold, highly-stylised Venetian masks that I thought would work for me.

There’s the threat of a mask causing unintended humour, however, so I’m going to test the novel on a select few before I go ahead… especially as I’ve given mine a strange twist.

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