I've been going through a spotty mostly dry spell of writing recently, but I have made progress on MttM. This progress was inspired by a post a friend linked to on the blog The Sharp Angle concerning the inciting incident and catalyst in one's story. It made me realize I'd left out quite a bit about the boys' friendship--in fact, I skipped the whole foundation of it in the original ms of MttM.
What I have now is much better. Not only is it describing the friendship the boys are developing, but it's enabling me to set up their departure better. It's also changing quite a bit about their trip through the forest, but that's okay. The story will be better overall, and I expect it to meet at least 80k this time around; before it wouldn't have met 55k, even if I'd gone ahead and written the ending to the first section.
Not only that, I've realized that instead of sections, I've got three actual books going here. A trilogy. Using the logline advice from more recent posts on The Sharp Angle, I've figured out just what the first story is about and what the title is: Attachment. This title fits for many reasons. The Nameless One has attachments to his life as it is as well as his desire for independence from what his father sees as his obligations; he also has an attachment to Anyit in that he's attracted to the other boy though he feels this is wrong, and his attachment to his religious beliefs fuel this misconception. Anyit is attached to his independence, almost as much as he is attached to his desire for friends, but he also lacks the capacity for emotional attachment to people and things, which makes the friendship difficult for him. The third and final aspect the title refers to is the attachment, the bond, the highest deity, Ceinthe, creates between the boys; it is a necessary attachment because it will anchor Anyit whenever he uses his powerful magic ability.
Aside from that, actual writing progress has been slow on it, but all the words are good. I'm just glad to be getting any at all, and I'm still very enthusiastic about this project.