I has notes. Specifically, over 1000 words on what the hell is up with the Kiln and Kin setting, what exists in the world, why it does and that it is no longer set in this world but one slightly off to the side -- specifically, that certain psychic abilities, known as talents, are known to the population at large but their provenance is variable and there are always con men willing to fake having them, some quite successfully.
Other stuff exists, but in general people with said gifts (like Qirjin's family) have learned through bitter experience to hide themselves from the world at large. There are also some stuff that simply isn't real, such as ghosts and chatting with the dead, no matter what some people claim or think. There is a kind of magic in the world, but it is hard to use and not remotely replicable most of the time so people pretty much don't bother with it, and there are odd people with elemental affinities having a private war in a dream-world. No one, not even them, knows how this started or what the point of it is.
In essence, I hit the 30K mark of the story, sat back and went: I need to figure out this setting, since what was meant to be the main plot has fallen away in favour of Other Stuff that, while decent, is a bit too knock-on-head for what I wanted from the story. I also need to redo the first couple of paragraphs entirely since they have a more 'this story is being told from the future' vibe that the story loses further in, and it's not a good future-vibe anyway. I need to develop secondary characters a lot more and put more into the story without it being 'oh, look, a Bully!' and the like as characters because that's pretty dull. There are some scenes from the first draft I am keeping close-to verbatim, others I won't.
I could finish the draft of the story as it stands now, in 30-40K, but there would be too little to salvage for a second draft, so I figure it's better to make draft 2 over the next couple of weeks. Also, I realized sometime over the weekend that the story Kiln and Kin is telling is in some ways a reversal of Ghoulish Happenings, with the POV shifted to Bryce instead of Wray, if Bryce had no kind of magic and Wray was human rather than a ghoul, of course. It's not really that at all but some parallels are there if I go hunting for them. I figure it means I can write this and get certain plot-ideas out of my head and entirely away from the Ghoulish story.
What I want the story to accomplish is that it is about a kid on the cusp of high school who learns the world is weirder and stranger than most people ever known. It's about magic, and secrets that are blessings and burdens, sexuality, friendship and growing up. It's about who we trust and why, and the ways in which people can always surprise you by stepping out of the boxes we shove them into. I shall see how it goes.... tonight shall be character building, and tomorrow I will likely begin the second draft. As a saner pace than I did this one.