This is the third entry in my Birth of a Novel series of posts, where I talk about the development of my new YA urban fantasy.
Chapter two - in the can. That's fancy-talk for, it's done. At 1100 words, chapter two is about 600 words shorter than chapter one, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. You see, chapter one ends with a cliffhanger that promises action. Chapter two delivers the action and the resolution to that action. Mind you, I leave some questions, otherwise why would you bother to keep reading?
The next scene will either be Zydeco at school the next day, or at home with Magenta (his substitute mom) that night. I haven't decided yet -we'll see where the muse takes me. I kind of like this chapter standing on its own, but it is short. I don't know that the chapters have to be of completely uniform length, to be honest. Lincoln Child & Douglas Preston appear to write their chapters until they're done, no matter how long or short, and I think I agree with that idea.
So, let's talk about what I like in this chapter. We discover that Zydeco is, to quote his best friend and erstwhile gnome, Blaine- "fierce and strong". A little demonstration, maestro...
"I've got your badge and warrant right here, buddy-roo." He yanked Blaine right up close to his face, holding him a solid foot off the floor. "Name's Hunter, right? Hunter. And you and your ear-ringed friend better not-"
Before he could finish his priceless sentence, I leapt onto the table and separated him from Blaine, who landed ass first on the last donut.
In one swift move I hooked Hunter under the shoulder and flung him across the room, where he collided with a neatly stacked set of folding chairs, causing them to become messily scattered instead.
A hand touched my shoulder and I spun around, beyond ready to fling the next guy through the window. It was just Blaine, though, brushing yellow custard and powdered sugar from his pants.
"I don't think he likes your earring, mate. Probably frowns on such expressions of individuality." A blob of lemon filling plopped to the floor. "Owe you one. Must be nice to be strong as a lion. Oh, that's right. You're half a one." He held his hand up. "Fierce and strong, mate."
Ah, the last donut. We hardly knew ye. The other thing I like is that we find out a bit about what Octavio can do, which leads me to my favorite dialog in the chapter.
I turned and cocked my head at the prone bodies of the three policemen. "Oh, dude. Looks like Octavio's gone all mythological on their asses."
Blaine stood beside me. "Indeed he has."
What am I worked up about? Well, clearly the length has me concerned, but I'll deal with it. Also, I've left Octavio with a bit of a mess to clean up, and I have to make sure that what he does "off screen/page" winds up being plausible. Oh well, that's a problem for another day.
To see what I think about chapter one, you can go back to the previous entry if you like.
You can slide on over here to read about chapter two.