This is the fourth entry in my Birth of a Novel series of posts, where I talk about the development of my new YA urban fantasy.
So there I was writing chapter four, and then I realized that I had sort of progressed onto the next chapter, so I had to stop, insert a "Chapter Five" somewhere in there and then give it a rest. That was weird. Normally, I know when to stop, but I realized I'd left a pretty good little cliffhanger in there, so decided to end the chapter there.
So in this chapter, we get a little taste of Zydeco in school along with Blaine, who continues to show his funny sidekick personality - actually, he's a bit gross too. But we also meet Tameina - Zydeco's best human friend. She's this little thing - think waif. And she really kinda likes Zydeco a lot, but lacks a bit of confidence, so when the resident hotties try to make their move on our protagonist, she kind of runs away. But what makes her so excellent is that as much as she really digs him, she in fact likes him so much that his happiness is more important to her than her own. She is that selfless. Man, I'm getting choked up thinking about how self-sacrificing she is, and I've barely written a chapter about her!
Add to all this that Magenta has made Zydeco realize that Tameina is a really *hint-hint* nice girl. Poor Zydeco - he's a griffin - they mate for life, and somewhere in his backstory, he'd kind of had a girl griffin, so... What's a griffin to do?
So, here's the opening.
The cafeteria of P.S. 169 offered the finest sloppy joe’s three dollars could buy. There was nothing in the world like chunky vomit on a stale bun at 10:15AM, which is why I usually skipped lunch.
Tameina leaned across the table and prodded Blaine’s sandwich with her index finger. It oozed at her touch, shifting back and forth like so much jello. She slid back, leaning sideways in her seat. “Oh, that is just gross.”
Blaine lifted the sandwich off the tray and gave it a cursory examination as the meat substance ran down his dark wrists. He shrugged and then stuffed half of it in his mouth.
Tameina buried her face in my sleeve. “Tell me when he’s done.”
And then just one more thing to throw at you. The "she" below is Tameina.
I blinked. “Wait. Did you say pinstripe suits?”
She slid a few strands of black hair over her ear. “Well, yeah. Mean something to ya, smart guy?” She grinned and looked up at me. Something about that big smile on her heart-shaped face blinded me a little. I privately cursed Magenta.
Anyhooo - the chapter is, I hope, a nice little mix of character development and plot development, especially later. Oh, by plot development, I mean tension. I'm big on tension. This is something I got from reading Donald Maass',Writing the Breakout Novel, and I firmly believe in tension.
As far as characters go, I had some big ideas about Zydeco and Tameina, but I've decided to take their relationship just a tad slower. I don't want it to advance too quickly. On the other hand, I probably shouldn't wait too long, given that the major plot arc will take over soon enough.
I really also hope I didn't rush some of the scenes and I hope Tameina's reactions to another girl flirting with Zydeco is believable. Man, I really hope that's the case.
That's all for now. Stay tuned!
To see what I think about chapter three, you can go back to the previous entry if you like.
You can shimmy over here to read about chapter five.