Birth of a Novel - Chapter 5... is stuck

This is the fifth entry in my Birth of a Novel series of posts, where I talk about the development of my new YA urban fantasy.

I should have known I was in for trouble when I ran one scene over into a new chapter. I'm stuck.

Alright, at the end of chapter four, Zydeco ran back into a mucho mucho pissed off Hunter on his way out of school. Chapter five begins, as you might imagine, where that left off. And that is...?

That is with Elexuslash - a hottie we met in chapter one - sort of coming to Zydeco's rescue. By the way, what a cool name, eh? I played spin the name, and out spun lovely Lex. So anyhow, she shows up and Zydeco is off the hook, hopefully leading you, faithful reader, to wonder why.

But our ingenue Tameina is also there, looking out for Zydeco, making sure he's okay. And here we have a possible love triangle, a.k.a. the great big misunderstanding to come. In the midst of all this, Zydeco has to explain where he met Elexuslash, for she too is a mythological creature, and they met where such creatures meet in the big city. In other words, he's got to lie.

Here's a telling excerpt. The "she" below is Tameina.

She crossed her arms. “What happened, Zydeco?”

“Nothing,” I said. “Nothing happened.”

“Then why…?” Her eyes searched mine, and she ceased what promised to be a grand inquisition.

I blinked. What had she seen?

“Never mind,” she said.

I cringed as she reached for my shoulder. Note to self: avoid Hunter unless surrounded by other mythological creatures, where beating the snot out of him won’t raise an eyebrow.

“Just relax,” she said, rubbing the spot. “It looked like he was hurting you. Should you tell somebody?”

“No point.” My eyes threatened to roll into the back of my head as the pain diminished. I was like a dog getting his magic spot scratched. “Tameina. Man. Where did you learn to do that?”

She lowered her head slightly, although I caught tiniest of smiles flash on her face.

And then Elexuslash sauntered up to me. “Who’s your friend, Zydeco?”

And that's where I've become completely and utterly stuck. I know exactly what I want to have happen, say, in chapter nine, and at a high level, through to the end. I just haven't figured out how to get to chapter nine yet. *sigh*

I've been winging this book, you see, relying on the characters to tell me where to go, but I'm afraid they're starting to distract me from the major plot elements I've got in mind. So I'm thinking it's time to come up some kind of outline. I'm going on a plane in a couple of days and heading on vacation - seems like a fine time to draft an outline, no?

This attempt at "winging the book" is terrifying to me, you see. I generally start with an outline of at least the first several chapters before I begin writing. It's my map, my guide. It keeps me from getting lost. I had this great short story I once began. So excited, I was. Brilliant ideas in my head. I let whimsy guide me.

That story is still half finished somewhere on my hard drive.

So I must must must get an outline going NOW! I read a great tip somewhere that if you are writing character driven, let these little people in your head drive the first few/several chapters, and THEN, and only then, put together an outline. Maybe this will work out? I've gotten to know my little people, so maybe I can develop with a tour guide for them that'll have them do extraordinary things!

Oh, and this'll be my last blog entry for a couple of weeks as I'm heading to the house of mouse with the family.

To see what I think about chapter four, you can go back to the previous entry if you like.

You can jump ahead to see how it all works out after some time off.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait til you finally finish this so I can read it. =D Good luck with the outline!!

Jay said...

I'm a'gonna. I'm a'gonna! Just need that time away from work to figure it all out.

SM Blooding said...

You are doing AWESOME with this book!!!!!! WooHOOOOOOO!!!

Hey, wanted to let you know you've been nominated for an award. Stop by my blog for more details. It's in Birth of a Novel post.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you've nominated TWICE!!! xP I nominated ya too!! LOL