Birth of a Novel - Chapter 5... is done!

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

A little vacation seems to go a long way, I tells ya. :-) Chapter five is NOW in the can. What happened? Brainstorming!!!! I bought myself a Sasquatch composition notebook, and began. I kinda sorta outlined what I expect to happen over the next several chapters. I always know how the novel will end, at a high level anyway, but I prefer to do what I call "just-in-time" outlining - about the next 7-8 chapters at most. As I get closer to the end, the end becomes more and more concrete.

In any case, this helped move the plot along, but then I also delved deeper into my characters. I've got several pages filled with all sorts of ideas, some of which will certainly come to light in the novel, but others are simply notions I'm toying with. We'll see.

So, where did I leave off? Last we saw, Elexuslash showed up, causing a nice awkward moment for Zydeco and Tameina. This scene is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for Tameina, but I think Zydeco comes through, leaving Tameina feeling pretty darn good about herself. It also sets up a very important future chapter involving Tameina & Zydeco, among others.

Once Tameina departs, it's just Zydeco and that vixen/siren, Elexuslash. Here's a snippet of their aborted flirtation.

Next thing I knew Lex’s hand was running through my hair, and it was like warm serenity drained out of me, replaced with something hot. It wasn’t a bad hot. Or, maybe it was.

“It’s very unusual, you know, silver hair at your age. I like it, though, especially how long you keep it.” She touched the stud in my left ear. “Diamond?”


She nodded. “It is diamond.”

When she slid her hand down the black rope around my neck and reached for the yellow stone, I flinched and pulled her hand away. Nobody touched the stone but me. At that exact moment, the heat had gone and whatever spell this siren held over me broke.

She pouted. “What’s the matter, Zydeco? It’s just a little pendant, isn’t it?”

I cradled the stone in my fist, and realized this girl was cataloging me like so much inventory. “I’m sorry, Elexuslash, but it’s personal.”

Her pout vanished, and she raised a pale eyebrow. “Elexuslash, am I? Not friends anymore?”

I also get to have her explain to Zydeco what happened to her "off-stage" after the events of chapter one. Hopefully, between her explanations and other questions, I've left the reader the slightest doubt about her in this chapter.

The chapter end's with Zydeco's gnome buddy Blaine reappearing. This kicks off the next chapter nicely. That next chapter - woo-hoo - I'm excited about it. It'll drive more of the mystery, give the readers more information, and if it all fits, kindle something more between Zydeco and Tameina.

Stay tuned!

To see what I thought about chapter five before I took some time off to clear my head, you can go back to the previous entry if you like.

You can jump forward to check out chapter six.

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