This is the twelfth entry in my Birth of a Novel series of posts, where I talk about the development of my new YA urban fantasy.
Before writing this chapter (tentatively chapter eight), I grabbed my trusty green sasquatch composition notebook and sketched out the rest of the book, starting from now. And the more I scribbled, the more sparks that began to shoot from my head. Backstory appeared in a few brain cells - well a lot of brain cells. Plot points zoomed into focus. More character traits flopped around like a fish wanting to jump back in the ocean.
My goal? Make Zydeco's life utter misery, while amping up the story. While the story arc reaches its inevitable climax, he has to face losing everything. And I mean everything. He has to be utterly alone. And then when he has the slightest chance of not being alone, he has to make a decision that, if things go poorly, will guarantee total and complete despair. If things go well, he still won't have everything he wants. This is one of those moments. Your protagonist desperate wants/needs two things. Now make it impossible for him to have both.
Oh, the anguish. In the end, it boils down to how courageous I am as a writer. I know that in the end, he will not have everything he wants, but how much do I want to give him? Can I, for example, do to Zydeco & Tameina what Philip Pullman does to Lyra and Will?
Only time will tell.
As for this chapter, Zydeco and Blaine witness something ... horrible. It involves our nasty pal Hunter and his evil boss, the deputy mayor, Phineas Malice. Dang, I love that name. What do they see? Let's just say it does not bode well for the future of the Mythos. And it kind of starts the Wicked Witch of the West's hourglass on Dorothy's life, if you get my drift.
Two black creatures appeared low in the sky, large as bulls, with horns to match. They plunged through the air on deformed and bent wings and fell on the sheep-wolf. The carnage was over in seconds, the two flying demons bulleting back into the sky, each carrying half the prey's bloody carcass with it.
I also had a little fun with setting here, imagining an abandoned drive-in type theater inside a big old city park. Whereas most of the bits of city setting come from one or more actual city landmarks, this does not. I liked the idea and went with it. Writer's privilege, you see.
Hummm, what else? There is a small aftermath of what they've seen. Blaine is actually spooked, and concerned for his future. I worked a bit on his relationship with Zydeco, here. They've been best buddies (and big toe, Sergeant Hulka) forever, even when Zydeco was a griffin and Blaine a little gnome. Zydeco really would do anything for his friend, and I try to show that.
But of course, they are also just a pretty funny pair, so...
"Dude," I said, leading the way back down the road. "That was just … was that what I thought it was?"
Hands in his pockets, Blaine tried to kick a pine cone, but missed. He grunted. "What? Bloody evil incarnate?"
And so, we keep writing. The next chapter's theme is, living your life despite the undercurrent of fear. This should be fun. It's right there in my head and in the sasquatch notebook. :-)
Thanks for reading and stay tuned! Now, on to the next chapter!!!!
To read about the last chapter, slide on back to the previous entry.