Scrivener Program Helps Reach 83,600 Words

I am at 83,600 words, which is respectable novel-length already. The Scrivener program is really proving its worth in a novel that is a lot more complex than the original Judging Angels. The biggest difference in writing this one is the difficulty of maintaining "the big picture" with more characters, more plot, and more settings. It isn't easy to find the right mix and rhythm. Scrivener lets me see an overview of of scene summaries, characters and their goals/motivations/conflicts, so I  can regulate pacing, keep characters true (and developing) and catch my tendency to wander before I waste too much time.

From a marketing angle, this second in the series avoids the confusion of genres of the first book, although as with much urban fantasy, there is a fine line between genres. Overall, I would still call it that with some good old-fashioned horror elements. It relies far less on the "capers" and philosophical ruminations of the first. There is a bit of cleaning up the mess left at the end of the previous book. (I hope readers want to know what happened to everyone after the train wreck of the last chapter.) More straightforward "people in predicaments" storytelling.

Because a good trial lawyer knows that every argument has three and three only parts, I have divided the sequel into three parts.

Part I, O Deep River, Lord, neatly ties up the left-over fates of the major characters in four chapters, using the theme of the river. (The title is that of an old Negro spiritual. Crossing the River is a key theme, and not just metaphorically.)

Part II, Reds, introduces two major new Reds while our original girl gets a well-deserved breather. The action is largely driven by these three very different ladies as the humans try to deal with the challenges they pose in two worlds. Reds might be less - and more - than you supposed. And a certain adorable lizard is probably a whole lot more than the cunning author led you to believe first time around.

Lots of Red versus Red action. And you thought they cause us problems! Bette Davis and Joan Crawford could learn a lot about vindictiveness from 6000 red-headed sisters who can only advance at a sister's expense.

Part III is Laikas, a reference to the first dog in space and introduced as shorthand for all abandoned souls in both worlds by the mad Dr. Lupescu. He is formerly of the dread communist Romanian Securitate (which answers the minor mystery of why the original Red - and her feather - use Romanian words). When Dr. Lupescu is on Team Human you know things could be better.

Brian takes center stage, and starts with a salutary lesson in humility from which he will probably learn all the wrong lessons. Humility is not a strong trait in a family named "Able." Alice is still angry, except when she has a reason to be "un'adorabile mamma casalinga americana con un culo sodo." She can be pretty darn winsome showing up at a guy's door at 3 AM in PJs, fuzzy robe and scuffy slippers, her trademark auburn ponytail dissolving into wispies over her lapis eyes, bearing two mugs of steaming cocoa. With just a "once over lightly" on the makeup. Poor new character, colorful "Fearless Demon Hunter" Joey Catania. Reds to the left of him and Alice to the right of him. Madonn'!"

It's still character-driven and everybody still must suffer the consequences of their choices.

Except Sandy. She has to suffer the consequences of her parents' choices. Kids always do. But don't worry, l wouldn't do anything too terrible to a six-year-old.

Note to Alice: don't forget to buy pony chow!

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