I did some brainstorming with Elizabeth Poole today, which was incredibly helpful. I was wavering on 7Sac, as the scope was too large and the story too small. There wasn't enough steak and potatoes. It was mostly pre-dinner rolls. The story was at risk of falling into too many cliches, specifically the "build a team" story where the majority of the story is building the team and not actually dealing with the threat at hand. Plenty of good books have followed this route, but plenty bad books have too and frankly it's a trope I'm incredibly bored with.
So rather than assemble the team, I'm going to chase the team.
Here's the quick breakdown. The book begins with the main character, Cheshire. Cheshire meets Albrecht who offers the inciting action. Cheshire and Albrecht meet Ananta the Magician and his two slaves.
That was the mistake. Having Ananta and his slaves all appear at once put too much weight on forward action without explaining why these three people have shown up or why they become necessary for the group. I kept focusing on Ananta. The slaves were window dressing even though both of them are necessary for the plot's advancement.
So, the obvious track is to introduce them individually. But that's where the "build a team" thing comes in. Now Ananta doesn't have slaves. They've become Grant Black and Coeas, demon hunters in their own right. Saying something like "we need to find these men" when Cheshire has been hunting demons for 42 years is totally stupid. The man has killed more demons than the rest of them put together, so to suggest he needs to build a team to accomplish what he's been doing for decades rings incredibly false.
BUT! The same inciting action that applies to Cheshire applies to Grant and Coeas as well...IF they're not being recruited but being stopped. All the demons have to be killed within a 24 hour period, hence the demons Cheshire has killed reincarnating every seven years. If Grant and Coeas found and killed their demons as well, the cycle repeats itself and they'd have to wait another seven years (and Cheshire is already old as dirt).
Sure it's still a team in the end, but the task isn't to go find and recruit people, but to find them and stop them from screwing everything up. That pleases me.
I'm also juggling on POV chapters for people who are possessed by the demons. I have a few ideas for these, some of them safer than the others. I think I'll just have to give it a try and see what happens.
Regardless, in this case, I have enough where this is officially a novel to work on. I'm going to take my computer with me to work tomorrow. Huzzah!