I am, at present, almost 8000 words into the current version of Boy & Fox. A good 3000 words of the previous version remain, edited and altered (mostly description) and things slowly come together. The previous version was a finished draft, but contained too much plot and not enough story. For this version, I am leaving much unsaid, trying to let the surface of the story mirror the depths without bonking the reader over the head with it. Shall see how it goes. I know the final act, but not precisely the ending.
And am going to write, later today or tomorrow, the introduction of Bess into this story. She is important to it as Boy needs a friend to help him come to terms with his life and Reynard Fox is many things but friend is stretching it a lot: even Boy knows that without knowing it. She explains the Kingdom to Boy and is both fun to write and essential to the story. Having said that, I never really had a handle on her as a character before. She's been everything from a werewolf to under a curse and even a quasi-assassin in various drafts.
For this one, I realized that I needed to establish boy Boy and Reynard Fox first before she came in and set up the basis of their own odd relationship and will come close to my rough idea of introducing her at ~10K into the story. She plans to use Boy, but at least will be honest about it. Much of her past will be unsaid in this version, just terse hints about the Academy though not really what the point of it is -- or why the Kingdom finds it necessary to have a place to train girls to be ladies. There's a couple of secondary characters I need to fix, but we'll see how it all goes.