NaNoWriMo Day 23 (1827 words) [planning day] Visions from the Coffee Cup

—For anybody that reads this, I am using my writing for the day to collect my thoughts about the novel I have been writing. It has gone so far out of control that I need to take time to think about what I am trying to write at the same time that I am trying to write the thing. I am writing it down and counting it as part of my monthly word count because I have gotten to the point that I don’t know how to proceed on the novel. If you read this, you will see that the first fifty thousand words are only the beginning of my journey. I am going to have to rewrite almost from the ground up. I never thought writing a novel was going to be easy. Also I never thought it would be this fun.—

November 23 the day the novel died. Of course, it has been dead for a long time, but today is the first day that I actually had to resort to forcing my self to write anything despite it not even being disguised as part of the novel. Today I am simply writing to achieve the word goal. I had a general direction for my novel until about halfway through the month when Linda, the main character completed her story arc. This being a nonconventional story, her arc was about coming to grips with who she is. But there is so much strangeness going on in the novel that it makes drafting the story difficult.

I gave up on Linda’s story arc when she got Markey to come stay with her. I was having an easier time with that part because I could write about the strange goings on of a child that has come from a place where he held absolute power and could do anything he wanted to do without concern for guilt over the welfare of others. I thought this would be an easier story to write because it would be similar to Bewitched and all of the other Bewitched clones. However, I have this problem where I don’t want to make my stories to similar to everything else that you see out there. But when I started on this new story arc, all of the momentum of the novel went away.

I like the way the feeling of the story now that it is about Markey, Allen, and Linda, but it doesn’t feel like the same story. At first it felt like the resolution to Linda’s story, but it has kept going for far too long to be a resolution. I have even started to try to build up some tension in the story by reintroducing the cult aspect from Linda’s story, but it seems like the cult wasn’t fleshed out enough for me to make it come back to life in this second part of the story.

I am trying. But I don’t know the motivations for the cult other than they are the new villain. I should have known that it was going to be a bad angle because of how the cult just fizzled into a nothing in the first part of the story. I think what I need to do is look at what the cult is doing.

The cult has broken off from its original allegiance to Raul. Now it worships Stacy who was only ever an aspect of Mistress Carla’s greater personality. It had originally been an end of the world cult working to reunite Raul with his wife after she died. Raul had been working to help Linda reunite with all of the other aspects of Mistress Carla’s personalities. So that means I am going to have to rewrite the first part and add more places where Linda absorbs aspects of Mistress Carla’s personality. But what does that mean for the cult? So the cult of Raul could have been collecting aspects of Mistress Carla’s personalities. But Raul can’t have meant to reunite them in Linda because he wants to bring her back to be with him. Ok… I think all the cult stuff that I have been adding to the end of the story is going to have to go to the beginning of the story. Markey has to come with them to live earlier in the story too. Raul will be continuing to power his machine while he is allowing Markey to live with her. That means Raul finds out about Markey coming to see his mother after he comes to collect spot.

Crap! That means that I am going to have to create so many more characters. I don’t know how many characters I am going to need. Seven is supposedly a sacred number, but seven is a lot of characters to deal with. And seven seems like a lot of subplot goals to create. Three is another sacred number because it mirrors the Trinity, but that doesn’t seem like enough. So far, I’ve got Stacy. I think Judy will have to be sacrificed to become one with Mistress Carla. Judy and Stacy both have magical objects, the toy boat and the hairbrush. Those are parts of Raul’s destruction of the universe machine. So I need more of those. Linda’s mother was the original Mrs. Carla. She needs to be sacrificed. I don’t know how that is going to work because I thought I killed her off. That is right. Death is not Death in this story. It can happen at the hospital similar to the way she met with Markey and the other Allen at the hospital. So that’s three. Ellie May Henderson, Judy, and Stacy.

Mr. Branzino has a coffee pot. I think that means that his dead wife is going to be absorbed. Something bad has to happen at each of these absorptions too. I liked Mr. Branzino. I think he is going to have to lose all the memories and perspective that his talks with the coffeepot gave him. His life is going to have to go to shit. How does a life go to shit when all you are is a single old man who runs a sandwich shop? For one thing it means he doesn’t get to be grandpa for Markey. I get it. Mr. Branzino knows. He has been talking with Linda through the coffee pot for years. So he knows the plan. The same way he knew when to expect Linda through conversations over the years. I think he has to beg not to lose what she has given him. She had readied him for his wife’s death and readied him for her arrival but could never quite ready him for the sacrifice she is asking him to give. His scene has to happen earlier in the story. I don’t think that sacrifice is big enough for its placement late in the story.

So that brings me back to the cult. What do they want? Well, they must have to be controlled by Raul, but they have to be undercover. So instead of being the church of Raul in the beginning they have to start out as the church of The Mother Goddess as headed by Stacy. She can have gotten the toy boat from Allen, but she wouldn’t need to kidnap him until and unless she was trying to draw Linda to her. Then, that is why it is unusual when Linda sees Allen in her coffee. She is seeing him in her world because he has been placed there by Raul. Then, that means that Raul knew about Linda before Markey met her. Now, I remember. Markey saw her and told his dad about her previous to the spot incident. But that could be a good reason for Raul to get into contact with her and allow for Markey to stay with them. So Linda has to have found and absorbed one of the aspects of the Mistress Carla personality—Why did I have to write such a strange story without planning any of it in advance? It is making coming up with a story plot very difficult—so what is it I do know now?

Raul is orchestrating the cult.

Stacy is at the head of the cult as a kind of final boss or whatever.

Judy has to be absorbed.

Mr. Branzino’s wife has to be absorbed.

Linda’s mother has to be absorbed.

Markey has to go live with them earlier to have trouble at school and the park.

The appearance of a naked and beaten Allen is still the inciting incident.

The cult has to be involved in all of this. They were there on the street corner when Francisco disappears, and Allen ends up in her bed. Judy hasn’t simply cleaned up, but she had cleaned up with the help of the cult. So that means that the cult reaches beyond the city—also, I have to come up with a name for the city. Linda’s coffee powers need to have a use and a price. I know what that use is. Linda has to call the people through the coffee in order to absorb them. That goes with the undead theme of Markey’s powers if she has to absorb her dead mother and Mr. Branzino’s dead wife. That would give Markey a use for his powers too if they had to work together to call back the dead for Linda to absorb them.

Problem: Why is Linda going out and absorbing people? What is her motivation for this other than the cult is annoying? She has to have some motivation to bring her personalities back together. Raul has to be lying to her. He has to be telling her that she needs to regain her original personality in order to stop the cult from bringing on the destruction of the universe. However, it turns out that she must regain her personality in order for Raul to power his machine destroy the universe and bring her back to him.

Something has to be happening with Allen because he is the same person as Raul. Somehow, he regains his connection with Raul. It could be his taking over of the fatherly responsibilities of Markey. Markey still has to be evil-good so he has to practice his necromantic powers. I think that Allen’s accompanying Markey through the portals to hell and tutoring him in the Necronomicon and all that would require a bit of Raul’s powers. I think that Raul will have to intentionally diminish his own power to loan it to Allen. In the final battle Linda, Markey, and Allen will all have to work together to break Raul control of the machine and stop it from destroying the universe. I am not sure any of this helps me to come up with more novel to write for the rest of the seven days of this month, but at least I got today’s wordcount finished.

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