got my plot for NaNoWriMo written out last night, and it is officially the strangest thing I have ever
cooked up. And I've written some very strange things in my time. But everyone who's seen it thinks it's great, so I must be onto a good thing with it. This will give me something concrete to work from, so that I don't draw a blank come November second (like I did in 2003). It's the result of four-and-a-half months of thinking and plotting. NaNo is also an excuse for me to resurrect the idea for a story I was writing earlier this year, and ended up not being able to finish. So here goes...
Taylor has it all - a dream career as a musician, a family, and the dream life in New York City. That all comes crashing down one night in 2005, during his band's summer tour, and he finds himself standing at the gates of Heaven. The gatekeeper directs him to a door just off of the gates, and sitting at a row of tables in the room beyond the door is a group of robed men - the Twelve Apostles. He is told that the reason he has been 'snatched' from Earth so suddenly is that he has fulfilled his purpose in life - that purpose being to help others, which he has done through his music. The Apostles, seeing how distressed he is at having his life cut so suddenly short, give him a choice - he can pass through the gates into Heaven itself, or he can return to Earth. He tells them that something he had always wondered about was how his life might have turned out differently if he hadn't
chosen to become a musician, and the Apostles grant him his wish - but with a slight twist.
...yeah. And that's just the prologue! Strange, no?
Anyway, onto the story proper. We meet the Wyatt family, in particular Alex and his twin Ainslie. Unbeknownst to Alex, he is the exact double of our friend Taylor, and has all his life been having 'visions' of his double's life, mostly in the form of dreams. In the middle of July 2005, the visions suddenly stop, with absolutely no explanation for their disappearance whatsoever. Ainslie, who is the only living person aside from Alex who knows of her twin's visions, has a theory that she shares with her brother, that theory being that Alex's double has died, and she shows him an article she found on the Internet to back it up. The two of them, having no real obligations to tie them down, decide to take a chance, and they head off to America to track down any information they can about Alex's double.
August rolls around, and in Los Angeles they come across Izzy. Izzy is particularly drawn to Alex, telling him that before she was born, her mother had a baby, a boy, that was stillborn - Alex, she says, is the exact age her brother would have been had he lived. They tell her of their 'quest', right down to the visions, and she too joins them on their journey. The three of them jump in Izzy's truck and go on a road trip across the continental United States. For some unknown reason, they decide to stop for a few days in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Here is where it all gets very interesting indeed.
Natalie, Taylor's widow, has moved with her son and daughter to her husband's hometown in order to be closer to her in-laws. She's in the park one day, walking around in an effort to clear her head, when she spots Alex, Ainslie and Izzy. Thinking that her husband is back from the dead, she bolts over - which of course is when she realises that Alex is not
her husband, mostly because Alex speaks with a completely different accent. As she turns to walk away, Ainslie spots her and waves her over, asks who she is and all that - and the whole story comes tumbling out, in between tears and apologies for telling them her story when she doesn't even know them. Natalie eventually explains that she thought that Alex was her husband, who had died a month earlier during a concert. That is when Alex and Ainslie realise that Natalie is the wife of Alex's double, the 'missing link' so to speak. Alex tells Natalie of his visions, and Natalie in turn tells Alex that her husband had been having visions of Alex's
life. It soon dawns on them both that they were meant to meet, and Alex asks Natalie if he can see her again, just as a friend. She agrees, and they start 'hanging out'.
A couple of months pass. It's now November. Alex and Ainslie have returned home, and Alex picks up the courage to ask Natalie if she would like to take their friendship to the next step - a long-distance relationship. She tells him that she'll think about it - she wants to see if she can get through the rest of the year first, in particular her first Christmas without her husband since they (she and her husband, not she and Alex) met. Christmas and the New Year come and go, and Natalie tells Alex that she is ready for another relationship - even if Alex does remind her a little too
much of her husband. There's a bit of a catch, however - Alex has to return to the USA and meet not only Natalie's family, but also her in-laws. Cue the fun and games.
Flash forward six months, to the summer of 2006. Alex has taken the final step and has moved to America, so that he doesn't have to keep spending money on airline tickets every couple of months. The one-year anniversary of Taylor's death has arrived, and Alex accompanies Natalie to the cemetery. He's head over heels in love with Natalie, and wants to ask her to marry him, but knows that today isn't the day to pop the question - of course, Natalie has other ideas in mind. She tells him that she knows what Alex wants to ask her, and to just hurry up and ask her already. He waits until they've left the cemetery, and then
he pops the question, to which she says yes.
Cue the epilogue. Ten years later, Alex and Natalie are happily married and living in New York City with Natalie's children from her previous marriage, along with their own children - twin girls and a boy. The oldest child, Natalie's son Ezra, decides he wants to know how Alex and his mother really
met. He doesn't want the 'watered-down' version, he wants the whole story from start to finish. And so they tell him.
It feels good to finally get that written down. I don't know why I didn't do it earlier! And I wasn't smoking anything when I cooked that up, I swear. It's just the way my mind works. And I have taken on enough dares to keep the story going - I just need to find some song lyrics to use in an effort to pad out the word count.
I won't be putting my NaNo up anywhere public until December at the earliest - I'm going to be posting the whole thing chapter-by-chapter in my NaNo livejournal, and if I get a positive reaction from it there I'll unveil it to the world. I'll post a link to the public version if and when I get it online.