I finished an important chapter today. Having done that a problem arose:
Marvin is ejected from the mansion for having Maribeth and terribly nearsighted Jonathon try to get in the back door of the Los Alamos Defense Department super computer. Marvin thinks he needs more brainpower. Robert sees what is going on and rats to Richard. So, Marvin is homeless again. Where, I thought all last week as I wrote that difficult chapter, should Marvin go after he is thrown out? Back to the loading dock? No good. To Jonathon's tiny apartment near the University of Denver? Something told me, no. But then where?
A flash of inspiration an hour ago:
Maribeth has met clumsy, seemingly inept John Delilah in an earlier chapter at a political fundraising dinner at the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver. Sampson is also there with Amy. Delilah is pining (loves Amy) and confides to Maribeth...he winds up walking her home to the Governor's Mansion. She adores this stammering, gracious man; kisses him on the forehead at her doorstep, sending him on his way, telling him to thank God he is exactly who he is.
So, Marvin is homeless. Maribeth feels compelled to help her wonderful Marvin find a new home. Marvin DOES go back to the dock, humiliated, defeated, open to the siren call of the demon who haunted him all his life; the bottle. He goes on a first class bender. Maribeth finds him after having talked to Delilah; getting Marvin a fantastic room in John's art-filled loft. Marvin sobers up and begins again in a truly enlightened environment.
NOW...Amy has also gone to John's incredible loft (after the concert in the park a few chapters back). John loves her. Adores her. She doesn't love John (she thinks). Marvin loves her, too, or at least the IDEA of her. He has seen her once and has her face memorized. She is the object of his mad quest.
I have constructed the book with two different plots running parallel. They must merge. The question has always been, where? How? Now I have it. All the key players are united in a single ending plot centering around Marvin's new home, and his finally meeting Amy there. That should be fun to write. There is the potential for real conflict, tension, and then the climax and resolution. Of course, sadly, Delilah must die :( at the hands of John Sampson.
Should Marvin, though, accomplish his goal to reverse his age? I'll figure that out.
The point is, the plots can now seamlessly merge with growing tension (and of course, a little humor. Marvin IS Marvin, after all).
I'm going to have to go back and bag the first fourteen chapters, probably, but no sweat. Only about 150 pages or so. Tighten it all up. Much work, but I'm smiling again. I can do it.