How To Write a Novel — Reveal

Day 66 of writing my novel in public

Photo by Isabella Fischer on Unsplash

I’ve started something scary here on Medium. It’s something I’ve done before, but never in public. I have a process that I’m going to follow, and I’d like to share it with you.

If you want to follow the journey from the start, go here.

If you missed yesterday’s, you can find it here.

Day 66 — Reveal

It has been three days since I last wrote. On Friday, I struggled to motivate myself to sit at the computer and do the writing. As the day wore on, I knew I could not do it and eventually I gave myself until Monday as a break.

I have not written every single day in my challenge of writing my first draft of my novel and that is okay. I know that when I return to it today, it will be more difficult than if I had maintained the momentum I had built up, but as long as I get back to it, then I will reach the finish line.

The end is not that far away, which should be a great motivator. I expect that if I keep writing this week, then I should reach the last scene by Friday. Fingers crossed.

Here are today’s story threads.

  • Everyone is about to eat their cupcakes.
  • Charlie realises that Miasmus’ actual plan was to lace his cupcakes with a stink that will make each person a personal stink bomb.
  • Charlie realises the cupcakes are dodgy. He asks Sandy, ‘Do you smell that?’ She says she doesn’t and Charlie says that is the point.

Against the clock

In order to make the words flow more easily, I’m going to set a timer for fifteen minutes and write until it goes off. If I do that three times then I should be able to produce the 750 words for today.

Miasmus had stepped up to the mike again and was making a speech.

“And now I come to my favourite part of the day. Over the last few weeks I have been privileged to know a special person who is the son of somebody I was at school with long ago. Charlie Quick is an undiscovered genius when it comes to creating the ultimate cupcake and I was fortunate enough to have him visit The Smell Tower and create something for you all to taste today. I hope that everyone has managed to pick up a cupcake.”

He paused for a great cheer that went up as a sea of cupcakes were raised into the air. Charlie knew the work that had gone into them and his chest inflated with achievement. Still the nagging voice at the back of his mind was at its most insistent. Something was not right and this was his chance to discover it.

He thought back to when he’d been in the stink lab discovering about Miasmus and the concoction he had put together. The potion had not smelt of anything. That had been the strangest thing. Surely combining all those stinky ingredients together would result in the smelliest, most foul potion imaginable and yet it didn’t.

“Hand me my cupcake please Dad,” he said, taking one of his creations from his father. With so many distractions around it was hard for him to isolate the smell from this cupcake, and yet he should have been able to see something. He held it closer to his nose. Still nothing. It was as if the cupcake had no smell.

He turned to Sandy. “Do you smell that?” he said, passing her the cupcake.

She shook her head. “It doesn’t really smell of anything.”

Charlie’s stomach backflipped and nausea swept though him.

“Miasmus has laced the cupcakes,” he said.

Sandy frowned at him. “I don’t see any lace.”

“Not lace like that, lace like poison. He made a smelly potion from the smelly ingredients he stole and now everyone is going to eat them.”

He suddenly had a vision of what had happened when Boo and Kay had ingested the liquid from the broken test-tube. Poisonous parples. If everyone in the crowd had the same reaction, it would be the biggest stink. Bigger than any stink bomb. And they wouldn’t be able to escape from the smell.

Although Charlie had tuned out, Miasmus was still talking up on the platform, giving some marketing talk about his scents again, and how he hoped that everyone would buy Womance, and that extra bottles were available for sale at all the exits. Charlie suddenly saw the entire plan. Miasmus was using his cupcakes to spread the stink. When everyone ate them and started parpling they would rush for something to cover up the scent, and Miasmus had provided that as well. Sales of Womance would be through the woof, sorry roof.

“And so, we come to the highlight of the afternoon,” Miasmus was saying, “Please, everyone, let’s join together in this taste sensation together.”

Charlie turned to his sister. “Sandy, we need to stop everyone from eating their cupcakes.”

She blinked at him, but she didn’t ask him why, only “How?”

“I know I haven’t been very good at seeing that you can talk to animals. I made it seem like you were making it up. But I know you saved me from the skunk, and I think you can help here. Can you call those birds down?”

He pointed up to where a great flock of birds had settled on the TV tower.

“Sure,” she said. And then what he really wanted seemed to make sense to her. “But I’ll need to get to the microphone if they are going to hear me.”

Charlie grabbed his sister’s hand and raced for the stage. They dodged round the crowd, all stationary and waiting for the cue to bite into their cupcakes. It took them only a few seconds to reach the front and Charlie swung his sister up and onto the stage. She ran to Miamsus and tugged at his trousers.

Miasmus looked down and smiled. Sandy pointed to the microphone. Miasmus hesitated for a moment, but then he said, “I think Charlie’s sister wants to say something before we eat.” He passed her the mike.

The sound that came out of Sandy was somewhere between a screech and a squawk. Amplified by the sound system it echoed round the show grounds. Charlie looked to the TV tower where suddenly the waiting birds started to take flight. They swooped down low over the onlookers and began snatching the cupcakes out of their hands. It all happened so quickly that no-one managed to hide theirs away and within a few seconds, the cupcakes were sailing into the air clutched between claws.

Reflections

This scene feels muddled, but I am celebrating the fact that I was able to write today and get the wheels turning again. There will be chance in revision to sort out what happens when exactly. I’m sure that I will need to rearrange the events to make the most of the tension.

Total words so far 35,808.

Tomorrow I will write the scene where Charlie calls Miasmus’ bluff.

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If you want to try the process with me and write your own novel, I’d love to have you join me on this journey. Put in the comments on how you went with this step.

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