Changing Course

I was looking though the various email chains with Cora because I really wasn’t sure at which point exactly I cut the custody storyline and it looks like I literally left it unil July 2015. I sent her the following the email:

So here’s my thing going forward. I’ve changed the end of the story a few times, but all the versions had this concept of Sonny losing it over Johnny, ending up in the hospital, and then having a depressive spiral that ends with him deciding to go after custody of Evie. Which is fine in theory, but as I started to write it, I found myself picturing how the men under Jason and Sonny would deal with this, and it’s always struck me that with Sonny being who he is, Jason represents the stability. Would men like this put up with Sonny putting them in danger? So I wrote them pushing Jason to make decisions, to take over. 
And once I have those scenes, I have to have Jason dealing with it, so I think I’m going to change up how I was going about this. I’m still going to keep elements. So in the chapters I’m going to send you later (I want to tweak them), Jason learns Sonny has Johnny locked up somewhere and isn’t using men from their organization to hold him, which makes Jason suspect he’s getting help from somewhere else. And the danger from Anthony Zacchara isn’t something to sniff at. 
So Jason tries to keep things status quo until Johnny’s situation can be resolved. Elizabeth is dealing with Steven and Audrey, of course. Audrey’s growing weaker, and surgery isn’t an option anymore. Jason is worried about his family being across the hall from Sonny, so Elizabeth suggests Audrey’s house so she can be closer to her grandmother and the kids can be out of the house. They move.
Audrey ends up in the hospital the same night as the shootout, as planned, so that goes that way. Caly pushes Sonny to make changes–she isn’t sold on the mental illness excuse (because it doesn’t really fit her narrative). By this time, Jason has taken control of the organization and told Sonny as such, so Sonny gives him what he thinks is a fair deal. Give back the business and he can keep Evie.  Jason refuses, and Carly and Sonny decided to go for custody, because she’s still convinced it’ll fix everything.
At the same time, Courtney is in the background talking to Bobbie, talking to experts and trying to get Michael and Morgan away from Sonny. She’s had conversations with Sonny that leads her to think his recovery was short-lived. I’m thinking that this could be the catalyst for the end of the story rather than the custody hearing.
So something like Bobbie teams up with Courtney, and they are successful in having a CPS worker come to the penthouse. Sonny’s anger during the interview alarms the worker, and she pulls Michael from school and Morgan who is with Bobbie that day. Sonny, having lost custody of his boys, decides to go after his daughter. Carly seems to get it now, which leads to that confrontation. And it takes place during the same time Nadine has gone to Elizabeth for help. Does that make sense? I need to tweak it a bit, I don’t know if it’ll work, but I don’t know that I want to drag out the story with a custody battle when I can keep the tension up. 
And I’m sorry for some of the spelling errors when I write these long emails, haha, I type fast and then never catch them 😛
By August 2015, the custody battle had been cut. But it stayed in long enough to be part of the final outline I wrote after making an even bigger story decision.

As you can tell if you’ve read the first two outlines, I had always planned to kill Sonny at the end of the story. It seemed like the natural narrative ending and I was suuupppper pissed at Sonny because at the same time I was outlining this story, he had just killed AJ on screen.

But then I started writing the story and I had to write Sonny’s illness in the story.  I had to write from his POV and the way characters reacted and I actually started to root for him. So I stopped to ask myself some questions and see what would happen if I kept Sonny alive.

So I wrote the following:

If I didn’t kill Sonny, where would the change happen? How would that work?

I could have him attempt to get help after his discussion with Elizabeth, but not really knowing where to go with it. Maybe he doesn’t tell anyone he’s trying because he doesn’t want to admit there’s something wrong.

But I want to keep the custody hearing because I want that black moment where Sonny goes for his daughter. So something needs to convince him he was wrong, there’s nothing wrong with him. It’s everyone else.

So what kind of treatment is rec’d for mixed bipolar I disorder?

Suicide is a major risk. Maybe that can contribute to the black moment. There’s a higher risk for substance abuse, there’s alcohol.

Maybe he doesn’t like the idea of taking mood stabilizers. Does he try them? Doesn’t like how it makes him feel? Maybe he could be on anti psychotics, which can lead to numbness. Antidepressants can aggrevate mixed episodes.

So therapy is less of a key for this. So let’s consider medications that may aggravate his condition. He could go during a low point in the cycle, Elizabeth’s visit could send him into depressive mode. Which might lead to him being put in anti-depressants.

This could ramp up the problems, which might lead to his shooting at the warehouse with Johnny. After that, his therapist could try the anti psychotic, but Sonny could really hate the way it makes him feel. Numb. Not like himself, so he could go off that around Evie’s birthday. He could tell himself he’s trying to get help, Jason should see that, and therefore he’s met the requirement. How should Sonny rationalize this? Which medications should he be on?

Anti-depressant: Paxil

Anti-psychotic: Abilify or Seroquel

Need to look up the side effects of these.

Bipolar disorder II is commonly misdiagnosed, which makes sense. Sonny gets a visit from Elizabeth, which makes him depressed. He wishes he could by the man she talks about, doesn’t believe he can be, so he goes to New York where he is much less known. Talks to a doctor who diagnoses him with depression and prescribes Paxil. This is mid-July.

Custody battle stuff, tweaked for the changes. Rest of story stays exactly the same, until the shootout at warehouse where instead of Jason killing Sonny, Sonny has a moment of lucidity and turns the gun on himself. He wants to make it all stop. Jason stops him by shooting Sonny himself. There has to be some changes to the Carly part of the story. I want them to get divorced, Sonny should probably head off to the island to get some help. Not clear on the details.




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