Storytelling During Trump Time

by Shelton Bumgarner

As I’ve said repeatedly, the thing about trying to write the type of novel I’m writing is how up-in-the-air everything is. I have no idea what the mood of the nation will be whenever I try to sell it much less whenever it might be actually in bookshelves.

The story is meant to be timeless and yet timely, just like the movie Network. I want people to nod their head as they explore this fantastical world I’ve thought up. I want them to, in the back of their head, see the allegorical nature of the plot and universe.

Of course, there is a good chance this will piss MAGA people off. So much so, I continue to stress out about someone like Don Jr. telling his followers to hate read it. (Though that would be cool for the bottomline.)

But, really, I have to do the hard work. I have to flesh out the plot I have. I have to create a universe people will want to spend a few days in. It’s a lot of work. A whole lot of work.

And this novel is very autobiographical in a macro sense. I am using a lot of my personal life and personal history to tell this story. The better you know me personally, the more this will be obvious to you. I’m using a lot of my experiences in Seoul to tell this story. That is making telling this story a lot easier, believe you me.

I just have to keep writing. I just have to keep believing. I can’t get weighed down with insecurities. I do need to read more and watch more movies. I will admit that. I find myself studying popular movies to figure out what makes them a good tale and how I can improve my story from what I learn.

As I have mentioned, I found Hobbes & Shaw touched all the right bases of storytelling. And it doesn’t too much thought to see that through the use of subject, a lot of issues of the day were addressed. It was because of the complete lack of subtext that I absolutely hated Booksmart. That movie enraged me because I felt it was so eager to suck its own ideological dick that it miss the point of the whole endeavor: tell a great story.

Had Olivia Wilde leaned more into it being a homage of, say, Heathers, then I think it would have been a more popular film. And, yet, as I keep saying, I was obviously NOT the audience of that movie so I don’t really have much room to talk. But I felt it failed a story because of how ideological it was.

That’s a real risk for telling stories under Trump. Trump has made the political divide in America so taunt that it’s difficult to both tell a tentpole story AND use subtext to tell the audience what’s on your mind.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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