by Shelt Garner
So, after about a year or more of development, I finally feel comfortable enough with the story I’ve been developing to “just write.” Do I win a prize? Am I cool now?
Anyway, things are not 100% set in stone, but I’m feeling pretty good. It’s taking me making every mistake possible to get here, but I’m finally now about to make a serious attempt at “just writing” a professional-grade first draft of a novel. It’s meant to be the first book in a two book story that might lead to an actual series if people like the characters.
The story is very much meant to be an American answer to Stieg Larsson’s original trilogy of work. But not in a derivative or hackneyed fashion. It’s pretty much meant to be an allegory of the entire Trump Era explored in the guise of a techno-spy thriller with elements of a police procedural. The first draft is going to suck so very, very bad. But all this hard work I’ve put into development at least allows me to feel confident enough to finish two drafts before showing it to anyone.
Whatever problems the novel has now comes from simply my innate inability to replicate the *structure* of The Girl Who Played With Fire because, well, lulz, I didn’t feel like doing all the hard work to follow it beat-for-beat. I really love that book, but not THAT much. I may eventually do such a next-level mapping out of that book’s structure out of sheer desperation, but for the time being, I’m content enough with what I’ve developed not to feel compelled to do that.
I have several other tracks I’m working on, too. I’ve got the second book in the story to work on (the first book ends in a cliffhanger) and I’ve got a first-person scifi-pandemic novel to map out as well as a scifi screenplay. I only am interested in the last two because I want the option of working on something creative should I need to catch my breath on the main “track.”
So, wish me luck. Sometime in the next few days, I’m going to “just write” as several people conspicuously told me to do 18 months ago. And those people can still suck it.