by Shelt Garner
The thing about the film Network is it’s both timely and timeless. It pretty much sums up how America was feeling at the time it was produced. It’s set in simply “the now.” As such, that’s what it makes it a timeless work of art.
I find myself thinking about Network a lot as I develop and write this novel because while I strive to write something as good as it, I realize there are some notable differences. My novel is set in a specific time and place. It’s meant to wallow in some of the major controversies of the Trump Era. But, hopefully, it won’t come off as preachy like Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart.” It’s meant to be a fast, easy, pulpy read that keeps you up for two nights you’re so eager to finish up.
That’s the dream. That’s the goal.
But to achieve that, I have a huge amount of reading to do. My writing is only mediocre on a good day, so, lulz. And, yet, I’m really throwing my heart into this novel so, if nothing else, it will be well thought out and articulated. I really have a commitment to the conceit, if nothing else.
The theory is, if I believe in this story, you, the reader, will, too.
I have thought out to an extreme level the different parts of the canon to such an extent that I’ve got a Star Wars-sized universe to play with. But, let me note, this is all in my head. I have done a lot of writing as part of development, but some pretty basic things — like formal character studies — I have yet to get around to doing. I may do that between finishing the first draft and starting the second draft.
I’m really looking forward to jumping into “Part 2” of the novel. I have a huge amount of work to do to get it to where it needs to be, however. It’ll never be as good as Network, but that movie definitely is influencing my ultimate vision for the novel.