Of Having A #Transgender Character In The #Novel I’m Developing & #Writing

by Shelt Garner

I’ve been thinking about and developing this novel for so long that I’ve grown rather dispassionate about it. It’s just my “job” as an artist at this point. One of the things I’ve wanted in the story since its original conception is a transgender character.

The story now has one — one who plays an important part in the plot — but I know that as long as there are people who like Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart” I’m in danger of evoking some serious hatred from the Left as well as the Right if, somehow, I miraculously sell this novel. The reason is, while I mean well by having a transgender character I *am* a middle aged white male and so Mrs. Wilde’s acolytes are likely to be enraged that someone like me would do such a thing. Only someone who is approved by the Left’s Twitter ragemachine can do that. Meanwhile, the Right will hate me for having a transgender character to begin with. You just can’t please anyone — especially if your a middle aged white man. It’s just not possible. By definition, you’re a member of the patriarchy, and as such, must be “slayed.”

But I felt that if I was going to muse on the Trump Era, I had to talk about the transgender movement in some way. I’m extremely indifferent to it all at this point, but it is a crucial aspect of Trumplandia. Transgenders are the go-to boogie man of a lot of MAGA dipshit fucktards. (Orange man IS bad, by the way, you fucking cocksuckers.)


I have very, very low expectations for this novel’s ultimate fate. I have a very specific vision — it’s one story, two novels. I simply want to go through the process of developing, writing and trying to sell a novel. If that doesn’t work out, I’m simply going to self publish and move on to the next creative thing.

Maybe a screenplay.

Mapping Out Part 2 Of The #Novel I’m Developing #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

I’ve pretty much figured out how to develop and write the rest of the first draft of the novel. The thing I was missing to date was an audience. Now that I’ve figured out how to “publish” chapters as I finish writing them, things should move a lot faster.

The reason is — I can’t go backwards. I have to accept that something is “real” in the novel’s universe because someone has seen it.

Things are going to get a little bit more difficult with Part 2 because it’s essentially the meat and bones of the first act. Right now, not a lot is going on in the novel in Part 1. I have to figure out how to spice it up some. I’m planning on going on a personal Writer’s Retreat this weekend and hopefully I will feel inspired by being alone with the novel for a few days. It’s worked in the past, so hopefully it will work again.

But, in general, things are moving fast.

I have a whole lot of reading to do. I really need to understand my characters better by reading up on subjects they would know about. That’s a lot of the backend stuff that is not as obvious on the page. It just takes time to actually read all this material.

I’ve been working on this novel for two years. It’s time to put up or shut up.

The Great Unknown That Is Trump’s Taxes

by Shelt Garner

The more I mull it, the more doesn’t seem to make any sense that Trump’s taxes will, ultimately, but the existential issue that we all hope it might be, should they be released. First and foremost, I don’t think we’ll ever see them, or if we do it’ll be long after it’s politically relevant, but let’s play pretend.

If Trump can get away lulzing the Russians putting bounties on the heads of American soldiers, do we really think his taxes will be any different? If you’re that 38% of the electorate that’s MAGA, I honestly can’t think of anything in the taxes that would shake your faith in either Q or Trump. If Trump isn’t very liquid and not really a billionaire….lulz? Trump has proven to the faithful whatever racist fucking thing they wanted from him in the first place. They’re not really thinking about how wealthy is really is at this point.

And even if or worst fears were true and it was extremely obvious that Trump was beholden directly to the Russians from a financial standpoint…so what? I mean, yeah, the usual silence in regards to Trump from the Republican ranks might be even more quiet than usual…but so what. They’ve thrown their lot with him come what may.

In a sense, I think Trump’s taxes are much like the Iraqi WMD issue. Saddam REALLY didn’t want us to poke around his country in a big way, even though he did not, in fact have WMD. Which, of course, led to his downfall anyway. So, in a sense, Trump’s taxes — no matter what we discover in them — will be a big old fat dud.

All I can say is Trump’s poll numbers would have to sink down into the 20s, like, NOW for anything to matter. If the economy tanked in a big way in, say, August-September, then we might be in for a little bit of a crisis. But not an existential one. We’re just too close to the election. Trump’s going to get a pass until Election Day and then the Russians are going to hack into our election systems…and Trump wins.

And it’ll be a solid 18 months before we can have another go at impeaching him, no matter what else happens.

Finished The First Draft Of ‘Part 1’ of The Novel #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

Well, after two years of development, I have reached a important milestone with the novel. I’ve finished “Part I.” Now, to pause for a day or so to clear my mind before heading into Part 2, which is significantly longer.

I’m quite pleased with how things are shaping up.

My vision is really beginning to take shape. I had no idea how hard it was going to be to get to this point. I came up with the plot of this one story, two books concept over the course of an afternoon. I simply did not have, at the time, the storytelling ability necessary to tell what is a reasonably complex story in a very simple manner.

But I really believe in this concept — and am obsessive enough by nature to wade through every possible mistake — and here I am. I’m very, very pleased. It’s just a matter of staying focused on my vision.

The main thing driving this novel is my fucking white hot rage at the Trump Administration. I feel so powerless, that writing the novel at least gives me the sense that maybe I might, at some point in the future, make a difference in a big way.

I guess only time will tell.

The Lincoln Project & The Law of Unintended Consequences

by Shelt Garner

Like a lot of people who hate the Trump Administration, I’m tickled pink with the potency of The Lincoln Project. And, yet something about it makes me nervous. They’re so good at their mission, that I worry at some point down the road the they may turn their dark arts on a different set of people.

Now, I have no idea how this might happen or who they would go after. In all likelihood, Trump will steal the 2020 election rather brazenly and they’ll keep at it for another four years. Or if Biden does somehow magically win (and is actually able to get sworn in) my fears my never come to be and that will be that.

And, yet, Trump is such a seminal figure in modern American politics that it’s possible all kinds of surreal things may happen in the next four years, no matter what. As I’ve said repeatedly, a Trump-like figure was bound to happen in the United States at some point between 2016 and 2024 for cold, hard demographic reasons. But here we are.

I just worry that a group such a The Lincoln Project which “radical” #NeverTrumpers may realize what a good thing they have and, at some point, become the bane of some of the very groups they’re currently aligned with in the seemingly never-ending quest to end Trump’s reign of terror.

It would be classic mission creep.

But, again, I have no idea how my fears would come into being.

Things Are Falling Into Place With The #Novel #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

This weekend has been very productive so far. I wrote the first draft of the first chapter and now I’m doing a huge amount of pre-flight work on the second chapter.

Really, the only thing pausing things right now is inspiration is coming at me hard and fast so I need to make sure my scene summaries are as jam-packed with excitement, plot points and character development as possible. I don’t want to rush things. I want to be methodical.

Trump being a fucking enraging traitor continues to provide the energy needed to develop and write this novel. All I need to summon up some serious motivation is to “doomscroll” Twitter a little bit. One thing I’ve always wanted this novel to be is something of a “Twitter in real life” kind of thing where you see different types of people on Twitter represented as they would be in real life.
So, in that sense, this novel is — and always has been an allegory for the Trump Era hidden inside a breezy, pulpy thriller.

I hope to wrap up pre-flight on the second chapter very soon, maybe this evening. Then, as always, I’ll wake up at about 4 a.m., drink some coffee and write for a few hours. This is just such a huge project — and I’m not on crank like Phillip K. Dick — that even under the best of circumstances, I can only finish a scene or two at once sitting. That slows things down a little bit.

One thing about development of a novel is you never know what the context will be when you try to sell it. But I am trying to be as timely and topical as possible with this novel. The only reason why I will keep it in the immediate past at this point is it opens up really playing up the looming pandemic in the second book which will be set in very early days of the pandemic in the United States.

Anyway, as I keep saying, this novel has no literary aspirations. It’s meant to be a really fast read. Hopefully, you might notice after you finish a lingering sense that I really fucking hate the Trump Administration — and extremism in general.

I May Have Reached A Milestone With The #Novel I’m #Writing

by Shelt Garner

I keep looking at the outline for “Part 1” of the novel’s first draft and it continues to hold up. I’m finally comfortable enough with it to let people look at it via Google Docs. You’re not supposed to let people look at a first draft but, lulz, I’m 100% extroverted and I can’t help myself.

Anyway, now that I have the first chapter stabilized, now to go into the second chapter. Right now, it’s just a matter of me re-charging my batteries before I do that. I’m kind of relaxing because of the July 4th Weekend, so I’m simply chilling a bit longer than I might otherwise do.

But I do hope to see if maybe I can finish “Part I” by, say, Sunday evening. It’s going to be a really tough task, but I need a deadline to finish anything, so there you go. I’m hoping that by stabilizing “Part I” that the rest of the novel, with its huge holes of unknown details will become obvious.

I guess we’ll see. I wish I could have another “writers’ retreat” this weekend, but because of COVID19, that has been delayed until next week. But, like I said, I’m really pleased with how fast things are going at the moment.

If you want to be able to access the Google Docs that I’m using to write the first draft, then simply contact me somehow. We’re going to need to have a Skype call for a little while and you’re going to have to prove to me you will actually read the damn thing and not ghost me. And I have to be comfortable with you reading it to begin with.

The Stench Of Treason Is All Over #BenedictDonald

by Shelt Garner

It’s wild how so many really smart people — the Blue Check Liberals — stare straight at the answer as to why Trump acts the way he does and can’t come up with an explanation.

Trump is a traitor.

Now, let me qualify that statement. He’s probably not a LITERAL traitor in the legal definition, but fuck if he isn’t one in the political sense. The thing about Trump is you can never figure out if he’s a patsy or an actual active Russian agent.

I think, maybe, it’s a muddled mixture of both. He’s so stupid and lacks such self-awareness that he probably is simply a useful fool for the Russians, and, yet, he turns around and pulls 1/3 of our troops out of German by September and you wonder if he’s just a regular old agent.

You see, I think in the end, Trump has half a dozen (maybe more) ways he’s going to use to steal the 2020 election. But his ultimate failsafe is pretty obvious — there’s reason why he’s pulling those troops out of German — it’s a direct quid pro quo for the Russians hacking directly into our election systems.

The question, of course, is will we even figure it out?

I could see the period of time between Election Night and Jan 20th being a period of astonishing instability in the United States. There will be lawsuits. There will be rolling political violence. There will be Republican ratfucking and treason.

And, in the end, Trump will win.

All he has to do is get into his second term so his new second term Veep (who I think may be Gen. Mike Flynn) can become president and be even more treasonous.

Lulz, nothing matters.

The Novel Is Moving Faster Now #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

I finally have something of a groove going in regards to actually writing the novel. Things are still very fluid and ad hoc in nature, but at least I’m “just writing” as so many people demanded I do two years ago.

There’s a real chance that I’ll wrapping up the first chapter of the first draft pretty soon. I keep printing it out and reading something I think is “finished” only to have it all fall apart because I think of some better way to structure it. But, in the end, it’s definitely getting better.

One real problem is canon management and workflow. I just have no idea how to do it the “right” way. I can only work within my my personality and experience, so, lulz. But this is just the first draft. So, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself.

The crucial thing is I’m actually getting some writing done.

I keep being way too hard on myself. But I want this first draft to be the best it can possibly be. I don’t want to embarrass myself. (For once.)

The Struggle Is Real: Developing My Novel’s Female Romantic Lead #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

I’m using Alexa Chung’s appearance, public persona (and style) as something of a cheatsheet for my novel’s female romantic lead. In fact, whenever I can’t think of an aspect of the character off the top of my head, I pull up Wikipedia or YouTube and see what Alexa Chung does.

It really helps to have a public figure to inspire you when it comes to such an important character. The character, though, isn’t NOT “based” on her, so much as it is simply influenced and inspired by her. The character is an amalgam of several women I’m fond of, including Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jennifer Lawrence, Liz Plank, Erin Ryan, Jodi Kantor and the odd woman I’ve dated here and there.

I finally understand what an author means when they say one of their characters is “an amalgam.” I really need to do a formal personality profile of several characters, but I find actually writing the character out in the copy is more in line with my personal needs as a writer.

I will note, however, that my general fondness for developing female characters is making me self-conscious about not having enough MALE characters. But I think I’ve fixed that. I’m going to have to break the rule about only six POV characters to do it, but lulz.