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



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


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.

Idle Mulling of Phoebe Waller-Bridge & The Female Romantic Lead of The #Novel I’m Developing #AmWriting



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I really hate it when people like me talk about who they imagine would play this or that character in their “WIP.” Ugh. It’s just so preening and cloy and fucking annoying.

Pretty much what I imagine my novel’s female romantic lead looking like.

And, yet, here I am, doing that thing I, myself, hate when other people do it.

My only excuse is I’m a drinking and writing and absolutely no one reads this blog (in real terms) so, lulz. The only reason why I keep coming back to this notion that Phoebe Waller-Bridge would be great to play the female romantic lead of this novel is who the character is inspired by — Alexa Chung.

Ms. Waller-Bridge’s phenotype would be perfect to make my vision for the character a reality. She’s also British, which is something I imagine for the character to be. Or, put another way, she’s got a British accent, even if the exact nature of that Commonwealth accent is never fully explained (or at least understood) by everyone else in the novel. In all honesty, the character isn’t even really inspired that much on Alexa Chung as she is by a South African woman I dated briefly in Seoul who had some very endearing verbal ticks. And, yet, the more serious I become with this novel, the less, in real terms, I care about even worrying about Hollywood or any type of adaptation. The point is write the best damn novel (one story, two novels) I can and worry about everything else later.

It’s just so unlikely that I will ever actually sell this novel, all of that seems not only a lot of useless preening, but also a waste of time. But, like I said, I see this blog as more me talking to myself than anything else.

So, lulz.

A Quirk About The Nature of The Female Romantic Lead of The Novel I’m Developing



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I have a lingering celebrity crush on Alexa Chung, so I’ve constructed the female romantic lead of the novel I’m developing who is something of a homage to her. But there’s a problem.

My female romantic lead has an Asian name, but doesn’t LOOK all that Asian, just like Alexa Chung. So, I could see hilarity ensuing as casting directors struggle to find someone who can “pass” for white but is actually Asian. Or, they could cast someone like Jennifer Lawrence or Phoebe Waller-Bridge who would fit the novel’s description of the character, but not be Asian.

It was just my imagination….

At this point, I have to note that the idea that I even sell this novel to a publisher is rather fantastical, so I’m doing little more than mentally masturbating to even broach these things. But I have to psyche myself up to finish the marathon of developing and writing a novel somehow, so this is one of the ways I do it.

Me talking about if Jennifer Lawrence or Phoebe Waller-Bridge was going to play the female romantic lead of a movie adaptation of the novel I’m working on right now is like wondering if I could score a supermodel after having won the lottery.

Anyway, it’s this type of quirk that makes the whole only-a-certain-type-of-person-can-play-a-role seem a bit ludicrous, even though it is, at least in my eyes, totally legitimate.

I am growing closer to getting back to actually writing on this novel, which is pretty cool. But I still have a huge amount of work to do.

Development Struggles With My Novel’s Female Romantic Lead



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


I started off wanting my novel’s female romantic lead to be someone like Alexa Chung. Then she gradually evolve into someone more like Jodi Kantor. Now, she seems more inspired by Crooked Media’s Erin Ryan.

The reasons for this are simple. Chung is too much of a celebrity to write easily and, besides, what would she do? It’s difficult to stand around being gorgeous and witty in a novel. Her character needs to be active in the story. Meanwhile, while the actual human being Jodi Kantor probably has a lot of character, my writing isn’t good enough to portray the type of person she is (very smart and intense) without her character overshadowing the hero. So, now, I find myself thinking about using Erin Ryan as inspiration.

Ryan is very smart and has a lot of spunk. She’s also a bit younger than the other two women, so that affords a different dynamic than might otherwise exist. The dynamic between men, women and age is something you really have to think about seriously if you’re trying to write a novel that’s believable.

None of the women I mentioned would sit next to me in a restaurant. I can’t help how old I am or what I look like. I am who I am. I mean well and can tell a good story. It’s their loss if they think I’m just middle-aged creepy weirdo.

Anyway, my novel’s female romantic lead is now a combination of Alexa Chung, Jodi Kantor AND Erin Ryan. But, remember, while I can articulate a vision pretty well, my writing simply isn’t what it could be. So, there’s every reason to believe that while I can explain to you my vision for the character, should you actual read the character in the novel, you won’t be able to see the connection as clearly as I’ve stated here.

Who knows.

Idle, Incoherent Rambling About Novel Character Inspirations & The Rise Of The American Fourth Reich

Shelton Bumgarner

Some thoughts.

The Struggle Is Real: Constructing A Complex, Believable Female Romantic Lead For My Novel

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

With the complaints of outspoken Hollywood feminists like Olivia Wilde and Jessica Chastain ringing in my mind, I find myself trying to construct a romantic partner for my Hero who is strong enough and complex enough that I feel she will be noticed by women who may read the novel.

I’m getting kind of desperate. I know what her name is and what she looks like. But figuring out her personality is proving to be really, really tough. In my desperation, I am turning to someone who has enough of a public footprint that I can use her as inspiration. (Who? Not tellin.) I only do this because, what else am I going to do? I know the woman’s musical tastes and her age, so that goes a long ways towards using her as the foundation of the character, at least in that side of her life.

One element of the character — her professionalism and career drive — is proving to be the hardest to construct because I would need to hang out with the woman who is inspiring that side of her and, well, I’m just a middle-aged loser in a fly over state. So, I’m going to have to some reverse engineering. For this side of her life, I’m really studying Jodi Kantor. She’s a little older than I need the character to be, however, so it’s not an exact fit. But I think if I look at the social media footprint of women like her on Twitter, then that will help a lot.

One thing that’s proving to be a real pain to figure out is, of all things, how my two romantic leads deal with Thanksgiving. Ugh. So difficult. But every problem is an opportunity in disguise.

V-Log: The State Of My #Novel I’m #Writing The Morning Of August 19th, 20018

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Where things stand as of right now.