I am — by nature — a generalist. I know a little bit about a wide spectrum of things. So, I am often fascinated by people who know a lot about one thing. I also find the passion that things like Saturday Night Live can generate very intriguing. There’s only been one time in my life when I felt that much passion for a group of people and that was in Seoul. With that in mind, I’m at least trying to lean into that experience as the cornerstone of the novel I’m developing.
It’s a prime example of “write what you know” in action. But there’s a fine balance between writing about a fictionalized version of a place that you love and writing a lot of verbiage that many people in your potential readership will find tedious, at best. But I think if I really go into what makes the place special and how it has come to change the lives of the people connected to it and the community around it, then I think potential readers will enjoy it once they get into it.
One thing I have to really think about it establishing that such a place actually believable exists in the first place where I am determined to put in in my universe. My hope is that if I write about the place with a lot of obvious love that that will come across on the page and people will get into it. Or, put another way, I don’t care. This novel is for me and fuck you you don’t like it. Wink.
The universe I’ve created is very detailed and well thought out. Extremely so. Like, we’re talking Star Wars levels of backstory on the interaction between characters. But that comes more from how personal the story is than anything else. In a way, the plot of this novel is me running around emotionally naked. That is, of course, if you understand the inspiration for the people and places I’m writing about.
One fun part of all of this is having a vast amount of information that I have to explain to the reader in a simple, cogent fashion that makes the premise of the novel believable, even though, in a sense, it follows some of the conventions of science fiction. You might call the novel a “political science fiction novel.” I have referred to it as a “political fairy tale guilty pleasure for woke Park Slope moms” in the past. But I’m not a woman and don’t pretend to know anything more about women than any other man. I’m not an “ally,” but I am good-natured and empathetic. I try not to get too wrapped up in how you might suggest I have a vested interest in the patriarchy given that I am a member of it. Meh. I generally believe the more agency and happiness women have on a personal level the better off society is. If that makes me some sort of feminist “ally,” so be it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like T&A and won’t try to chat a woman up with sex on my mind if she’s hot.
I have numerous political views that don’t fit the narrative advocated by Blue Check Liberals on Twitter. Fuck that and fuck them. I’m my own person and I know what I believe. But I am generally compassionate and empathetic — or at least try to be.
Let me be completely clear about something — I completely validate the anger of women over what’s going on in America right now and nothing I’m about to say should be seen as anything contrary to that sentiment. There’s an issue that I find myself struggling with and that’s how to be both “sex positive” and an ally to the #MeToo movement.
I say this because I like pictures of hot chicks but at the same time, I totally get why women would be angry that I might be this way. I simply don’t believe that sharing a picture of an attractive SI Swimsuit model on my Facebook wall is, in itself, sexist. I understand that in this charge environment doing this is probably a bridge too far for a lot of women.
But for me, it would be hypocritical to pretend that I was some champion of women’s rights and then not be equally honest about my attraction to the female form. And I get that as a man I probably shouldn’t say anything at all, but rather let this process work its way out. Women are rightfully furious about what’s going on and it is going to take time for all of this to straighten itself out. And the way things are going, it appears as though things are going to get worse — much worse — before they get any better.
Like I said — I’m pretty open about my love for the female form. And being “sex positive” means, in my view, that we don’t hide basic things like men like attractive women in bikinis, or whatever. But again, this is a very difficult time for a lot of people and there’s not much I can say. It’s one of those things where you either get it or you don’t. Either you’re so angry at men that you think they shouldn’t post pictures of hot chicks on their Facebook wall, or you don’t mind and you notice that, like, 80% of their shares are extremely empathetic and supportive of the #MeToo movement.
It’s a very difficult situation with no easy answers and by bringing it up and I’m liable to piss a few people off. But I needed to get it off my chest.
This is a really good little video about my thoughts on feminism in the context of my novel and pop culture in general. I go into how I have to balance various storytelling needs if I want to produce something of pop culture note.
Here are some other videos about what I’m writing.