What’s Jennifer Lawrence Up To These Days?

by Shelt Garner

I’ve always been a big fan of J-Law. I feel so bad for her given the Fappening situation. But she seems to have bounced back quite well. I often find myself wondering what she would think of the novel I’m developing. I think she would like it a great deal.

She would be perfect to play the female romantic lead, even though she IS a bit young for the person I have in my head. But, lulz, that’s never going to happen for any reason, so all I’m doing is wasting energy to even propose it. I haven’t even finished the outline yet, much less a first, second or third draft.

I’m so oblivious to the “right” way of doing any of this.

But I really do like J-Law. She’s got such a great personality and is an excellent actress. That she’s BFF with Phoebe Waller-Bridge is even better. I find J-Law’s personality very endearing.

J-Law seems like the type of person who would pop out a kid in private then come back with force. Maybe that’s what she’s doing with her new husband? Having a kid? Who knows.

Anyway, maybe one day I’ll finish the novel I’m working on and she’ll read it. A guy can dream, can’t he?

My Outline Deadline Is Still July 4th

by Shelt Garner

I have no idea what I’m doing. I keep thinking I have everything sorted out with this novel, only to realize I sure don’t. Each time this type of “system crash” happens, it’s more painful and frustrating.

But the general concept remains strong. It’s just sometimes, I get a little too cocky and everything falls apart on a systemic level in a rather dramatic fashion. I find myself near tears, staring out into space, wondering if this is the time I give up.

Then I dust myself off and soon I tilde wave of new ideas roll over me and I finally figure out how to go forward. This used to happen on a daily basis. Now, it happens, maybe, once a month.

So, it’s happened again.

So, now once more into the breach. I have a whole fucking first act I have to rework because I realized my “thriller” had no “thrill.”

A Major Recalibration

by Shelt Garner

Welp, I guess I didn’t have things locked down after all. I’m going to have to rework a whole lot of the outline I’ve been pounding away on because the it simply fell apart.

I had a system crash, if you will.

But there’s so much good about it, that once I turn things around in a few days, I’ll still be on track to finishing the outline by around the end of the Fourth of July Weekend. I’m really pleased with the novel, it’s just the learning curve is so much sharper than I could have possibly imagined.

And, yet, that’s part of the adventure of it all, I guess. Why you do it in the first place.

Of My Novel’s ‘Tone,’ ‘James Bond’ and ‘Mission: Impossible — FallOut’

by Shelt Garner

I am not, by nature, a very dark and serious person. In fact, the fact that I’m writing a thriller meant to be an American answer to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is something of a fluke. It’s just that about two years ago, I came up with a really cool plot rather out of the blue and decided I loved it so much I was willing to put the energy into it to see it to completion.

So, here I am, getting ever-closer to wrapping up development and plunging back into actually writing the novel.

I find myself drawn a lot more to James Bond and Mission: Impossible than Stieg Larsson. I guess I’d rather write really accessible spythriller stuff than dark and scary police procedural. And, yet, I have a vision and I’m sticking to it. I’m going to write something of a police procedural, even though that’s not really what I’m all that good at for no other reason than at the moment I know nothing about it.

I say all of this because I’m listening to the soundtrack to Mission:Impossible — Fallout. I like how bombastic and accessible the music is. The thing about the novel I’m working on is I want everyone to have a good time. Maybe not MAGA, of course, because they’re American Nazis and can eat shit.

But otherwise, I want everyone to have a good time.

Anyway, the point is, I want this novel to be a lot of fun. It, hopefully, will present some “big ideas” in a manner that is so breezy that you won’t feel you’re being preached to. That, at least, is the goal.

Idle Rambling About The Novel I’m Developing

by Shelt Garner

Things are going well with the novel I’m developing. I just have to focus on what I’m doing and not worry so much about what the context of it may be when I try to sell it.

I need to finish the outline and start writing by July 1st or at least just past the July 4th weekend.

That is, at least, the current goal.

I’m doing a huge amount of reading so I can flesh out the characters. I just need to close. I need to wrap this up sooner rather than later.

Believe In Yourself — No One Else Will

by Shelt Garner

The thing about someone like Crooked Media’s Erin Ryan is I can mean as well as much as I want — she simply will never accept me for who I am. I’m always going to be a middle-aged loser who is a member of the patriarchy. I only mention this because, well, I’m going to draw upon what I know about her to think up my novel’s female romantic lead.

I am honestly rather indifferent to Ms. Ryan one way or another — live long and prosper, lady. It’s just a little annoying that I can paint the most pleasant picture of her I want via my female romantic lead and she will never, ever return the favor for any reason. It would be bad for her “image” to simply give me an empathetic assessment should some reason arise.

Anyway, I believe in myself when it comes to this novel. I try to bend over backwards to be as empathetic to wide-range of types of people. I want to be as representative as I can possibly be. In fact, I’m a big believer in representation in art. But, again, lulz, nothing matters. I’m a loser to people like Ms. Ryan. I’m not perfect and I’m not some sort of ideal feminist ally. All I can do is try to write something entertaining and see what happens.

Though I will note that pretty much this entire novel gets its energy from my white-hot rage against MAGA. I fucking hate MAGA with a white hot rage. Since I’m a man of peace, a man of ideas, all I got is a novel. All my venting about MAGA is diffused to such an extent in this novel that hopefully you’ll see my hatred of MAGA is more about my hatred of extremism than anything else.

I don’t mean to whine, but the whole thing can grow frustrating. I can’t help who I am. I can’t help my age. I can’t help my background. I can just try to write the best novel I can and see what happens.

Of Someone Writing A Screenplay Inspired From My Development Writing Online

by Shelt Garner

I vacillate dramatically from assuming that, of course, someone is going to use all my development on this Website to write a screenplay that “steals” my idea to wondering, how, exactly, they would do it.

I guess you could get the general gist of the concept if you looked at what I’ve been writing about and talking about the last 18 months, but even if you did do that, your interpretation of the concept and mine would likely be dramatically different.

I keep seeing people poking around this Website in my Webstats and that alarms me because I assume that of course my worst fears are being realized. And, yet, really, the idea I am working on is so expansive and ambitious that a screenplay would be, by definition, dramatically different than the novel I’m writing.

If I had, like, friends and stuff, then this wouldn’t be an issue. I would talk to them about what I’m working on and I wouldn’t have this problem. My only hope is that even if people were actively stealing from me at this point, it would still take actual physical time to develop the screenplay. And the subject matter of this novel is such that I find it dubious that even if someone could somehow accurately reverse-engineer the concept from what I’ve done here, I’m not so sure they would actually steal the story beat-for-beat.

Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe that’s exactly what’s happening.

But I’m of the opinion that you make decisions on what you know, not on what you don’t know. I could just give up and assume someone is going to steal this concept from me, or I can work harder and faster so at least I finish something sooner rather than later.

If you are trying to “steal” my story — fuck you, you hack.

Learning About Character Development In Fiction Is Changing My Life

by Shelt Garner

The only reason why I’m obsessing about developing the characters in my novel so late in the game is I finally know what the story is about. As such, I now realize I have a strong plot and a strong canon, but when it comes to my characters I pretty much have empty vessels that walk around the other two without any motivation.

I am hoping to change that by cramming as much as I can about how to build not just characters, but people. I want my characters to be “real” in the minds of my audience. And the more I look into how to do that, the more I realize that’s a pretty road ahead. But it does help a lot that I’m drawing upon the resource of people I knew in Seoul 12 years ago. They were a pretty kooky lot — as was I — and so now I have to spend some time reading, reading, reading about things to flesh out these characters which to date have simply been placeholder “moods” that I used to think about the plot and canon.

Or, put another way, this is yet another re-calibration of this project. The story is going to get much, much better now. I’m giving myself some slack time to simply read as much as possible about how to build character, as well as the things these characters would be interested in, before I get back to writing.

I hope by the end of this process to have near-absolute control over my characters so they do what I need them to do in the context of my vision for the story. (Or, in this case, one story, two books.) That’s the goal, at least. I can’t keep spinning my wheels forever.

So, the next few days will be spent reading up on a lot of things I’ve thought about reading about, but have put off. No more. I’m really cramming about the interaction between plot, canon and character so I can turn around and write something good enough that people like, actually give me an opinion when they read it, instead of just silence.

‘Autocrats Always Win’ #Trump #Resist

by Shelt Garner

It is a liberal fever dream that Trump is ever leaving office for any political reason. If he ever leaves office, it will be because he’s finally grown so absolute erratic that MoscowMitch, at last, signals it’s time for him to go.

Otherwise, lulz.

I would go so far as to suggest that it won’t be until Trump bungles a war with the DPRK and is directly to blame for, say, Alabama being vaporized and turned into a post-nuclear hellscape that he leaves office. Trump is going to do whatever necessary to win re-election.

Then he will call a Constitutional Convention. He will be America’s Brezhnev for the next 10 years or so until some other member of House Trump finally ascends to power. Sometime around 2060, AOC will lead an armed popular revolt against House Trump and rule via a junta until things get sorted out.

I honestly don’t see any other endgame. It’s not like Trump’s going to let himself lose in a free-and-fair election. The only votes that matter are the Electoral College votes. He got away with bribing Stormy Daniels. The center-Left in the United States is so weak, he will get away with do something like that again, only in a far more brazen manner.

I’m going to die in an ICE camp. All I got to defend myself at this point is a novel I’m developing.

Maybe it’ll be a success so I can leave the country before ICE puts a bullet in the back of my head.

The Issue Of ‘Tone’

by Shelt Garner

I am not, by nature, a dark person. I’m, in fact, rather silly. Or, put another way, I like a good laugh. If I was a party promoter, I would be the guy who ran around the venue, making sure everyone, all type of people, had a good time.

So, here I am, trying to write an American answer to Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, and well, it’s tough. Given the origin of my characters — pretty much the expat kooks (including me!) who I hung out with while I was in South Korea in the 2006-2008 time-frame, it’s going to be tough to cram them into a dark thriller.

Not that I’m not going to try, mind you.

But I may come to a type of compromise with myself. I may let myself in the first draft simply be my usual fun-loving self and then turn things darker in the second draft. To lean it what I remember of the larger-than-life characters of Seoul’s expat scene definitely would make the characters really, really interesting. Dark, no. Interesting, yes.

Take my hero, for instance.

I’ve decided for the purposes of actually finishing a professional first draft to simply use my ranging craziness of 2007 as the basis of my hero. He’s a man of intense passions who is prone to pretty surreal behavior, especially when it comes to women. (I was a wild man back in the day when it came to wooing lovely young expat women with my eccentric charms.)

Today, of course, I’m a singularity of dull middle-age dudeness.

I guess on a movie level, the story will for the time being be what would happen if you smashed The Girl Who Played With Fire with The Big Lebowski with a ham-handed attempt to sprinkle in some of Network and All The President’s Men. I really want this story to be dark and serious, but, well, that will be work given my personality.

So, I’m going to leave that issue of tone for the second draft.

This draft, my characters are going to be eccentric and fun and have dark things happen to them. But we’ll see, I guess. I just have to finish something.