More Mulling Character Development In The #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner

One of the things I really have to focus on is character development in the novel I’m developing. I have a really strong concept, but I got to the end of the first act the last go-round and realized there the novel didn’t really follow the structure of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. In that novel, the focus of POV scenes is definitely on two people. There are subplots, but the most screen time is devoted two the two main POV characters.

So, that’s why I’m starting from scratch — in a sense — so I can build the foundation of the two main characters and their relationship. Each time I start all over again, not only does the story drift far, far away from the original conceit, it gets far better as well.

Anyway, tonight, I hope to fix some structural problems the new setup of the novel has developed. The story is definitely getting better, but each time I start all over again, I usually have some pretty big structural problems that I have to fix along the way as well.

It will be interesting to see how far I get tonight. It’s going to require a lot of thinking to figure out what the characters do in such a way that I can squeeze the most character development out of them going forward.

Character Development & The #Scifi #Novel I’m Working On #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner

Something occurred to me recently that really changed how I see this novel I’m developing. I realized that while the concept is strong, I have zero character development. In fact, the story is more conceit than it is a story. In other words, imagine if The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind dealt more with the fact that you could delete memories than how it influenced the every day lives of the people connected to it.

So, as such, I again find myself realizing that I have one really good plot in my mind — what happened to me with ROKon Magazine — and as such I need to lean into that. I think, at least at this point, that what happened with me and Annie Shapiro in Seoul is going to be the basis of the first half of the second act. The rest is going to be completely a figment of my imagination. But by structuring the story this way, I am able to tap into a lot of basic character development that is inspire by things that have actually happened to me in real life.

In other words, write what you know.

But it’s going to take a lot of work. I’m going to have to bang the reader over the head with how I get to the situation I need to get to so I can use what happened to me in Seoul in the first place. And I’m really going to have to be careful that it’s just not me mentally masturbating — again — about how wrong I was a decade ago by a bunch of manipulative, backstabbing expats. I need to use what happened to me in broad strokes so I simply use it to give the story character development and heart and that’s it. This story has changed so much since I started developing it that hopefully once I finally start writing it that it won’t be an enormous mess because I’ve overthought it too much.

We’ll see I guess. It will be interesting to see how things work out.

Inspiration Comes In Weird Places: Of ‘Hamilton’ & ‘The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind’

by Shelton Bumgarner

As I continue to plow ahead with developing my novel, I find myself mulling some of the crazy places I’m finding inspiration. I’m not obsessive fan of the Broadway play “Hamilton” but it definitely inspires me to be as creative as possible with this scifi novel. It’s not going to be your typical scifi novel, to say the least. It’s going to be really creative and, if anything, will hopefully be something like The Matrix in its creativity.

Meanwhile, now that I’ve established that I’m going to use what happened to me with ROKon Magazine as the basis of the first half of the second act, I find myself thinking about how, in real terms, The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind is, in its own way, a scifi movie. I like the idea that in that story romance and scifi get muddled and interesting things happen spring from its novel conceit.

Anyway, I have a lot of work to do. I’m giving myself 200,000 words — because that’s how long The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is — so I have a lot of thinking to do. I have finally managed to come up with some interesting characters and now I have to smash them against each other for dramatic effect.

The issue, of course, is if I can pull this off given how everyone thinks my writing sucks.

Idle, Vague Rambling About The Structure Of My #Scifi #Novel’s Plot #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have finally finished a pretty good scene summary of the first act of the scifi novel I’m developing and now I’m pondering the rest of the book. It seems to me that I can use the one good plot I have — that of what happened me in South Korea with ROKon Magazine — as the basis of the first half of the second act. The second half of the second act will be where the 2016 presidential campaign becomes relevant.

I am well aware that I can talk big all I want, but when really comes down to it, my writing is what’s going to be important. I can talk tough all I want, but this novel is becoming extremely ambitious and as such it may make me happy but in the end it will just suck because my writing is so bad. And, as I keep saying, it’s very possible that some hack will use the original first act scene summary I posted here briefly as the basis of a screenplay.

But I probably have a limited window of opportunity to get ahead of that because, well, it would taken even the most basic of hacks a little while to write a screenplay inspired by what I posted. It might have been interesting, but it really wasn’t all that good. At least in my opinion. This new scene summary, however, is turning out great and I’m very pleased with the general direction it’s headed.

I hope to get a lot of work done on it today. Right now, I just have to figure out the exact chronology of things as I write so I can use what happened to me in Seoul as the inspiration for a big chunk of the plot effectively. In a way, if I pull this off, I could see someone seeing the high concept for this novel as Under The Dome meets Lucy meets Mission: Impossible — Fallout meets The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind meets Network.


Those, at least, are some of the major influences of this going forward. I really need to make this story character driven so people will actually want to read it. The premise is really personal and semi-autobiographical in some respects — not to mention completely ridiculous if it isn’t properly explained to you — but I’m slowly beginning to get a better understanding of what the story is about and what the characters are going to do.

I hope.

We’ll see.

V-Log: Struggling To Address The Trump Era In Fiction

by Shelton Bumgarner

This one is about me trying to figure out how to address the chaos of the Trump Administration in a scifi novel.

My Vision For The #Scifi #Novel I’m Developing #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner

The novel I’m developing right now — I say “developing” because I haven’t actually started writing it yet — is going to be summer beach read that you split into your purse Thursday night and finish up on your way home Sunday evening. At least, that’s the goal. I want it to be scifi, but not so nerdy and testosterone laden in its scifi that your average middle age suburban New Yorker reader will be turned off.

So, in a sense, my vision for this novel is it will have a lot more in common with The Martian than, say, The Matrix. I want a rip roaring yarn that is innovative and creative and ambitious. As I keep saying, I can talk big all I want, but it really boils down to how good a writer I am.

If the past reviews of my attempts to write fiction are any indication — this is probably going to be a disaster on more than one level. That doesn’t even begin to address that some hack might write a very bad screenplay from the original first act scene summary I foolishly published. But that was inevitable and there’s no much I can do about it at this point.

But, regardless, I have a lot ambition and I keep reworking this concept in a way that I feel is making the novel better. The latest reason why I threw everything in the air and started again is I got to the midpoint of the latest version of the scene summary and realized it just didn’t feel as though it was going to be as fun and action-adventure or, maybe thrilling, as I had hoped.

So, while I’m going to keep huge chunks of what I’ve developed so far, I’m also going to try to make this story something you would actually want to read and, hell, maybe even see on the silver screen if it became popular enough. This is something I really didn’t expect — that I would accidentally find myself working towards writing something akin to a thriller in the tradition of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo…if you threw Under The Dome and Network along the way.

I hope to get a lot of development done today so I can at least go back to working on the scene summary, if nothing else. This is where working on a novel is far less fun than what I imagine writing a screenplay would be like for no other reason than in real terms I have no one to talk to in detail about what it is that’s bothering me. So, instead, I write posts like this that were me vaguely rambling about what’s troubling me.

V-Log: State Of The #Scifi #Novel I’m Developing — Inspirations #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner

In this one I talk a lot about the inspirations for the scifi novel I’m writing.

V-Log: State Of The #Scifi #Novel I’m Developing: In The 2nd Half Of The 2nd Act #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner

I’m now working on the second half of the second act, the part of the novel where I hope to directly talk about the 2016 presidential campaign in the context of the novel’s scenario. I feel as though people are beginning to reach the stage where they want that momentous event represented in art and as such I believe this novel will be really accessible, even if it’s based on scifi tropes. I know some hack could very well steal this concept because I foolishly posted the original first act scene summary (which I’ve since deleted) but there’s little I can do but keep going forward.

This concept is really strong while where it’s set isn’t ally that sexy — and if some hack stole the concept they’d probably set it somewhere closer to LA or NYC — but my version of the concept is structured in such a way as to at least be interesting and make sense in the context of what’s going on.

I have a lot of work to do. A whole lot of work. The thing they don’t tell you about writing a novel — or at least I didn’t understand going into this — is how much is just takes time to not only develop but to write a novel. Writing a novel — unless you’re Phillip K. Dick and you’re on crank — doesn’t happen quickly. It takes time. A lot of time, even when you’re feeling inspired.

But for the moment I actually do have time and it’s my responsibility to keep going. My responsibility to just keep chugging along. I really like this concept and my biggest fear is, well, my writing won’t be good enough to actually get anyone who doesn’t know me personally to finish it and want to know what happens next. Because that, really, is what this first book is — it’s an introduction to its universe and a way of giving people a taste of the broader universe I’ve managed to come up with. If by “taste,” of course, you mean about 200,000 words.

Anyway, wish me luck. It will be interesting to see what happens going forward.

Bitcoin In Fiction. Or, At Least, My Fiction. #Novel #Writing #Scifi

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have reached the second half of the second act of my novel’s new scene summary and I’m going to try to establish that bitcoin is involved. I know nothing about bitcoin or the blockchain, but I’m hoping I can simply mention it’s being used without too much of, “Well, actually…”

This doesn’t even begin to address the issue of how I can talk about social media in this novel. There’s a lot to think about still, but right now the point is simply to get some rough estimate of the story down so I can get down to write. The second half of the novel’s new scene summary should move a lot quicker simply because I have it far more developed in my head.

Anyway, using bitcoin in this manner solves a problem in the novel and we’ll see what happens. I’m fleshing out the novel quite quickly now and soon enough I’ll be attempting — again — to actually write it. Hopefully this go round will be a lot less messy than the first try, which was something of a disaster for more than one reason.

V-log: The State Of The #Scifi #Novel I’m Developing: The Midpoint Twist #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner

I’ve just about reached the midpoint twist of the novel I’m developing. Things should go a lot quicker after this because I have a lot clearer understanding of what the story is about.