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?

Of Music And The #Novel I’m Developing #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

As I keep saying, music — specifically pop rock — is at the heart of this novel for no other reason than the novel is really me talking about those brief few months about 15 years ago when I was both DJing and publishing the sole magazine for expats in Seoul.

I finally figured out a way to tell that story, but only as a very deep layer. You would have to have a fairly lengthy drunk conversation with me for it all to make sense relative to what’s going on in my mind. But tell that story, I have, at last, figured out to do.

So, there you go.

Because I really, really have no clue what I’m doing and I’m doing it in a vacuum, I have spun my wheels for months and months and MONTHS. But, now, I think, out of sheer desperation, I’m going to just wrap up the outline about the July 4th weekend and just go for it.

I have to write a first draft so I can have a second.

I’ve worked really hard for this, now it’s time to follow through.

There’s So Much To Manage When Developing And Writing A Novel

by Shelt Garner

A novel is like a machine with a thousand moving parts that you have to monitor at all times. You have POV management. You have tone and mood management. You have IP issues that come out of the blue when you least expect it. The list goes on.

But I’m slowly beginning to feel far better about this novel. I’m about to “abandon” Part One. It may be another 24 hours before I simply say I’m not going to tinker with the Part One outline anymore. But I’ve said that a dozen times before and it didn’t happen. So, we’ll see.

I’ve given myself a very strict deadline of the July 4th weekend. Whatever I have by that point, I’m going to use, even if it’s not finished. I’ll fill in the holes as a I go along.

I refuse to keep spinning my wheels forever. This is novel has no literary aspirations. This is meant to be pulpy like Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series. It’s not nearly as nasty as that book was at times, but it is meant to be read as a dark, serious thriller. I say that knowing that it’s going to be a struggle. I, my nature, am quite carefree and happy-go-lucky and having to be serious in virtually anything for any extended amount of time is a real struggle.

But I can tell you one thing — this novel is going to be entertaining, especially if you like pop rock music. To that extent, this thing should be a breeze to adapt for the big screen. A mutual love of pop rock music of the last 50 years is the glue that keeps several of the characters close as the plot progresses.

And, really, I should have attempted to make this a screenplay from the beginning given how cinematic it is at its heart. But I wanted to write a novel, so there you go.

Had A Little Writer’s Retreat This Weekend

by Shelt Garner

I had the opportunity to sort of chill out this weekend and think about the novel I’m working on. I think I may have figured out the “Part One” of the novel AGAIN.

Something about getting out of my rut really helps my creative juices flow. I came up with a completely re-imagined beginning. Now I have to work on the “Part Two,” which is essentially the rest of the first act after the Inciting Incident.

It’s shaping up to be far more “thrilling” than it was before. I also have a lot more room to develop some characters so you care about them when bad things happen to them. But I think, really, some of all of this is my storytelling ability is getting better.

But, as I keep saying, I’m going to wrap up the outline by the July 4th Weekend and roll with whatever I have at that point. I have a huge amount of reading to do. I must have 30 books to read at this point. I am so clueless about so much of what I’m doing that by the time I actually wrap up the second draft, the entire context of the novel will be significantly different.

Anyway, I hope to spend the rest of this weekend fleshing out the outline for the rest of the first act.

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.”

Locking Things Down #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

I’m locking things down with the outline of the novel I’m developing. I still have a huge gaping hole in the second half of the second act, but nothing I can’t fix in about two weeks (I hope.)

I have a lot of thinking to do right now.

I have to figure out a way to have some of the scenes I’ve been thinking about for about two years. I also need to have, like, an investigation. Right now, I’m a little worried that things kind of drift and don’t really talk about the actual investigation that much.

But I still have time to change that.

I’m going to spend the next two weeks reworking and filling out the outline (and reading a huge amount) so when I actually start writing again just after the 4th of July Weekend that things will go very, very fast. That’s been the point of all this development, measure twice, cut once and all that.

Anyway, that’s what I’m going to focus on the next two weeks or so. I really, really want to change gears and start writing the first draft seriously around the end of the 4th of July Weekend.

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

by Shelt Garner

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.

‘The End Of October’ — Some Observations At The Roughly 100 Page Mark

by Shelt Garner

I really, really like the novel The End of October so far. It’s very much a “dude” novel. It’s got stuff dudes like me like. It’s a little bit scifi and also very timely. I will notice, however, that it doesn’t follow some of the storytelling conventions I keep getting beaten into my mind with all these “how to write a novel” books I’m reading.

But, whatever, it’s a good story nonetheless.

It’s very timely, that’s for sure. Eerily so.

It’s about a pandemic. My novel is going to have elements of “panfic” to it, but more so in the second book in the two book story than the first, which is what I’m working on at the moment.

The End of October is a nice breezy read, much like how I hope my novel to come across. I’m reading it pretty fast, without even realizing it. That’s what I want my novel to be like. I want you to read my novel so fast you look up three days after you read it and realize you’ve barely slept.

That’s the dream, at least.

The thing about The End Of October is it’s focused on one thing and the novel I’m writing right now has a lot of different ideas jumbled together. I think the only way to flatten everything down is to be really character based. If it’s the characters who introduce various Big Ideas, then I don’t think the novel will lose focus.

But I think I have to give myself the right to fail when it comes to the first draft of the novel. There are just so many different parts to a novel that you can’t expect to have everything be perfect at your first attempt.

I really like The End of October so far, however.

An Update On The #Novel I’m Developing

by Shelt Garner

The last few weeks I’ve felt a little tired. I’ve been working on this novel for so long, it’s warped the way I look at the world on an existential level. But I think I may have come up with a solution to this feeling — literally look at working on this novel as a job in the sense that I give myself a “weekend.”

The “weekend” that I give myself isn’t Saturday – Sunday, but more like late Wednesday through Saturday. But when I do work on the novel, I sprint. I’m like the least Type A person ever, so any work I do on anything is done in an erratic and eccentric manner — but it is often done in a very intense fashion when it’s done.

The next big step I have to get into is the outline of the second half of the novel. A lot of things happen during that portion of the novel, a lot of them I currently have no idea how to articulate. But I can, like, read. I can figure it out. It just may take me going outside my comfort zone to do it.

But I will, in fact, do it.

Developing and writing a novel is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.

I have no idea how anyone does it without a huge amount of methodical developing and plotting. Things have started to move faster with this novel because I understand development and plotting a lot better — and I’m reading a massive amount as quickly as possible.

And this is just the first book in a two book story!

May Actually Overshoot My Goal With This Novel

by Shelt Garner

The novel I’m developing is turning out to be be really, really good — at least in my eyes. Yes, there’s that Jessica Alba vehicle Trigger Warning lurking out there, but the more I think about it, it seems any resemblance between it and what I’m working on comes more from where my head is as I develop my novel than anything else. Or something.

I guess, in a sense, all that is first child jitters. Though I will admit that now that I finally have the hang of writing a novel, I’m likely to just keep writing them no matter what. All I want is to write a novel where someone who doesn’t know me reads it and asks, “So what happens next?”

The novel I’m developing definitely has franchise written all over it. Though, if I did manage to sell the first two books, I would go back in time and write two prequels. Those two stories are pretty well thought out in my mind and would be pretty easy to write given how much I had to think them to through to write the novels I’m working on now.

But a lot of all of this comes from simply not only not knowing what I’m doing, but not having anyone to tell me “no.” Or, put another way, if I had, like, friends and stuff — or maybe a wife or girlfriend — it’s unlikely I would have gotten this far with this project because everyone would have gotten so frustrated with me that they would have finally successfully told me to “just write a short story.”

Fuck such thinking. Fuck short stories. I want to write a novel.

It’s wild how little support I’m getting from anyone about writing a novel. Everyone wants me to write a screenplay or a short story or whatever the fuck else they think I should write. But no one is like, “Hey! You’re writing a novel after talking about writing a novel for years, good for you!”

I can’t help how extroverted I am. That’s just who I am.