The Space Opera I Want Someone To Produce

by Shelt Garner

I’m making my way through Rebel Moon and I keep feeling restless because I see how it might be made better. Here’s an idea that’s been rolling around in my mind for some time.

You have a solar system with a huge Jupiter-sized planet near its sun. We learn that that planet is actually home to a superintelligence. We learn that there is a galaxy-wide empire made up of superintelligence, each with a biological ward that they control using androids.

The story tells that of a young heroine Human who organizes a rebellion against the androids on a earth-sized, habitable planet in this solar system full of humans. Act the end of the second act, it seems like she will be put to death for all the rebellion she’s been up to, but in the beginning of the third act she’s saved because of her valor.

The third act involves her being transported to the galaxy center where she meets the “emperor” of the Galactic Empire. There’s a lot of debate about the nature of humanity and such and, I dunno, somehow she gets humans “freed” from the rule of the machine intelligence to find their own fate, even though all signs point to them destroying themselves soon enough.

It’s Time: We Need A Hard Reboot of Star Wars

by Shelt Garner

Star Wars holds a special place in Western Culture and, yet, the whole thing is so fucked up because of bad storytelling on the part of Disney that it’s time to do a hard reboot.

You go back to the beginning and fix all these organic problems with the Star Wars saga that have been rationalized out of existence over the years. You actually give the saga some thought.

To fit the expectations of the audience, you would have to start from the very beginning and reboot The Phantom Menace. Now, of course, all of this would cause the fan base to scream bloody murder, but it has to be done for the long-term life of the franchse.

So, you spend about a year thinking up how you can make the new Star Wars universe actually make sense and entertain people as much as possible. Once that’s done, you go through the entirety of the franchise and reboot ALL the movies, even Episode 4, 5 and 6.

But you would have to be methodical and logical about such a dramatic move. Otherwise, you’re just going to piss everyone off and waste a lot of money. But the issue is — too much of modern pop culture is coasting off of what was done several generations ago.

We need to reboot pop culture to give new generations new lore.

Somebody Make This Movie

by Shelt Garner

I have a great idea for a movie, but, alas, I’m too old and too fixated on my first novel to get around to try to write its screenplay. The story goes like this — it’s 10,000 years ago and a bunch of humans are struggling to survive.

A very fey guy who isn’t strong enough to go on the hunt — but has a family to feed — comes up to the leader of the tribe, begging for food. The leader of the tribe scoffs at him and says why do you deserve any food, you didn’t do anything to help.

So this scrawny little guy proposes that in exchange for a good story, he and his family get some food. So, our Hero proceeds to tell a tale about a young woman who pretends to be a man so she can go on the hunt. The movie shows the tale as imagined by the storyteller on the screen, interspersed with him telling the story.

At the midpoint of the movie, our Storytelling Hero makes some sort of goof in the story because he’s never been on the hunt. He has to invoke the gods to keep the story going. Maybe have him make up a One True God on the fly or something.

The story continues. At the end of the third act, something happens to interrupt the story telling and it seems as though All Is Lost for our Hero and his attempt to get food for his family.

The third act begins when him going back to his starving family. He has to tell them there will be no food for the time being. He gets into a fight with his wife who says she should have listened to her mother and never had sex with him.

Then a surprise happens — the leader of the tribe again wants to hear the story. He’s so excited, he wants to know what happens next. So, again, our Hero storyteller continues to tell the story of the young woman who pretends to be a man to go on the hunt.

At the climax of the story, she is somehow saved in a due ex machina kind of situation, and the tribal leaders roar their approval because this is the first time anyone has every done such a trite ending. The joke is, everyone thinks this otherwise hackney ending is so original because it’s the first time anyone has thought it up.

The rest of the movie deals with the surreal situation that our Hero is involved in. He gives his wife and child some food, and then goes into the darkness of the cave to also give his male lover some food, too.

Well, If You’re Interested in The Story Of ROKon Magazine, Here It is

by Shelt Garner

I have noticed a bit of an uptick in interest in ROKon Magazine. What happened with the magazine changed my life. And I still think that there are only two people who could properly tell the story — other than me — Phoebe Waller-Bridge or Emerald Fennell.

If you want to know what happened with the magazine from my POV, here’s the below:

I’m Worried My Lack Of Any Acting Experience Will Hinder My Ability to Write Screenplays

by Shelt Garner

Being old, I know what I don’t know. And among the things I just don’t know at this point is — how much will my lack of any acting experience hinder my ability to write a good screenplay? I think it’s one of those things where it’s hard to quantify.

While it definitely HELPS to have training as an actor, it’s not like it’s totally impossible to write a decent screenplay if you’re just a regular old doofus like me. And, truth be told, it’s not like I’m opposed to taking acting lessons at some point in the future if that will help me write a better screenplay.

Now, this is where I pause and reflect on how fucking old I am. Age, like race, is just not something you can change. I just can’t help the life I’ve led. And, as such, I’m far more likely to get somewhere with a novel than I am a screenplay. But, having said that, I will note that I’m a really good talker — I love to schmooze, especially when intoxicated and I’m 100% extroverted.

…But I’m 50. I’m 50, poor and short.

And, yet, time and again in my life, I’ve managed to shock the haters by pulling a rabbit out of a hat. It happened in my 20s and it happened when I was in Seoul. When I was in Seoul, I not only was one of the best rock DJs in town for a few months, I also had the lone English-language expat magazine.

This it all went to shit.

Angst for the memories, and all that.

But I’m not dead yet. Though, if I somehow manage to blow up with my DJ money in my 50s and 60s, it will be a very bittersweet experience. On one hand, I will at last have the success I feel I deserve, but on the other I will be so fucking old that I can’t, like, go clubbing all night with twentysomethings without coming across as a freaky weirdo — or worse yet, a dirty old man.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

I hate being 50. I want to be young again.

I Have Some Crazy-Good Screenplay Concepts Rolling Around In My Mind

by Shelt Garner

Ugh. I’m old. And I’m about 30 years too late when it comes to what I’m suddenly interested in doing — getting into screenwriting. And, yet, being old — and delusional — is rather freeing. I’m old enough that I’m quite aware of how delusional I’m being to begin the process of learning how to write screenplays.

And, of course, there are the other obvious obstacles of my background and where I live. But, like I said, I’m really delusional and it would be nice to have three solid screenplays finished if I ever find myself with a little extra scratch so I can physically go to LA and see what fate might bring me.

But, like I said — I’m delusional. Very, very delusional.

And, yet, sometimes these screenplay ideas I have rolling around in my mind can be very, very potent. They jump out of the depths of my mind and demand to be told.

The reason why I like screenwriting as opposed to novel writing — at least when it comes to these stories — is all I have to do is know the proper structure and formatting. I can just tell some prospective director what should be on the screen and it’s up to them to make it a reality.

Novel writing, meanwhile, requires I actually show the reader in their minds what is going on. This is very stressful and and wear one out if you spend all your time thinking about storytelling — which, of course, I happen to do these days.

Anyway. This, just like the novel I’m working on — is a long term project. I continue to just drift, in fits and starts, towards some general goal. I need to be a lot more clear with myself that I have a very, very window of opportunity to knock something, anything out that I can point to and say, “Look, I’m not all talk and blog posts.”

I’m Using ‘The Enteral Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ As My Screenwriting ‘Textbook’

by Shelt Garner

I continue to drift towards my goal of finishing a novel so I can query it in the fall of 2024 — just as the so-called “Fourth Turning” is going to happen. Ugh. Anyway, I also want to have a fall back “second creative track.” As such, I’ve decided that screenwriting is going to be it.

Just as I have used Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl Who Played With Fire” as my “textbook” for the novel I’m writing, so, too, do I plan to use Charlie Kaufman’s “The Enteral Sunshine of The Spotless Mind” as my “textbook” for screenwriting. I think I’m probably going to do something similar with the Star Wars screenplay at some point soon.

I need to understand how to properly read a screenplay. I’ve already found bouncing back and forth between novel writing and screenwriting has helped my writing a lot. Something about thinking about how to structure a screenplay aids in helping me see things in a different way with the novel.

Anyway, something about the fall / winter season coming (along with a lot of more darkness) has caused me to feel a little unnerved. I’m still faraway, so close with the novel. It’s fun to just totally switch gears on a creative level and read about something completely different and new, while staying within the general writing skillset.

I hate the fact that I don’t have enough structure in my life. I have a rather idyllic situation going on at the moment and I spend way too much of my time just daydreaming and drifting towards my goal.

What’s more, I know damn well that this unusual — a great — situation that I find myself in can last for only so long. Something is going to throw everything out of whack soon enough and I’ll be smarting that I didn’t squeeze out every once of creativity I could when I had the opportunity.

I wonder what it will be. Maybe it will be The Fourth Turning, maybe it will be having to go underground when weaponized ICE agents start to hunt me down for thinking ding-dong Tyrant Trump is a fucking cocksucker.

My First Novel Is Growing Significantly Better

by Shelt Garner

Another day, another few thousand words written on the very beginning of the third draft of my first novel. I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels for months and months and months to the point that I’m growing rather alarmed. I’m so alarmed that I definitely feel in put-up-or-shut up mode.

My dream title for my first novel.

Having said all that, I’m beginning to feel more confident that I may — may — be just about to zoom through the story because I’ve finally established re-imagined relationships between the major characters. I’ve fleshed out some characters that were just meant to be minor characters. I’ve also leaned into the duality of my heroine’s professional life.

Which, I think, makes it a far more interesting read, even if for marketing purposes all anyone will want to talk about is how my heroine owns a strip club. But, I go where the muse takes me and that’s where I want to go. I’m willing to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, if need be.

One key reform I think I’m going to do with this latest version of the third draft is I’m not going to be so quick to re-read what I’ve written. While doing that has really helped make the story a lot better, it has also led to significant drift in the story simply because I keep seeing ways to make the story better.

There is a reason why they say all novels are “abandoned” rather than “finished.”

The story is never going to be “perfect,” it just has to be “done” and “good enough” that I can query it to a literary agent without being embarrassed at how bad it is.

The whole issue of querying is beginning to loom large in my mind. It’s very much uncharted territory. I really need to finish this third draft no later than, say, about March. That will give me time to figure out how to properly query and to find “comp” books, etc, etc.

It will be a whole new era in this project.

Having said that, I continue to be interested in learning about screenwriting. I have even gone so far as to print out the screenplay of “The Enteral Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” to use as my “textbook.” I probably will do the same thing soon with Star Wars.

I have a number of REALLY GOOD screenplay concepts rolling around in my mind. But, just as with the novel, I apparently seem determined to just drift towards my goal without any structure.

All this as I worry that just as I’m trying to query my first novel in late 2024, the whole world will implode / explode and I’ll be kicking myself for not learning how to use Ham Radio.

Some Thoughts About Screenwriting

I Continue To Bootstrap My Second Creative Track Of Learning To Write Hollywood Screenplays

By Shelt Garner

I’ve decided to chill out until November 1st when it comes to the novel. I’ve been running hot and I don’t want to burn out and grow discouraged. As such, I’m going to (hopefully) spend the next 48 hours bootstrapping myself with screenwriting.

I have learned a lot about how to start a major creative project through all the hard work I’ve put into this novel, so I have a sense of what works well with my personality. I do think I’m going to probably pick something like The Enternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as my “textbook” and really read it and study it to get a sense of how a master does it.

But I (hope) to read a lot of other screenplays as well — especially Star Wars.

A lot is going on all at once when it comes to my nascent efforts to figure out how to write a screenplay. I pretty much have an entire plot nailed down when it comes to a screenplay based on the real-life events that took place when I went to Lonely Beach in Thailand some time ago.

But, remember, I’ve talked a good game about this sort of stuff in the past, only for me to lose interest and for me to focus all my attention on writing a novel. So, lulz, who knows.