V-Log: The State of My Novel & A Rant About The Perils Of Modern Storytelling

Some thoughts.

V-Log: How To Fix The Star Wars Franchise

by Shelton Bumgarner

In this video I spend an hour talking about how fucked up the Star Wars franchise is and how I, personally, would fix it. It involves Bubba Fett, Ray in carbonite and and using an obscure existing character as the new Hero.

What We Need Is A Good Movie About The Trump Era

by Shelton Bumgarner

I’m struggling with a screenplay these days. I’m going to write it as a novella first and then once I save up the money, buy Final Draft and write it as a screenplay. But the point of the story is I want to tell one that really gets into how Trump has effected life on a personal level.

There have been a few movies like that, but nothing as seminal as, say, The Big Chill. That’s the type of movie I’m striving for, with maybe a little bit more drama. I have a lot of things I want to talk about in the story and they’re all coming together in one tidy project. I was the publisher of a magazine in Seoul about a decade ago and that story is really interesting, but I’ve struggled as to how to tell it. This story would be a way for me to do just that and that would be using as back story.

It’s been difficult to actually write the story. Part of writing a story as a writer is having to entertain yourself as you do it. So sometimes I get bored and stop working on this story, but I’m generally a creative person and I find myself wanting to write something again. So, I hope to return to this story pretty soon, if not today.

There is so much to talk about when it comes to this surreal Trump era we’re in. So much we can talk about in a story when it comes to how its changed how people are interacting with each other with such a troubling person as president. I have so much I want to talk about in this very thing in this story.

Regardless, it is going to take time. It’s going to take time to process all the batshit stuff that is happening because of Trump.

The Inciting Incident Of The ‘Big Chill’ Homage I’m Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner

The “inciting incident” of a story is when it really actually begins. Anyway, here is the The Big Chill homage I’m writing up to the inciting incident. I’m going to try not to post the entire story online as I write it, but this gives you a taste of the general vision of the story. I’m really pleased with the concept I’ve managed to think up. If you want to see the entire scene summary, just let me know and I’ll send it to you.

The Big Shrug

A novella by Shelton Bumgarner

Blaze Hurt and his Korean wife Union looked at each other and grinned. This weekend was going to be an exciting one, no matter what, given the people involved. Soon enough, as expected, the door opened and a middle-aged man wearing a red Make America Great Again hat walked in and gave each of them a hug.

“Jackson!” Union said as she did. “My, your politics sure have changed since we last met.”

Jackson Colburn mugged sheepishly as he turned to hug Blaze as well.

“Well, you know,” Jackson said. “Things change. I’ve changed. Who else is here? I looking forward to catching up.”

Jackson shook Blaze’s hand and told him happy birthday.

“You’re the first person here, but the rest right behind you,” Blaze said. “There’s an envelope on the kitchen table explaining where everything is.”

As Jackson nodded and made his way past them, a gorgeous African American woman squealed and hugged them both passionately. She kissed them each on the lips as she did.

“Gaia!” Blaze said, his eyes wide open. “You haven’t changed a bit. What have you been up to since Seoul? Last I heard you were modeling in Phuket”

“Yeah,” Gaia said in a deep, silky voice. “I’ve been up to this or that. Seoul was so long ago. I try to keep my eyes on the future, not the past. Happy birthday, baby,”

She, too, pushed past the couple on her way to the kitchen.

After a moment, a middle-aged woman with a lot of luggage made her way to the door and greeted the couple warmly.

“Maude, my dear,” Union said, “It’s been too long. So glad you could make it. We’re in for a great time, I think. Things are going to be so much fun with you here.”

“You’re too kind,” Maude said. “I’m just glad I could make it. Who else is here?”

“The usual suspects,” Blaze said.

Maude smiled and made her way past the couple.

Soon, a middle-aged man and a much younger, stunning woman appeared at the door. The mood was significantly different. It was more somber.

“Hey, Tagger,” Blaze said shaking Tagger’s hand firmly. “I don’t think I’ve met your daughter.”

Tagger looked at the couple smiled, then looked down for a moment and laughed.

“This is Manhattan,” Tagger said. “She’s my WIFE and you know it, you old bastard .”

The two couples shared a knowing laugh and the tension was broken.

“I haven’t seen you in person in close to 20 years,” Tagger said. “You haven’t changed a bit.”

“Neither have you,” Blaze said. “You seem to have done well for yourself since then. How many times have you gotten the Vogue cover in the last few years, half a dozen times?”

Tagger looked at his wife, squeezed her hand and nodded.

“Yeah, something like that.” Tagger said. “Life isn’t a straight line, you know. But it all started in Seoul. The whole thing changed my life.”

“Well,” Union said, “it’s good to see you are doing well. Like I told the others, just go straight into the kitchen and you’ll find the information you need for the weekend.”

And with that, Tagger and Manhattan pushed pass the couple with their luggage.  


The group met a little later in the living room to have a drink and chat. Things were relaxed. Finally, Tagger broke the calm.

“So my old foe has finally hit the Big 50,” Tagger said, fiddling with his beer bottle.

“Tagger,” Maude said, “don’t get started with your usual bullshit. He was never your foe and you know it. We’re here to celebrate his birthday, not rehash the past.”

Tagger continued to fiddle with his beer bottle.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Tagger said. “I have no idea why I’m here, it’s not like we exactly left on the best of terms. It was a long time ago, yes, but the magazine changed all our lives for better or worse. I wouldn’t be where I am today without what happened between Nuk and me.”

There was an awkward pause.

Tagger looked around, struggling to understand what was happening.

“Speaking of Nuk,” Tagger said. “Why isn’t she here? Seeing her was half the reason why I came.”

The silence grew longer and more potent by the moment.

“Tagger…” Blaze said. “There’s something you don’t know, I’m afraid. Nuk, she, she’s passed.”

“Fuck no,” Tagger said, standing up nervously. “That’s not possible. I would know. Someone would have told me. When…when did it happen?”

“Recently, about a month ago,” Blaze said. “We decided maybe it was for the best if you didn’t know, at least not right away.”

“OH MY GOD,” Tagger yelled. “You all intentionally kept it away from me? You all knew and you didn’t tell me? Really? How could you be so fucking cruel?”

“Calm down, honey,” Manhattan said. “I’m sure there’s a reason for all of this. Who was Nuk, anyway? Was she the woman you started the magazine with?”

Everyone looked at each other in shock.

“Jesus, Tagger, you didn’t tell her anything, did you?” Maude said with a gasp and placing her hand over her mouth in shock.

“Look,” Tagger said, “what I did or didn’t tell my wife is none of your business Maude. The issue is what happened to Nuk. How did it happen, damn it. I want answers!”

“Tagger,” Blaze said. “I don’t know if we need to get into this now. We’re here to celebrate life, not death. Maybe you should fix yourself a drink, calm down and relax. We can get to the details later.”

“OH MY GOD,” Tagger yelled. “I’m NOT going to calm down! I know all you think I was some sort of monster to Nuk, but she was no angel you know. We both did things to each other that we regret. We even talked about it a little bit a few years ago via email.”

“Tagger…she….she took her own life,” Maude said.

Tagger screamed and fell to the floor in front of the group and began to cry. Manhattan got next to him and attempt to console him.

“I think, I think maybe we need to be alone,” Manhattan said at last.

The couple got up and left the room.   

Dream Big Or Go Home: My ‘Big Chill’ Homage & Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae

by Shelton Bumgarner

I’m a dreamer. I daydream and I very much into a dream big or go home kind of guy. I’m developing a screenplay about a bunch of Gen. X people who spend the weekend to celebrate someone’s 50th birthday and I one of the roles would be perfect for either Erykah Badu or Janelle Monae. Monae is obviously the younger of the two, but she could probably play older.

I really like Ms. Badu and she’s perfect for the character I’m writing. I haven’t written the script yet, but I have written the scene summary. But I’m well aware that I have to put the work in and actually produce something. But I enjoy daydreaming so much that it’s difficult for me not to talk about any creative project I’m working on as I’m doing it.

What makes this screenplay different from all my other harebrained concepts is I feel good about it’s prospects to actually be finished. It’s a really strong concept and I am enjoying the process of writing it. I’m willing to put the scene summary online for either Ms. Badu or Ms. Monae to look at, but I know that’s kind of bonkers and totally how things are not suppose to be done.

But it’s my birthday (almost). Let a man enjoy a little winter daydream.

V-Log: Mulling #Writing A Gen. X Homage To The Big Chill #screenwriting

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have talked enough. It’s time to put up or shut up. I am going to try to sketch out some scenes tonight of a Gen. X homage to The Big Chill. I have vowed to myself that I’m not going to buy Final Draft until I have finished a novella — or something — that proves to me that I am serious about all of this.

But only time will tell. Talking and not doing is so much fun that I worry that I’ll just bounce to another concept or project and never get this one finished. But I really hope that isn’t the case.

Some Mulling Of A ‘Big Chill’ Screenplay For Gen X #screenwriting

by Shelton Bumgarner

I am saving up money to buy a high end digital camera, but in the meantime, I’m interested in writing a screenplay. I’ve vowed to myself I’m not going to buy Final Draft until I’ve sketched out a novella. The screenplay concept I’ve come up with is pretty strong.

It’s meant to be a “Big Chill” type movie for Gen X people. That’s the vision, at least. And it would have a lot of Trump talk in it as well. I guess I what I really want is someone to talk about it with for a little while to figure out in my head if the concept is as strong as I think it is.

But no one seems willing to do so.

The key thing is, I have to produce the copy. I have to actually put in the hard work. That’s the tough part. But it’s not impossible.

Some Idle Mulling Of #Screenwriting

by Shelton Bumgarner

I only find myself thinking of screenwriting as opposed to writing a novel because, well, it’s much easier to write a screenplay than a novel. A screenplay has a very specific formula as to how to do it, while a novel is significantly more difficult to pull off for various reasons. I like the idea of my job being to simply write dialog and provide a vision for the director and producer.

Something about that is really appealing.

Now, of course, I’m probably going to write a short story or novella before I write the screenplay in an effort to flesh out the story some. That’s the only way I can think of to be ready to write a screenplay when the time comes. I have vowed to myself I’m not going to buy Final Draft until I’ve at least finished a short story to base the screenplay on.

That seems only reasonable, given that that would prove, to some extent, that I’m serious, for once, about writing a screenplay. I have a novel concept I interested in writing as well, but I’ve put that on the back burner for the time being for no other reason than the screenplay concept seems to be flowing a lot easier right this second. The key thing is, I have to put in the work. I have to stop just daydreaming about a concept and start to put in the elbow grease needed to get the job done.

Because I don’t have a muse to tell me to shut up and write, I find myself bouncing around a lot from concept to concept. I talk a lot about what I’m going to do, but too often when I actually sit down to write things out, I choke. But right now because my mind is on something else — getting a professional digital camera — it seems as though at least for the moment things are flowing a bit better than usually creatively.

I’m, by nature, a daydreamer, so I know that if I don’t do something sooner rather than later a few more years could go by and I will not have actually written anything. I’m hoping this is different, for once. I’m hoping that I’m going to actually get something done for once.

It’s difficult, though. It’s difficult for lots of reasons. But, I have to say, as I’ve said before, I really enjoy the culture of screenwriting a lot. It’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy how social it is, how communal it is. It’s a lot of fun to know that should I actually get anything done that there is a vibrant screenwriting community that might, just might welcome me into the fold.

But I have to get the work done. I have to actually do something. I can’t just daydream and then expect other people to do the work for me. I am such a daydreamer — and need a muse so bad — that it’s difficult for me to find anyone one thing to obsess about. I bounce around a lot creatively. So much so that no one takes me serious. Yet I’d like to think maybe I might be able to change that sooner rather than later. I hope, at least. That’s the goal.

Concept Man Dwells Upon Visiting #LA Looking For Plot Guy #Screenwriting

by Shelton Bumgarner

This v-log is meandering and random. I start off talking about ROKon Magazine, the magazine I started in Seoul about 10 years ago and veer off into a discussion of heading to Hollywood for a few days to find someone to write screenplays with. But it’s kind of pointless unless I actually put in the work. No one will take me seriously if I just talk about all these great concepts I have in my head. I actually have to put in the work and be prepared to show it to someone.


V-log: Of #Hollywood, #Screenwriting & #Storytelling

by Shelton Bumgarner

In these two videos, I go into great length about my personal views on Hollywood, screenwriting and storytelling. These videos are meandering and rambling, but pretty good, all things considered. It’s too bad that people aren’t willing to watch videos.

But, in short, I talk a lot about how Hollywood establishes traditional gender rolls and then plays with them for dramatic effect. I also talk about my movie concept that would be a homage to The Big Chill. Like I said, these two videos are really interesting if you’re into storytelling.