by Shelton Bumgarner
All my heroes are dead. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, John Lennon, Steve Jobs and Prince. All. Dead.
But one person who is alive who I get a lot of creative courage from is Phoebe Waller-Bridge. That woman has creative ovaries of steel and so as this novel’s development begins to quicken in pace (at least for the time being) I ask myself, “What would Phoebe Waller-Bridge do? Would she go there? Yeah, of course she’d go there.”
So, whenever I come up with an issue I, myself, have about the scenario I’ve come up with, I now address it head on. I wallow in it. I say to the audience, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. But we’re going to talk about it so much that any worries you had about that possibility are eliminated.”
It’s wild how two things have really, really helped speed things up: establishment of a canon and pretty much totally flipping the script on some huge influences on this novel. A lot of problems have been fixed rather abruptly, so — for the time being –development is rushing full steam towards the end of the first act. I’m just letting my mind go down the rabbit hole of the most extreme possibilities to make a point about how fucked up the Trump Era is.
This helps the plot because it adds both drama and obstacles to the Hero and Heroine’s goals heading into towards the second act. A lot of avenues I had not really thought about have opened up and they’re organic to the concept and universe, so it’s really just a matter of free styling as I think up what would happen as part of the most obvious sequence of events.
The plot, characters and universe are getting far, far better because of this so, at a minimum, I feel cautiously optimistic that I won’t — at the very least– embarrassment myself.