Write What You Know

by Shelton Bumgarner

I am struggling to write a mildly satirical speculative fiction novel about this crazy era we live in. I am writing my outline out in long hand because that seems to work the best for me. It’s a struggle though, for several different reasons.

I keep screwing up — at least in my own mind — and I start from scratch over and over and over again. I am trying to draw upon my personal experiences in Seoul about 10 years ago to give myself a plot, but even that’s difficult. I am juggling several different things in my head at the same time. The general crazy — if strong — high concept and then the more specific plot of what happened in Seoul.

So, I don’t know. I am trying to fuse the two things together as best I can, but it may take a lot longer — and require a lot more thought — than I ever imagined.

It’s fun, though. It’s fun to see if I can pull it off. I find myself doing a lot of pondering of both my high concept and what happened to me in Seoul. Only time will tell, I guess

The Struggle Is Real Redux, Yet More Mulling A Novel

by Shelton Bumgarner

I am now struggling directly to tell the story of the high concept speculative fiction satire I’ve come up with and the specific story of ROKon Magazine. The only reason why ROKon Magazine’s story is important is, well, it’s the only plot I have.

So, I don’t know. I know the more I tell the ROKon Magazine story literally, the easier it is to write the novel. But the more I do that, the more muddled the high concept aspect of the novel becomes. So, there is a balance I have to strike.

But I am really passionate about both aspects of the story, so I am willing to do the work needed to integrate them. It is going to take a while, though. It is going to require some real fancy footwork writing-wise on my part.

The Struggle Is Real: Writing A Novel Is Hard

by Shelton Bumgarner

I find myself looking at my blank page, struggling to write an outline. I know the general story I want to tell, but the individual scenes are difficult. I have stumbled across a pretty good system for writing an outline — I do it in longhand with a Sharpie — so it’s just a matter, really, of taking the risks needed to get the story down.

As I have written before, I have pretty much only one plot to my name. The rise, and fall, and rise of the magazine I started 10 years ago with a young lady named Annie Shapiro. It has taken me about 10 years to figure out that I probably can’t literally tell the story of the magazine.

But we’ll see. It seems the closer to get to telling the literal story of ROKon Magazine, the easier it will be to tell the story overall. But I have to give it all a huge amount of thought. I have to figure out how to take something that happened on a very small scale and how to make it huge and epic so people will be interested.

It is going to take a lot of thinking, regardless.

Talk To Me Internet: Struggling With My Novel About The Trump Era

by Shelton Bumgarner

I continue to struggle with my novel which is supposed to be a speculative fiction satire of the Trump era. It’s one of those things where I know the general plot, but the specifics are really tough. But I am enjoying writing it out nonetheless.

It will be interesting to see what comes of it all. I have one plot to my name — the rise, fall and rise of ROKon Magazine — so that’s the one I’m trying to intertwine with a satire of this bizarre era we live in. But it is going to take time. I need to look for a job as well as write a novel, so it will be a while. It could be as long as a few years.

An Update On My Novel About This Strange Era We Live In

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have pretty much only one plot to my name — the rise, fall and rise of ROKon Magazine. That’s all I got. They say “write what you know” and so for about 10 years now, I have struggled to do just that. I was all intent on writing a pretty much literal description of what happened when the Trumplandia Era happened.

So I have been struggling the last few months to figure out what to do with my one plot. I think I may have figured it out. I am going tell the general story of this era we in, while telling the more specific story of the magazine.

The novel will be speculative satirical fantasy, if you will. It is going to attempt to take some of the trends happening now and go, at light speed, to their logical extreme. I keep going on walks attempt to figure out how to do this and I think I may have finally done it.

It is probably going to take me a while to actually write the damn thing given everything involved, but I believe I may have figured out how to tell the general and specific stories that I want to tell. We’ll see, I guess.

The Struggle Is Real: How To Address Trump In Art

By Shelton Bumgarner

I am working on a novel, or at least trying to, and I’ve decided to make the dystopian world that Donald Trump seems to want to create as my playground. But it’s tough. Things are moving so fast in reality, that it’s difficult for me to grapple with how to address Trump in fiction.

I don’t know. I just don’t know. Maybe that’s why Hollywood has been so slow to talk about Trump directly. It wants to sit things out a little bit before it tries to help us collectively process things. But we’ll see, I guess It will be interesting to see how things play out.

Don’t Rage, Engage: What We Need Is A Good Novel About Life Under Trump

by Shelton Bumgarner

In fits and starts, I’m beginning to work on a novel that’s something of a metaphor for life under Trump. I have been working on a novel just in general, but the concept I was working with grew increasingly meh. So, I’ve decided to spice is up a little bit by trying to tell the same general story but also telling a metaphor for life under Trump.

It’s likely going to take me a long time to finish it if I do it the way I want to, but given that there’s no sign Donald Trump is going anywhere, there doesn’t seem any reason to believe it won’t be timely by the time I finish it.

I’ve decided that the best way to go about it is to make the story something of a surreal sci-fi satire. Something that might not only make you think, but cause a little bit of a chuckle from its absurdity. The fact that I’m using my anger towards Trump’s agenda to create art goes well with my general belief that the time for outrage is over.

Artists, as creative people, need to use the one weapon we have that we can easily use: our talents. I’m not saying I’m all that talented, but I do enjoy writing and I do, in fact, want to write a novel so the concept I have in my head is solid enough to try to turn it into something of note.

But it shouldn’t be people like me on the edges who should be creating art inspired by Trump’s behavior, people with actual talent you do be up to the task, as well. I continue to be puzzled as to why what is so obvious isn’t being done. Where are all the movies, TV shows and novels about Trump?

Maybe creative types in LA and NYC are simply still in shock. I don’t know. I’d like to think that eventually they will stop being in shock and awe and start producing the art that we all need right now. If something doesn’t happen sooner rather than later, I worry that creative types will be look back upon as complicit in this clusterfuck we’ve gotten ourselves into.

I, for one, am going to not only stand up for what I believe in, but be creative along the way as well.

From The Editor: A Call For Writers

By Shelton Bumgarner

About once a year, I start a new blog and have all these grand visions of how I’m going to make it a success and then within about a month I get tired of it and that’s, that. So, with that in mind, let me do it again.

I can’t pay, so no one is going to listen to me, but should someone actually be interesting, I do have a lot of publishing experience and I promise you’ll have a good time. I’m looking for someone, anyone, to help me build this Website into a site that would kind of be the anti-Axios.

Axios does access journalism with the Trump Administration and my vision for this site is it would be like the old Gawker. It would be snarky and fun and analyze the minutia of the Trump Administration in a compelling manner.

But, like I said, I can’t pay. So I don’t expect anyone to take me up on this offer. I just thought I’d ask, regardless, just to see if there was a chance, however small, that someone might take me up on the offer.

You can reach me at migukin (at) gmail.com.