Novel Notes For March 27th, 2019

— Things are going fine right now.

— Have a lot of blank time to fill up.

— The novel occurs over about 5 months.

— The book is very cinematic

— Rock music is at the center of this concept.

Novel Notes For March 24th, 2019

— Things keep getting better.

— I’m really actually, for once, beginning to get into the first half of the second act.

— There’s a reason why they tell you not to show your first draft to anyone. This first draft is going to be pretty chaotic.

— I’m a little nervous at the 200,000 word length, but the book I’m modeling the story after structure-wise, The Girl Who Play With Fire, is that length, so there you go. That’s what I’m shooting for. I really want that length, but we’ll see what happens once the beta readers get to it.

— It’s going to be interesting to see how long it takes me to finish the first draft. I know the major beats I want to hit, but how I actually manage to get there will likely be a pretty wild ride.

Novel Notes For March 22st, 2019

— Things continue to go well so far.

— Nervous about losing momentum if I don’t keep working on the scene summary.

— I have so much work to do.

— I’m doing everything wrong.

— It’s a lot of fun.

Novel Notes For March 21st, 2019

— In the “second part” (last 30 scenes of Act 1).

— May stay up all night tonight writing.

— Have to show that my heroine has the skill-set necessary to be a kickass superwoman.

— Need a sympathetic conservative character.

— Need to keep developing the rest of the novel as I write to keep momentum.

— Nervous if the novel is a success, people will want a quick sequel.

— Hoping this novel will be something of a mixture of The Girl With… series and The Fast & The Furious.

Novel Notes For March 20th, 2019

— Work on developing the first half of the second act continues.

— I’m dreaming in plots again.

— Continue to think about the scifi series I may eventually write.

— Going to try to write at least a few scenes a day, no matter, what going forward.

— A lot of people are probably nervous about writing Trump Era allegories because they don’t know how — or when — it’s going to end.

Novel Notes For March 19th, 2019

Some observations.

— Things are moving along well.

— Worried the heroine is a little TOO exotic

— Still worried about someone stealing a march on me in any number of ways, but the story itself is so personal, so semi-autobiographical, that a litteral “stealing of the concept” seems a bit difficult.

— Writing a novel takes time.

— If you talk about a novel, people assume they can read it immediately.

— Still struggling with what happens in the first part of the second act. Pretty much clueless at this point, but I can feel the pressure of creativity pushing up against the blockage in my mind. Once that dam bursts, things should start to move fast again.

— The method I’m using of developing a lot then writing works well for my writing style. Helps me to know the story really well as I actually write it.

— I’m on track to maybe trying to sell a completed spec novel at some point in late 2020, early 2021.

— The success of this novel will depend not only on my ability to tell a great yarn, but the state of politics in the broader world if, and when, it should ever come out.

— Debating on an “outsider” who pops up in full force in the beginning of the second act. But I don’t know yet who the person would be and / or what purpose they would serve.

Idle Rambling About The Novel I’m Gestating & The General American Political Stuff

by Shelton Bumgarner


Some Idle Thoughts

by Shelton Bumgarner

Now that I’ve actually started writing the novel, here are some observations.

— There’s a reason why they say don’t worry about the first draft being perfect. No one other than yourself — hopefully — will read the first draft, anyway. The whole point of the first draft is to just get the story down.

— Not every scene in the first draft is going to go as well as you planned. Given that everyone thinks I suck for various reasons, I did a lot more development than maybe some people would have liked. As I keep saying, those people can suck it. They are toxic and I don’t want them in my life anymore.

— I still don’t know what happens in the 50 scenes of the first half of the second act. But I still have time to figure that out. (I hope.)

— It’s growing pretty obvious that to do this right, this is going to take a lot longer than I first imagined. So long, in fact, that I can’t simply put my life in neutral for months to do it. I’m going to have to suck it up and look for a new job soon. I don’t want to, but it’s inevitable.

On That Scifi Concept Of Mine Someone Is Probably Going To ‘Steal’ And Develop

by Shelton Bumgarner

I vacillate back and forth between panicking that someone’s going to use that crude scifi first act scene summary I wrote to write a screenplay and wondering why that would be all that bad for me, in the long run.

There are three major reasons why I put that scifi concept aside in favor of what I’m working on now.

First, it was all conceit.
I could never figure out any characters, so I kept writing and re-writing the scene summary. The concept was amazingly great, but it was all concept and no characters.

Second, I didn’t have the resources.
The universe I constructed around that scifi novel was so enormous that only about eight or more books would have properly given it the treatment it needed. And the better storyteller I became, the more I realize the internal logic of a novel, as opposed to a movie, demanded I learned a huge amount about a lot of topics that I barely knew more than a Wikipedia entry’s worth of information about.

Third, where it was set.
I wanted to write a really personal story about the general area where I grew up and the more I worked on the project, the more I realized I probably needed to set it somewhere different. By doing that, of course, I would probably be set back months, if not years, as I learned enough about the geography of the new place.

Regardless, the point is it’s very possible some hack is using that crude scene summary I posted during the process of developing that original scifi novel to write a screenplay. It will hurt if they do that, but I would like to think somehow, someway, my connection to that product might garner some attention and help my career long-term.

The Problems Associated With Trying To Tell ‘Universal Truths’ About The Trumplandia Era

by Shelton Bumgarner

A number of reasons exist why probably we’re in the development stage of a lot of novels and movies about the Trump Era. Remember, not only does it take time to develop a movie or a novel, it also takes time for “creative types” to figure out how they want to tell the universal truth of a particular moment in time.

As such, the definitive movie of the late 1970s — Apocalypse Now — was really a film about the late 60s, early 70s. Not only did we have to actually end our involvement in Vietnam for that movie to be developed and made, but it took time to develop the movie as well.

This is very much the case with Trump. Trump is both about to be removed from office AND about to be re-elected and serve out his term. Both, at this point, are equally true. So, as such, if you’re an established writer in Hollywood or a similarly established novelist out in novel land, you probably are in something of a wait-and-see mode.

It’s dipshits like me with nothing to lose who are willing to strike out, not knowing where they’ll land once the journey of writing their novel is done. I mean, my novel could be one of a slew of similar stories that come out at about the same time, or it could just be the best I can produce given my skillset and no one outside of those who know me will even know if its existence.

Regardless, that doesn’t even begin to address how problematic my background is, how conspicuous I’ve been in talking about this “project” online and the fact that blue check liberals on Twitter probably would do a search for my name and think I’m some sort of crank. (Which, I guess, relative to them, I am.)

But as I keep saying, this is more about proving to myself I can seriously write a novel than it is any expectations that I can actually write a “break out hit” novel. This is more about proving to myself that I have it in me to do it.

The important thing for me is this is a character-driven novel. The major problem I’ve had with other attempts at writing a novel is they were all conceit. This has an array of interesting characters doing interesting things in a way that just happens to be constructed in an obvious allegory of the Trump Era.

I refuse to be one of those jerkoffs on Twitter who bager you into writing their self-published novel. I want to at least attempt to publish this through a traditional publishing house and will only self-publish if I fail on that front.

This is a really interesting novel and I think at least a few people outside of my immediate circle will find it enjoyable. Of course, the crux of the matter is I have to, like, write something and finish it.

So, as I’ve said, as of March 1st, 2019, I plan to start writing the first draft of the novel, no matter what. It may be more in the afternoon and evening when I do it, but I do plan on doing it that day. (Which as of this writing is tomorrow.)

I’m really looking forward to this next stage in the journey, however. I am, as I’ve mentioned before, extremely paranoid that someone is going to steal a march on me and make this old “project” moot.

But I think that’s pretty much the typical insecurities and jitters of any first time spec novel writer.

We’ll see.