by Shelton Bumgarner
I am hurtling towards the novel’s midpoint. Once I get to the midpoint, the tempo of the novel speeds up considerably. I’m now on the cusp of writing a really important scene because it introduces a risky — but necessary — aspect to the plot.
It’s risky in a Phoebe Waller-Bridge type of way. I’m going to challenge the audience not to accept the orthodoxy on an very, very touchy subject. But the novel is meant to encompass the entirety of the clusterfuck that is the Trump Era so I feel my hand is forced. The great thing about the conceit of the novel is it lends itself to being my own Apocalypse Now. I have the opportunity to talk about a wide swath of the Trump Era in a fast paced, fun manner.
But by definition there’s also a good chance I’m going to piss a whole lot of people off. But just like Waller-Bridge, I’m not going to choke. I’m not going to blink. I’m going to wade into a situation where the media narrative is there is a right and true way. The great irony of it all is, of course, is I’m very empathetic to the conventional wisdom on the matter. It just fits the novel’s narrative to flip the script a little bit. Yes, I’m being intentionally vague.
The scene I’m about to write is so important I may wait until tomorrow morning to actually sit down and write it. I may write and re-write my longhand beat structure of the scene to really prep myself for writing it.
Anyway, the novel’s first draft is going to be a huge mess. But I’ve finally given myself the right to write shit. You can’t edit a blank page as they say. I just have to finish the first draft so I can turn around and do it all over again after I read it and annotate it for the purposes of revision.