Some Idle Observations On Exposition In #Novel #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@sheltbumgarner

They say if you have a lot of exposition in a story you have to get through, it’s best if something interesting is going on in the background so it’s not boring to the reader or viewer. I find myself with a nice chunk of a scene that really explains a lot about what’s going on in a brief way, but I also find myself struggling a little bit with making the whole thing a little bit more interesting.

So, I think I might rewrite the scene some, but a bit more creative with it. It’s an important enough scene and conveys important enough information that it deserves a better presentation than what it currently has. It shouldn’t be too difficult, I guess, to spice things up some. Really all you need is something odd or interesting happening as you do all this exposition. I’m pretty flexible and fluid when it comes to scenes at this point in the process — there’s a lot of heavy lifting backend stuff I’ve not even begun — so it’s just a matter of putting my mind to it.

I have a few ideas. It’s interesting how you write a scene, think it’s finished, then turn around and

My #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing Has A Lot Of Potential As An Allegory Of The Trump Era

by Shelton Bumgarner
@sheltbumgarner

The more I think about it, the more I can see there is a lot of symbolism built in to the scifi novel I’m writing that could be construed as my personal critique of the Trump Era. I think it has more to do with how art is made than anything else. I’m learning that if you actually are serious about writing a novel, your era is part of the primordial goo from whence a novel is birthed.

In other words, you don’t produce a novel — or any work of art for that matter — in a vacuum. You produce it as a snapshot in time. This novel in particular, if I can pull it off, could really be an interesting take on the Trump Era for various reasons. The novel deals with some pretty basic, fundamental issues that we come back to time and again in the Trump Era. I don’t know how much of that is I’m just interested in those topics and how much of it is writing about that has come to the forefront of my mind as part of writing this novel at this point in time.

Anyway, writing a novel seriously is definitely an interesting experience for a multitude of reasons. It’s definitely like a romantic relationship given how long it takes. That’s why I’m a little annoyed by the whole “write a novel during the month of November” thing. Writing a novel seriously is a long term project and you usually don’t even show your first draft to anyone for no other reason than it’s pretty much just you, the author, trying to get the story down in your own mind before you come back to it and try to make it readable enough that someone else can read the second draft.

I am really enjoying the process of writing a novel, though it sure does take a long time to simply sit down and write a novel that I hope will be at least 100,000 words. But hopefully once the process is done, it will be something, someone will want to read. Really, at this point, if I can get one person I don’t know personally to read the finished product and they want to know what happens in the second book in the series, it will be a successful in my mind.

Wish me luck.

‘Colony,’ ‘Captive State,’ ‘Under The Dome,’ & #Writing My #Scifi #Novel

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The novel I’m writing shares at least one plot point — in a sense — with “Captive State,” “Under The Dome” and “Colony.” But the concepts my novel deals with are significantly bigger and deeper than those creative works. My concept is much more like The Matrix compared to those creative works of art because I’m coming at the same idea from a dramatically different point of view.

Either it’s going to hurt me or help me that this micro genre is popping up. Either it means people are interesting in this concept, or there really is nothing new under the sun and by the time I actually finish the novel no one will care because something sufficiently similar will have come out already and it will be a moot point.

But we’ll see. We’ll definitely see, I guess. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Brief, Idle Rambling About The Themes Of The #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The novel I’m writing is, at least at this point, my personal attempt to address the Trump Era via a novel. In some ways it’s obvious and in some ways it’s not. The more I think about it, the more there are some major issues of the day that the novel deals with.

Chief among these concepts is “what is America?” The story gives me an opportunity to address the issue of the United States being an “idea” as opposed to “blood and soil” in a really concrete manner. It’s one of the things that makes writing the novel so much fun.

Anyway, I could go into this a lot more, but I need to shut up and, like, actually write the novel.

Writing A Novel Seriously Is A Lot Like A Romantic Relationship

by Shelton Bumgarner
@sheltbumgarner

I’ve finally begun writing a novel seriously and it’s a lot like a romantic relationship. You start off with a lot of passion, dreaming big dreams of what you’re going to do only for that to fade and you realize you have to be a lot more realistic about what’s going to happen.

When you first start a novel, you don’t know what you can and can’t change. So, I, for one, found myself writing and re-writing the beginning of the novel because I simply was unsure as to what the story exactly was about. I say this, I must note, even though I wrote a fairly lengthy scene summary. Once I actually starting writing the novel that scene summary went out the window and now it’s more of a general guide than actually something I’m following.

Now that I’m pass the passion phase of writing the story, I find myself really enjoying writing a novel, but realizing it’s a lot more work than I ever imagined. I try to work a little bit every day on the novel until the muse comes back and I write a lot in a huge burst like I did initially. At least, I hope that’s what’s going to happen. If it doesn’t, it could be a long, long time before I finish this novel.

But I’m trying my best. I really enjoy the process of writing a novel, it just takes a lot of out me because I have done little or none of the really important backend work of a character development you absolutely have to do for a successful work. But this is just the first draft. I have a lot of work to do yet. I definitely am not going to show this first draft to anyone. It’s just going to be too horrible.

Add to that my general grammar and spelling ability and it’s probably just for the best if I keep the first draft to myself. But the key thing is to keep going. I have to keep writing. I can’t grow distracted by this or that other stupid daydream. This concept is really strong for a first scifi novel and I need to keep going if I’m going to finish this at all.

V-Log: The State Of My #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing For Sept. 20th, 2018

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Just a little mulling.

The State Of The #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing For Sept. 16th, 2018

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I find myself doing a lot more writing than usual these days. It’s just a matter of putting in the work at this point and not worrying so much about what quality produce I’m producing. It is just the first draft and so it’s more about getting the story down than anything else.

Stranger Things At The Sunspot Observatory & Mulling The #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

In these videos, I talk a little bit about the mysterious events at the Sunspot Observatory and a lot about the scifi novel I’m writing. You get to see me think out my next course of action with my novel. You’ll either find it extremely interesting or very, very dull.

V-Log: The State Of The #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing As Of Sept. 12, 2018

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The premise of the scifi novel I’m writing is a mysterious wall appears in Virginia that surrounds the rural Piedmont region. The story is what happens after the wall is built and its consequences. While it sounds a lot like Stephen King’s Dome, there is much, much, much more to it than that.

I just don’t feel like telling you right now.

But I’ve reached the point in the story where I need to explore the world that the Wall has created. That’s my immediate goal — figuring out which character is going to be the reader’s avatar in exploring that world.

V-Log: The State Of The #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing As Of Sept. 12, 2018

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I am starting from the beginning of my novel yet again, but I’m going to be re purposing a lot of material I’ve already written. I’m slowly getting a sense of what this story is about, even though I still need to do a lot of backend hard work that I just haven’t managed to do yet.

But we’ll see. I have one really strong chapter written and it’s just a matter of sitting down and doing the work.

Here’s a sample of the one chapter I’ve managed to write that’s pretty good.

Tagger looked up as he drove and watched as the thousands of small pods he’d just seen fall from the sky along what he assumed was the Virginia – North Carolina border slowly bury themselves into the ground.  He went just across the affected area that was now rumbling, parked his car and stood in amazement as an enormous wall-like structure began to slow ascend from ground nearby. He snapped out of his rever long enough to notice that Nuk had also driven across the border and was standing next to him.

The wall was what looked like 30 feet deep and was quickly reaching at least 30 feet in height. It was slow and steady in its growth and they watched a few cars attempted a last ditch effort to cross the ever-growing wall. Titanic sounds could be heard to their left and right as the the wall destroyed everything it its path towards the sky.

In the middle of all of this, he hear the sound of a strange push notification on his phone. He looked down and saw a new app with a strange icon of three interlocking stars on his smartphone.

He hit the app’s icon and it quickly began to sink in the significance of all of this. According to the App, the wall was the handy work of a galactic spanning civilization which called itself the Galactic Collective. As he watched the wall in front of him grow taller and more imposing by the moment, he struggled to comprehend it all.

It was First Contact. Humanity wasn’t alone in the universe, after all.

A small, curious crowd began to assemble and walk towards the gigantic black wall. After about 10 minutes of constant growth, there appeared to be some stabilization in the height of the wall. It registered that Nuk was live streaming all of this with her phone and without thinking about it, he slowly walked up to the towering wall and placed his hand flat on its surface. This scene became quite historic in the coming days, with nearly a billion views on YouTube  in a week. For his part, Tagger’s mind was having difficulting processing the sheer enormity of what he was seeing.

The first notification on the app also noted that the area surrounded by the wall would be immediately evacuated. How this was going to happen, was unclear. Tagger and Nuk looked in shocked as the realized they were now walled off from the rest of the world. From his initial inspection of the First Contact App, there were some basic things immediately apparent — the Galactic Collective not only was well-versed in human civilization, but they had particular interest in English speakers. The First Contact App was only available in American English, required at least a limited knowledge of some basic Western concepts and seemed directed specifically at what traditionally would be referred to as the Western World.

Tagger then noticed Nuk frantically making phone calls as all of this was happening. It sounded like she was on the phone with her editor in New York City. Once the call was over, she looked at Tagger, her eyes enormous.

“Tagger,” she said. “You’re a star now. Like, a huge star. You’re the first person ever recording touching proof of alien life.”

The shock was beginning to wear off and Tagger looked at Nuk. She was a striking brunette with long black hair that reached past her shoulders

They heard a slow humming sound from the interior of the wall and they looked on in amazement as large holes could clearly be seen forming in the wall in front of them. In a moment something clicked in Tagger’s mind and he started racing to his car. “Get in if you want to live!” he screamed at Nuk.

Within seconds of them closing their car doors, there was a loud “whoosh!” sound as millions of microscopic black objects zoomed past their car. After a moment, the thick black cloud produced by these snowflake-sized probes could be seen dispersing into the cityscape ahead of them. Without thinking, Tagger gunned the gas and made his way through the city.

Whatever the mission of the black cloud, it was sufficiently distracted at the moment that they could make their way safely through the now abandoned streets of the city at high speed.  A small backwater of about 40,000 souls, this was the most excitement the city of Danville had seen since it was the last capital of the Confederate States of America in 1865. The city had seen far better days and up until a few minutes ago appeared doomed to quietly shrink into oblivion.

Driving towards Tagger’s house, they looked intently around them in constant fear they would see the black cloud again .