The Dream Of Being Joshua To Stieg Larsson’s Moses

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I am fully prepared to die of consumption — or a Stieg Larsson-style heart attack — just as the novel I’m developing is sold — if it ever is. But there’s a little part of me that thinks maybe I’ll at least get to be Tom Clancy in the end. He was a bit older when he sold his first novel and lived long enough to enjoy some of the success generated by it. But it’s Larsson to whom I feel a real kindship on a number of different levels and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to live the dream he was never able to.

I have been developing this concept for about a year now and it’s time to put up or shut up. So, I’m giving myself until Jan. 1st, 2020. I have to accept that whatever I draft I finish by my deadline of about April 2020 is NOT going to be a second draft. It’s a first draft and, as such, something I can’t really share with a lot of people.

The major problem I’ve faced for a year is I came up with the plot really fast and was so ill prepared to give it the structure necessary to support. I spent a year pretty much just running in place as I came across existential problem after existential problem. If I had a wife or a girlfriend — or, hell, just a friend — they would have either told me the whole thing was way beyond my ambition or would have at least been my “reader” to speed up the process. But as it was, I had no one to tell me “no.” I dove full steam ahead into a project that I simply was not prepared to complete with the skillset that I had at the time.

Now, a year later, I finally understand some pretty basic elements of the story. That it’s taken so long to get to this point is really, really embarrassing. Now, at least, if I do manage to finish this novel, I’m not going to embarrass myself. The only difference between this novel and Gone Girl, or maybe Sharp Objects, to be more realistic, is my native writing ability. And Gillian Flynn’s background is such that Verified Liberals on Twitter instantly give her a lot more credit than they ever will me, the middle aged white man hayseed rube crackpot failure dreamer loser in the rural part of a purple flyover state.

Anyway, I can only hold this particular pity party for so long. If nothing else, relative my native writing ability this specific debut novel might be seen as my Reservoir Dogs-Sharp Objects to my second novel’s Pulp Fiction-Gone Girl. Or, maybe, just maybe, it’ll enjoy the I’ll get to enjoy its success. Maybe I’ll, for once, get to enter the promise land of commercial and artistic success, a place that not even Larsson lived to see.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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