by Shelt Garner
I’m simply an aspiring novelist. I have no idea what I’m doing. It amazes me that there are people who have been writing novel after novel for decades with no sign of letting up.
Developing this novel is a huge amount of work for me. All I have is my gut, some extra time and an absolute white hot rage against the Trump Administration and MAGA. I feel like I’ve made every mistake you can possibly make when it comes to developing this novel. And, really, that may be the ultimate take away from this project, regardless of its outcome — now I know how *I* write a novel (and, by extension, I suppose a screenplay.)
All I can compare this novel to is someone deciding to become a weightlifting champion in their middle age. It simply takes time to build up the bulk to get anywhere near that. So, I’m two years into the process.
I think my writing and storytelling has improved, but I continue to operate in a vacuum so I really don’t know. Maybe? I can’t get anyone to be my “reader,” so I still have nothing to work with other than my gut.
In hindsight, the biggest structural screw up I made was throwing myself into a conceit that, at the time, I simply was not up to telling properly. It’s taken two years of thinking (and reading) to get to the point where I think I may have figured out how to tell a story I pretty much thought up over the course of a few hours one weekend.
I really need to read more.