by Shelt Garner
I have no idea what I’m doing with this novel. I’ve been working on it for about three years now — so long, in fact, that the era it was meant to rant about is over — and the one constant has been I want music to be an important part of the storytelling process.
It’s so important to me that I’ve come up with a rather elaborate — if intuitive — reason for music to be something that ties the hero and heroine together on an emotional level. And, really, the only thing I worry about when it comes to this aspect of the story is not everyone will know the songs I reference simply from their titles.
This is a novel, not a screenplay I’m writing, after all.
But I’ve gone out of my way to use songs that are either so well known that the average person wouldn’t have to look them up or their titles are pretty much self-explanatory in the context of how they’re referenced. At least, that’s what I’m thinking about as I pick songs. I see this novel as something of a High Fidelity meets The Girl Who Played With Fire in how important music is to the progression of the plot. And given that I’m writing this thing with “woke Park Slope moms” at the forefront of my mind, I’m hoping that will be something the audience really gets into.
The more I grow consumed by developing and writing this novel, the more I continue to allow myself to be the “delusional” phase of development. I am finally, however, allowing myself to admit that at a minium I’m not going to embarrass myself with this novel if I just keep going and do the hard work.
The musical aspect of the novel is one that I’m including because of how personal this novel is. What gets me is I’m throwing myself completely into this novel and it’s not even meant to be literary — it’s just meant to be a fun thriller that uses subtext to rant about the Trump Era.
But the Trump Era is (hopefully) over and, as such, I have to use the Lady Bird Gambit to keep it relevant. Yet I have to admit that even though I feel some serious existential angst about any of this, I feel as though maybe, just maybe, things are going to move a lot fast with this novel.