by Shelt Garner
I’m definitely taking a risk with this new direction for my heroine. She’s a far more interesting and complex character, but because I’m doing all of this in a vacuum — I just don’t know.
I don’t know what the reaction will be. The idea of my heroine having a very Barry-like sharp dichotomy to her life is, on its face, really interesting and provocative. And, yet, the case could be made that, by definition, a smelly CIS white male creating such a character is exploitive in such a way as to give female readers “the ick.”
In my defense, the whole point of this new direct for the character is to keep people distracted while I build up to something actually happening. The first roughly 30 scenes are just an effort to lay out the groundwork for what is about to happen to these characters.
My hope is that by the time the Inciting Incident rolls around, the audience — especially women — will be invested enough in the story that they will care enough to finish the novel. That’s the hope. That’s the goal.
I imagine my heroine looks like a younger version of Nicole Scherzinger.
But I *am* a smell CIS white male — and a drunk loser middle aged one at that. So, the anger over having my heroine own a strip club pretty much writes itself.
And, yet, I’ve really been struggling for a way to make my heroine really, really interesting and unique and this seems to be as about as good as I’m going to get, all things considered. And, I think, if I am very careful and self-conscious about the dangers involved that I might — just might — manage to pull this particular situation off.
Of course, I’m not getting any younger. It definitely seems that even if I stick the landing that I’m going to be in my mid-50s before I get anywhere near having this novel on bookshelves. And that doesn’t even begin to address the rise of AI which may make all forms of human-produced creativity quite moot.
But, I create because I have to, not because I want to.