Things Are Falling Into Place With The #Novel #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

This weekend has been very productive so far. I wrote the first draft of the first chapter and now I’m doing a huge amount of pre-flight work on the second chapter.

Really, the only thing pausing things right now is inspiration is coming at me hard and fast so I need to make sure my scene summaries are as jam-packed with excitement, plot points and character development as possible. I don’t want to rush things. I want to be methodical.

Trump being a fucking enraging traitor continues to provide the energy needed to develop and write this novel. All I need to summon up some serious motivation is to “doomscroll” Twitter a little bit. One thing I’ve always wanted this novel to be is something of a “Twitter in real life” kind of thing where you see different types of people on Twitter represented as they would be in real life.
So, in that sense, this novel is — and always has been an allegory for the Trump Era hidden inside a breezy, pulpy thriller.

I hope to wrap up pre-flight on the second chapter very soon, maybe this evening. Then, as always, I’ll wake up at about 4 a.m., drink some coffee and write for a few hours. This is just such a huge project — and I’m not on crank like Phillip K. Dick — that even under the best of circumstances, I can only finish a scene or two at once sitting. That slows things down a little bit.

One thing about development of a novel is you never know what the context will be when you try to sell it. But I am trying to be as timely and topical as possible with this novel. The only reason why I will keep it in the immediate past at this point is it opens up really playing up the looming pandemic in the second book which will be set in very early days of the pandemic in the United States.

Anyway, as I keep saying, this novel has no literary aspirations. It’s meant to be a really fast read. Hopefully, you might notice after you finish a lingering sense that I really fucking hate the Trump Administration — and extremism in general.

I May Have Reached A Milestone With The #Novel I’m #Writing

by Shelt Garner

I keep looking at the outline for “Part 1” of the novel’s first draft and it continues to hold up. I’m finally comfortable enough with it to let people look at it via Google Docs. You’re not supposed to let people look at a first draft but, lulz, I’m 100% extroverted and I can’t help myself.

Anyway, now that I have the first chapter stabilized, now to go into the second chapter. Right now, it’s just a matter of me re-charging my batteries before I do that. I’m kind of relaxing because of the July 4th Weekend, so I’m simply chilling a bit longer than I might otherwise do.

But I do hope to see if maybe I can finish “Part I” by, say, Sunday evening. It’s going to be a really tough task, but I need a deadline to finish anything, so there you go. I’m hoping that by stabilizing “Part I” that the rest of the novel, with its huge holes of unknown details will become obvious.

I guess we’ll see. I wish I could have another “writers’ retreat” this weekend, but because of COVID19, that has been delayed until next week. But, like I said, I’m really pleased with how fast things are going at the moment.

If you want to be able to access the Google Docs that I’m using to write the first draft, then simply contact me somehow. We’re going to need to have a Skype call for a little while and you’re going to have to prove to me you will actually read the damn thing and not ghost me. And I have to be comfortable with you reading it to begin with.

The Stench Of Treason Is All Over #BenedictDonald

by Shelt Garner

It’s wild how so many really smart people — the Blue Check Liberals — stare straight at the answer as to why Trump acts the way he does and can come up with an explanation.

Trump is a traitor.

Now, let me qualify that statement. He’s probably not a LITERAL traitor in the legal definition, but fuck if he isn’t one in the political sense. The thing about Trump is you can never figure out if he’s a patsy or an actual active Russian agent.

I think, maybe, it’s a muddled mixture of both. He’s so stupid and lacks such self-awareness that he probably is simply a useful fool for the Russians, and, yet, he turns around and pulls 1/3 of our troops out of German by September and you wonder if he’s just a regular old agent.

You see, I think in the end, Trump has half a dozen (maybe more) ways he’s going to use to steal the 2020 election. But his ultimate failsafe is pretty obvious — there’s reason why he’s pulling those troops out of German — it’s a direct quid pro quote for the Russians hacking directly into our election systems.

The question, of course, is will we even figure it out?

I could see the period of time between Election Night and Jan 20th being a period of astonishing instability in the United States. There will be lawsuits. There will be rolling political violence. There will be Republican ratfucking and treason.

And, in the end, Trump will win.

All he has to do is get into his second term so his new second term Veep (who I think may be Gen. Mike Flynn) can become president and be even more treasonous.

Lulz, nothing matters.

The Novel Is Moving Faster Now #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

I finally have something of a groove going in regards to actually writing the novel. Things are still very fluid and ad hoc in nature, but at least I’m “just writing” as so many people demanded I do two years ago.

There’s a real chance that I’ll wrapping up the first chapter of the first draft pretty soon. I keep printing it out and reading something I think is “finished” only to have it all fall apart because I think of some better way to structure it. But, in the end, it’s definitely getting better.

One real problem is canon management and workflow. I just have no idea how to do it the “right” way. I can only work within my my personality and experience, so, lulz. But this is just the first draft. So, I’m trying not to be too hard on myself.

The crucial thing is I’m actually getting some writing done.

I keep being way too hard on myself. But I want this first draft to be the best it can possibly be. I don’t want to embarrass myself. (For once.)

The Struggle Is Real: Developing My Novel’s Female Romantic Lead #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

I’m using Alexa Chung’s appearance, public persona (and style) as something of a cheatsheet for my novel’s female romantic lead. In fact, whenever I can’t think of an aspect of the character off the top of my head, I pull up Wikipedia or YouTube and see what Alexa Chung does.

It really helps to have a public figure to inspire you when it comes to such an important character. The character, though, isn’t NOT “based” on her, so much as it is simply influenced and inspired by her. The character is an amalgam of several women I’m fond of, including Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jennifer Lawrence, Liz Plank, Erin Ryan, Jodi Kantor and the odd woman I’ve dated here and there.

I finally understand what an author means when they say one of their characters is “an amalgam.” I really need to do a formal personality profile of several characters, but I find actually writing the character out in the copy is more in line with my personal needs as a writer.

I will note, however, that my general fondness for developing female characters is making me self-conscious about not having enough MALE characters. But I think I’ve fixed that. I’m going to have to break the rule about only six POV characters to do it, but lulz.

My #Novel’s Development Is Really Taking Off Now #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

I have like 30 books to read right now. But I’m also writing. I have a pretty methodical way to develop each individual scene. I don’t want there to be any question about what’s going to be in a scene before I write it. If there is, I’m only setting myself up for a lot of heartache.

So, I find myself doing several scene summaries for each scene before I actually write them. It really, really helps so much with all the different aspects of each scene you have to juggle. I have very exacting standards for myself. I am also very neurotic, erratic and eccentric in my work ethic, so I sometimes wake up at 4 a.m. and write a few hours simply because that’s when the mood has struck me.

I’m just about to wrap up the first draft of the first chapter, I think. I’m really pleased with the cause and effect sequence of events (the plot, duh) I’ve managed to come up with. It flows really well.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a little nervous about how many POVs I have. But I think the issue is a matter of focus. As long as I focus on the Hero (and group different people into easy to manage “groups”) then I think readers won’t get too confused. Again, I’ve been using The Girl Who Played With Fire as my textbook and he uses more than six POVs in that book, so I’m not going to stress too much about that issue.

The first draft is more about simply getting the story down than anything else. Once I get the first draft of the first chapter done, I’m going to go back to reading and general thinking for the July 4th weekend so I’ll be refreshed once that “holiday pause” is over.

I’m Modeling The Hero Of My #Novel After #ChrisPratt #AmWriting

By Shelt Garner

Let me be clear — I really fucking hate it when people preen about who they think should play this or that character in their “WIP.” I just want to scream at them to shut up and actually write the novel. But, here I am, doing that very same thing.

My only excuse, I guess, is I’m 100% extroverted and I can’t help myself. And, also, I’m not really being aggressive about it. It’s just something to write about while in thinking in the back of my mind about an important first draft scene I’m working on at the moment.

Chris Pratt is who I imagine my hero looking like right now. He’s the right age and fits the phenotype of the inspiration for the hero. It is interesting how men who are in the 40 to 60 age range can play just “the Hero” while the female romantic lead usually has to be played by a far younger woman. I think that says more about Hollywood as an industry and the power male actors accrue as they grow older. (And the fact that the more powerful an actor becomes, the more he seeks out all the younger hot actress to play against so he can bang them.)

What’s interesting is I could see Chris Pratt play my Hero and Jennifer Lawrence play the Female Romantic Lead. (Or maybe Phoebe Waller-Bridge.) Those two have worked together in a movie. I really need to get back to writing the first draft of the novel. But, for some reason, I just feel the need to mention that on this blog that no one reads.

Anyway, like I said, I really fucking hate when other aspiring novelists do exactly what I’m doing. It’s so cloy and preening. It fucking drives me up the wall.

Just write the fucking novel already, people.

Trump Never Ceases To Enrage Me — And Help Me Write This Novel #AmWriting

by Shelt Garner

At its core, this novel is pretty much just me ranting and screaming at the top of my lungs about the Trump Era. A combination of that and a unique situation that give me a lot of time to develop and write is causing this novel to pick up some momentum.

I am not taking this for granted, however. This is kind of the ideal situation for someone like me to actually finish the two books I want to write (two books, one story). Though for a long time I was ambitious without any motivation, that has changed now and I am feeling the insecurity associated with being not only ambitious but motivated to do something about it.

So, I’m going to rock the ROK as I used to say in Seoul.

The thing about writing a novel is you have no idea what the context will be once you come out the other side of it all. Will Trump still be president? Will anyone want to read a 145,000 to 165,000 long thriller that’s really just an extremely diffused rant about how much I fucking hate the Trump Administration and MAGA? (Though, to be fair, I do rant a lot about “Twitter Liberals.”)

Anyway, there’s a chance I may wrap up the first draft of the first chapter within the next 24 hours. Then the July 4th weekend will be something of a “Writer’s retreat” pause while I reflect on the project and how I can make it the absolute best I can make it.

Then on July 5th, I’m going to throw myself back into things with quite a lot of gusto.

Wish me luck.

A Struggle With POV #AmWriting & Trying To Use The Snow Man by Jo Nesbø As An Additional Textbook

by Shelt Garner

I read in one of my many books that you’re only supposed to have six POV characters in a pop novel. Using The Girl Who Played With Fire as my textbook suggests this is not always the case.

So, I’m going to break the rule.

Stieg Larsson must have closer to 10 POVs in that novel and it’s quite readable. In fact, I think of it is a textbook example of how to write a great pop novel. Hence my use of it as, well, my textbook. But I must admit that I’m going to study The Snow Man by Jo Nesbø as well because I need to go outside my comfort one. I need to study someone else’s work, too.

Anyway, the main reason why I’m breaking the POV rule is my female romantic lead. I really want to show my hero from her POV for the purposes of character and relationship building. It is interesting how different the novel is in the abstract of development and the concrete of actually writing it. I definitely understand why they tell you not to show your first draft to anyone. I’m writing some pretty shitty copy right now, but it’s definitely helping to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.

I’m in a unique situation when it comes to how much time I have to develop and write this novel. I’m not taking it for granted. I’m trying to get a finished first draft done as quickly as possible, it’s just a huge amount of work and, as such, it slows things down.

Trump Endgame Enigma: ‘Jhi-na Syndrome’

by Shelt Garner

I love scenarios. I love weighing different factors, asking “what if” and wondering how a number of conditions would work. Usually my scenarios are the absolute worst-case.

So, let’s play the “What if Trump finally lost his mind” scenario.

Here’s the thing: first, how would we know?

Trump is so conspicuous in his instability, that for him to have finally have cracked, something REALLY Big would have have to happen. I am still of the opinion that Trump is more likely to implode than explode and we’ll simply not see him very much in his inevitable ill-gotten second term. He’ll be catatonic somewhere, babbling about the Deep State.

But, let’s say between now and, say, mid-August, a series of things push Trump over the edge. A combination of a pandemic, a depression, BountyGate and maybe even his taxes being released, becomes such a weigh on his mind that he snaps. I think such a decompensation would come a logic trap — he would absolutely want to win and yet he would absolute know he wasn’t going to win. (Though he might never get that bad since it’s obvious the Russians are going to hack into our election systems in exchange for Trump removing 1/3 of our fighting force out of Germany before September.)

Anyway, let’s just say Trump snaps.

I think a number of things would happen at the same time. A lot of things that have been rolling around his mind would pop out. He might whip is cock out. He might tweet out a dick pic. He might began to tweet out out the N-word to any African American who crosses him. He might simple begin to babble vulgarities at every opportunity. Or even stranger things might happen, like he dives head first into Tik-Tok and starts attempting some of the dances there. Or maybe he really, REALLY makes it clear he wants certain people “reminded of the power of the 2nd Amendment.” He keeps doing this now and no one takes him seriously. What if he won’t shut up about it in a rather manic fashion for days or weeks on end?

The next issue is what the reaction would be.

Given how close we are to the election, initially, not a lot would happen different. Republicans would simply ignore the behavior, hoping it will go away. It would take a few days of some seriously disturbing behavior before the pressure would begin to build for something, anything to happen.

This is where things get murky. I can’t figure out how we would ever get rid of Trump, even if he was, say, going out of his way to start a war with the DPRK in a desperate bid to “Wag the Dog.” I might go so far as to say this crisis might go on and on and on and on for months until the election rolls around and, surprise! Trump weirdly wins anyway.

Then we spend three months on edge we try to figure out how we’re going to get Electors to vote for Joe Biden because it’s absolutely clear that because of a quid pro quo with Russia, Trump has illegally won re-election because of hacking on the part of Putin.

I guess the point is — I don’t know how we would ever actually get rid of Trump, even if he fucking totally lost his fucking mind and put the lives of 300 million Americans at risk. We’re stuck with him, no matter what.