The Portrayal Of Women In The #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’m trying my best to write strong female characters in this novel, but…I have a feeling I’m not going to do nearly as good a job as I would like. My Hero is male and as such, well, that’s going to have some “weaknesses” that can’t be avoided. But I am, at least, trying.

I’m probably going to have six POV characters and two “main” characters. It’s looking like I’m going to have three male POV characters and three female POV characters. I currently am running the risk of making two of the three women a little too sexy for their own good and that has more to do with me being a middle-aged man than anything else.

And this is my first serious attempt at writing a novel, so give me a break.

I have no idea as I write this if this story is going to be popular or not. But it is a strong concept. It’s really strong. Strong enough that I keep writing it, keep finding ways to keep myself entertained long after I usually would get fed up and walk away from it.

I’ve also managed to not show what I’ve written of this first draft to as many people as possible. This first draft is good, yes, but it’s not THAT good and it’s very much not finished yet and very much, well, a first rough draft. So, it’s best if I keep it to myself for the time being.

I am really enjoying writing it, though. I just have to keep at it. I have to keep believing.

Some Idle Musings About Location In The #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The thing about the novel I’m writing is, initially at least, it’s kind of located in a kind of meh place. It’s an actual literal place and as such it’s kind of uninteresting to someone living in LA or NYC. But that changes dramatically not so much because the location changes but because the use of the location changes.

Trust me, if you read what I’m writing, you’ll get it.

I have thought a lot about this and I am finally about cool with this. I’m ok with it now after some struggle because, well, the use of the otherwise unassuming location is interesting enough — really interesting in fact — that I think readers will really like it. And the reason I ultimately give for using the particular location makes sense in the context of the story well enough that I think readers will appreciate it.

And, as I’ve said, my expectations are really low. All I want is someone, one person, who I don’t know to read this novel and want to know what happens next. If I can get someone to read the entire finished product and they honestly liked what I wrote enough that they want to know what happens next, then it will be a success.

Anyway, I have a lot of work to do. A whole lot of work to do. That’s the thing about novels they don’t really tell you about — it just takes physical time to sit down and write 100,000 words, especially when you’ve done little, if any backend work. But that backend work is what I’m going to do after I finish this first draft.

Brief, Idle Rambling About The New York City Media Industry

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The thing about it is, I’m clue-in enough to know that at this point the only way I’m ever going to work in the New York media industry is if, uh, like I write a huge hit novel and am able to ride off my fame and reputation to do so. And if all else fails, I would have to BUY a publication.

In other words, it’s pretty much never going to happen at this point.

I’m 20 years too late. It’s over. But I guess I can take comfort in the fact that I finally realize I’m not a journalist at all (maybe a photographer, but that’s different story). Anyway, no one cares.

I need work on my novel.

‘No Deal’ — #Lyrics To A Rock Song About ‘No Deal’ Brexit

Given how disastrous “No Deal” Brexit is likely to be, there should be a rock song about it. This just exists because I feel like writing a story in verse. Oh well. No one cares.

No Deal
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

the winds of change and chance
crash on our every glance
May’s flowers are wilting hard
soft as can be will be our landing
(she says)
all I can say with little hope is
no deal

what’s that you say
wouldn’t want it any other way?
No Deal is the choice of the people
don’t cry when it all goes down
when No Deal happens
there’ll be smiles all around

No Deal
is on its way
No deal
you wouldn’t want it
any other way
No Deal
No Deal
No Deal

the Russians lurk around the corner
give you a boner I can tell
John Bull’s swelled with pride
as to how bad things are getting along
maybe if John was alive and kicking
this disaster wouldn’t have happened
but he’s dead and we’re licking our wounds

No Deal
is on its way
No deal
you wouldn’t want it
any other way
No Deal
No Deal
No Deal

[bridge]
give me a deal
or no exit at all
turn back the clock
I ask
if I may have the gall

it’ll be a bumpy ride
to the bottom I fear
everything we hold dear
may go down the drain
come out the other side in China
where deals are made

No Deal
No Deal
No Deal

‘moonmoon’ — #Lyrics To A Pop Ballad

No one cares about anything I write. Just treading water while I psych myself up to write on my novel. This would be a slow pop ballad.

moonmoon
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

spinning out of control
real, real slow you can see
a moon on up high an alien sky
what’s that I see but a moon with a moon

moonmoon
moonmoon
moonmoon

all we need is some hope
maybe use a telescope to look into the void
how did we get into this shape
with us circling each other like this
like two moons out in space

moonmoon
moonmoon
moonmoon

[bridge]
back here on earth
my foot is solid on the ground
gravity weighs on my soul
I feel like it’s taking its toll

moonmoon
moonmoon
moonmoon

‘How It Works’ — #Lyrics To A R&B Song

This meme originally comes from a TV commercial. But whatever. No one listens to me. No one cares.

How It Works
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

see you walk by in the dark club
rub your lips together till their wet
can see it in your strut
that you got lust in your heart
put your had on my side and I sigh
as I say

that’s not how it works
that’s not how any of this works
that’s not how it works
that’s not how any of this works

think you’re going to get me in your crib
you believe you’re living in my head
but let me be clear babe
you’re got it all wrong
I’m my own person it’s true
so before you make your move let me be clear

that’s not how it works
that’s not how any of this works
that’s not how it works
that’s not how any of this works

[bridge]
work it slow
give me room of my own
maybe you’ll touch heaven soon enough
or I may kick your into hell
for you to dwell on your sins

that’s not how it works
that’s not how any of this works
that’s not how it works
that’s not how any of this works

‘This Is How It Ends’ — #Lyrics To A Pop Song

No one cares about anything I do or say. They might get angry, but otherwise, no one cares.

This Is How It Ends
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

I look across the sea of fire
got my gasoline while you’ve got matches
this is how it ends
this is how it ends
this is how it ends

people want to tell me it’ll end with a bang
a shag late at night after a fight
rag me all you like I say
it’ll be your dismay when get my way
the world’s warming up fast
this is how it ends

this is how it ends
I’m telling you the truth
the seas will rise
there will be one last touch of the thigh
this is how it ends
this is how it ends
this is how it ends

[bridge]
wish we could cool down
have a nice chat about our love
but as you can tell that’s through
this is how it ends
this is how it ends

don’t you fret one bit love
we’ll always have memories
might have to wing it in the end
’cause this is how it ends
we’re all doomed
but at least we can look back
on what once did exist

this is how it ends
this is how it ends
this is how it ends

The Influence Of Mission: Impossible — Fallout On The #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’ve written — and talked — about this before, but it’s true: I think a lot about how Mission: Impossible — Fallout deals with major, macro political issues in an entertaining manner. Now, one thing I noticed about that movie is they don’t talk about Democrats or Republicans. There are some allusions, but nothing concrete.

The novel I’m writing, in that respect, is definitely different. I kind of wallow in name brand politics for a very specific reason — this novel is kind of my Atlas Shrugged for my own particular brand of globalist, liberal politics. It’s my own personal critique of the Trump Era…in its own particular manner.

To put another way, I’m definitely writing this novel and seeing how I can deal with the issues of the day in a metaphorical manner. It may not be the first draft, but by the second or third draft, I suspect that will be pretty fleshed out. But anyway, I’m really enjoying writing this first draft so far and one of the things I’m using as a guide is what I remember of Mission: Impossible — Fallout. It’s probably not going to be very obvious to anyone who read this first draft (not that anyone will) but I really did like that movie and I liked how it was a “woke” (to a certain extent) action adventure summer tent pole movie.

That’s my ultimate goal for this tale I’m writing — that it would be a very accessible, rip-roaring yarn that when you put it down, the first thing you’re going to think is 1) what happens next 2) this should be a movie.

Regardless, I probably should be working on the novel right now instead of writing about writing a novel.

Why #Novels Are Often Conservative When It Comes To Depicting Technology

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have a great concept for a novel I might write at some point after the novel I’m writing now is completed and (hopefully) published that deals extensively with VR & AR. It’s interesting that even though I know AR & VR are hurtling towards us rapidly, with the current novel I’m writing I just don’t feel very comfortable talking about that.

You generally want a novel to be as timeless as possible, and so it doesn’t make much sense — unless the novel is set in the far, far future — to use some fantastical possible technological advancement as a plot device. But maybe I might eventually. Generally, however, the more conservative you are in a novel when it comes to technology, the better.

I remember when the Internet was exploding in popularity 20 years ago looking at novels that didn’t even mention its existence and growing frustrated. I think a lot of that had to do with the lag time between conception and publishing of a novel as much as anything else.

Anyway.

Idle Musings About #Writing A #Novel You Want To Turn Into A #Screenplay One Day

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’ve finally gotten passed the passionate part of writing a novel and I’m just…writing a novel. It’s kind of, by definition, a labor of love. You aren’t getting paid and you know you have just the barest possibility of writing anything eventually that at some point someone you don’t know might read and actually like.

Having said all that, these cold hard facts don’t stop you from thinking — as you write the novel — who would play different characters in it should it ever be turned into a movie. You also find yourself daydreaming about what kind of movie it would be if it was one. As it stands, this scifi novel I’m writing might be described as, “Contact meets Colony meets…”

No.

While this novel definitely has elements of Contact, and Colony and Under The Dome and upcoming movie Captive State, there are some pretty big aspects of this story that defy ready comparisons. The basic conceit of the story is pretty unique. And one element of the story that I don’t know how comfortable movie producers would be with is its naming of names when it comes to politics. In fact, as I imagine it going into this story (I’ve barely gotten into the second chapter at this point) the story is going to wallow in contemporary American politics to such an extent that it might be a turn off to some people.

Maybe a lot of people.

But the interesting thing is I’m well aware that if I’m not careful that this story is going to come off as something of a liberal globalist fever dream. So, I’m working hard to try to make at least one sympathetic character center-Right. In fact, as of right now, the romantic female lead is going to be that center-Right character. One of the things I’m learning as I write this novel is if you have one character you pretty much have to have another character floating around for them to talk to. It’s difficult to have any conflict if all that happens is you have a character look around in awe at all the cool stuff happening to them.

One element of this story which — if it somehow miraculously becomes a movie — would set it apart, is the space aliens are not 2001 ethereal types. They’re well versed in the human condition and rather matter a fact about working with humans to save their sorry asses. I don’t know how easy it would be to describe that in a movie, given how conditioned mainstream audiences are to space aliens who are completely clueless about humans and how they operate.

Regardless, I love movie and as I write I do find myself thinking about who might play this or that character. It’s interesting how the original Star Wars has such a young protagonist and how that plays into the Hero’s Journey. When you actually sit down to write a story — be it a novel or a movie — basic things like your Hero’s age begin to really play a lot into how you construct your character.

I haven’t done squat of the heavy backend lifting when it comes to writing this novel, but this first draft is just to try to get the story down, to understand what I’m trying to say. One element of this is the novel, if I’m able to pull it off successfully, could easily be an allegory for the Trump Era. But that’s something to think about in the second draft, I suspect. This first draft is just to settle on the basics of what is happening.

Writing this novel, I have Mission: Impossible — Fallout in the back of my head a lot. This I’m writing starts off a lot more dramatically than I first imagined. I know the general macro story fairly well, it’s the micro elements — the nitty gritty elements of having characters walk around in this expansive universe I’ve constructed that I am enjoying processing. Anyway, I need to actually get the hard work done of writing the novel first and foremost. I can’t screw around writing about writing forever and expect to actually finish anything.

But sometimes I find myself feeling like taking a little break, to process things before diving back in.