I’ve Tentatively Locked Down The First Chapter Of The Third Draft Of The Novel

by Shelt Garner

I have handed out the first chapter of the third draft of the novel in an effort to sort of force my hand. I have to lock down things sooner rather than later or I’ll wake up in a year an be exactly where I am now.

My goal is to write a novel as popular as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

So, I am going to chill out for a little bit today then sit down and see if I can flesh out chapters two and three. Then, I can use the first three chapters as a cornerstone for the rest of the novel and things will go really, really fast. That’s the hope.

The big issue is word count. At the moment, I’m hoping to come in at no more than 140,000 words. My fear is that I’ll be closer to 200,000 words. If that happens, then I’m going to split the novel into two.

A first novel with 200,000 words is just too fucking long. I would never be able to get a first novel of that length published. So, like I said, splitting the novel into two would probably be the best option.

And I also need to start working on the various scifi novels I have floating around in my mind. I really need to stop daydreaming about these stories and start writing them.

Why I Need A Second Creative Track

by Shelt Garner

I have really been spinning my wheels the last few weeks with the very first few chapters of the third draft of my first novel. I’m afraid I’m feeling a bit burn out. There is a very arbitrary structure in my mind about how the story progress and because I just can’t get it where it needs to be, I keep reading then revising the novel’s first three chapters over and over and over again.

As such, I think I need to give myself something different to piviot to creatively whenever I feel this way. At the moment, it seems like it’s going to be delving into the icy waters of screenwriting.

But this will happen in the context of my main goal still being finishing a mystery-thriller that is an homage to Stieg Larsson’s original Millennium series. My novel is so different that pretty much only I would notice any similarities.

Most of what is similar to Stieg Larsson’s work is structural in nature or the result of “form follows function.”

I will freely admit that my novel just isn’t as good as the novel I’m using as my “textbook” — The Girl That Played With Fire. That novel has a lot of heart. But that is, in general, what I want people to think of on an instinctual basis when they read my novel.

If they are fans of The Girl Who Played With Fire, they will feel like they’re putting on an old brown shoe. It will feel very cumfy and familiar, even if my novel is totally, completely, it’s own thing when it comes to subject matter.

That’s my goal, at least.

But I’ve studied Larsson’s stuff so much and have come to see some of his editorial decisions on a macrobasis as “the right way,” even though there is no such thing, I keep revising and revising and revising.

This is wearing me out. So, rather risk total burn out, I want to be able to pivot to screenwriting as necessary now and again.

It will be interesting to how long this plan lasts.

Video: Mulling Using Screenwriting As My Backup Creative Track

A Butterfly Effect?

by Shelt Garner

I am always looking for weird ways that changes in society can change other aspects and I think it’s at least possible that all these laws regulating porn online might cause some unexpected changes.

For instance, is it possible that if it’s a lot more difficult for young people to see porn online, that we might have an uptick in raunchy movies? Or even maybe Playboy might increase in cultural relevancy? Or something like that? Something whereby some of the shitty developments in our culture might be fixed because there’s not a constant stream of easily-accessible porn online?

Or not.

Maybe I’m overthinking this too much. Maybe what I’m noticing says more about me being an old man than something that is easily fixable by the butterfly effect. But it would be nice if maybe some of the fun of pop culture that has been drained out of it because of the “woke mind virus” came back.

I don’t blame the rise of “woke” culture for the lack of T&A and general fun in pop culture, but I’m kind of desperate. It would be nice to have the joy that was found in 80s and 90s American pop culture come back in a big way.

But, like I said, maybe this is it. Maybe we’re in a real life Black Mirror episode where we can never have any T&A in raunchy movies and we’ll just drift into a future where all of our movies are either superhero movies or the occasional low budget horror movie.

Overthinking Dua Lipa’s ‘Naked Dress’ & Her Desire To Be A Hollywood Actress

by Shelt Garner

Any rumination on Dua Lipa’s “naked dress” has to put it in context. For all the buzz around the dress, it’s not THAT naked. Don’t get me wrong, it’s rather revealing — and gorgeous just like Lipa herself — but other women, like Kate Moss and Rihanna, have shown more sheer skin in public in real terms.

To me, the point of the dress is to generate buzz….in Hollywood. Lipa is telling Hollywood directors that she’s ready for her closeup because she’s not afraid of showing T&A on the big screen. Which, of course, reminds me of how Tay-Tay will probably never get her EGOT because if she showed ANY T&A, her fan base of liberal white women would grow so enraged that that would break the Internet.

Dipa has perfected the art of being sexxy in a way where she doesn’t actually show what people think she’s showing. If she’s not wearing a skin-tight Mugler one-piece that has some skin tone stripes to it, she’s grinding on a mic stand in a very covering faux mini-skirt.

And, in real terms, she’s barely showing areola and it’s very clear that she’s wearing a very-wide thong under the dress. If she was really in a naked dress, all there would be in covering of her mons pubis would be a lot of strategic dress sparkles.

So, like I said, to me, this naked dress’ true audience is Hollywood, not us nerds. She’s trying to take her career to the next level by being an actress. She’s already in the Barbie movie, so it would make a lot of sense for her to push with all her might fully into being a full-blown movie star.

The Hollywood Studios Have The High Ground At The Moment

by Shelt Garner

I feel kind of sorry for the major Hollywood trade unions. It definitely seems like they’re kind of fucked. I say this because I’m using ChatGPT and Bing to develop my first novel and the potential is definitely there. I say this because I sometimes have to fight with these LLMs and remind them that *I* am the fucking writer.

In the not-too-distant future, Hollywood will look like this: well paid Suits, ok paid programmers and…interns who are “prompt engineers.” And even the idea of a prompt engineer is will seem quaint when, soon enough, we reach a Her-type future in which people have digital assistants who know everything about them to the point that there will be no need for a “prompt engineers” in the first place.

With that in mind, all the Suits have to do is just cool their heels and snort coke off hooker assholes until AI advances to the point that that they end writing as Hollywood professional, period. The way things are going, the WGA (and SAG?) strike would only have to last 18 months before AI makes writing in Hollywood very very very moot.

I say this as a writer who loves writing, is writing a novel and wishes to be a screenwriter in Hollywood one day. But just like you can’t go to Windows on The World to eat anymore, the day may come when….being a professional writer or actor or director in Hollywood is just a quaint memory…..

Hollywood’s Eternal ‘Now:’ The Streaming Endgame

by Shelt Garner

Here is what I think is the endgame for the streaming industry. At some point in the near future — probably after we’ve either transitioned into a MAGA autocracy or wrapped up a civil war / revolution — Netflix will be morea database than an entertainment provider.

Simone is the future of Hollywood and celebrity culture.

Because of advancements in AI, you will sit down in front of your TV or cellphone and you will be scanned for your particular mood at that specific moment. Then AI will spit out a six episode TV show or a 2 hour movie that fits your specific mood at that specific moment. It will use the bodyscans of your favorite actors to produce these completely AI-generated forms of entertainment.

So, there will come a point when Hollywood just feeds off the popularity of stars from the last 100 years, never generating any new ones because there won’t be any need. Unless, of course, someone really makes name for themselves on Broadway and they get a body scan so they can live passively off the licensing of that scan on streaming and other forms of mediated recorded entertainment.

But, wait, there’s more!

Soon enough, even having any form of human actors will be quaint and moot. All your favorite stars will be AI generated. They will be human like that all those dystopian 1990s movies about people developing parasocial relationships with faux Hollywood stars will seem very prescient.

And, what’s more,give us 20 years and all of your favorite Hollywood stars could be fucking androids. Unless SAG gets its act together, the only actors making any money professionally will be those on Broadway.

Otherwise, lulz.

We’re careening towards a very strange and weird future — especially when it comes to entertainment.

Day 50: Kelsey Asbille, Call Your Agent — Eventually?

by Shelt Garner

It’s going to be a real struggle to wrap this Public Beta up before the end of spring. I keep finding scenes that are just too weak not to throw up and rewrite totally. And that doesn’t even count the scenes that are adequate, but need a serious punch up if people are going to actually want to read the entire novel.

The heroine of my first novel kinda looks like Kelsey Asbille.

But, I think because I have a lot of momentum that I should be able to get pretty close to my goal. At the moment, it definitely feels like I should wrap things up no later than July 4th. Regardless, the story is getting much, much better.

My chief concern at the moment is the story is just not very dark. It’s very, very accessible and is a very, very easy read. It’s such an easy read that there might even people who are able to read it in one sitting.

The story itself is very much an Old Brown Shoe to anyone who’s read Stieg Larsson’s original Millennium Series. Though, in real terms, the story is a lot more a journalistic Mare of Easttown than it is anything else.

In other news, I’ve discovered a Hollywood actress who I can now imagine in my mind as the heroine of my novel — Kelsey Asbille. She’s just about the right age and she kinda sorta is close enough in complexion to meet what I imagine my heroine looks like.

It’s not a perfect 1-to-1, but it’s pretty close.

Anyway, I’m being VERY delusional to even broach such a thing because I haven’t even finished the fucking novel yet. And the entire showbiz industrial complex is designed to make it impossible for drunk middle-aged men like me to find a way in.

Who knows, though, I do think this novel is shaping up to be REALLY GOOD.

David Spade, Hollywood Short King

by Shelt Garner

I was listening to the “Fly On The Wall” podcast with David Spade and Dana Carvey where they interviewed Spade’s’ ex Julie Bowen and I have to say it was kind of hot. Bowmen is a very, very funny woman — and seemingly something of a beautiful handful — and there definitely was some “rizz” between Spade and Bowmen.

The reason why I bring this up is Spade and I share some personality — and physical -traits. We’re both kind of short, in other words. He, of course, is far, far funnier than I am, but if you get me liquored up I do tend to talk a mile a minute about some very thought provoking, interesting things.

My problem I have is may have “rizz” but it’s not very focused and, as such, I can’t score with chicks on as anywhere a near a regular basis as Spade does. But there was a brief moment in time in Seoul where I was something of a man about town and some…interesting…things happened to me.

Now that I’ve entered a new phase of the process of writing a novel, I do again find myself wondering if I blow up with my novel money if I might go back to my old drunk fast talking ways.

I have my doubts.

Even if I really blew up as a first time novelist, I would be so fucking old that the experience wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun as it was back in Seoul. It would be extremely creepy to hang out with women in their 20s or 30s, no matter how badly I might want to. (Ugh.)

So, it would be totally different than what happened with Seoul. I would be so fucking old that even if I did what I want to do — become a very conspicuous, thought provoking “bi-coastal” celebrity that does humble brags about taking the Red Eye….it just would be different than if I was, say, a normal fucking person and became a success in my early 30s.

In other words, even if I get what I want, I don’t get what I want.

I keep writing about this because I have to manage my expectations.

Could The Hollywood Writers’ Strike Be The Tipping Point That Sparks The AI Generated Writing Revolution?

by Shelt Garner

I’m all for Hollywood writers getting a better deal from the studios, but to get that is probably going to require some industry-wide pain. The thing I’m worried about is that if the writers’ strike lingers longer than any of us might otherwise expect, there is a possibility that, lulz, AI-generated scripts could fill the gap.

Technology usually advances dramatically in times of crisis, so it’s reasonable to assume that it’s possible that if we find ourselves in month three or four of a strike that the major studios, in desperation, will turn to ChatGPT and other similar LLMs to write scripts.

And, remember, the vast majority of TV and movie scripts…suck. They’re formulaic and horrible and yet because of the economics of the industry they get produced. So, it’s very possible that there will at least be some experimentation in AI generated scripts.

That’s how progress happens in abrupt, unexpected ways, shit like a lingering strike. So, it will be interesting to see how things work out.

I’m of the opinion that given the capitalist imperative that Hollywood as we know it is careening towards an astonishing revolution. It’s just a matter of if it’s within five years or 10 years. The longer the writers’ strike lasts, the more likely that we’ll wake up in late 2024 to most of scripted entertainment being done without the benefit of ANY human writers.

I do think, however, that if such a nightmare happened, that we would see a significant increase in the popularity of live theatre.