I Need To Work On A Second Creative Track So Bad

by Shelt Garner

I keep telling myself that I’m going to work on a back up story and then…I don’t do squat. I’ve become so totally consumed with working on my first novel that it’s really, really difficult for me to focus on anything but it.

The heroine of my first novel has a sleeve tattoo similar to what Megan Fox now sports, even though I came up with the idea first.

I say this because there is a real chance that my first novel is just going to be too fucking long. Instead of about 100,000 words, it could be in the 140,000 to 160,000 spectrum.

This is not good.

But I just don’t know yet. I won’t know until I finish the novel then put all the scenes into a single document and do a word count. So, it’s possible that my eyeballing of the number of words to scenes could be off and instead of the novel being about 140,000 words, it might be closer to 120,000.

I just don’t know.

But I do have a lot of really interesting back up stories — all of them scifi.

I’m Studying Fleabag and Lisbeth Salander In An Effort To Make The Characters In My Novel Better

by Shelt Garner

It’s embarrassing how much obsessed I’ve been on plot over the years to the disservice of character. But, now, I’m playing catch up. I’m going through this rough version of the third draft and trying to beef up characterizations in the novel.

Fleabag is a very well developed character.

While my heroine is pretty well thought out, the other main characters in then novel too often are pretty piss-poor. I’m beginning to get a better sense of them, however, even if it’s going to take time to turn them from just “moods” into real people you want to spend time with.

My heroine sports a sleeve tattoo similar to the one that Meghan Fox now has, even though I thought of the idea first.

I’m really pleased with my heroine, though. She is very different than Lisbeth Salander, but she’s just about as intriguing, I think, if I do say so myself. I have done a good job thinking up a really, really interesting person. I could totally see her being someone people want to hang out with for a few novels, maybe even seven! (I hope.) I still am uneasy, however, about how there are members of the “woke cancel culture mob” who will be mad at me for being a smelly CIS white male writing from a female POV at times in the novel.

Lisbeth Salander is such a great character.

Ugh. I can’t help who I am.

My fear is that I’m going to get so sucked into trying to improve character that I will get really slowed down and miss sight of the fact that I need A Draft Done by April 19th so I can hand a few physical copies to people at an event I have. I like having a deadline so, lulz, I’m probably just going to buckle down and try to do everything in very short amount of time.

My heroine has the same phenotype as Corrie Yee.

The draft doesn’t have to be PERFECT, just EXIST in a form that isn’t too embarrassing. I really hope to zoom through this rough draft. One real problem I have is I continue to get impatient at the end of the novel and don’t put my all into making the copy as good as possible.

Ugh. I need to figure out a way to be in the right headspace when I work on the later scenes in the novel. I need to be a lot more serious and professional on that front.

What Am I Going To Do About Getting An Editor For My Manuscript?

by Shelt Garner

It seems as though the thing that may slow me down some going forward is simply not having the funds to get someone to edit my manuscript. I live in poverty, so it’s going to take me a while to save up the funds to get someone to edit the manuscript.

My heroine has a sleeve tattoo much like this one that Megan Fox now sports.

As such, I think I may need to readjust my timetable some. I’ll have a fished third draft done before July 22, I think, but because of the money situation, it could be early next year before I can begin to query.

Now, obviously, I could just query without the middle step of getting an editor. And I may do that, but I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’m torn. On one hand, I want to present the absolute best manuscript I can when I begin to query. But at the same time, lulz, I’d like to begin to query before I drop dead.

And there is the issue of the Petite Singularity and The Fourth Turning to worry about. It could be I’ll be too busy trying to flee an imploding United States in early 2025 as the the disembodied mind of Trump uses a robot army to take over.

Or something. I’m worried about something like that happening.

And, yet, the argument could be made that the longer I have to wait to query because of the editor situation, the more I can have ANOTHER novel in the series finished and ready to sell. And that doesn’t even begin to address the issue of the scifi novel I have rolling around in my mind.

Pondering The Querying Process For My First Novel

by Shelt Garner

There are some basic things I just don’t know about my novel yet, one of them being how long it is. The metric I use for the length of the novel is scenes, rather than word count, so it’s not until the very end of the process that I really know how long the novel is.

The heroine of my novel has a sleeve tattoo similar to the one Megan Fox now sports, even though I thought of it first.

The last time I did this, with the Beta Draft, I undershot my goal of 100,000 words by 20,000 words. Now, however, I have a pretty good sense that once the entire process is complete and I have a Beta Draft of the Third Draft of the novel that I’m going to come in closer to about 140,000 words, which is way, way too long.

But I don’t know yet. It’s possible that I will totally misjudge things again and the story will be closer to 100,000 words, which would be great! I just don’t know right now. I probably should think about adding up my words now as I approach wrapping up alpha release of the third draft, but I don’t wanna.

One thing I’m really concerned about is how the “woke cancel culture mob” is going to react to some of the elements of this novel. I mean, I am a smelly CIS white male writing about a same-sex relationship between two women and that’s just not supposed to happen. And my heroine occasionally strips, which is also going to freak them out.

Corrie Yee has the phenotype of my heroine.

I am well aware that “the demographics aren’t on my side,” as someone recently told me. But, lulz, so what. I know I have a great story on my hands and it’s just a matter of finishing it as soon as possible.

It definitely will be interesting to see if the liberal white women who make up most the vast majority of literary agents will blanch at all of this non-woke behavior on my part in my writing. But I can’t help what I’ve gotten myself into at this point.

I do, however, have a scifi novel rolling around in my mind. It would be one that better fits the expectations of the modern fiction world.

Of course, all of this is happening the context of the rise of AI and the potential Fourth Turning. So, I dunno. Wish me luck, I guess?

At The Midpoint: Things Are About To Lurch Forward With The Alpha Release Of The Third Draft of My First Novel

by Shelt Garner

Very soon — no later than tomorrow afternoon — I’m going to sit down and start to flesh out the second half of the alpha release of the third draft of my first novel. Things *should* move pretty fast now. I hope. I know this story really well now — it’s about a part-time stripper’s obsession with owning a small town community newspaper.

Corrie Yee is the basic phenotype of the heroine of my first novel.

Now, obviously, this is…an unusual concept for a novel. But, lulz, I’m weird, too, so fuck you. (wink.) I get the sense that it’s possible that all my very conspicuous talking about the status of this novel is generating a teeny-tiny amount of attention / buzz somewhere deep in the bowels of the infotainment-industrial complex.

Nothing serious, but someone in Greece — obviously someone on vacation — made a very pointed Google search that found some old copy of the novel that I posted here on this blog. Also, there was a picture of the phenotype of my heroine — Corrie Yee.

My heroine has a sleeve tattoo similar to this one that Megan Fox now sports, even though I came up with the idea first.

I have no idea what any of this means. It could be good — maybe some VIP finds my novel idea intriguing — and it could be bad — a movie producer is going to “steal” my concept and then next thing you know, A24 is coming out with a movie that is pretty much the same story as the one I’ve been working on for so long.

That latter idea is extremely paranoid on my part — I mean, lulz, no one cares about anything I have to say. And I don’t know, while I suppose it’s *possible* my idea is good enough to hang a screenplay on without all the fleshing out I’ve done for the novel….I don’t know. I just don’t know.

I hope to write a heroine as intriguing as Lisbeth Salander.

It could go either way.

All I know is I’m going to keep working on this fucking novel until something absolutely, on a concrete basis, blocks me so it’s impossible and I have to piviot to something else.

Even if someone was going to write a screenplay based on what little I’ve posted about the actual premise of this novel online, it would take them time to write and produce the movie. That would give me some wiggle room, I suppose. But I vacillate widely between thinking obviously I’m doomed and thinking there’s no downside to what’s going on.

Here is my angry rant about what happened to me in Seoul in staring in late 2006, which inspires a lot of the novel I’m writing.


Having said all that, I hope to zoom through the second half of the novel in the coming days. Once I finish the alpha release of the third draft, I’m going to take a HUGE FUCKING BREATH and game out canon and character development. The beta release of the third draft will be the one that I either give to an editor or just using to start querying. (After I let some people read it, of course.)

But things should move really fast now. Really, really fast. So fast that there is still a pretty good chance that I might even finish a SECOND novel in the series this year.

At The Midpoint of The Third Draft

by Shelt Garner

After a lot more months than I expected, I am finally at the midpoint of the third draft of my first novel. I hope to zoom through the rest of the novel to the point that I can go through and add some uniformity to the novel in some form of Third Draft, Beta Release.

Nathalie Emmanuel in this photo looks exactly like the heroine of my novel.

THEN, after THAT is done, I will try to find an editor of some sort. I don’t know how am I’m going to afford that, however. In fact, if it takes too long, I may just start querying without worrying about an editor.

My heroine sports a sleeve tattoo similar to the one Megan Fox has now.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that two things will probably only happen if something really weird happens that I can’t predict — a find an editor and I get an agent. That’s because the odds are against me when it comes to either one of those goals.

So, if I somehow manage to get either one of those things, something really unexpected and weird will have happened.

Just…*About*…At The Midpoint Of The Alpha Release Of The Third Draft Of My First Novel

by Shelt Garner

Editor: I need a stiff drink. Too bad I’m sober.

Anyway, I’m just a few scenes away from reaching the midpoint of the alpha release of the third draft of my first novel. This novel is a lot — A LOT — more spicy (and funny!) than Stieg Larsson’s original Millennium series of books. And while I just am not as good as he is when it comes to structure and POVs, I do think that, in general, the story flows a faster clip than The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Nathalie Emmanuel pretty much looks literally like my heroine in this picture. So much so I’m worried someone is going to steal a march on me creatively!

And, in a sense, I do feel that I’ve finally, FINALLY, developed and written a novel that has the same vibe as The Girl Who Played With Fire. It’s not fan fiction — it’s its own thing — but the influence that novel has on my work is pretty obvious in the sense that if you pick up my novel after having read the original Millennium series of books you’ll think, “Oh, I get it, this is like a Stieg Larsson novel set in America.”

That is the general goal of things in my mind.

But, in real terms, my novel is creatively its own thing other than a few stylistic choices and a few Form Follows Function things I was kind of forced into doing because of the genre.

My heroine has a sleeve tattoo like Megan Fox sports now, even though I thought of the idea first!

In fact, the biggest difference between my work and Stieg Larsson’s is something pretty basic — our personalities. He seems like he was way more serious than I am and had a far more twisted creative sense than I do. I love to laugh and socialize and it’s a real struggle for me to stay serious — or think about dark things — for too long.

Anyway. No one cares.

They Shoot Writers, Don’t They?

by Shelt Garner

The issue of finding an editor for my first novel is now beginning to weigh heavily on my mind. I find myself wondering how difficult is going to be to get one.

The heroine of my novel looks like Morena Baccarin.

Three issues are at the forefront of my mind. The first issue is can I get one if they do due diligence on me. I’m afraid, like with manuscript consultants, they they will take one look at me and think I’m too much of a crank for them to want to have any professional relationship with me.

Another issue I’m worried about is, well, am I going to have the funds necessary to pay for an editor in the first place. It’s going to take me months to find enough money to pay for an editor, which will delay things a great deal.

My heroine sports a sleeve tattoo much like the one Megan Fox now has, even though I thought of the idea first!

The third issue is how long it will take the editor, once I get them, to clean up my copy and fix any editorial errors on my part. It’s definitely looking like I could finish the novel by my deadline of July 22 and it will STILL be sometime next year before I can query.

Wish me luck.

I May Have Another Word Count Problem With This Novel

by Shelt Garner

The one piece of hope I have about this novel is that it tells a coherent, cogent story. And I’ve fixed a huge issue with the original version of the story — it’s a lot easier to explain –the novel is a about the struggle of a part-time sex worker to own a small town community newspaper.

The heroine of my novel looks like Morena Baccarin.

That’s a story that makes sense.

The SECOND story in the series is a murder mystery in the style of a Stieg Larsson novel. That, at least, is the goal.

But there is a problem — if you think on average each scene has 1,000 words, I’m in deep trouble. My novel is going to be about 160,000 words. Which, of course, is exactly where I was when I split the second draft of the novel in two in the first place.

And, yet, because the novel is far more coherent it’s a lot easier to simply edit down the word count if need be. Additionally, as I found out with the second draft, just because I have X number of scenes, doesn’t mean each one of those scenes will actually be 1,000 words.

My heroine sports a sleeve tattoo much like the one Megan Fox now has, even though I thought of the idea first!

I think that’s going just write the novel and then once I’m done with the third draft, it back and assess what options I have. But I also need to work on not just this novel, but the sequel to it as well as a separate scifi pandemic novel that I can potentially pitch for sale before the end of the year.

Or, put another way, I have to, as always, hurry up — the Fourth Turning or the Petite Singularity may arrive and make all of this moot.

Once More Unto The Breach! — Things Are Moving Really Fast With The Third Draft Of My First Novel

by Shelt Garner

I’m on the cusp of gaming out the third draft of my first novel to just about the midpoint any day now. Then, the hard work will be to well, write. The way I develop and write my novels can be so ad hoc, fluid and haphazard that it slows me a down a lot.

The heroine of my novel looks like Morena Baccarin.

In fact, most of the work I’ve been doing since I started developing what is now potentially a seven-novel project — if I don’t croak before it is wrapped up — is just improving my storytelling ability. There is A LOT about nuts-and-blots of structuring a novel-length story with multiple POVs that I know absolutely nothing about.

And now I’m worried that somehow, someway, screenwriters from Hollywood are going to read this blog and cherrypick the best bits of the novel and I’ll wake up to news that a character fitting my heroine is going to be in a movie soon. And, yet, you know, I’m such an extrovert that it’s not like I would be able to be quiet about such things.

I am who I am.

The point is to finish the first novel in the project as quickly as possible. I’m just a broke-ass kook living in the middle of nowhere with a great idea for a novel that I’m willing to put the effort in to finish.

My heroine sports a sleeve tattoo much like the one Megan Fox now has, even though I thought of the idea first!

As of right now, I hope to finish the first novel of this series at some point between now at around July 22, 2024 — the 20th anniversary of my first trek to South Korea.

I also have two other novels that I’m trying to develop. One is the sequel to this first novel, while the other a pandemic themed scifi novel. It’s really, really good. I’ve been fucking around with AI to develop it and it’s made me an “10X” writer….ha!

Yes, I know, in the end, AI will make all writers moot.