As a Canadian fiction writer, I admit I’m getting a bit addicted to watching the American Presidential Election. Never, in all my years have I seen such wonderful elements for a fiction novel.
A few weeks ago, Donald Trump claimed that the Presidential election would be rigged, then a week later, a report comes out of a Russian Internet hack of an American Electoral Polling station.
I sit back home , drinking my Canadian beer, eating my nacho chips and almost choke as this news comes out on CNN. Really? Seriously? This is what a fiction writer would do, the perfect story arch, as the protagonist, (Trump) is either thwarted or helped by the (antagonist) the Russians.
Meanwhile, all of this is playing out in 144 characters as if this were news that we should all believe.
The Elevator Pitch I would have given 10 years ago (had I known)
There is something we authors do, it’s called an elevator pitch. You imagine yourself in an elevator with a publisher or movie producer and you have only so many floors to pitch your story before they get out.
So, here goes;
Me: Mr. Publisher; great to meet you…
Publisher -get to the point, you’ve got 5 floors.
Me,(audible gulp), okay, a presidential race in the future in America.A dark horse candidate enters. He’s a businessman.
Publisher – a successful one?
Me. Well…sort of, he’s done all these casinos and hotels, some go bankrupt, but he’s done this great reality T.V show and a Ms America Pagent.
Publisher. I’m not seeing it. How is this believable?
Me. He abuses everyone.
Publisher. He what now?
Me. He calls Mexican and Muslims out, gets down on them, tells everyone they’re rapist and terrorist.
Publisher. the Mexicans are terrorist?
Me. No, sorry, the Mexicans are the rapist, the Muslims are the terrorists.
Publisher. I’m finding this offensive, my wife is Mexican.
Me. Sorry…I, ah, well thats how the story goes.
Publisher. I don’s see anyone buying this.
Me. It’s fiction sir…it’s a futuristic novel.
Publisher. Nah, I don’t see the market in a novel like this. See yah.
The door opens. The publisher walks out and I’m left there mouthing…but what if I have him win?
To those of you Americans who are reading this and love Trump, my apologies, and to you who hate him, I offer the same.
The key element is, as a fictional character, Trump is a dream to any writer who wants someone who would galvanize the left and the right.
I have only the election movies, the Manchurian Candidate or the Ides of March to compare, and quite frankly, none of these come close to what’s going on.
I’m sure the non-fiction writers will have a field day trying to assess how all of this came about, and how a reality star Billionaire with multiple wives, and bankruptcies could galvanize a nation.
None of that is for me to decide. I’m mostly a fiction writer, and I’ve never seen such great theatre playing out before me.
Again, my apologies to all those offended by this, however, if you found some humor in it, that’s what I write. You’ll find the first three chapters of my novels at www.lylenicholson.com.