So, this was the opening line in my last post: That’s it. No more excuses. Finish this novel and send it out by year’s end.
Well, what can I say? Other than: That’s not it. I have more excuses. I won’t be finished my novel by year’s end and it won’t be visiting a post box anytime soon.
But, I’m not disheartened. I have done a huge amount of work and the novel is significantly better. And, after a round of consultation in recent weeks with key people, it will be better still.
An essential part of this draft was going through some 130 printed pages of notes relating to my writing. I assembled those notes together by topic (characters, plots, setting, dialogue, etc), identified where they should go and stitched them into the novel.
I have done that. And it was a lot more work than I thought it would be. It was painstaking, with ripple effects all around, compounded by tangents, digressions and holes of the plot and character kind.
Another thing I’ve done in the last weeks was meet three key people: two experienced detectives and one drug worker (who has read the first half of an earlier draft). They were very generous with their time and insight. This advice is going to make a big difference for many reasons. One or two significant issues were raised, which I will have to put a lot of thought into, possibly requiring considerable rewriting. That is the next draft.
My schedule is off and I don’t have an obvious deadline now to aim for, which I am concerned about.
But, as an agent told me – it ain’t done, till it’s done.