It ain’t done, till it’s done

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m a bit disappointed, not least because my previous post was written three whole months ago!

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.



About Cormac O'Keeffe

I've written a novel. And, it's going to be published. This April. Mad, or what? It's entitled 'Black Water' and is a crime novel set in Dublin's gangland, along the evocative Grand Canal. This blog is about that bumpy journey, which is about to get really exciting. You'll also find some photography on this blog, particularly snaps that relate to my novel, much of it centred along the canal. There are also some reviews, both fiction and non-fiction, many of them published in the Irish Examiner, a daily national newspaper in Ireland. I work as security correspondent there and have specialist interests in crime, drugs, policing, the justice system, communities and human rights. Both my personal life and my professional life have fed into my novel, or, rather, have been poured into it. My novel was granted a literature bursary by the Irish Arts Council in September 2014 and my journalistic work has won multiple awards from the Law Society of Ireland over many years, most recently in 2015.
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2 Responses to It ain’t done, till it’s done

  1. Louise says:

    Sound like you are well on your way to getting it DONE and that’s a mighty achievement!

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