June Blog: A Bag of Dead Kittens

This month I’ve mostly been focused on restructuring and organising my novel, Bitten By A Dog On Tuesday. It’s a complete novel at this stage but still needs some work done, though overall I’m happy with it. I’ve mapped out the timeline and the major events and I think it flows well however I need to make a few tweaks. An agent told me that the opening chapter was “too dark to be commercial” so I’ve fully taken that on board and I wholly agree to be honest. Thankfully he’s interested in reading my next, as yet untitled, historical fiction novel- more on that when the time is right. BBADOT still needs my attention for the time being and in plotting out the overall story arc I realise I need to elaborate more on some areas and there’s at least one chapter that can probably be removed, though it pains me to do so. That said, despite the torment of fitting my revisions into the original story, it’s a great feeling to see it all coming together. I’m still shocked at certain parts of the story when I read it and wonder where the hell did that come from? It is a gruesome tale in parts and I’d like to think the psychological suspense builds throughout, but there’s also plenty of day-to-day heart in there, especially between Michela (a vet) and her rebellious son, Ruairí. The protagonist John, as well as turning into a murderous vigilante, faces his own deep-seated family issues which he has repressed for many years. Obviously it deals with the horror of animal abuse too but while my writing is visceral in parts I don’t feel like it’s gratuitous. Also, the animal cases used are based (unfortunately) on real life events and there was no shortage of examples to choose from. Those elements were the most difficult to write, especially with my Jack Russell Terrier, Cody, sitting beside me. [for photos of Cody follow me on Instagram]

 

Redraft notes for Bitten By A Dog On Tuesday.

I’ve usually a draft or two of poetry sitting around that I’m always working on, so I’ve been keeping up with that too, submitting here and there. Unfortunately I haven’t had the time to actively work on any script over the last month, barring a treatment for a short. I really want to get back to scriptwriting but there are only so many hours in the day (wait- was that an excuse? I should know better!). It’s not for the want of ideas but I need to get BBADOT completed, or at least completed enough, before I take on my next major project. That said, I feel the year is rapidly slipping by and I’ve still so much to do, although there are always several pots on the backburner. Anyway, it’s all good and it keeps me on my toes. At times when I feel overwhelmed by it all I just remind myself that this is what I want and that, above all, I’m doing it for myself. To be honest, I can’t not.

Oh, I almost forgot- I’ll be teaching a creative writing course commencing this September in Dublin which I’m very excited about! It will be for beginners (or those who need a push forward with their work) and run over 6 weeks. More details to follow when everything has been finalised.

I guess that’s officially June done and dusted- let’s see what July has in store.

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