Back in culinary school, the French chefs would yell at neophytes who'd ask, "How long do I cook it for, chef?" "Until it's done, you [insert French expletive]!" was typically the savage answer.
Remarkably, I never asked this inane question. Hey, I'm not bragging but I've really solid production instincts and kicked ass in culinary school. Missed top honors by a point...a #@!*% point...because (and I'm speculating here) I may have uttered a few prurient words that maybe I shouldn't have. Anyway, you kind of just know when something is done. And the same "maxim" applies to fiction. There's no magic word count, no trick, no watershed moment based on cheesy formula. You just know, and if you don't know you're doomed. Or so I believe. My WIP is almost there, pretty much at the resting stage before I prune the last jagged missteps and saw the meat for presentation. I'd like to give it to a proofreader, but I really can't afford that. Then what? I guess I'll present its swashbuckling, all action, crazy badass-ness at the appropriate doorsteps with a nifty pitch letter and hope for the best. It's time to move on, really. Try another novel? Mmm...not sure. Confidence lagging. Maybe I should take up fencing or guitar. Hmmm. My neighbor has been jonesing to shoot some skeet. I'm always down for that. All of it seem about as productive. Onward.
KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir ...as well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.