Lily Poole

By Jack O'Donnell

A ground-breaking blend of ghost story, murder mystery and Scottish social drama

Monday, 4 August 2014

The Hard Self

I’m getting bored with the hard sell and the hard self. People imagine that I’ve finished Lily Poole and the words are banked in a vault like Luke Neima’s  honeymoon jewels. But words are always searching for new meaning, syntax can be rearranged to make a sentence stronger and sentences can grow a rigidity that has the rhythm of Agadoo on the dancefloor (God not Agadoo again). There’s always somebody next to you whispering at you to kill your little darlings. If anybody else says that to me they’re getting chibbed.

    Editing is about cutting. Rarely is it about adding. I’m sure Luke was delighted (groan) when I sent him a re-edit with an extra 12 000 words. The first draft I’d sent him had large chunks of narrative missing out of it.  You probably think I’m contradicting myself. I do it all the time. My life is so full I have to think two contradictory things as the same time and believe both equally. Do I believe in God. Yes. Do I believe in God. NO. Do I believe in ice-cream. Emmmm.

I have a plan that I don’t understand. There’s a psychological theory of muddling through only a psychologist can explain it to you. My plan is to reimagine Lily Poole as a radio play. BBC Writersroom opens for submissions on 15th September. I’ve never written a radio play. But I’d never written a script when I submitted a screen version of Bill and the Ufo to BBC Laughing Stock which was longlisted. Don’t be daft and think I made the shortlist, but  I was chuffed. Out of over 13 000 entries I’d made the first cut of 100.  I don’t think I’ll be as successful this time, but looking at your work from a different angle allows you to see it. I hope to make Lily Poole a little tighter and a whole lot stronger.

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