A new Irish writer and a first novel

19 Feb

In November 2011, I became a self-proclaimed Irish writer (albeit, very newbie) and started work on my first novel. Losing my job and having no sense of what I wanted to do with my life  finally drove me to seriously consider committing to the project. I had talked about starting a novel  for 10yrs, and I knew I had a story to tell, but I had never until now felt so driven to begin it. I could no longer contain the story within me, and I’m glad I’ve waited. Events of the past few years have added the best possible insight to the over-all story – the time seemed right to start.

I knew from the outset the entire process would be a tough job and a long slog. I had my ideas, my characters, my plots, and my themes down – all inspired from true events and people. I considered the structure over and over until I decided there was only one way I could tell the story to give it justice. The novel would have two sub-stories told separately at intersecting chapters, as they were intrinsically linked together. They would then weave together towards the mid-end to a bitter crescendo. The fallout over many years afterwards would be examined, but mostly from the POV of the centre character who then entered a stage of self-reflection, depression and philosophical examination.

I couldn’t bear to read any plotting guidelines and structure guides as, whether foolishly or not, I wanted to tell the story from the heart, the way it happened. I am almost 70K words in now and aiming for 80K+ on the first draft. I’ll give it a rest then for a few weeks and revise.

I may hate it, and cut chucks out or hide it in a box for it never to be seen again. My only goal now is to keep plodding on, 8 hours a day writing until I have finished. I am aiming for end of February to ‘tools down’ on the first draft and let it (am me) sleep for a week. Writing is mentally & emotionally exhausting I have found.


  • Read a book on Grammer!
  • Re-read MS as a whole & mark-up
  • Revise MS
  • Tear hair out
  • Read MS as a whole again & mark-up
  • Tear hair out
  • Revise MS
  • Proofread entire MS backwards.

In the meantime, I need to check out literary agents for women’s fiction (the dark kind), publishing houses, editors and critique services. I am a long way off from finishing, but pleased that months of full time writing have yielded 70k words, that have been therapeutic if nothing else.I am hoping that’s good for a newbie Irish writer.


4 Responses to “A new Irish writer and a first novel”

  1. SusanKColeman February 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Good for you! I look forward to reading about your progress.

  2. Csaba Zalezsak March 14, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Sounds like a good book. Don’t overdo the writing, though. It takes an average writer to do a minimum of 250-500 words in 5 minutes when they are in a “state of flow”. You’ll hit the 80,000 mark, just enjoy telling the story without over thinking it or getting too technical. All that can come in the revisions. A friend of mine is writing his third book and still hasn’t published the other two even after I argued a “now or never” scenario.

    • What's it All About and Other Stories March 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

      Thanks for the advise Csaba – about 75% of the book just poured out of me and then I hit the plateau. Things have slowed to a much more manageable pace now, and I am finally at the stage where I am pulling everything together. I hit 83k words last week and think I am about 8k off the first draft before edits. It’s funny, I had to let everything ‘settle’ in my head and I did lots of reading for about a week – that seemed to help! I know have much more perspective of where the story should rightfully go 🙂

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