First Draft Done


One down. How many more to go?

At around 11.30am today I finished the first draft of my crime novel.

It’s hard to sum up how I feel exactly. I do feel excited, relieved, lighter. Happier even. But the anxiety is still there; the feeling that the job is only half done.

The last few weeks have been strange. I knew I was almost there, but was anxious about completing it. In a strange way, there was a part of me that was almost putting the time off. But most of me did want to finish it. And I did.

I’m reasonably happy with the climax and the ending, but know an awful lot of work remains.

Firstly, I have to organise the chapters and put a structure to the novel. I wrote the first half of the book in three strands, following three characters, so they have to be read through and weaved together. The second and third chapters need to be rewritten completely.

So, that’s my first job: take stock. See what I have and organise chapter 1, chp 2, and so on.

I had wanted to finish by the end of December. It spilled over a couple of days into 2013, but that’s not too bad. Now, to keep the momentum up: break down the jobs to do, set some sort of schedule for rewriting/editing and seek help from constructive sources – people, books, etc.

This afternoon, I might celebrate. I’m playing football tonight, so I can’t go for a snifter. I’m thinking of going to the Hobbit (again). Edge-of-the-seat lifestyle I lead, eh? Well, my wife hasn’t seen it yet!


About Cormac O'Keeffe

I am writing my first novel. It's a crime novel, a thriller set in Dublin's gangland, along the evocative Grand Canal. This blog is about that bumpy journey. And other things, like fiction reviews and non-fiction reviews, many of them published in the Irish Examiner, a daily national newspaper in Ireland. I work as crime and drugs reporter there, and have been since around 2001. 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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8 Responses to First Draft Done

  1. Congratulations! Take a well earned holiday! Well done. Simply enjoy the moment!

  2. jjtoner says:

    Well done, Cormac. I think you have the makings of a fantastic story there. Rest, recharged those batteries, before diving in again.

  3. Conor Cullen says:

    Fair play Cormac. Celebrate with hat-trick tonight, maybe?!

  4. Dermot says:

    Well done Cormac. Sticking in there is the key.

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