Last Sunday was a big day for me. Sometime in the late afternoon I typed the final words of the first draft of my novel. This is the novel that, all being well, will be submitted as the final portfolio assignment of my MA.  I approached the writing of the novel in a mixed mindset, somewhere between each section being a distinct short story and each section being what Stanley Kubrick used to call  ‘non-submersible units.’

On Tuesday I set about structuring my nsu’s into some sort of suitable structure. My instinct’s are telling me to subvert the chronology of the story somewhat but in a way less random than, say, Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From The Goon Squad., so I have assembled the novel into a such a structure. This will likely change and the finished beast may be very differently assembled  For now though, this is what my first draft of the novel looks like:

1st Novel draft

And this is what a ready to read assembled first draft of my novel sounds like.

My being busy typing towards the final full stop of this project accounts for the somewhat sparse nature of this blog for the last fews weeks (well, that and the horribly slow rural broadband provided by BT). Now with a new broadband solution in place and the novel entering the first round of edits with a leisurely read through what I have got, the blog will be seeing a few more regular posts, including reviews of Nuala and Catherine McNamara’s new collections and a brilliant interview with Nuala all about how Of Dublin and Other Fictions was written.

While all this has been going on, I’ve been a guest on Caroline Smailes’ blog talking about why sometimes an unhappy ending is the only ending. Caroline kindly invited me to contribute to the One Book series of posts she is hosting.  The basic idea is to write about ‘that one book that was read at a key moment in a person’s life. It could be related to loss, pregnancy, achievement, falling in love, or simply a key moment in a life when the reader identified with a book and it changed them in some way.’


After much head scratching and nearly writing about lots of books that have had an impact on me at some key moment in my life, I finally wrote all about my first reading, as young man of seventeen, of Jude the Obscure. You can read my post via the link above and check out all the One Book posts, and all the other loveliness, over on Caroline’s blog.