I know this sounds crazy, but your creative side already knows the story you want to write.
Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Dan shares his thoughts on the first draft writing process, common first draft problems and why your story should always take precedent over these problems.
I mean, first drafts of anything. Even the first draft of this blog post. Typing out those first two words alone: Everything else can wait until the second draft. By all means, tell the story from a set point of view, but let it come naturally.
Plus, your voice, whatever it ends up being, is as much about how you edit as how you write. Your first draft is about substance first and foremost.
Learning to let go is hard. And not only did I finish an entire draft in less time than it took me to write all of those variations of page one, but it felt authentic when I went back through and read it.
Of course, being that it was a first draft, it was absolutely terrible. But it was salvageable. Instead of letting this discourage you, flip it around and use it to your advantage.
Name an author, any author. His or her first drafts suck, too. Keep reminding yourself of that. See where that scary road leads. It might lead to a better story.
It might lead to fixing a problem you had earlier or will run into later in the story.
Or it could be a dead end. But guess what, dead ends are okay. Dead ends make you a better writer. Just go back the way you came and find a new route. And save what you wrote in a new document.
So take fear out of the equation. If you are sitting down to write, then that usually means you have some vague idea of the story you want to tell, which also means you probably have at least one scene in your head already. Sure, it might end up being the climax, or the very last scene, or a quiet character-driven moment, or it might end up getting cut from the story all together.
Now, you may be a master weaver and have no trouble shifting gears throughout your first draft. Maybe jot down a quick note to remind yourself later of what kinds of information you want there.
But just continue with the story. When in doubt, just continue with the story. The best thing to do is to take notes in the beginning on how you see the structure working in the end.
Then forget about it. Write the first draft as simply as possible—start to finish. A story that makes sense. From there, you can take that story, chop it up into as many pieces as you want, and apply it to the structure you envisioned in the beginning.
Your first draft is all about story. You might also like:Because you finally finished writing the first draft of your novel. Phew! Phew! No matter how many times an author finishes the first draft of a novel, they know this is only the beginning of the writing .
At a reading for his first book a few years ago, novelist Dominic Smith commented that the one thing he wasn't prepared for in writing a novel was the amount of work between first draft and published book.
Trying to make it perfect as I went along instead of surrendering to the process knowing that it was only the first draft and merely stage 1 of the entire novel-writing adventure.
First . If you write a first draft by focusing on the smallest details of description and scene-setting, you might find that this microscopic focus leaves a clumsy larger shape for your novel. One of the advantages of intentionally writing a loose, less controlled first draft is that you can put in place basic scaffolding that makes later improvements easier.
And they will stay inside of me until I can figure how to write a first draft. Do you have a book inside of you?
I have several books inside of me. And they will stay inside of me until I can figure how to write a first draft. 8 Tips for Writing Your First Draft. These techniques can help make writing your first draft easier. Just remember. Two Steps to Write a First Draft Perhaps you are the kind of person who likes to have a step-by-step list of things to follow.
To help you, I have put together a list of steps for how to write a first draft.