Get the first draft down and you will be one step closer to fulfilling your publishing goals Write until you have written what you want to write. Many writers get caught up in the editing process, the marketing process or any other process that might come along and the words get lost in the shuffle. The only way to ever get the book written or the article complete is to write until it is done.
8 Practical Tips for First Draft Writing
- Skip the edit – forget about the grammar or the spelling. Just write! Even the flow can be straightened out after the first draft has been completed. Get it done and then you can make it pretty.
Schedule the writing – set aside just 30 minutes every day to do nothing but write on that first draft. Lock yourself in a closet or bathroom if that is the only way to get 30 minutes of uninterrupted time. Write for 30 minutes and you will be surprised at how fast that first draft takes shape.
Make it a challenge – connect with other writing friends and see who can reach the end of a story, a particular word count or some other challenge first. Challenges provide motivation but also accountability for getting down that first draft.
Have a daily goal for your words or you plot – National Novel Writing Month (which is every November) serves as a reminder that with just a small number of words committed each day you can write your novel in a month. Writing just 2000 words each day of the month results in a manuscript of 60,000 words.
Direct the flow – set up an outline that will help to direct the words. Write down major points you want to cover, events that will occur or other activities that you want to include. These can help drive the words so that you can finish that writing that first draft.
Say what you know – include a conversation you overheard in line, or that you shared with a friend or family member. Real life can be great inspiration for creating that first draft. Keep in mind that dialogue traditionally slows down the pace of the story.
Make reality fiction – take an event in your life, in the news or from the neighborhood that will weave well into your story line. Start weaving. Be sure to twist the story enough to fit your characters that it no longer is exactly what happened in reality.
Show your characters – include a character description that will bring people to life. Show how their clothing or posture can reveal their future actions or behaviors – or make those very elements opposite of what would be expected.
Little things can be the key to getting the words flowing, but keeping them flowing is the key to getting the first draft written. Write. And keep writing until you have finished writing your first draft. Only then will you be in a position to follow your writing dreams.