Writing a Book part 4 – the First Draft

Your plans are in place, your research is solid and your characters are ready to go. It’s time for the first draft. Writing is what you love so this part should be easy right? Well not always. But it should at least be fun (most of the time). Read on for some advice on writing your first draft.

Your first draft will be rubbish

You’ve probably heard this before, but that’s because it’s true. Established writers willingly admit this. The first draft of your favourite book? That was pants too. You may feel like you can’t write for toffee when crafting your first draft, but you will make it better! Writing is (cliche alert) re-writing. The key at this point is to get it down so you have something to work with.

You don’t have to start at the beginning

Yes, your first line is key, but remember it’s only a first draft. Don’t spend hours trying to think up a killer hook. In fact, don’t feel like you have to start at the ‘beginning’ at all. If you’d prefer to write that fight scene you’ve been thinking about for ages then do it. As long as you know roughly how the pieces of the puzzle fit together, their’s no reason for you to write in a linear fashion.

Just keep going

Do you know what’s going to happen in a scene but not quite how it happens yet? Write a few lines about it and then skip to what you do know. You may be struck by inspiration later on and can then come back, or cover them in a later draft. The point is don’t get stuck trying to figure it out and interrupt your flow. Highlighting these sections, or adding a callout note means you can easily spot these areas.

Make notes as you go

In the opposite of the above, if you have a sudden marvelous idea for a plot twist or reveal for a character, don’t drop everything and jump to it immediately. You’ll break that flow we’ve been talking about. Make a note and revisit it during editing. By that point, you may decide it’s not such a good idea after all.

Related reads

Writing a Book part 1 – Research
Writing a Book part 2 – Characters
Writing a Book part 3 – Plotting

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