Writing the first draft is scary for first timers and it was for me, now be scared no more, push your fear into the deepest of the abyss after reading this blog post on the secret of writing first drafts.
The Quality of Writing
Yeah well some may say you should, but the thing is, it never needs to get good enough to be a publishable material. The drafts that you’ll write later on, will make the writing better, once you’ve got hold of the whole thing, then nothing can stop you from doing things like writing like the writing ninja you are.
The Description of Places, Characters etc
This is the most important thing you should know, the description of places, locations, buildings, characters, never need to be accurate. The truth is, sometimes we need to write the story but don’t know how it looks like yet. Its our imagination, so don’t worry. There are plenty of drafts later on to improve the description. Give the importance to writing. Expert, up to the point sketches when you haven’t really imagined how it all looks like, will only slow you down as you are writing. First draft is essential. And remember most of all as Lauren Oliver said, ” The first draft doesn’t even have to be readable.” It doesn’t really mean unreadable either. It means, no expert skill needs to be utilized while writing the novel.
Revising Previous Sentences, Paragraphs etc, a Big No No
Come on that’s what the other drafts are for. No sane author would ever be able to write publishable material in the first draft. It just isn’t possible. There are some who claim they have written in single drafts, but I don’t believe them(Because I’m a little jealous, hey I’m a writer and even I have some wishes). Only revising what you’ve written will make the piece perfect. Patrick Rothfoss’ Name of The Wind is a good example for that. He polished it again and again, till it shined like a diamond.
Worrying About Nonsense Scenes
No need to worry, if you feel they are nonsense scenes, try to think of changing the way you see it. And well if you don’t see a way to change it, continue it, you’ll find out a way to improve it as you go on. Remember that’s what other drafts are for(Oh my, I’m saying this a lot).
Worrying About Pleasing Everyone
Come on people, this is the first draft, no one expects you to pull out a golden egg from under the magic chicken every time it lays eggs. Subsequent drafts will considerably improve the material. And remember not everybody can be pleased, so stick to what you have. Only listen to genuine criticism and consider if they are right and do the needful. Criticism is the later part, don’t bother with it now.
Don’t Stop Till You Reach the Last Word
Yes, this is the mantra to reaching the end of the first draft. Don’t change you mind to some other idea, stay with your first idea. Improve it yes but do not change it in a way that when you reach the middle of the draft, you feel you need to rewrite the draft to suit the idea. Idea evolves, yes, but doesn’t force you to. You control it. If it doesn’t go with your story, time to change it, to go with your draft. You will win.
Write Daily, Let This be Your Goal as a Writer
Try to write everyday. I like writing because it boosts my confidence, the day I don’t write I feel low, angry, frustrated and what not. It’s just me and it has nothing to do with the point. I know! But the thing is when you write everyday, you get the confidence to write more each day. It also guarantees and makes it for you a habit to keep writing everyday, which you’ll never be able to leave and which you never should if you want to a great writer.
First Draft Isn’t the Final Manuscript of Your Novel
It can be the skeleton for the story or the story itself. The choice is up to you and remember, there is no such thing as a rough draft for us. Rough drafts are something that are that you write so fast that you yourself don’t have much sense of what you’ve been writing. Then you choose what’s needed from there and start writing your first draft. It’s tedious. I’m sticking with the first draft. No rough drafts for me. I’m not saying rough drafts are bad, I think they are great but I just don’t like them, that’s all.
Armed with this knowledge you are ready to face the world of writing and be your own masters. Happy Writing!