Your First Draft is Always Shit
The purpose of the first draft is to get stuff out of your head and into words.
Warning: Don’t expect great things from your first draft. It’s almost always shit. But that doesn’t matter – what is important is getting the WORDS ONTO THE PAGE. Remember, if you don’t start, you will never finish. That’s the point of the first draft – to finish.
My First Draft Process
- Every day I write something new.
- First draft stuff is written early in the day, when I’m still feeling creative.
- I have a word target. I do not get up from my chair until I reach this target. It might be 500 words, it might be 2000, but whatever it is, I keep going until I’m there.
- I begin by reviewing what I wrote the day before. But I try not to edit it too much, otherwise I get stuck in Edit Mode. There’s a big difference between Edit and Create.
- Once I reach my word target, if I’m in the zone, I keep going. (If I’m not, I go for a walk. I find walking clears away the cobwebs, helps me think knotty issues through.)
- Every day, I tell myself ‘well done’.
- Repeat this process until finished.
And I DO NOT get worked up over what is happening until the story is finished.
Worrying about plot holes is a sure fire way to procrastinate.
Something like Nanowrimo can help – the way you get a little graph at the end of the day is quite cool. Plus, its nice to feel you’re not alone.
Of course, this is all wonderful stuff. I break my rules all the time.