Getting Through The First Draft


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It’s so much fun to having an idea that you want to write about. That great idea pops into your head and you imagine the characters and how the story will flow and then you start to write. The characters you thought you knew start to get muddled up in your head. The things you had in mind for them to say and do suddenly get lost. Writing the first draft of your story may seem to be the hardest thing ever! No worries. Help is here.

In my quest to find tips on how to get me through my first draft, I’ve stumbled across some writing sites that have great tips on what to do and how to maintain your sanity while writing.

Write That First Draft First … Then Get Published!
by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta

Anne Lamott wasn’t so subtle about what she thought of first drafts in her book,Bird by Bird. In fact, she started off by writing, “Now, practically even better news than that of short assignments is the idea of shitty first drafts. All good writers write them. This is how they end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts.”

I agree with her. First drafts are the roughest, and well, ugliest drafts. It’s a common mistake of beginning writers, as well as seasoned ones, to expect themselves to produce shiny, perfect very polished and publishable first drafts. What these writers don’t know is that these ugly and every-editor’s-nightmare first drafts can provide them with the opportunity to explore every angle, every slant, and every idea for an article or a work. Read more…

First Draft Secrets: Five Simple Steps

A guest post by Marla Beck

If you’re anything like me, sometimes writing a first draft can be a huge struggle. On some level we may be busy “just writing,” but on another level, we’re often working hard to ignore, silence or simply drown out our mind’s chatter.

No wonder we sometimes resist writing and finishing our first drafts!   It’s not always easy to split our attention between writing and “mind-management.” To write a useful, “flavorful” first draft, it helps to have a helpful mindset and a few tools to help us focus. Read more…

Writing Your First Draft

Writing your first draft can seem a daunting prospect. When you’re faced with a blank screen, and knowing that you have to write 100,000-or-so words, it can be scary. This page aims to help you with that.

I’m glad to tell you that writing your first draft successfully is, in many ways, just a matter of attitude and thought process. Sure, you need the technical skills (as shared on the rest of this website). But you need the right mindset too.

The most important thing to remember is this:

You cannot get it wrong!

I’m serious. Nothing you do is irretrievable.

Let me digress a little and tell you that I do a little bit of watercolour painting. Now,that’s scary. If I make a mistake in that, it’s very hard to correct it. It’s not like oils where you can either scrape the mistake off, or cover it up. You’re stuck with it. And especially if I make a mistake towards the end of the painting – then I’ve ruined the whole painting. The pressure can be immense. Read more…

One thing I have learned from reading the great tips on these sites, is to write it all down. Literally type until I drop. I then need to let it set for a few days. Come back to it later and start the editing process. I love to write and create stories. I just remember that writing is a labor of love. Happy Writing.


One comment on “Getting Through The First Draft

  1. This article is pretty timely. I am working on a first draft right now… and I appreciate the comments here. Sometimes as writers, we feel that everything we put on paper has to be perfect— that simply is not the case with the rough draft– it is meant to be perused and polished. The whole point is getting it down on paper! HAHA— and we all know THAT is the hardest part! Cannot tell you how much paper and how many ink cartridges I wasted before I learned that rough drafts were meant to be a little rough around the edges.


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