Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday Tips: First Drafts

Only about 1 out of 100 people that say they are going to write a novel ever finish a first draft.

I spent 20 years trying again and again to write a book and could never finish a first draft. I will share with you two lists:

Things that stopped me from finishing a first draft:

  • No plan. I would always paint myself in a corner with plot if I didn't have a clear plan.
  • Waiting for Inspiration. The Muse is a fickle bitch.
  • No dedicated place or time to write.
  • Distractions. Work, family, friends, phone, TV, Internet.
  • Poor word processing tools.
  • Spending more time editing previous chapters.

This list freed me to finish first drafts:

  • Outline the hell of of your story.
  • Write EVERY DAY.
  • Create a distraction free place and time to write.
  • Scrivener. Buy it.
  • Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft.
  • Never go back and edit. Lots of time for that later.
  • Write one book at a time. Finish before starting the next project.
  • Keep notes in long hand. Keep a notebook with you all the time,
  • Read a lot. 
  • Discipline. Finish things.

Keep in mind that this is what helped me. As of this writing I have three novels published and a half dozen short stories. Every writer is different. Be honest  with yourself. Is your process working?

If you finish your first draft you are already beating the odds. I will do a future post on second and third drafts.

--Celebrate your first drafts. They are more important than final drafts.

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