In this week’s column, I thought I’d look at first draft writing tips and how you can use them to help you get that first draft written. Lots of writers struggle with the first draft of their novel and it is a fact that the majority of those who start writing a novel never actually finish it. If you are one of those people with a number of half written manuscripts in the drawer, the links I’ve chosen this week should help you go from start to finish.
- https://becomeawritertoday.com/writing-the-first-draft/ – Writing the First Draft: The No-Nonsense Guide for Authors: This first post is filled with first draft writing tips and the beginning deals with the lack of confidence that you might feel. It also contains common sense advice and reminds you that most writers don’t write good first drafts. First drafts are for getting the story down and the polishing and perfecting come later. Half way through this article you’ll find some first draft writing tips and if these don’t work there’s an additional section to get you through.
- https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-write-a-first-draft – How to Write a First Draft: 5 Tips for Writing a First Draft: This is a link to a MasterClass article that explains first and foremost what a first draft really is. After this there are 5 tips for writing your first draft which include setting aside time to do it, creating a writing schedule, doing your research, and more. I’m sure you’ll find something useful in this post.
- https://www.nownovel.com/blog/writing-first-drafts-7-tips/ – Writing First Drafts: 7 Tips to get it Done: This article is from Now Novel and it offers 7 tips that you can use to get you from start to finish. The first of these tips is to find the method that is most comfortable for you, whether that is writing by hand in a notebook or opening Microsoft Word and typing. The second tip reminds you of the freedom that comes with first drafts and the exploratory nature of it. Whether you plan meticulously or fly by the seat of your pants, capturing your ideas is important. Don’t set yourself an unrealistic goal. First drafts take time and you won’t be able to write 80,000 words in a week.
- https://www.novel-writing-help.com/first-draft.html – Five Tips for Writing a First Draft: This article begins by saying that it’s okay to feel nervous or be afraid of the first draft. After all, you will be staring at a blank screen. It’s also a magical experience because you are writing something new and exciting. The tips included in this article include just getting started and diving in and getting the words down on the page. There is also an explanation of what the purpose of a first draft should be and why they are supposed to be messy and clunky. There is also a great section on setting easy to achieve targets to ensure you get the first draft completed.
- https://www.thecreativepenn.com/write-the-first-draft/ – How to Write the First Draft of Your Novel: I’m a big fan of Joanna Penn and her blog offers some amazing advice on all things writing related. In this post she shares tips on how to write your first draft. Tips include scheduling time to write and finding a place that will help your brain to focus only on writing. There’s a section on timed writing sessions too which I find work really well and you’ll be surprised how much you can get done when you are writing against the clock. There’s information on tracking your progress and in knowing when your first draft is finished.
- https://lithub.com/7-methods-for-writing-your-first-draft/ – 7 Methods for Writing Your First Draft: The final link for this week comes from Literary Hub and is a piece by Ross Raisin on how to get to the end of the beginning. It starts with the introduction or the seed as he calls it. This is the beginning of your story. I love that he says, “there are no rules.” After this section comes the first steps or method which is then followed by the refinery method. There are a number of other methods included in this post too, all with some excellent tips and advice. These include the Jigsaw Method, the Nugget in the Dump Method, the Spurt Method, the Sessional Method, the Perfectionist Method, and the Incubation Method. I highly recommend reading through them all to find the one that suits you and will help you get your first draft written.
There are so many different first draft writing tips available on the internet and I hope I’ve managed to provide enough information in these links to get you started and well on your way to completing your novel with ease. Remember, your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, it just have to be complete. Once you have the bones of your story down, you can then take the time to perfect and polish it. You can’t edit a blank page. If there is a topic you’d like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do.
(c) Amanda J Evans