Six Tips on Writing First Drafts

  • A first draft is about getting it written, not about getting it right. Don’t spend too much time on it
  • Think of an artist painting a picture – they get the basic outlines and then fill in the details later. That’s what a first draft should be – broad daubs of paint
  • Stories have a habit of hitting a wall as you write them. Don’t sit there sweating about how your hero will escape from the pit: just get on with writing the next part. A solution will occur to you eventually. It always does.
  • Don’t lose touch with your subconscious. If you can’t think of the right word, or phrase, or character, or description… miss it out! You can always add it in later.
  • Stephen King recommends finishing a first draft in a season (spring, summer…). Okay, that might not be possible for a part time writer, but even so, get it done as quickly as possible
  • Many writers find the first draft the painful part. The real pleasure of writing begins when you can take your time licking that first draft into shape…

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