What up, scribe tribe!
We are still in the “How do you write a book” series; last week, we talked about why you should write an outline. Click here to view that post.
This week, we are talking about the first draft.
For me, the first draft is Hell. It’s always the toughest for me to get through. This is when I am most susceptible to writer’s block; but I’ve trained myself to get out of writer’s block, and I’m going to tell you how I do that, in case you experience the same thing.
Before I get into this, I want to say one thing: Readers do not buy your 1st draft.
The reason I say this is because your first draft does not need to be perfect; that’s why it’s also known as a rough draft. It just needs to get written.
The way that I define rough/first drafts are an extension of the outline. My 1st drafts usually look like a preschooler wrote them. This is because the main thing that I am trying to do here is have a written story in its entirety.
Now, let’s talk about the treacherous and widely-hated writer’s block: Specifically in the 1st draft. This is usually the only time that I experience writer’s block. I imagine I am not alone! My theory as to why this occurs with me is that I become too overwhelmed, which causes my creative machinery inside my brain to die a slow and painful death. When I’m writing a first draft, I always know what I need to do, no matter what, is to JUST KEEP WRITING.
Some people define writer’s block as ‘not knowing what to write,’ but you do know what to write if you made an outline, right? (See outlining post)
You know every important detail, in the correct order, that goes into making this book.
For me, I get overwhelmed because of two things:
Sometimes my first draft might sound like this:
Sarah walks into the classroom. Mariah upsets her, but a conversation with her teacher mellows her out.
Sarah walks up to Mariah and explains that what happened was really difficult for her and everyone is hurting her feelings by teasing her about it.
That is really...okay writing.
But that’s just fine because it’s called a rough draft for a reason. It’s rough, man.
Don’t worry about the fact that it’s painful to the ears right now.
Worry about the substance later.
GET THAT FIRST DRAFT DONE.
I have had to train myself to ignore the bland writing in the rough draft, but I still struggle sometimes. Luckily, once I start to feel that ‘writer’s block’ coming on, I realize immediately that I’m overthinking my rough draft, and just need to keep writing.
Once you have the entire story (mediocre or not) written out, you will feel much less overwhelmed, and you will be ready to add the sugar and spice on the next draft.
Next week, you will learn how I move on from the dreadful first draft.
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