5 Additional Tips for Writing a Good First Draft
1 Don’t Be Distracted
When you sit down to work on your first draft, it’s a good idea to either turn off your phone or leave it in another room so that you avoid the temptation to play with it. This goes for anything else that you feel may distract you: put it out of sight. It’s important, especially when you’re starting a new project, to be as focused as you can. Distractions will only serve to limit your productivity.
2 Don’t Fear the Words
Write your first draft without worrying about whether or not you are writing well or using the correct words. The chances are, you’re not -but that’s okay because it’s a first draft and it’s meant to be messy and unsophisticated. You’re just emptying your story onto the page at this point. Worry about words and sentence structure later, because worrying about it now will only put you off. Besides, it’s not necessary to use overly complicated words and long drawn out sentences in your work. More often than not, the simplest way to say something is the best way.
3 Make Yourself Comfortable
It’s essential that you feel comfortable while you write. After all, hopefully, you’ll be sitting for long stretches of time crafting your masterpiece. Nobody wants to be thinking about how much their back is aching while they’re trying to concentrate.
4 Use Placeholders
Try to write your first draft in one sitting, even if you find you need to miss out large sections of text. The aim is to get a general view of your story from start to finish and this is where placeholders can help. For example, if you come to a point where you know something is supposed to happen but you don’t know precisely how or why yet, you can use a placeholder. You could (in brackets) write something like, (Sam and Joe fight in the street.) You may not know how they come to blows yet or how it will be resolved, but you will know the place in the story it’s meant to happen.
This can help you keep up your momentum and help you reach your story’s endpoint.
5 Work With Genre Specific Set Pieces
Genre specific set pieces are scenes or plot points you’re likely to find in a given genre. For example, if you’re writing supernatural horror, there will be specific points your readers will recognise and even expect, such as the part in the story where the supernatural force, entity or creature is seen for the first time. If you’re writing a romance, then one of these set pieces would be the main characters‘ first kiss or their first meeting. With a little bit of thinking, you can come up with a list of these set pieces and use them as signposts to help guide your story. It can also help you to be more productive if you figure out the scenes you know must be present in your work first.
As always, thanks for spending your time with me today, I really appreciate it!
Until next time,
© 2021 GLT