Right now I’m about three quarters of the way through a first draft. I’ve been writing most mornings before I go to work, usually putting about 750 to 1000 words on the page. (I've also been harvesting our garden, but more on that later.)
For every manuscript I’ve written the drafting process has been somewhat different, but I do try to keep a few things in mind when I’m working on a first draft.
----Stay uninhibited, i.e., don’t let my brain get in the way of my heart.
----If I have an outline I use it as a guide—not a detailed map. Give the story room to grow.
----If I know the ending I’m writing toward, and hopefully I do, I want to stay open to different ways of getting there.
-----I give myself permission to do “some” research as I see needed to get information to move the story forward. I don’t want to get bogged down, but if I need to know something that’s going to influence the direction of the story, then I usually stop and do the research instead of just making a note.
-----I reread the chapter I’ve written the previous day and make changes that jump out at me before writing the next chapter.
Like the photo of our baby tomato plants above, writing a first draft is like tending seedlings. There will be plenty of time for weeding, thinning and pruning (and hopefully harvesting) later, but right now it just needs water, sunlight, soil, and room to grow.
|Part of our tomato harvest.
What are some of the things you do when writing a first draft?