Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Writer’s Wednesday - Finish First Draft

Wednesday, March 30

Today, I continue on the advice front. This bit of advice worked for me: Complete my book’s first draft without hesitation. This means that I wrote through to the end of my manuscript without stopping for edits. It also meant that I did not worry about getting it perfect. This goes along with the sitting down and writing every day.

Many authors I’ve talked to over the years stated that one first has to put words down on the paper. With me, this means that I rein in my internal editor and start writing. If I think of something that needs to be done to the previous pages, I make note of it in all-Caps, highlight it with the highlight tool, and keep writing. This turned out to be the only way I could finish my book.

With my first book, I ended up rewriting my first chapter 17 times, my second chapter 13 times and so forth by the time I got to my fifth or sixth chapter. I never did finish that book because I spent so much time editing that I got frustrated with the book.

In other words, if I did not rein in my internal editor and push to the end of my work, I wouldn’t get it done in the first place. My book would end up edited to death because I would lose interest in it.

In contrast, I have heard others say that they could not just sit and write for the sake of writing. On one of my listserves, a member stated that why participate in NaNoWriMo if all you do is going to write garbage. Not write at all for fear of writing garbage!!! That is why I thought it was called a first draft.

My answer to that would be to quote Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb: "I can fix a bad page, but I can't fix a blank one."

Amen to that. So, my readers, start writing. (Now, I need to put butt in chair and fix my first draft. Big Grin)

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