How do you find writing your first draft? Is it the easiest part? The hardest? Do you start a first draft, get stuck, put it aside and start something else?
I like to read about how other writers work, and I’ve learnt a few things by doing this. Firstly, you’ve got to finish what you start. Just push through and finish that story, leaving gaps if you have to, that’s what editing’s for.
Secondly, it’s OK if your first draft isn’t good. It’s a first draft. Nobody publishes their first draft, they edit and edit and edit, and then edit a million times more. (slight exaggeration but when you’ve gone over an entire manuscript fifteen times you feel like it’s been a million.)
The first draft is just the bones of the story, editing is where you add the flesh. If you are writing your novel or short story or whatever it may be, and you get stuck, leave it, write the next chapter or the next part of the story, you can always fill in the gap later.
The first draft is just about getting the story out of your head and onto the computer (or paper).
I recently completed a YA epic fantasy novel that I am trying to get published. My first draft came in at 55,000 words. By the time it was ready to send away the word count came in at just over 120,000.
See what I mean?
So don’t get too bogged down by your first draft. Have fun writing it because it’s when you get to the editing that the real hard work begins. (Well that’s how I see it anyway.) And remember, as Ernest Hemingway put it, – ‘The first draft of anything is sh*t’ so don’t be too hard on yourself.