Writing Your First Draft

We’re back to the writing posts – short and sweet posts that won’t take all day to read (don’t take all day to write either) and hopefully with little insights into creating better writing. And today we’re going to talk about what makes a first draft.

You’d think this would be a simple topic that wouldn’t take long to cover, and it won’t, but you may be surprised too – your first draft is not perfect, and will not be perfect until you have made a least a few revisions by which time you can no longer call it your first draft.

Your first draft, in reality, is just the time and space to get your ideas down in some semblance of order – or not, as the case may be. By the time your manuscript has been through multiple revisions and edits, your first draft is unlikely to be recognisable unless you’ve been sneaky – cheating and bringing your red pen into that drafting room.

Here are some techniques that I follow for writing a first draft:

(1)    Leave your baggage at the door – that means your family, your friends, your marriage or money problems; forget them all and concentrate on what you are writing.

(2)   Whether you are using traditional pen and paper or the computer – red pens are not allowed. Turn off that spelling and grammar checker on your word processing programme, leave the dictionary alone – there is no place for these things in your first draft.

(3)   Write using double line spacing – whether you are writing on a screen or on paper, this makes for easier reading on screen and easier editing later if you’re using pen and paper.

Here are some further tips I just found through CopyBlogger that may also help.

Do you have any further tips to add? How do you write your first draft? Share in the comments below.

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2 thoughts on “Writing Your First Draft

  1. I follow the same sort of guidelines– sometimes it gets hard for me to concentrate- so I block out a couple hours at a time and tell myself that I can do whatever I want after- but I can’t get up and must try to constantly be typing for those 2 hours— great tips! Especially with NaNoWriMo here 🙂

    • I’ve never actually managed to concentrate for the entire time I block out for writing. I find I absolutely have to get up and have a drink or walk the feeling back into my leg or something else equally vital. But I tend to find that if I let myself have a few minutes break every now and then, I can usually still get a lot done. And yes, I’m going with a bit of a NaNoWriMo theme at the moment since I wasn’t organised enough to actually write the 50,000 words myself this month. It seems to just sneak up on me without enough warning.

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