How to Finish that First Draft

So if you are like me it can feel like the hardest thing about writing is ironically, actually writing. So we put this list together of helpful tips for finishing that first draft. This list is by no means exhaustive, and if you have any tips feel free to comment on this post.

 

  • Make a plan. And Stick to It. Okay so this one is fairly simple and yet it’s often overlooked, and while I do agree that planning can be a way to avoid writing, I feel that in the long run having a clear plan for your WIP can be the difference between a finished manuscript and an untouched save file on your computer.
  • Don’t do it Alone. If nanowrimo has taught me anything and it has only taught me one thing, it’s better to write if you have someone to hold you accountable, talk with you and give you feedback. So if you want to get that pesky first draft finished I’d suggest you get a buddy.
  • Edit later. It sounds counter-intuitive because you want to produce the best possible work so you feel you should edit. But it’s a drafting process for a reason, so just write for now and then edit for that second draft. You’ll thank me later.
  • Listen to Feedback. If you want to be successful then you need to be willing to listen to contradictory and/or negative feedback. If you close yourself off to it then you’ll stop developing and your WIP will either remain a first draft forever or will go through all the steps to publishing but still not be great.
  • Deadlines are your friend. Okay I know, obviously and yet you hate it. We all have lives and if you’re like me then you work full time and writing is your passion but not your full time job, so it’s even more vitally important that you make a deadline and stick to it if you want to finish that first draft. It doesn’t need to be every day but you do need to be consistent. Think of it like this, every lake started with a drop of water, and your future masterpiece, starts with that one word.

 

 

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