Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Writing the First Draft

It's NANOWRIMO time! Last year, I first drafted a quadrilogy and wrote these little tips down. I hope it helps with your first draft!

Here are the top six things that helped me get through my first draft:

1. Basic Structure. Before I wrote one word, I planted a few basic ideas in my head: the main concept, conflict, characters, setting, time, beginning, middle, and end. 

2. Keep going! I didn't stop and correct things. I didn't use the thesaurus, go back and fix parts of the story, or try to figure things out too immediately. (All that can be done in the next draft.) 

3. Write what you want. I wrote for fun. If I'm not excited, my reader won't be either.

4. Character chemistry. Above everything else, I think this is one of the most important ingredients for a first draft. I always want to discover early on if my characters spark with each other. If I can write unlimited dialogue between characters with ease, I'm heading in the right direction.

5. Pacing! Cut to the chase. Raise the stakes! If you can make each chapter important to the plot - a stepping stone - you should be able to find the momentum you need to churn out the chapters.

6. Simplicity. The more I try to keep the story simple from the beginning, the easier my revisions will be. (In other words, don't cram in too many scenes and complications--focus on a nice, clean story arc.)

When you're first drafting, you're balancing two things: one, to simply keep writing, and second, to save yourself a bad second draft headache later on. It helps to really pay attention to the world building and try to keep it simple. 

Do you have any tips for writing the first draft? Please share!

Have fun,


--Realm

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