Author Resources
Free Publishing Guide

How to Write a Great First Draft

Many authors say that the hardest part of writing their novel was getting started. The first draft can be the most difficult, but you must get over the hump before you can see your voice in print. Read on to find out how to crank out the best first draft possible and start down the path to being a published author.


Avoid Distractions
Before sitting down to write your first draft, make sure your workspace is ready to go. You want to avoid getting into the flow of writing and stopping to get something you need. Have all of your research organized and close by, along with anything else you may need during the writing process.

Try to find a space with as little distraction as possible. Avoid anything that my stifle or disrupt your creative mind. If necessary, let your family and friends know what times you will be writing, so they know you’ll need your space. Do your best to keep thoughts of stresses from work or home out of your mind. Nothing slows creativity more than a worried psyche. Let your story take over for the period of time that you’re writing each day.

Keep the Story Alive
Oftentimes, a potential author gets really excited about his or her book and writes a lot for a few days, but when life becomes busy, the author puts the story aside and eventually loses interest. When you stop and start, you waste a lot of time, and the process becomes more frustrating. To avoid letting this happen to you, commit yourself to writing 1,000 words a day. It seems like a lot, but it should only take forty-five minutes to two hours, depending on how many distractions you encounter.

Remember, you don’t have to write all of your 1,000 words in one sitting. Writing a paragraph here and there throughout the day will make the process seem easier than forcing yourself to write it all in one sitting. But if you get going with a good writing flow, try to avoid any distractions and keep your creativity running.

Simply Write
Don’t worry about your grammar and spelling. Just spill your ideas onto paper. You can worry about editing in the second phase. Don’t stop after each sentence to revise. If you do that with each section, you will spend too much time on the first draft. Just write one sentence after the other. When you have finished the first draft, then go back and edit.

While you are writing, do not worry about misspelled words or lousy sentence construction. Keep your attention focused on getting your ideas down so that you have a rough piece to mold into a polished product.

Try not to think about how your writing fits into your storyline. You never know where a paragraph may work when the book starts to become organized, so don’t limit yourself with logistics. All issues can be resolved in the editing process. Think of your first draft as a sort of brainstorm. Everything you write doesn’t have to be in the book, but the process of writing will make those parts that are included are the best they can be. Writing anything will keep your creativity sharp and your passion burning for the book. Remember, no one will see your first draft. Let the process be fun and keep your sense of freedom.