1. newlywriter
    Offline

    newlywriter New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada

    first draft

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by newlywriter, May 29, 2012.

    hi every one! i need a little help. i am currently writing my very first book - working on my first draft. i know first drafts are always kinda horrible... but my dilema is: i feel so inspired and motivated and creative when i write, but when i go thru it, it discourages me... :( even the best authors claim their first draft look like a junk yard...but how do you get over the first draft blues?
     
  2. Brittany Krysten
    Offline

    Brittany Krysten New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    The only suggestion I could give you: Don't read it while you are writing it. Don't go back and edit. Write and focus on getting the story out first and foremost.. Then you can go back and look it over.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Just accept that it is part of the process. Each revision will be an improvement.

    As you gain experience, your first drafts will get better as well.
     
  4. newlywriter
    Offline

    newlywriter New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    hi. yes, that's exactly what i do. i only read the last day's work to catch up..... maybe i should find different technique to catch up to the story...
     
  5. Nick Hudson
    Offline

    Nick Hudson Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    As has been said, don't read what you've written. When it's only just down, you're too close to it to judge it dispassionately. I used to hate my first drafts, and want to chop them into little bits of nothing. I'd have it locked up in my mind that what I had written was done so poorly, but at least had the merit of advancing the process.

    The strange thing was when I came back to it later, I'd see little specks of quality, to the point where I could enjoy what I'd written.

    Write now, and worry about the quality when the tale's been told.
     
  6. Skodt
    Offline

    Skodt Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    2
    I don't even read my work at all until the first draft is over. Even then I am the second person to read it. I let my proof reader see what he thinks. Then I dive in finding my problem areas. Fixing any plot holes, grammar, general mess ups. Second draft then gets a dialouge check, a character proofing, a general story direction mapping. Then I try to make my third draft my final draft before letting others see what they see in my work. Luckily I have three people in my family who like to read.
     
  7. Bluesman
    Offline

    Bluesman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1
    That is what I do all the time. The first couple of chapters are re-written all over the place because I go back to them every time I open up that Word file.
     
  8. Ettina
    Offline

    Ettina Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    20
    Also, remember that it's very different to read your own writing as opposed to someone else's. Many people judge their own writing too harshly - for example it can seem boring and predictable because you know everything you wrote already. This is why you want to find someone willing to read it and give you honest feedback.
     
  9. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I agree with Brittany: Don't read it yet. Focus on the writing process and don't look back until the first draft is done. (and even then, leave it for a couple of weeks before reading it through so you can see it with fresh eyes.)
     
  10. newlywriter
    Offline

    newlywriter New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    thank you guys :)
     
  11. koal4e
    Offline

    koal4e Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    1
    I want to thank everyone too, I got alot out of what you guys have said. This past week I have managed 6,500 word of my book and have not read any of it, but I have asked my proof reader to read through to see what they think so I know I am on the right track...hopefully this is the right thing to do!
     
  12. VM80
    Offline

    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,211
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    ^ Well done! You're already growing in confidence it seems, so good going. :)
     
  13. Ali
    Offline

    Ali Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Windsor, UK
    Hey, yes, I'm taking the ups and downs as part of the writing process. I generally have a high and low each day and the lows are bad. I see writing as a longterm thing though that it will be alright in the end...maybe this story I'm on will be junked, but I'll do the next better and the one after that a bit better still. I started to learnt to sail when I was 31 and now I'm a ships captain. I know the hardships I went through to learn a skill and I don't see why writing will be different. You've got to hold your course and get others to help you when you need it,
    Good luck
    Alex
     
  14. newlywriter
    Offline

    newlywriter New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    does anyone knows how many words first draft should have in order to capture the store well? or is it just a each persons preference?
     
  15. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    If it's a novel, I'd aim for 10-20% over the word count you are targeting for a final submission, based on the publisher's submission guidelines. For most genres, the submission target is 80,000-100,000 words. For YA novels more like 60,000 to 80,000 words,

    The 10-20% overage is because as a new writer, you will almost certainly remove more than you will add during revision -- or at least you should be. You'll have over-described scenes, duplications in description, superfluous dialogue, and entire scenes that are unnecessary.
     
  16. Brittany Krysten
    Offline

    Brittany Krysten New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    While I agree with Cogito, and you should aim for about 10-20% over submission guidelines... I believe that you should keep writing until the story is told. Is it complete after 40,000 words? Great, you've told it. If it takes 200 thousand words? Sure, why not.

    You shouldn't start thinking about submitting until your story is complete (or even until after a few revisions) so I say focus on what needs to be said and worry about the word count later. :)
     
  17. newlywriter
    Offline

    newlywriter New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    great! thanx guys :D
     
  18. Cassiopeia Phoenix
    Offline

    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Brazil
    I think the first draft of a story is the hardest part to go through: sometimes you add a plot point that wasn't there before, the characterization isn't that great either. I would say for you not to worry about writing it well, for a start. Write to get your point across, and work to know what your point is.

    I'm actually on the process of rewriting a lengthy fanfiction (incredibles 50,000 words, the first story I ever finished) I wrote and published the drafts. The first drafts aren't supposed to be good, I can tell you that.
     
  19. AmyHolt
    Offline

    AmyHolt Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Warsaw, IN
    My favorite saying about first drafts is that it's okay if the first draft is crap, because crap makes the best fertilizer.

    I try really hard to remember that my first draft is only to be viewed as a vision of what is to come and visions often have soft shadowy places that you can't quite make out.

    I also have a good friend that can do amazing things helping me fix a scene so when I'm cranking out really yucky stuff I just think, Tressa can fix this. Amazingly, most of the time I have whipped it into a respectable shape before she ever gets a look at it. It's the thought that someone will be there to save me when I can't save myself that allows me to overlook the dumb stuff I write. Like I said most of the time that doesn't have to happen but good writer friends are the water that floats the writing boat.
     
  20. randi.lee
    Offline

    randi.lee New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Heh--this is good! Don't worry about the first draft feeling polished and perfect. As others have said, it will get better in time. If reading through it really does upset you, then don't read through it! Best of luck.
     
  21. newlywriter
    Offline

    newlywriter New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    it works :) yesterday i read only last sentence from the prevoius day to help me get on track and my inspiration kicked in WITHOUT the little voice in the back of my head saying " who r u kidding?"
     
  22. jwatson
    Offline

    jwatson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    canada
    my first draft of my first novel was a big piece of poop. Now, I'm working on a different project. I split it up into 3 parts. When I finished part 1, I went over it once just to remember everything I had done, and to clean it up a bit. I plan to do the same for parts 2 and 3. Maybe that would help. Say, every 20-25k go back and spend some time on that portion to make it better, that way it feels less discouraging.
     

Share This Page