Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Getting Drafted

I'm letting revisions on an ms rest for a while, so now it's time to get stuck into writing a new book. Whenever I start an ms, I seem to forget the rules about first drafts, and they are:

* Even if you're not a plotter, write yourself a few notes on what the book is about and who the main characters are.

* Don't bust a brain cell trying to find that perfect word or phrase. (Which is what I'm doing now as I write this post). Step away from the thesaurus; embellish later.

* Now is not the time to edit. First drafts are meant to be messy.

* If you get to a difficult part that needs intensive research, make a note of it and continue writing the story. You can always fact-check later on.

* You can write just dialogue or just exposition. Flesh the scenes out in your next pass.

If you have more advice on first drafts or would like to share your M.O., I'd love to hear about it.


Barrie said...

I'm just finishing the most detailed outline I have ever done in my entire life. I'm dying to start writing the book from it. In theory, it seems as though there should be way, way less time staring at a blank screen. In theory, anyway.

I probably do what most people do with a first draft--just get it down on paper so that I have something, anything to revise. :)

Authorness said...

Hi, Barrie. You're so right about just getting the words down first.

Good luck with your next ms!