Posted by: nancycurteman | January 12, 2018

First Drafts are Fun

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First drafts are fun because when you write them you can let your imagination run wild. You can develop a story with no constraints. There is no pressure for perfection. Just free write. Begin your story wherever you choose—beginning, middle, end.

Your first draft can be a loose collection of ideas. Along the way you will discover characters, scenes and settings. Your first draft is where you explore ideas and writing styles, meander, make all kinds of mistakes and most important enjoy “living” your story.

While first drafts are fun, they are usually pretty awful—full of spelling and grammar errors, poor pacing, inconsistencies, undeveloped characters. That said, first drafts are not meant to be perfect. Perfection comes with second, third and fourth drafts.

Here are a few thoughts about first drafts:

  • Finish them. Don’t labor over the first sentence forever.
  • Don’t worry about bad writing. You will perfect it later.
  • You don’t need to know every inch of your plot.
  • Do some preliminary research but not in-depth.
  • Understand that in future drafts you may add or change characters, plot events, settings and even beginnings and endings.
  • Think of your first draft as a skeleton that you will flesh out later.
  • A completed first draft will make it easier for you make improvements in later rewrites.
  • Finally, no one need ever see your embarrassing first draft.

The important thing to remember about writing a first draft as bad as it may be, is that without it there is no story. First drafts are about getting the story down on paper.


More Tips:

Writing is Rewriting and Editing

Revising and Rewriting a Novel is no Mystery

Writing is Rewriting is Revising: 7 Ways to Do It


  1. I’ve only just ‘found’ you, I really enjoy your comments. They’re easy to follow and good advice. Thank you


    • Hi Greg,
      Thank you so much for the kind comment. Glad the posts are helpful.


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