How to Write a First Draft for Your Novel

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How to Write a First Draft for Your Novel

Writing a first draft for your novel can prove challenging for most writers simply because it involves starting from scratch. Writing the first draft of a novel requires you to write something that is slightly better than your original copy. However, writing the first draft for your novel shouldn’t be a difficult thing to do as such and here are some few tips to get you started.

Make an outline

First, it is crucial that you make an outline so that you can have an idea of where to start off. Sometimes, your outline will change everything in your story and in this case, you will need to revise your novel accordingly. Having an outline is crucial as it ensures that you are always on track and this will help you achieve your final goals.

Consider your first draft as clay and not the sculpture

It is important that you be realistic when writing your first draft. While you certainly expect it to be relatively better than what you had written initially, don’t expect it to be perfect. Much of the draft will be unrefined and messy but for now, this shouldn’t be a problem for you. Your main task should be getting from the start to the end and you will need to keep editing what you have written until it reaches perfection. Remember that you will use your first draft as your raw material for your second draft.

Remember that no one has to read your first draft

Some writers are ashamed and worried that their first draft will be crap and that it would be an awful thing to have as a writer. However, you should know that there is no one else who even has to read your draft and you don’t even have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to. Asking another person to read your first draft might be embarrassing and if you are not confident to face it, simply don’t do it. The most important thing is for you to know how you should proceed the moment you have the first draft with you.

Don’t be slowed down by lack of research

Writing a novel requires a lot of research for you to ensure that you are on track and that you are writing something worthy reading. However, researching is not always everyone’s cup of coffee and there are times when you might even lack content to include in your first draft. But your first draft doesn’t have to be as detailed as such and in fact, it can even be a sketch or a skeleton showing where the information you find will fall in. As such, don’t allow lack of research to be a reason for you not to finish your first draft within your set time limit. Rather, just use some indicators, which will let you know where the details will be filled in later on when you have done your comprehensive research and found all the content that you need.

Set a deadline

Having a schedule is always very important in everything you do in life and the same applies when writing the first draft of your novel. For instance, you might decide to write your first draft within a period of four summers or at any other time plan depending on your schedule. Not having a deadline is a crime and you risk not being able to complete your draft within your destined time. In addition, you might never feel the sense of accomplishment or closure, which is very important for you to get the motivation you need as a writer.

The truth about writing a first draft for your novel is that it doesn’t have to be complicated or detailed as such. However, you will need to give your first draft the best shot possible as other drafts will depend on it. Your consecutive drafts will aim at bettering your first draft and this simply means that you don’t have to spend all your time trying to write your first draft. Your first draft is naturally expected to have many problems/ issuing that will need a series of structural fixes to correct. Remember that as a professional writer, you still have two other drafts to write before your work comes to perfection and you don’t have to invest a lot of your time on the first draft. However, try as much as possible to ensure that it is a nearly perfect copy and writing the other drafts will be much easier for you.

Look out for my next article -

How to Write a Second Draft for Your Novel

Check out - Stolen by the Brotherhood - which is my first draft that is on Wattpad.

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