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I practice them, even with copy I have to turn around in only hours. Though not an amputee. Though I do type on a laptop. One of the things I love best about writing is that not only can I do it—I can do it well. So can many of my friends whose ability levels vary widely—from perfect health to quadriplegic. Hi Liz, sorry that illustration bugged you, but I think you misunderstand the point.

At all. Demain, I was just talking about this with one of my friends. The sanding and scraping begins after that. Loved this piece.

First Drafts of Hamilton Songs

Thanks for giving away shareable graphics and PDFs. Will print this out and put it up on my wall. Completely agree with the first point and the one about writing silly. The question for me is — is first-drafting a dying art when it comes to blogging? With the constant pressure to publish, how many bloggers have the discipline to second-draft their work or sit on it for a while until they can see the flaws in it? Refinement will pay. Sickeningly good and to the point.

Congratulations, Demian! Nicely wrought. Oh yeah. Wow, great post again Damian! One single thing that thought me how to do first drafts was NaNoWriMo. These ten rules might as well be rules for NaNoWriMo, they all perfectly apply. I agree with all your points, especially with write yourself silly to help find your voice and style. From a b2b point of view I think it helps to do some research, do some brainstorming, check some keywords but not abuse them , add your personal touch make sure you cover the issues.

I think we all get better over time. So a good point about not rushing things. I think blogs are good for that. But with time it gets easier. Maybe consider hiring an editor or proof reader to help sharpen up the writing. After something goes live, I get the email for the post in my inbox and comb through it … to make corrections, note what I would do differently the next time around.

Great post, Demian and some great tips.

Why You Should Finish Your First Draft As Quickly As Possible

Lincoln did not sit down and write a great speech. He worked on it very long and hard. Thank you! The perfectionist gets to take a nap for the first draft … and be a little drowsy for second … Yes!! For me, a first draft is basically just holding on to my pen as tight as I can and sprinting to the finish line. Then you can take your time chiseling out something great. I requested permission from you, quite some days ago, to republish the poster in a digital mag.

However, I am having issues using my iPad and getting it to copy the poster so I can place it in the mag…any ideas to help me get it done? Few places these days have anything but open plan, but part of being a pro is being able to write copy whilst having a conversation and listening to someone tell everyone about their weekend. What do they think they are getting paid for? Many thanks for confirming that not only do we need drafts, but we cannot do without them. Imagination and brainstorming are indeed key. Being alone and in a comfortable place also helps A lot. I, for one, will not write a single word if there is anyone around or — worse — looking over my shoulder.

Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to primary sidebar. And the best way to do that is to follow a few simple rules. Ten, in fact … Barricade the door. It must be just you, the ink, and the paper. Work in a physical and mental condition that makes you want to write. Get there by all means possible. Write yourself silly. Allow your imagination to go to weird places. Nothing is off limits. You can clean up your mess later. Break every writing rule known to man.

Steal stylistically from other writers, as all great writers do. Keep your bottom in your chair until you are done. Once finished with your first draft, leave it alone for days — if not weeks. Reader Comments 66 Thanks for the graphic. Thank you for the poster! With you. You just abandon it. Stellar poster and way practical advice!

Why You Should Finish Your First Draft As Quickly As Possible

Thanks Demian. You rock! Cheers David Pederson. Your welcome! And loved the deformed picture … adequate metaphor. You know what Demian? Print copies for your friends, boss, and clients, too!

Writing the First Draft: The No-Nonsense Guide for Authors

Thanks Barry. Sometimes it is even had to barf up. And hey, your list would make a niftly list. Nice post and poster! Curious—which draft was it?

Get over the fear

Rick, great question … I think I handed it over after the twenty-first draft. This is a piece of art that I will see and remember every time I hold a pen. You made my day.


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Hi Ann, glad we could encourage you! Great share! Hi Damien, First: I totally agree with the tenants of this article. It will begin to seem almost like a necessity. How can you carry on when you know those pages need to be rewritten? At this stage, you simply need to focus on moving forward rather than looking back.

The problem with going back is that it is all too easy to find yourself doing so in an endless, obsessive loop, forever fixing problems and never really moving ahead with the story. In that case, all that work and rewriting will be wasted. The middle of the book is a danger zone for writers at every stage of their careers.

You might feel that the end is nowhere in sight. Meanwhile, no matter what the book is about, it suddenly begins to seem like the dullest and most derivative novel anyone has ever written. The important thing to remember about writing a first draft is that without one, terrible or not, you have nothing to work with. No one need ever see that terrible first draft. Write each draft with a different aim in mind, focusing in on different elements of your novel: The first draft of a book is where you create the skeleton for your final novel and get to know your characters.

1. It’s going to be hard

The result is seldom a publishable work, even for experienced writers. From the third draft onwards you can focus more on polishing the text, revising and cutting scenes where necessary while also paying greater attention to details of language use such as grammar and punctuation. Learn how to write a first draft minus the crippling perfectionism It is a common trait for writers to be perfectionists about their work.

Focusing on small-scale elements can result in a weak larger structure If you write a first draft by focusing on the smallest details of description and scene-setting, you might find that this microscopic focus leaves a clumsy larger shape for your novel. Here are several small-scale elements you should reserve for later drafts: Details of language use: Unsure whether this compound noun should be hyphenated? Dialogue refining: Does a conversation feel stilted? Could a heated debate or argument be turned up hotter?

Reading dialogue out loud will help you hear better whether your use of it is natural or not, but you can leave this for later drafts. If you think of a headline in a newspaper, these are written after the stories they accompany are complete.