1st Draft


Pencils by Tammy McAllister

Our January Challenge has been about setting the stage for a powerful 2014 full of complete writing projects!

When we know why we write, set our goals and write every day, how in the world can we NOT complete our objects d’art?

Well, one surefire way to NEVER finish your novel, short story, memoir or amazing article is to get so bogged down in getting each page “perfect” that you never get beyond page 5 or 20, or maybe 100. I know some VERY talented writers who have been working on the first 50 pages of their novel for close to 40 years.

I ascribe to the 1st Draft concept of writing. Yes, I know professional, successful, money-making authors who write a few chapters, then edit them, then write, then edit, etc. Yes, now they’ve been successful money-making authors for a while, they’ve developed a rhythm that lets them work that way – but they wouldn’t be making money if they weren’t a)finishing those books and, b) writing them well. When you get there, feel free to abandon this plan!

Please DO NOT EDIT during the writing of your first draft. By that I mean, keep moving forward. If you get stuck, spend your time brainstorming with some out-of-the-box thinkers on your team, but don’t go back and edit the earlier pages just to kill time!

The luxury of the first draft is like being a four-year-old with unlimited paper and a box of always-sharp crayons! Sure, some of it will be drek, but who cares? More than likely, you’ll have more treasures than you think! When you’ve typed THE END at the bottom of that page on your 1st draft, you’ll take a few days or weeks off, then go back and begin the editing process.

Indulge in your 1st draft. Follow that little outline and just write like your life depends on it! Get it done! There is no feeling like typing THE END on a manuscript the first time!

Hope to hear that some of you reach this milestone this year – and hope you’ll share it with us here!

Keep reading and writing! Nancy Q.


About NL Quatrano

Award-winning author, speaker, editor and ghost writer, Nancy owns a full-time editing, writing and specialty publishing business: On-Target Words/WC Publishing. Volunteer/member of professional writing organizations including Florida Writers Assoc., Sisters in Crime, and AWAI. 2010 Professional Woman of the Year by the NAPW. Linked in Editor Pick May 2013. International Women's Leadership Association nominee for Outstanding Leadership 2014.
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