The first draft is a strange animal. Most of the time it doesn’t even make any sense. All you’ll be able to think is: “What the hell is that?” Its your book! Or at least, that’s what it will be. But first, you need to finish writing it.
If you’re one of the many people wanting to write a book, but not knowing how the start, or just plain scared to even begin such a task, you’re in the right place. For those scared: Stop being just that. Open that word processor. Grab that pen. And write with abandon.
For those unafraid, but unsure: Choose your side. Do you want to be a pantser (Writing by the seat of your pants) or do you want to be an outliner (meticulously planning what you want to write)?
Just kidding. Though these two ‘teams’ do exist, I’ve yet to meet someone that’s solely one of the two. Just do what feels right, and continue that way. You might, and probably will, change your mind during or after writing the draft. That doesn’t matter though. Everything is experience, and every thing’s a lesson. Not a moment of writing that draft will be wasted.
The beginning is just that though. It’s a beginning. Its not a guarantee that you’ll finish. Far from it. There’s only one person that can guarantee that, and it’s you. If you make up your resolve to finish, then you will. Simple in thought. Though not always in …
One huge tip I can give in that case, is joining up with NaNoWriMo. If there’s one thing that can launch you, it’s that. Join up with friends or alone. It’ll be an enlightening voyage either way. Everyone is so motivated during NaNoWriMo, and hitting your goal at the end of the month is exhilarating.
At a certain point though, your novel must come to an end. Even when you can’t really think of a good way to end it. Pick an appropriate moment and stop. Then congratulate yourself. You’ve written a book. And that’s amazing.
That does not mean that you’re finished though. Because a first draft is, as I said at the beginning, a strange animal. It has an odd shape. Teeth where its paws should be, tails where no tail should ever be. But that’s okay. That’s normal. Because first drafts are meant to be just that.
It will leave you with quite the responsibility though. You can’t let that abomination run rampant. You need to do something about it. You need to edit it. Shape it. Into something you can be proud of.