Friday, August 12, 2011

Git' Er Done: The Top 5 Ways to Finish a First Draft

by Brooke

I started a new story idea this week and somehow found time to squeeze out 10K words. It's a first draft and the story is jamming along but it isn't the story I should be working on. I have another manuscript (currently querying) needing a top coat of polish and another story that just needs an ending, but I'm hot on this new story so forget-about-it. The crazy part is I may never query this new story--it's just for fun. A recreational story, really? Really. Have you ever written a story, you knew from the start, you wouldn't try to publish?

Anyone else in a first draft frenzy? How do you get to The End?

Top Five Ways to Finish a First Draft
  1. Write Fast. Don't question it, just do it.
  2. Vomit Words. No one will see the mess, so don't mop it up with revision. It's okay if a few bits get in your hair.
  3. Find Ways to Hop the Wall or Fill Plot Holes. We all hit them, whether it is writer's block or a plot hole, but you can push through it. I usually take a break and eat something or sleep on it. Sometimes I skip ahead to a scene I know will work and then go back and connect the dots.
  4. Don't Go on the Internet. I know this is awkward because you're on the Internet right now. Read my fifth tip and then got off. Seriously, it is a massive time sucker. I didn't go on this week. It hurt but now I'm 10K in.
  5. Have Chocolate or D Bar on Hand. I've mentioned this before, but really, everyone should go to D Bar in Denver.
writing sidebar: I'm pantsing this story so I'm running into a bunch of plot holes, as a swear-by-it plotter, I don't how you pantsters do it. Respect.


Kerrie said...

10,000 words?? That is awesome! Good for you. I love your top 5 list. I like tip #4. I need to listen to this one more.

Dean K Miller said...

Wow! You're my hero. I can't even count to 10k, using k's anyway.

But yes, I've written a few shorter pieces that I wouldn't think about publishing. Writing for sheer joy and pleasure is necessary for least until I get more than 1 article published. A great list!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I have lots of stuff I wrote for fun (and practice). I keep thinking maybe someday I'll go back and try to make them publishable, but it never happens.

That 10,000 words is awesome, Brooke. I also shut down my browser when I start writing. If those tabs are open and I'm logged in, the temptation to "check on things" is irresistible.

As for being a pantser, I am one, (even though I write pretend scene outlines for each book and then don't follow them). That's exactly why I'm doing a plot rewrite on Dead Wrong. It was a mess.

Cookin'Cathy said...

Great advice, Kerrie. We do have to remind ourselves that we are in this business because writing is what we do... and sometimes we do it well.

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