So. Where are we in our writing process? (I had to click the "Write Now" tab to remember.)
We've been in the pausing place. We wrote our first three chapters, then paused to create character charts, write a synopsis, create a scene breakdown spreadsheet, and do some research. (We also added to our scene breakdown spreadsheet and our character chart, but those don't count as steps. Just as an example that there's always learning to do!)
And now, there's no more avoiding it - the first draft must be written.
Maybe you are the fortunate writer who loves writing the first draft. Who loves creating something from nothing. Good for you. While you happily scribble your way to "The End," I'll be sitting over here grumbling and muttering and finding all kinds of excuses to leave my office. Did anyone feed the dog yet? I could really use a snack. I wonder if the mail is here yet...
Of the whole process, the first draft gives me the most trouble. Sometimes, when the words are flowing, when scenes are coming together the way I hoped, I enjoy it. Other times I just wish the words were already on the page, and I could move on to editing.
I'm not sure how many posts I'll write about the first draft process because ... well, there's only so much advice one can give. And for me and other writers like me, getting the first draft down mostly takes grit. It takes putting aside how I feel, and just ... writing.
After I've been "on pause," I re-read my first three chapters. I allow myself some light editing. I'm not yet being fussy about word choices and flow of dialogue, but I often add a character or weave in a plot line. Doing this helps me get back into my character's world, my character's voice.
I'm in the first draft stage at the moment with my manuscript. I started chapter four about a week and a half ago. I do think having the scene breakdown spreadsheet has helped me thus far. I'm not following it exactly, but it's definitely helped with the, "Uh ... so, now what?" feeling I used to get.
Next week, we'll talk more about writing your first draft - to edit or not to edit as you write? There'll also be a new writing prompt on Monday, I'll be posting contest results hopefully on Tuesday, and I'm hoping to work in an interview with J.L. Orchard, an editor for Cinch Magazine.
Have a great weekend, guys!