Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A First Draft Is Only The Beginning

Yesterday, I told you that I'd subbed a first draft to be critiqued by a few members of my online writing group because I was having so much trouble with it. The idea in my mind was not what appeared in print. So far, two people have looked at my rough piece and, as hoped, they could see what I could not. They both gave me some good advice and something to work toward.

I found three posters with quotes about writing the first draft. The one above gives us a quote from author, Terry Prachett. It is so simple but worthy. Isn't that what we do with that first draft--tell ourselves the story giving it the bones with hopes of fleshing the story in later drafts? It's important to get those thoughts in our head into actual words so that we have a base on which to build the story.

The second poster is also simple but worth our attention. This earliest writing of a story or essay or poem or article is not expected to be perfect. How nice if that would happen but it's not the way this game works. They are meant to transfer the idea from within us to something concrete that we can continue to work on. Don't beat yourself over the head if you read that first effort and think it's a piece of garbage. It very well could be at that point but you have plenty of opportunity to mold it into a finished product you can be proud of.

This last poster gives us a great mental image while letting us know that the first draft is not a finished product. The road to the end result may be short and sweet or long and agonizing. When we wrote on typewriters, it made a writer feel good to grab that piece of paper filled with drivel and rip it out of the machine, then tear it into bits. Now, we either hit the delete button (I hope you don't do that!) or put in a file to be looked at later. Please don't delete what you've written. While it isn't perfect, there may be golden nuggets tucked in here and there. You'll find them when you read the work after it's been in your files for a few days or weeks. 

A first draft is only the beginning and that is of prime importance. Remind yourself of that each time you set out to write something new.