Write It Sideways

6 Articles for a Stronger, Faster, Better First Draft

Struggling to get through the first draft of your novel (for NaNoWriMo, or otherwise)?

Take a moment to check out these six articles that can help you write a stronger, faster, better first draft:

1. The Single Most Powerful Writing Tool You’ll Ever See That Fits on One Page

Read the full article by Larry Brooks

This is a listing of everything you need to know about your story before you can successfully finish it, stated in the form of a question. […] [W]hen you fully understand what these questions mean to your story, and how to integrate the answers into it, you’re there.

2. How to Write a Novel: The Snowflake Method

Read the full article by Randy Ingermanson

Good fiction doesn’t just happen, it is designed. You can do the design work before or after you write your novel. I’ve done it both ways and I strongly believe that doing it first is quicker and leads to a better result.

3. First Draft Secrets: Five Simple Steps

Read the full article by Marla Beck for Write to Done

I confess:  Swiss cheese intrigues me.  It’s substantive, it’s flavorful and it’s got some degree of structural integrity.   Swiss cheese doesn’t fall apart, despite its many holes! […] We’re going to build your “Swiss cheese draft” by shifting your focus from creating a “solid” first effort to creating a “flavorful” slice of writing, one that holds together, despite its many gaps.

4.  Top 10 Tips: Starting and Finishing the 1st Draft

Read the full article at Rasmus Rasmussen Dot Com

Take your main characters and write up profiles for them. Short one-page bios about their backgrounds, their passions and dreams, their most embarrassing moments and regrets. Having this kind of information in advance will prove a goldmine later, when your characters are put into the action, and you need to figure out how they react.

5. Writing Your First Draft

Read the full article at Fiction Writers’ Mentor

[U]se adverbs and clichés freely. They act as wonderful placeholders. When you go over the story in subsequent drafts, that’s when you can try to phrase things more elegantly and creatively and flowingly […] The first draft, you could say, is about what you want to say and the subsequent drafts is how you want to say it.

6. Your First Draft Is Always Going to Suck

Read the full article by Alexandra Sokoloff

Even though you will inevitably end up writing on projects that SHOULD be abandoned, you cannot afford to abandon ANY project. You must finish what you start, no matter how you feel about it.

How’s your first draft coming? Are you on track at the moment? Feeling discouraged?

Please take a quick moment from your writing session to share your current situation.