It’s common knowledge that you can’t write a book without finishing the first draft. It is also common knowledge, or it should be, that your first draft will always be crap.

Seriously.

And you’d think after eleven books I’d remember this. It’s been taking me forever to complete the first draft of book number twelve. It’s got great characters, it’s set in a colourful place and the story is pretty much broken. So what’s the problem?

I’ve forgotten that the first draft can be crap. Should be crap. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that if your first draft isn’t crap, you’re not doing it right. Or write.

And that’s been my problem.

It occurred me today that, despite the history I have writing, I’m trying to produce a publishable first draft. That’s just stupid.

So I think it’s useful to review Tony’s Essential Rules of Writing a First Draft.

Tony’s Essential Rules of Writing a First Draft.

  1. Spend a serious amount of time not writing, making sure you’ve figured out the story, where it ends, where it starts, what the key plot points are.
  2. Write. As frequently as possible.
  3. Continue writing until you’ve finished the story.
  4. Do not give a rat’s ass about spelling, grammar or character names while writing
  5. Aren’t you listening? Forget about the spelling.
  6. Remember Point 3. Finished the damned thing, then worry about the stuff in point 4.
  7. Remember that even JK Rowling wrote a shitty first draft.

Easy, right? Write.

About the author: tonymcfadden

Since Tony McFadden left Canada two decades ago he and his wife and two children have lived in the US Virgin Islands, various American cities (LA, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Fairfax), Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and now, finally (and for good), Australia.

All of those places and people have provided a wealth of characters and settings for his books, all filled with thrills, suspense and adventure.

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