The Creative Writing Process: Writing The First Draft

Yesterday I mentioned outlining in the process of writing. The next step in the creative writing process would be, of course, writing the first draft.

Which, can be easy to some but isn’t so easy to others.

The Creative Writing Process Writing The First Draft | Creative Writing | Novel Writing | Writing Tips |

When it comes to writing the first draft.

Personally, I always found that writing the first draft was the easiest draft to write. You’re only telling yourself the story, after all. You and your characters are getting to know each other.

I think I find it the easiest because it’s the least stressful. You’re finding your own voice and tone of the story. You’re discovering the best way to convey the message and theme to your future readers.

There’s no need to worry too much about word count or even the structure of the novel. If you want to write notes to yourself in between scenes, go for it. If you don’t have a name for a person or place, use the first one that comes to your mind and bold it to remind yourself to change it later.

There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to writing the first draft though I know some people who don’t see it that way. They get stressed out because they want to have less editing later.

I’ll admit, I don’t care too much for editing either (mostly because I just want the story to be done) but I appreciate it a lot more now than I used to. It’s satisfying in a way.

Honestly, this is why I usually use NaNoWriMo to write the first drafts of my novels. I get the skeleton down and I finish it in a timely manner so I can spend a good chunk of my time editing. Before NaNo it would take me a few months to write a first draft. Now I just get it out of the way and figure out the basic story line. It helps a lot, for me, anyway.

How do you typically go about writing the first draft? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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12 thoughts on “The Creative Writing Process: Writing The First Draft

  1. I don’t bother with outlines, so mostly I just sit down with whatever I have in my head, and start writing. After a while, I end up with a first draft, which I can work with to create a story people will hopefully want to read.

    I’ve only changed this process twice, and it was because I didn’t feel I could move on without doing some research first. I technically probably could have, but that feeling made continuing without doing so difficult enough that I decided to go with it.

  2. This couldn’t be closer to the truth. Even If you write the first draft on auto pilot, getting th e story out there first and foremost is what counts. It’s only afterwards that you should worry about what it looks like.

  3. I guess I’m pretty much a “pantser.” I know the beginning and the end of the story, but make it up as I go along. I edit and research as I go along too, and with a six-month contractual agreement,for each book in the series, I give my first draft just one final edit before it goes to the publisher. I find this works best for me. Working on Book #9 (Witch City Mysteries) now with a November deadline.

    • That’s great! It’s definitely easier when you get into a rhythm like that. I’ll look forward to book nine!

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