For the love of god, please just finish the first draft

or

It’s all about me (in which I don’t apologise for a ridiculous over-use of brackets and italics)

So here it is. I’ve started the blog. That’s Part 1 done.

Part 1: Begin a blog to share your work thereby ensuring that you absolutely must, no matter what, avoid procrastination and keep on writing

It’s a start. But here’s the thing… I’m still in the process of writing the first draft of my novel. That’s Part 2.

Part 2: For the love of god, please just finish the first draft

As Hemingway is famously alleged to have said: “The first draft of anything is shit”. Now clearly that needs to be interpreted correctly but what he’s getting at is that you just need to get the first draft down on paper (slash computer screen). You have the concept for the story, your characters, your theme, your outline etc – now just get the damn thing written up.

Here’s another quote for you (don’t worry, I have loads; I won’t run out): “The first draft is nothing more than a starting point, so be as wrong as fast as you can” – Andrew Stanton

I know, I know, these are all soundbites and open to absolute misinterpretation and critique. The important take-out is that you do need to just write the thing. Anyway, this is all about me so let’s get back to me…

I’m sharing bits of my work on this blog to motivate myself to write more and to get some sort of response on what I’m writing (which, if it’s positive, will motivate me to write more)…

However, I’m sharing excerpts from my first draft: my unpolished, ‘just get it down’ phase. This is a scary thing. And may not be a true representation of how the work will end up looking. I’m really not sure that it’s good idea.

Also, I’m attempting to write a novel in verse (please don’t call it an epic poem – that just weirds me out). This is unusual and open to (here’s that word again) misinterpretation – and is also something that I could screw-up very badly… can I maintain a narrative thrust while being ‘poetic’? How do I blend in the dialogue without it feeling forced?

Ok, ok, I’ve already started to lose myself in a self-absorbed ramble. I guess what I’m trying to say is that blogging extracts of a first draft of a novel in verse is silly. I am silly. Be nice to me.

(And remind me to actually plan my next post in order that it will actually have… a point)

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8 thoughts on “For the love of god, please just finish the first draft

  1. shudderingwords

    Good luck to you! The first draft is definitely the scariest and hardest to get down! I finished mine about a year and ago, and since then, it’s been a slow process of writing the second draft! I shudder at my previous writing, so, all the luck to you!

    Reply
  2. georginaguthrie

    There is nothing scarier than a blank piece of paper (or screen!) …but don’t worry!
    Not that i’ve ever even attempted to write a novel, but my essay method in uni was to drink a coffee (or a glass of wine haha), stick on some music, and just go, write anything, you get into it. You can always edit it after!

    Now get on it! 🙂 looking forward to your next piece!

    Reply
  3. beautifulorange Post author

    Thanks for the support! I’ll share another bit soon. It’s difficult when I’m only on my first draft… I know that pretty much everything I’ve written needs re-working in some way. But I’ll get on with it!

    Reply
  4. lyriquediscorde

    Oh my stars, I am trying TRYING to finish a first draft of my novel,and some days I truly think it will be the death of me. My tripping point always is the “just get it down” part. I self-edit, I re-write, I over-think, I go back and re-write some more, and then I’m stuck in that same spot again. It is hard to just let it be shit, or whatever it will be…but I need to try. I applaud you taking this step and am actually quite intrigued with a novel written in verse – excited to read whatever you choose to share. Best of luck and glad you found me/I found you…*followed*. Laura

    Reply
  5. beautifulorange Post author

    Thanks Laura… it’s always good to connect with other writers who are going through the same thing. I’ve posted three short excerpts so far on this blog – it’s not going to be for everyone (a bit of an acquired taste, I think!) but hope you like them.

    And yup, that ‘just getting it down’ thing… that’s why I posted the quote from Jennifer Egan today. I think I need to pin it above my desk and repeat every morning!

    Reply

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