As some of you may know I am currently taking part in June Novel Writing Month in a bid to get the first draft of my novel finished. I used to be a serious edit-as-you go kind of person and it was getting me absolutely no where. I understand this does work for a lot of people but I found it restrictive.
Now I am in full swing again with this new form of speed writing. Still a little bit behind target but I am catching up, I have miraculously managed to write about 15,000 words in the last few days. I never thought that was even possible.
I know what is on paper is complete waffle but just sitting down at the laptop and bashing out a few thousand words each night has become a little ritualistic. Some evenings it is like pulling teeth but the point is if you keep going, something amazing happens and you start to form a story. Like magic.
I urge you all to give it a go. Here are my top tips for starting your first draft and hopefully finishing it (from someone who is still yet to reach the end!)
Some writers like to plan out the plot meticulously however for me just thinking throughout the day what I will write about in the evening works well too. If you don’t like any form of planning, just sit down and let you mind wander as you type
Do NOT edit
This is crucial. Do not look back on what you have written. Yes the temptation is great but the moment you start going back and editing it is no longer your first draft. You are a writer and you have permission to produce a shitty first draft, make it sparkle during revision phase only.
Give yourself a break
Do not bring yourself down with the ‘this is rubbish’ and ‘No publisher will ever be interested’ talk. Also if you get tired then stop and take a break, don’t be a slave to the word count.
Switch off the phone
I can’t deal with distractions. Sometimes you don’t have a choice and you have to work around them however if you can sort out a quiet place to work then it will help you get in the zone.
All too tempting to have a peak and see what other people are up to instead of facing a blank page
If faced with a stand-off against a blank page…
…. then walk away, get a drink or a bite to eat, go for a walk, anything. Just don’t sit there. The words are in your head, you just need to lure them out. Another tip if you’re in this predicament is to write garbage or about your day. It limbers up your mind.