This post is inspired by my awesome PA Courtney! She’s starting the journey of writing her first book, and I offered to write a few words of advice on what to do when you’re in phase one of writing the first draft. All the advice I give comes from my own experiences, and as everyone has different experiences, you’ll have to adjust for you own situation in life. But honestly, I really only have one word of advice:
Keep writing no matter what.
There we go. That’s it. Post is over.
Fine, I guess I can elaborate, but that’s really the most important wisdom I can give. Don’t expect your writing to be perfect. Write rubbish if you have to. Yes, I’m completely serious. Far too many people fail because they want that first draft to be perfect. Not gonna happen. Send it off to an editor and they’ll give you 5,000 revisions. I’m dead serious. I just got finished putting 5,334 revisions in my current WIP, and I thought it was pretty darned good–and this is after I revised it several times, AND after I let 5 beta readers have at it.
My point is–it is truly pointless to try and write something perfect. Just keep writing no matter what.
I do, however, encourage you to write a very thorough, detailed outline. William Bernhardt’s Story Structure is a great place to start. You can view the book here. It’s 99 cents and well worth your investment. After writing my first three novels and getting nowhere in the publishing world, a friend recommended I check out William Bernhardt’s writing programs. I took three, week long classes and they were invaluable. Much of what I learned in his classes can be found in his Red Sneaker Writing Books, including the Story Structure book.
This isn’t the only book I recommend, so I’ll give my other recommendations in the weeks to follow. Stay in touch and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for upcoming release details on my novels!