Notes to Self on Pushing the 1st Draft Forward

It never ceases to amaze me how much my feet drag during the writing of the dreaded first draft.

I don’t mind thinking about what to write. Or about what my characters do, say, eat, drive, clue-gather or how they crime-solve. But when it comes down to the actual writing of the words, no-want-to-do.

This post is mostly for me, and people like me, whose heads spin during the drafting phase. That spinning makes it a wee bit challenging to write anything. When that happens, remember:

– Forget about finding the right words. They’ll show up on their own, later. I promise.

– Not to worry about character voices being on point or distinct. In the first draft, you’re merely willing your fictional peeps to rise up from their lifeless states. What are you like when you first wake-up after a snooze? Witty? Clever? Rarin’ to go? I didn’t think so. Give your characters time to breathe, and they will jump to life.

– Forget about timing within the story. Does the day and time really matter? A little. But the beauty of it is that you can go back and recreate the timing any way you please. How’s that for flexibility? If only real life worked that way.

– Not to forget about why you write. Isn’t it about spending time doing what you love? Questions will pop up during the head-spinning phase. Who am I? Why am I torturing myself by trying to pull out a story? What do normal, non-writer people do during their down time? Why can’t I be like them? Am I hungry again? NO. This is the time to pull out something you’ve published and read it. Or if you’re not published yet, find a book you love and imagine writing one that’s just as good or even better. Because when you finish that darn first draft, you’re going to feel splendid. It’s a huge accomplishment!

– Location is everything, right? Yes, if you’re buying real estate, but not necessarily if you’re writing a first draft. I know I write a Southern California Mystery series, but So Cal is huge! The book opens in Santa Monica because guess who hung out in SM recently?

Once I find the main locale, I let my heroine lead the way. Guess where my heroine ended up? Sorry, I can’t divulge because it would be a spoiler alert (if you might lose sleep over this, email me and I’ll spill the beans).

Carry on!

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