Summer can be a good time to write the first draft of a new manuscript, and today I want to share a few tips to help you do just that.
1) Do your research beforehand
Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, it’s always easier to do your research before you start writing your first draft. Even if your plot idea is still vague, it’s likely you already know when and where your story will take place. Research this information before you start your first draft, in order to avoid having to stop mid-draft to check on Victorian fashion or South African food.
2) Choose your writing method
There are two ways to write a first draft: you can write without looking back or pause to edit as you write. Both methods are perfectly valid, you just need to decide which one works best for you. If you’re unsure, check out this post on fast drafting and this one on editing as you write.
3) Set daily goals
When writing a first draft, most writers find it easier to set themselves daily wordcount goals in order to keep motivated. It also helps making the daunting task of turning a blank page into a 80K manuscript seem more manageable. YA author Victoria Schwab has a “calendar trick” that you might find useful for keeping track of your writing goals.
4) Make yourself accountable
Writing a first draft on your own can be hard, and what makes it easier is being accountable for your work. There are many options available for writers looking for support, and I’ll just mention two here: CampNaNo and Ready. Set. WRITE!
5) And write!
I hope the above tips will help you write the first draft of your latest story this summer. Feel free to share your own tips in the comments section below!