Writing a first draft is like Marmite..

.. you either love it or you hate it. I hate both!

I am currently on my lunch break, having just written the first 2000 words of my next book, and I felt the need to blog.

Not because I wanted to say how excited I am that my first novel, currently titled Head over Heart, is with a publisher at the moment (even though I am very excited), and not because I am relieved to have started something fresh and new with the new novel (even though I am!) but because starting the new novel has reminded me how much I hate writing first drafts!

When I wrote the first draft of HOH, I did it alongside doing my writing course with the London School of Journalism (LSJ.) So I had my tutor to help me along the way and give me tips and advice about where I was going wrong. By the time I finished the course in the August, I had pretty much got the whole first draft down and had, effectively, already re-written a few of the opening chapters along the way. Having Margaret, my tutor, there to guide me along was incredibly helpful and I learnt so much. But now I am setting off to do this one alone, I am realising just how hard it is.

I know, roughly, what I want to say. I know who my heroine is and who my hero is (although I am yet to name them.) I know the dilemma’s they each have to face, I know (kind of) how they are resolved and I know how I want it to end. So writing it *should* be easy, right? WRONG!

Maybe it is because it has been 20 months since I was last at this stage of writing a book, maybe it is because I don’t have the idea as firmly cemented in my brain as I thought, or maybe it is because I spend too much time on Twitter, Facebook and people’s blogs. Hmmm…… could be all three!

So I am asking for all of you to help me. What tips/advice do you have for writing a first draft? I am trying to write and keep writing without looking back, because I’ve been told that is the best way to get the first draft down. However, at the same time, when I wrote HOH I did edit a little as I went – and it worked out.

What are your experiences of writing first drafts?

PS. Good luck to all who are taking part in NaNoWriMo this month. I do not have the guts to try and pull off 50k words in a month, but I admire all those who are attempting it. Maybe I will do it next year…

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7 thoughts on “Writing a first draft is like Marmite..

  1. You'll find what works for you – which I know isn't much help! I find mapping out the main turning points works the best for me, so I know what the major changes are and when they'll occur. I need points to drive toward so my writing doesn't sag. But as I said, it's different for everyone and sometimes you discover just by doing it.This is surely the most annoying advice ever! You won't be asking me again, will you?! 🙂

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  2. Talli's right, Lucie – it's different for everyone, but for me, I just have to write through the 'crap'. In other words, keep going even when you think what you're writing is the biggest heap of **** (well, maybe you never get those feelings but I certainly do!). Just Get To The End – then breathe a sigh of relief, go back and start the next stage (editing/re-writing), which never seems so daunting once you've got there. (And yes, I think FB, blogging, etc does stop us getting on with it. But if it wasn't that it'd be something else!) x

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  3. Thanks for your thought's, Ladies. You are right, Talli, your comment is annoying LOL! But very true. I completely see what you mean about it being personal to the writer. A very interesting insight to seeing how both you, and Olivia (Sheila) write. xx

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  4. Hi LucieI recently received the Liebster Blog Award and when prompted to share it with five other bloggers I thought of you. I love reading about your writing journey, you write with such honesty about a process which is both frustrating and rewarding! I love the friendly and informal tone of your posts.to accept your award and find out what to do next visit http://www.inpotentia.co.uk/2011/11/liebster-blog-award.htmlcongratulations!Emmax

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  5. LindyLouMac – Thank you. I hope you get to read the novel, too! Fingers crossed. I am very flattered to be one of your favourite bloggers, thank you! I have been a little slack recently but I am hoping to catch up soon. xPat – Thank you. I am going to try and plot some of it out and see where I can take it from there. Emma – Thank you so much! I'm sorry to be so late in receiving this, I will accept it very soon. So kind of you. Hope you are well xx

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