I learned a lot during NaNoWriMo last year. Most of the things I learned can be applied in our daily writing so I want to expand on some of the ideas that I came across as I was pounding the keyboard. Today I’m focusing on the first thing I learned: something every writer preaches but hey, sometimes you have to actually experience something before you’ll believe it.
It’s your first draft: let it suck!
Your first draft is all about getting your story out.
My first draft of PROJECT Lemonade (If you haven’t read the first draft go check it out on Wattpad and please do laugh at my pain. Thank you.) is so rough and cringey (This is partly because I forgot there were only 30 days in September so I wrote the entire 10k in one night.) that I can’t even look at it right now. I have plans to expand and completely refurbish the plot because the plot holes are bigger than Vredefort Dome, the characters are barely 3D and it has more spelling and grammar mistakes than Tumblr as a whole. I dare you to read it.
But, I did it. Despite how terrible PROJECT Lemonade is, I finished it and now I actually have something beside my imagination to work with, that a few people miraculously actually like.
It’s gonna be terrible. A Fact of Writing.
I re-encountered this wonderful first draft writing rule the first week on NaNoWriMo, I’m still working on my NaNoNovel (likely to hit Wattpad this May.) through Caffeine Challenges, chanting to myself: ‘It’s OK to be terrible,’ ‘It’s OK to be terrible.’ Because I swear I’ve used different variations of ‘sigh’ at least 50 times during the first 20 pages and if you do the math: I’ve used it 81.2 times since then, at least. At least. (Using my italics y’all.)
There a more plot holes in my story than the amount of times my MC gets hurt, which is a lot.
The ratio of run-on sentences to easy to read sentences is about about 100:1. It’s fine… completely fine.
The first draft is all about writing, about getting a story down.
Nobody’s first drafts look anywhere close to the same as published stories, but yet, they’re perfect.
Because they are written.
All a first draft has to have is words. It just has to be written.