First Draft Hacks: How To Get The Words Down

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Credits: Elliot Hyland

Most professional writers will agree that being a storyteller is the best job in the world. Even as a hobby it’s got so much going for it. Writing sparks your imagination, feeds your creative soul, keeps your brain active and maybe most importantly makes you happy. But I won’t lie: writing can be the cause of frustration as well. Some writers will dread the editing process, others would like to avoid plotting. I, for one, dislike first drafting. While I love opening a new document or notebook and starting a new story, it won’t take long for me to realise that the idea sounded so much better when it was just in my head. During my first drafts I’m constantly accompanied by my pet devil who loves to screech incessantly ‘it’s complete rubbish!’. Consequently, first drafts have become an afrodisiac for procrastination.

Over the years I’ve acquired a few tricks to silence the wee devil. I’m still trying to get him to move to Antarctica, but in the mean time I consider myself a lucky man when I manage to lock him up for a few hours.

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Figuring Out Your Plot

Eureka! Something exciting just happened. You’ve found a magnificent idea for a novel. All you have to do now, is write it down and turn it into an exceptional story. Piece of cake, right? Well frankly, coming up with an idea is the easiest part of the writing process. You’ve got a bumpy road ahead of you. Your first obstacle? Figuring out your plot.

Chances are you will know how your story begins once you’ve tought about your idea. You might not be certain what your opening scene should be, but you’ll know how your story will kick off. If you’re lucky you might even know how it could end. But how do you go from start to finish? How do you fill up the gaps? How do you tackle the dreaded middle?

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