Are you ready to become an author and write your rough draft?
Writing the rough draft is, in my opinion, the best part of the writing process. Whether you write from an outline or by the seat of your pants, it’s the part that’s the freest from constraints. You know you’re going to be revising (perhaps many times) and you’ll catch the mistakes so you can write the first pass balls to the wall.
Not a care in the world.
Just writing, writing, writing.
It’s not all rainbows and sunshine though. The rough draft means developing your ideas and making them work which can be a challenge. Especially, writing all the way through to the end.
There are so many writers out there who have had written novels sitting on their cyberselves. I have 4 in my files right now that I’ve abandoned. For no good reason but I lost my motivation and went to another idea.
When I’m writing, I start out in a writing frenzy, tend to falter around the middle of my story, then I skip to the end and finish. I write “the end” of my first rough draft, but it’s not even close to being a full draft. This draft leaves me with no middle or at best a weak middle.
Most authors I know, whether new or experienced, also struggle with the middle. The middle is the hardest to write. It has to connect the exciting start and end while not losing any momentum. Plus depending on the genre you write you need to add in surprises, red herrings, and twists. It takes a lot of mental energy and thought to write a novel.
When writing gets frustrating, it can be harder to motivate yourself to write. Who wants to sit down at the computer when you are afraid you’ll just start at a blank screen?
While there’s no easy fix for middle story syndrome, I’ve found it easier to deal with by knowing ahead of time what idea or nugget of an idea I’m going to write about. Translated that means make sure you have an outline. I know there are 2 types of writers and not everyone is in the outline group. I didn’t use to be either until I found that as much as I disliked outlining I disliked middle story syndrome even more.
My outlines aren’t super detailed, not like some of my peers.
But I have a general idea of what it is I want to write for each scene. When I’m stuck, I make myself write whatever comes to mind on that topic. Even if it’s crap, which happens a lot more than I’d like to admit. Bottom line I’m writing, and THAT is what’s important.
Even so, it can be hard to get motivated to sit down and with every day. I know what you might be thinking. If I am passionate about writing why would it be a hardship? No matter how much you like something, there are some days when you don’t feel like doing it. But novels won’t write themselves. Only BIS will – butt’s in seats!
To successfully get through your rough draft all the way to the end you must set a deadline. Several deadlines in fact. If you’re starting from scratch with just that nugget of an idea in your head you will need to set a deadline for:
- Writing an outline
- Developing Scene ideas
- Create your characters
- Daily writing goal
- End date – DO NOT forget to set an end date
Those are the basics.
You might think you don’t want to stress yourself out or put too much pressure on yourself by stating you must finish your novel in 6 months (or however long). But if you don’t set a date, it’s a moving target. And we all know how often moving targets get hit. Not often.
It’s also important to find your tribe. A group of other authors who are having the same experiences you are. People, you can bounce ideas off of and learn from.
So are you ready? Ready to start your rough draft and commit to consistent writing until you reach the end?
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