Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fast Draft

By Carolyn Gibbs

One of the things that scares me the most about writing is just sitting down to do a first draft, throwing my cares to the wind and not looking back. Like most writers, I have a very strong inner critic who won’t shut up when I’m sitting down to write. Sending my inner critic on an all-expense paid vacation until I finished my first draft wasn’t an easy feat.

To help overcome the habit of writing with a rear view mirror, I took an online class called Fast Draft with author Candace Havens. In Fast Draft your goal is to write 20 pages a day for two weeks, without looking back.

I must admit I didn’t write that much each day, but I did make great progress and finished my novella quicker than plodding along as usual. I persisted, and learned during that short time to just let go and write, instead of over thinking or listening to the voice inside my head that said, what you’ve got to be kidding.

If I spend too much time editing while I write, the story spark fades and withers away. The Fast Draft method worked for me, and allowed me to get the words on the page quickly. I discovered that it was actually a freeing experience, to just quickly write what was in my head instead of debating about how it sounded while writing. After the first fast draft was complete, I went through the entire story re-writing and weeding out what I didn’t need, getting it ready to submit. There is a famous quote about writing which says the real work of writing is in the editing, and after going through the fast draft process, I definitely agree with it.

I’m glad I faced my inner critic and sent her packing once and for all. Now when I sit down to write I keep my mind on what the characters are doing in the scene, instead of analyzing it. The re-writing can come later. I’ve got a draft to complete.

Visit me at to read about my WIP and check out the contemporary romance novella, Love and Economy from Secret Craving Publishing, available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

1 comment:

  1. I like first drafts. They are my first impressions, ready to be sculpted. But like anything else, some writing days are slower than other. Don't be frightened of your own thoughts. You're doing awesome (from what I hear!)