Salvaging the First Draft

Hey there! We’ve got a pretty informative post for you today, regarding how to salvage your first draft. Hopefully you can pull something from this post and apply it to your own first drafts!

*Note: this post is regarding manuscripts (soon-to-be-novels or novellas!).

When you finish your first draft, you’ll probably be extremely happy. Over the moon!

*Cue celebration*

And what do you do after that? Ugly-cry. First drafts are horrifying. They might as well be in a horror movie, because they’re that scary.

Okay, rewind: first drafts aren’t all that bad. They will have bad elements, and i’m telling that as a fact. But, if your book is compelling enough, you can salvage greatness from your manuscript.

First off, you have to recognize your MS has a problem … and you’re the doctor. You have to practically perform surgery on your manuscript (with a coloured pen, preferably) and get rid of those super useless bits. You don’t get rid of the parts that are instrumental to your story, but you have to work with what’s supporting your concept. Your concept is like a picture, and the rest is the frame, helping support your manuscript in several ways.

Next: Replace those ugly first-draft bits with new, fresher ideas. If you’re a writer, you know you’ve got a million tiny ideas running through your head. Take one of them and find a way to put it in your manuscript. Maybe you could incorporate a concept from one of your old, unfinished books and put it in your new manuscript. Maybe you’ve got an idea in your head that you’ve always been dying to pen down!

Finally, I suggest you work with several drafts of your book. Books go through a lot of changes. If you have an editor or a friend to critique your book (CPs are great), then take their advice and see if you can apply it to your work.

We all deal with the ugly first draft in different ways–and without a doubt, there is something you’ll change in your manuscript along your writing journey.

Okay, writers! Go salvage that MS!


 

-S&S

 

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