First Drafts: Replace the Fear with Fun

What is your initial reaction when I say, “first draft”? Nausea? Panic? The urge to run away and scream? All of the above? Fear no more, fair writer! I am here to save you! Well…at least to help you.

We work so hard on our stories and constantly seek validation from friends, family, critique groups, and even random stranger here and there. This is a great thing to do once we can offer them at least a second draft, but a terrible idea for the first draft. During the fragile first draft our story is at its weakest, as is our perception of our ability to write.

Consider the first draft “For Your Eyes Only”. The danger in letting others read this is two-fold: The reader may be so harsh as to cause you to re-write unnecessarily, or you might receive so much praise that you will be unwilling to change anything. This is an opportunity to discover the story. Whether you’re a planner or a pantster, the roughest of the rough drafts is your journey, your time to fully know what the story is before anyone else can lay their eyes on it.

Hopefully some of your fears have been relieved. Now it’s time for fun!

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