October 28th, 2010
It may seem odd that a publisher is giving advice about writing your first draft, but it’s not.
The first draft is the foundation of your story. No matter how much you change it in revision, the first draft is there for you to change. If it’s in your head, it’s impossible to revise.
Right now there are hundreds, if not thousands, of blogs about how to survive NaNo and the advice is helpful, but if you have never experienced getting a first draft on the page from the Once upon a time to they lived happily ever after you may have reservations about the process.
If you think it’s not worthwhile barfing words onto the page just to make the word count, don’t worry. I have barfed out 2 first drafts this way and it was never as bad as I thought when I started revision.
If you think the effort of writing the draft in 30 days is not worth the result – after all, it takes months or years to write a book. I found something surprising when I did my first NaNo, writing everyday was easier. I lived the story; I didn’t have to figure out what just happened before I wrote. I didn’t have to look up what my characters looked like, or what motivated them, because it was only a few hours since I last worked with them.
Mostly though, it’s the community. Writing with other writers is validating. It’s not the lonely experience of the stereotype. It’s fun, noisy and energizing.
Give it try.