The first draft of any novel is like climbing a mountain that has its peak concealed in thick clouds. Many people start writing it but few finish. There’s many reasons for the lack of success. If you’ve completed your first draft, congratulations. Take a moment and bathe in the beauty of reaching the top of the mountain, breaking through the cloud cover and feeling the sun on your skin.
While writers may not understand why they failed to finish the first draft, one reason might be the use of the wrong technique. There are as many ways to write a book as there are writers. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. You have to find your way to write the novel. It won’t be the way your English teacher told you how to do it. It won’t be the way the famous writer you met at his book signing did it. The author giving the workshop in the community hall has a different way than you to write a novel.
However, there will be similarities. In general, there are two paths to writing the first draft: one is paved with sidewalks and lined with little shops; the other cuts through the forest, goes off trail and follows a stream. Both arrive at the planned destination, but the journeys are very different.
Diana Tibert takes the second route: through the forest, off trail and along the stream. She never knows where the story will go, yet she always manages to arrive at the destination and complete the first draft.
If you’ve never tried Tibert’s way of writing a story, one that does not include an outline, stick around. She’s working on a book to give you directions through the wilderness. Once you have them and the map, you can take the journey to see if it works for you. Perhaps you may enjoy it more than the paved roadway.
Stay tuned for more on Write that First Draft Free Style.