There’s a great post up today at Kate Messner’s Teachers Write. Author Karen Day talks about getting through that first draft, especially when you’re 50 pages in and things stall. It can be exciting to write the first chapter or so, but things can get harder when you’re that much further in. One suggestion Karen has that I really like:
“Sometimes I’ll be 60 pages into a manuscript and lose my way. Then, writing an entire chapter seems daunting. So I tell myself that I’ll just write a scene. A conversation with the antagonist. A resolution. Something my main character discovers. I might write 10 pages or more of these short “scenes”. Out of this, I usually can get myself going again. Don’t worry if this part of your manuscript doesn’t look like the other parts. Remember, it’s a draft!”
I know I get caught up in the writing of a draft and worry that everything has to be perfect. But it doesn’t at all! As Karen suggests, you can write scenes that will never, ever be part of your final manuscript and that’s okay. It’s still teaching you more about your characters and the themes in your story.
Make sure to check out the rest of Karen’s suggestions for powering through first draft stalling. And if you keep reading, you get to learn about flash fiction from Danette Haworth. What more could you want to jumpstart your Monday morning writing?