Fast Choices for a First Draft

This will be a very short post to go along with the subject matter—making the quick choices that can move your first draft along.

I wrote a few days ago about making choices for your story—about considering options, weighing advantages and disadvantages, and analyzing your priorities. And that’s all well and good, but only for major narrative choices.

For the little stuff—names and details—you just have to go with what feels right in the moment, even if you know you’ll change it later.

Of course you know that having four main characters with the names Terry, Jerry, Larry, and Barry is never going to work, but if that feels right as you’re writing, then just use those names and change them later. Some details may require more work to revise (if you change the weapon a character is using in a fight, for example, you may have to rewrite the whole battle), but it’s worth the quick thinking or lack thereof to just keep moving along.

Sometimes, making deliberately horrible choices for a first draft can even help, as you force yourself to accept that this first draft is going to suck. The less it feels like this draft might actually be worth sharing, the more you can just plow through it until you can start revising.

So save your research and agonizing for later drafts, and just plop down whatever pops into your head first.

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About J. Sevick

Just write.
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