DO NOT edit as you go. This is perhaps the most time-consuming writing-preventer I’ve encountered when trying to write a manuscript. Rereading what you have written and making changes instead of writing the next part can be quite a hinderance to the progression of your story or novel, so please try to avoid editing until the end. Just try to write it all through first.
Read every day. Of course, this does not include the manuscript you are working on; when I say READ, I mean from an already published book, especially one from the genre in which you are writing. Doing so could help you develop fresh ideas about how to present your own story as well as inspire further ideas.
Avoid mood-writing. Another hinderance to writing is resolving to write only “when I feel like it”. It’s nice to be able to write when the inspiration hits you, but try to develop the habit of writing even when you don’t feel like it. Sometimes ideas will just emerge onto the page that you didn’t even know where in your imagination until you start to write. To make this a regular occurrence, it would be wise to set a specific time each day to write.
Set deadlines. I once wrote an 8,000 word story in 2 days since the deadline for the submission window was quickly approaching. I’m not advising anybody to wait until the last minute (like I did), but I found that I became more diligent of a writer when I was working towards something.
Employ peer-reviewers. Share your story with others and ask for their feedback as readers. Being the only one with access to your manuscript can entrap you in your own biased bubble, so please try to expose it to fresh eyes…and be thick-skinned while doing so; don’t be one of those writers who takes criticism too harshly. To be a writer is to have your work criticized and using peer-reviewers early in your manuscript’s development could help you better prepare yourself for this reality.
One thought on “5 Tips to Get You through Your Manuscript’s 1st Draft”
Awesome points, especially on writing despite your mood, and reading every day. But for the life of me, I can’t stop editing while writing. It slows me down tremendously, but I just can’t move on until I’ve written a decent enough sentence. Perhaps I should focus on that. Anyway, thanks for this post!