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A few notches away from a finished product.


Placeholders. (I'm explicitly focusing on my own reaction on this first point, because what I'm saying is very much a matter of personal taste.) I shudder at the idea of leaving placeholders in a manuscript. That impulse means that I've lost contact with the story and with the character. I'm no longer experiencing it. Instead, it's me as writer, from outside ...


as an addendum to the other answers here, especially Lauren Ipsum's excellent post I think the answer here is a lot to do with that much trod advice of show don't tell The first draft should simply be about telling the story as succinctly as possible. With rough pointers to the finer details of the characters behaviour. In future drafts you take the ...


Placehold the highlights. Write the notes of what you want to accomplish. Beth: Wow, that was really nice of the waiter. Alanna: Do you think the boss will punish him for that? they discuss if they should give him a big tip to make sure the boss doesn't dock him. Alanna wants to give the biggest tip she can afford; Beth thinks a large but not ...


Continually editing what you are writing can mean you never get anything finished. Just churning out stuff that you are never going to use in the end doesn't help particularly either. What I do personally may help you, but everyone is different. Assuming I have a basic plot outline I try to just get the short story, play, article, ect. down on paper. If, as ...


Anne Lamott, in Bird by Bird, writes about starting with a "shitty first draft." That is, using your first draft to simply spew your ideas onto paper. This is the creative part of your writing. Let it all out, regardless of consistency, grammar, coherence. Later drafts are where you form that mass of crap into brilliance.

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