The first draft of your manuscript is just that – the first writing of your ideas and imagination on paper (or typing electronically). It begins with an idea and then you start fleshing it out to develop characters and settings and the overall plot of your story. Below, I’ll share a few tips:

Do not try to attain perfection. When penning your first draft, do not try to correct every grammar or spelling error you make. It does not have to be perfect. That’s why it’s called a first draft– stages of revising and rewriting will follow. Focus on the development and structure of your story as your ideas unfold.

You don’t have to write in an order. If you find yourself stuck on a specific scene in your opening pages, it’s fine to go on and jump ahead to an idea you have about the ending or another part of the story or even of secondary characters you’re thinking of introducing. Sequencing events or scenes as they happen is not necessary. Besides, you get to keep on writing!

Have a schedule. One action that produces results is scheduling. Whether you’re a plotter or panster, you can set aside time to write. Having a schedule will help you to develop a good and workable routine. Even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, have that set time to write. Some days you may not feel inspired to pen entire scenes or chapters, but still jot thoughts as they come. Once you get your creative juices flowing, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done. And you don’t always have to write at a specific time each day. You can juggle your time according to your work and other responsibilities… just be sure to write every day.

Have a writing room. It has been said that you should find a place that is quiet and without distractions where you can be alone with your thoughts. Though some writers, myself included, prefer having ‘distractions’ while writing. One writer I know, likes having her favourite TV shows playing in the background as she writes. Another writer loves writing in her kitchen where she can put on the kettle for coffee and has her Amazon Echo so she can listen to music as she writes. Whether you prefer a quiet place or a little ‘noise’, most important, your writing room should be a comfort zone for you- a place where you are able to channel your thoughts and let your ideas flow.

Most important- have fun writing!