Advice On Finishing A First Draft

Am I the best person to give advice on finishing a first draft? No. Will that stop me from preaching what I don’t practice? Nope.

Take a break.

For my first novel, I took a long hiatus but eventually got around to finishing it.

Just make sure you actually return to your unfinished manuscript at some point.

Edit or proofread.

Sometimes, I’d rather edit than write. My mood bosses me around.

Again, you can fall into the trap of only editing your half-finished manuscript rather than writing the ending to it. Hopefully, making edits will get so painful that you choose the lesser of two evils.

Talk to someone.

We all need a friend who will listen to our problems.

You don’t even have to talk about writing. Perhaps all you need is a little bit of encouragement.

I wish you the best of luck in finishing your first drafts. It’s not an easy feat, but the feeling is like none other.

If you have any advice, feel free to tell me. I need all the help I can get.


22 Lessons I Learned About Writing

These are twenty-two things I have learned as a writer. Or I’m still learning. Or I hope to learn.

  1. Start writing.
  2. Believe in your story.
  3. Take it one word at a time.
  4. Hold onto your dreams.
  5. Pursue your passion.
  6. Set small goals.
  7. Never settle for less than your best.
  8. Make the right sacrifices.
  9. Stay true to your vision.
  10. Write for yourself.
  11. Be your own critic.
  12. Be your own cheerleader.
  13. Don’t let the bad days win.
  14. Talk to other writers.
  15. Accept rejection.
  16. Embrace failure.
  17. Find a support system.
  18. Ask for help when needed.
  19. Exercise your brain and body.
  20. Remember why you started.
  21. Forgive yourself.
  22. Finish your stories.

What’s a lesson you’ve learned?


Motivation To Get You Through Camp NaNoWriMo

You’re halfway through. You’re 50 percent done.

You can do this.

Don’t give in. Don’t give up.

You’re a writer after all.

You have to persist and persevere.

Keep going.

Stay strong.

Finish your story. Finish what you start.

Think about how good you’ll feel after the fact. 

You’re allowed to slump. You’re allowed to slow down.

But you shouldn’t quit. You shouldn’t abandon the story you’re telling. It’s your story.

Whatever you’re writing, whatever you’re working on, finish it. 

That story won’t write itself.

Sit down and start. Get up when you finish.

Would you ever start telling your friend a story and then stop halfway through? Leave them hanging? Not tell them the ending?

Then why in the world would you do the same with your written stories?

Stop making excuses. And start writing. Start finishing. Just start.

It might be the worst thing you’ve ever written. But it’s still better than everything you’ve never written.


Finish Your Stories Already

On Tumblr, someone said:

Hey there! I just stumbled across your writing on the explore page and I’m one of those people that loves to write but has to add EVERY SINGLE detail in their story and I never get to finish them. Do you have any tips for me?

I think I have the opposite problem. But let me see what I can come up with.

Again these are just my suggestions. Adapt accordingly.

Exploit your love.

Your love for writing, your love of a character, your love for details. You get the idea. I think we underestimate what we do in the name of love. The more you love your story, the more reasons you have for finishing it. So find what you love about what you’re doing and don’t let yourself forget why you started in the first place.

Make a plan.

Or an outline. Whatever you want to call it. Have an idea of where you want your story to go, what direction it needs to go in. So even if you need to include a lot of details and make many stops along the way, you’ll get there eventually. That’s the hope anyway.

Get from A to B.

Narrow it down. Get super specific. What needs to happen in this scene? Who says what? Then don’t get up from your seat until you finish said scene. Until you get from point A to point B. Well, make sure your characters do.

Write the end first.

Even if you only have a vague, general idea. Get it down anyway. Then maybe you can work backwards. That way even if you do get caught up in the details, you’ll have an end goal. You have something to reach for.

Discipline yourself.

Try to decide whether the detail is necessary before you write it in. Refrain from including what isn’t important, so you can focus on what is. Remember you don’t have to get it right the first time around. You can have many drafts and revisions. The details can be worked out later, added in after. Concentrate on getting at least the bare bones of your story down first.

Detail away.

If you love detailing, do it. It’s your writing, your life. You have your own voice and style. Let it happen. If it works for you, great. If it doesn’t, change it. But allow whatever happens while you’re writing to happen naturally.

Finish before you start again.

I don’t care what you have to do in order to finish. All those details are useless if you don’t. Think of the time, energy, and work you put into your stories and characters. Are you really going to throw it away? That’s a waste. What a shame.

Know when to draw the line.

Then draw the line.

Sorry I took a few days to answer. I’m a terrible blogger and writer. Don’t listen to me.

Happy writing and finishing your stories!

Feel free to ask me something else I won’t answer for several days.


What I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me

  • “You suck.”
  • “Just write.”
  • “Finish it.”

The takeaway here is:

Your writing sucks, but continue to write regardless, and finish what you start.

Wasn’t that encouraging?


Waiting Until The End

For the most part, I don’t tell people about my projects until they’re complete.

I’m worried about not finishing or finishing with less than satisfactory results.

So if I do finish and I happen to attain results I’m proud of, I can’t wait to tell somebody. Especially if I’ve been waiting a long time for the right moment.

Until then, I wait until the end.

It was easier to hold off telling people anything prior to starting this blog. These days I have the greatest urges to sit down and tell you everything.


How To Respond To More Stupid Questions (For Writers)

I hope you’ve read How To Respond To Stupid Questions (For Writers) already. If not, click the link before reading the rest of this post or after you finish perusing the below.

Before I continue, you need to know this is not as good as the original. That’s why I advise you to read the first post so you can see I am quite funny. Er, at times. Fine fine, I am occasionally funny. Rarely?

What is your writing about? 

Don’t answer this question. It’s a booby trap. You will thank me later.

What do you want to be? 

I already am what I want to be.

Are you finished yet? 

I have a better question: Have you finished anything in your lifetime?

What are you doing with your life?

More than you.

Can I read it? 

If I want you to read it, I will tell you to read it. Did I tell you you can read it? NO. I. DID. NOT. 

Note: I may have slight anger issues I need to work out.