“Get it all down. Let it pour out of you and onto the page. Write an incredibly shitty, self-indulgent, whiny, mewling first draft.”
— Anne Lamott
“I believe the first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months… Any longer and — for me, at least — the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel.”
— Stephen King
“I try to write in the early morning if I can, when my sensor isn’t working overtime. I start in ways that are mysterious even to me.”
— Alice Hoffman
Know the beginning.
“I just focus on getting the first scene right, with a few lines about the overall plot, and then the book grows organically.”
— Alexander McCall Smith
Know the ending.
“If I didn’t know the end of a story, I wouldn’t begin. I always write my last line, my last paragraph, my last page first.”
— Katherine Anne Porter
Don’t second guess yourself.
“Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceding day.”
— Will Self
Write, and then forget about it.
“… I learned not to think about anything that I was writing from the time I stopped writing until I started again the next day. That way my subconscious would be working on it and at the same time I would be listening to other people and noticing everything.”
— Ernest Hemingway
“The bottom line is that I like my first drafts to be blind, unconscious, messy efforts; that’s what gets me the best material.”
— Jennifer Egan
Go sentence to sentence.
“I write sentence to sentence. That’s the kind of writer I am. I don’t have a plot when I begin.”
— Lorraine Adams
Throw in everything.
“I am a hopeless panster, so I don’t do much outlining. A thought will occur to me, and I’ll just throw it into the story. I tell myself I’ll worry about untangling it later.”
— Marie Lu
Use whatever tools work for you.
“I start with a beat sheet, which is more of an abbreviated outline. It hits all the major plot points. From there I move to note cards. Bu the most important part of my process is my inspiration board.”
— Kami Garcia
Celebrate The End.
“Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in writing. It’s one of the most enjoyable moments in life, period.”
— Nicholas Sparks
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