This week: In the beginningEdited by: Lonewolf
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Some rough drafts may be "cleaner" than others, meaning they have fewer grammatical errors and mangled sentences. While other drafts may be unpolished and focus on getting the story committed to paper, rather than on making the words jump off the page. Of course, new writers must ultimately choose the method that works for them creatively. Either way, completing the story is the goal.
For some successful romance authors, a rough draft is really a detailed outline that lists a narrative form of precisely who the book is about and what happens to them. These outlines can be quite lengthy - in fact, writing a detailed outline of 60 to 100 pages is not unusual.
The actual writing of a story begins not by fashioning exquisite sentences, but by blasting out a chunk of raw material that can be worked and shaped like a piece of marble. That chunk of raw material for the writer is the rough draft. It's called a "rough" draft because rough, is precisely what it is--unpolished, with raw jagged edges, unpleasing to look at. But that's alright because it's not meant to be looked at and admired.
Writing a well-crafted story can be compared to creating a fine marble sculpture-neither one can be completed in one step, nor can the detailed work be done before the heavy blasting. Being able to take a novel from story idea to rough draft strengthens a new writers' confidence level. After all, completing a rough draft is tangible proof that your goal is within your reach.
A rough draft is sometimes called a discovery draft, because this is where a writer explores their ideas, often discovering new ideas in the process. This is a very exciting stage in the pre-writing process, the stage where writers start to find out what they have to say about the various ideas that emerged in their brainstorming process. Think long and hard about your romance. Make it sappy in some parts, but not too much. You want there to be a definite vibe of romance, but not so much it feels cheesy. The important thing to think about here is to make it real. Remember who you are writing for. If you are writing for yourself, feel free to write whatever you want.
As you may have heard before, characters almost take on minds of their own when you are writing. The first and most basic truth about writing is that a writer should write the story that he/she wants to write. If your plot goes in a completely different direction, just go with it and see where it takes you. Don't worry if your first draft isn't very good. First drafts rarely are, nor are they supposed to be.
It isn't even necessary for the first draft to meet the word count of your projected romance. Ultimately, all that matters is getting the story down. Once you have a completed first draft, you can re-write, polish, tweak, and expand until the novel is finished having been polished into a masterpiece as smooth as marble.
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