The First Draft

The first draft is really the writer’s draft. You owe no apology for it being messy, for it being murky, for it being wobbly. It’s your draft. That’s you figuring out the story you want to tell. And yes, you’re going to do your treatment. Yes, you’re going to do your step outline. Yes, you’re going to give yourself every advantage of the story by developing a protagonist – your hero – that has a life and death goal with huge, massive stakes so failure might have great consequences that may be life and death.

But having said that, that first draft is your draft. It’s the writer’s draft. You owe no apology for any part of it. So write that draft. Make it big. Make it messy. Play with characters. Go into elements of taboo. Use every tool known to every writer to make it big, to make it broad, to fill up that screen.

And then when you come back to the next draft – second draft – now you have something that you can make decisions about. Page by page, looking at the structure, hitting the markers, making decisions about characters. So own that writer’s draft. Make it what you want it to be without apology.

Write on.