Turning a vision in your head into words on a page can be challenging. Sometimes the words flow right out of you; other times you’re left staring at an empty screen for hours.

You’ll likely experience both when writing the first draft of your book. This unedited, preliminary version is the one that you’ll spend the most amount of time on. Here are some tips to help with the entire process.

Writing the First Draft of Your Book

There’s no one way to write the first draft. Every author has their own method for getting the creative juices flowing. The first draft is all about developing the characters, plot, and tone of your book.

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‌Rough Draft‌

The first draft is also known as a rough draft because it’s unedited or “rough around the edges.” Writing a rough draft can be difficult to start and finish. Here are some tips to help you if you get stuck:

  1. Start by brainstorming. Begin to write down what you know you want to include.
  2. Research your ideas. This can be done throughout the entire writing process. As new ideas come to you, you may need to do more research about different eras, locations, or certain interests and traits of your characters.
  3. Create an outline. Start to structure your book and figure out how you want it to start and end.
  4. Make a writing schedule to help keep you accountable. Begin following that schedule to write your first draft. 
  5. Skip around: If you find yourself getting stuck, skip that section and write out of order. You can always come back to those parts later.
  6. Don’t aim for perfection. Just get your thoughts on paper. You’ll get to clean up your work during the proofreading and editing processes.

‌Proofreading Your First Draft

Once you’ve finished your rough draft, take a break! Give yourself a big pat on the back. Completing a draft is no small act.

Next, it’s time to proofread your work. Choose a medium to use while you proofread. Some authors prefer a computer, while others like to print out their work and use a pen to take notes and jot down tweaks and corrections.

Proofreading is not about digging into the content of the book. Instead, you’ll be looking for typos, grammatical errors, punctuation, and misspelled words.

‌Editing Your First Draft

Editing is not the same as proofreading. When editing your first draft, you’ll focus on the content, structure, clarity, and style. After editing, you’ll need to proofread it all over again.

Many authors choose to hire a professional editor. A traditional publishing company will assign you an editor. As a self-publisher, you’ll need to find a reputable editor on your own. Palmetto Publishing Group has knowledgeable and experienced editors available to assist you. 

Finishing Your First Draft

Once you’ve finished editing and proofreading your first draft, you can move on to writing the second draft. Be patient. It can take several drafts before your work is ready to be published.

Palmetto Publishing Group can help you at every step. When you use our services, you maintain 100% creative control of your work and 100% royalties.

For more information, schedule a time to chat with one of our friendly professionals today.