Zero Draft to First Draft

Hello there lovelies, and welcome back to the blog.

We’ve been going through a series about drafting and have covered both Zero Drafts and First Drafts. Today I want to talk about how you move from your zero draft to a finished first draft.

As I’ve spoken about before, I consider any zero draft to be one in which I have not yet written “The End” on a novel. No matter how many times I attempt a draft, if I can’t bring it to completion, it is a zero draft for me.

Remember: you want to have laid the foundation for your story in the zero draft, a foundation that is solid enough that it can be built upon. Does this idea have the potential to be a full-length book? You won’t know that for sure until you work through a zero draft. The zero draft is typically very plot heavy for me.

In the first draft, you want to bring your imagination to full bear and get to know your characters and world even better. Add in setting. Fix the talking heads. Start to remove adverbs.

Get the big ideas onto the page. Now that you know where your story is headed and you have a better idea about characters, you can start to rework your zero draft into something that looks more like a sandcastle and less like a blob of sand shoveled into a pile. You may not have the whole sandcastle shaped out, but you will have the foundation laid that will be the shape of the eventual final draft.

Start sorting out your story and character arcs, but if you don’t know everything yet, 

In further drafts, you’ll worry about things like character and story arcs, but you want to try to fix anything that’s broken now in the first draft.

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