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Don’t Be Afraid of the Rough Draft

There’s a big difference between a rough draft and a first draft. Your rough draft, in my opinion, is the draft that no one is ever going to see but you; it’s the version of the scene, or story, or line of dialogue that just goes straight from your head to the page without any filter, thought or edit. A first draft, however, is the first draft you send out, after taking the time to analyze your story and do some editing.

Don't be surprised if you want to destroy all evidence of your rough draft.

Some people think they can’t write because they start writing a scene, and it sounds and looks like poop, so they throw away the page and say, “The hell with it! I can’t write!” That’s how many people end up in writer’s block, with 30 scripts in development and not a single one that they think has any merit.

The only thing standing between you and your first draft is your willingness to resist the urge to throw away the crummy rough draft. The key here is to just write. Even though it’s bad, cheesy, idiotic, and doesn’t make any sense – write the damn thing first. Then read it and see what you’re doing wrong, and fix it, read it again and fix it again; it’s called“editing,” and it’s an inevitable part of the process. If you keep writing and deleting and writing and deleting, you’ll end up in a loop – which will ultimately lead to you getting stuck and giving up.

Follow us on our Lessons From the Set Instagram for more inspiration.

“Writing the first draft of a new story is incredibly difficult for me. I will happily do revisions because once I can see the words on the page, I can go about ripping them up and moving scenes around. A blank page, though? Terrifying. I’m always angsty when I’m working my way through a first draft.“ ~ Marie Lu

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