A lot of writers I know suffer from a disease known as First Draft Syndrome (primoliberlibriitis), a terrible infliction which results in the inability to finish a rough draft of a novel. It affects more people than you think and it can be deadly. Without the ability to finish a first draft of a novel a writer will never get to experience the wonders of editing *stifles laughter*
And all it takes to beat this terrible disease is to remember the following words:
You have my permission to suck…
I should probably rephrase the above statement so it doesn’t sound like a good line from a bad porn movie, but this is my first draft of this post – therefore it doesn’t have to be flawless faultless perfect.
You don’t have to spend hours on end searching for that ‘ideal’ word, not during a first draft anyway. Write down the first word that comes into your head that does the job and move on! Write the rest of the damn book before you even think about reaching for a thesaurus. Apart from the fact there is no perfect word for any one situation, you’re just wasting time, making yourself feel inadequate, and totally killing the flow of your work. Every time you break away from your book to consult the dictionary, or browse through an online thesaurus, you’re forcing yourself to leave the world in which you are writing about. You tear yourself from the fictional world before you and arrive back in boring old reality. You break the flow of your work.
The same goes for insisting every scene makes 100% sense before moving on to the next chapter. So you suddenly decide your main character was in the Army when they were younger not the Navy, so what? Don’t waste time and effort going back to change ‘boat’ to ‘tank’ and ‘left’ to ‘port’. You can deal with these details later and all you’re really doing is the boring admin bits that can be dealt with anytime. By breaking away from the storyline and travelling backwards you start to lose the feel you had for your plot and you may end up seeing far too many flaws that you just have to correct.
Again, this is not the time for editing. This is the time for getting a shit tonne of words on paper. Enough words that you have a beginning, middle, and an end. You need to know the whole story before you can edit. There’s no point trying to ‘correct’ a story that’s only half complete!
Get it finished THEN edit.
Remember, you have my permission to suck *bow chicka wow wow*