Badly Written Prose 2

Badly Written Prose AKA the First Draft
(Badly Written Prose had me think of this post.)

No matter what you write, you’ll create a first draft first.

That’s kinda why it’s called the first draft.

It’s normally a trash fire. Not always, but normally. It doesn’t matter whether you outlined it well, have been writing for years, or this series is your favorite playground, it will feel like a trash fire.


Because the first draft is only your first attempt. You are trying to reach what you see and hear in your head. You’re trying to get all the story pieces to line up properly.

The first draft, even for an experienced writer, is still you organizing your thoughts so they make sense.

Even if it doesn’t qualify as trash fire, it will still need work. Something about it needs you to rethink and rework.

Because perfection doesn’t happen the first time around.

Didn’t I say perfection isn’t possible?

That’s true. But are you so happy with your first draft that it belongs on the best seller’s list? Does it? Does it deserve front page of a newspaper? Would you win the essay contest?

The key of the first draft is to just finish it. That’s all you are doing. You are writing the barest minimums of this story so it’s out of your head. Then you can fix it. You can’t mold a work of art without something to start with.

Don’t worry about word counts.

Don’t worry about info dumping.

Don’t worry about lack of description or too much of it.

Don’t worry about dialogue.

Don’t worry about too many adverbs.

Don’t worry about grammar.

Don’t worry if you have a timeline that’s workable, or a setting, or it’s historically accurate.

Don’t worry about anything that needs research. Mark it with some notation and move on. [I preference (()). I’ll never use double parenthesis in a work. Some use xyz or a phrase or another random symbol. Anything that isn’t normally used is perfect. Because then you can find it later and put in something correct.]

First drafts are trash fire.

Aim for badly written prose. Aim for a trash fire. Aim for just having a completed work.

Because until the first draft is done, you’ll never reach final draft.

Until the first draft is done, the story will randomly attack your mind and wake you up in the middle of the night needing to be written… Or is that just me?

[Writer’s Stuff] [About Cat Hartliebe]

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