#IWSG Best Ways To Start a First Draft?

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This month’s question: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?


For the past few years I’ve managed to keep a schedule of some kind for blogging.  This year, since I desire to convert a screenplay into a novel, I feel I need to set up a schedule for that as well.  Just figuring out the how part.

I joined a Facebook group, Finish Your Novel, a project really that’s dedicated to doing just that-finishing a novel.  It’s my hope that this group will help keep me accountable and moving forward throughout the year with my book.   I’ve been a writer for a number of years with short works published;  I’m ready to take the next leap to being a published author.

I think about setting aside three days each week to devote solely to writing the first draft.  Will probably do it chapter by chapter.  The challenge will be how to best incorporate the flash-back scenes since they will take place throughout the novel.  Also to keep me going forward, I plan to set a daily (or maybe a weekly one instead) word count goal that I can track via Word as well as a spreadsheet.

Now, the next question is–should I start by planning out the book (character development, outlining the story line/subplots, etc.) or just jump right in and start rewriting the story from the screenplay?





  1. I’m a planter, so in my opinion I have the best of worlds. I preplot, outline, interview my characters then jump in let them take over. It depends on what works for you. Ask yourself this, which one drives you crazier? Which one helped you the most in writing your draft? Planning all the minutae details? Going in blind and storm writing? Or a little bit of both?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Setting aside three days a week for writing sounds… practical. Oddly… since most of the common wisdom is to “write every day”. But life doesn’t always work that way. I like this. May it be an ideal path on the next step of your writing journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am an obsessive planner so I would recommend spending some time trying to plan the big things out. However, you have to do what works for you. If planning becomes a struggle then just switch to writing. Just remember that even if you love the planning not everything have to be worked out and at some point (sooner preferably) you have to jump in and get writing your first draft. Thanks for the link to the FB group I will have to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the advice! 🙂 At the moment, I’m teetering between being a planner and a pantser…it seems I feel better having done some planning and outlining ahead of time to use as a blueprint of which can be adjusted as time goes on.

      Hope you do check out the group! 🙂


  4. Hi,
    I think that really depends on how well you know your characters. If you know them well, then starting out with writing is alright. Sometimes, I find myself outlining but it is after I have started writing the book. By that I mean I come to a chapter and realised that something is missing and I start outlining that chapter to find out the problem. But I would say it basically deals with what is good for you and what you feel comfortable with.
    All the best for 2018.
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange


  5. Having never written a screen play I can’t really help but I’m impressed with your planning. Take a look at the writing program scrivener it makes writing a lot easier than using word, well I thought so any way. Either way good luck with your plans.


  6. Good luck! I took a screenplay writing class years ago because my original idea was to write my stories out as screenplays first and then write the novel from that. I wanted to do it that way so my novels would work as a movie as well without too much having to be taken from the story. It was more difficult than I imagined though. They are both so different in their forms of storytelling. I still would love to write the screenplays, but it’s been years. I’d need a refresher. Have fun! 😀


    • Thanks! I took an intro course in screenwriting years ago and decided to try my hand at one for Script Frenzy (now defunct unfortunately) and found I really enjoyed it. I may try another one later this year just for fun. It actually helps improve my writing overall (more concise words as well as more active verbs instead of passive ones).

      Liked by 1 person

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