Draft rarely perfect after first go-round

After you’ve brainstormed some ideas and made an outline of how you might organize those thoughts into a story or nonfiction piece, the next step is get busy “drafting.”

A draft is the placement of your thoughts into complete sentences and paragraphs. This might be done in longhand on paper or typed using a word processing program.

When drafting, your goal is to shape the story or article into the perfect piece that you envision it to be. Don’t worry too much if the first time you try to do this that the piece rambles or is in some way deficient.

That’s because you always will complete a “first draft” of anything you write. With each new draft you write, you’ll cross out sections that don’t work, rewrite sentences or whole paragraphs, perhaps add entirely new ones, select better words to use, put in missing commas, fix typos, rearrange sections, and probably more. But we’ll go into that in a future blog entry that examines revising.

In addition, don’t presume that you can simply proofread or edit your first draft and be done! You might get away with that if you’re an exceptionally gifted writer (or are writing a simple and formulaic piece, such as a news brief, on deadline). While you probably are at least an above average writer, almost all of us need to go through several drafts before arriving at a final product.