Writing the first draft is an essential step in any writing process. This gives you the opportunity to collect your initial ideas and put them down on paper. Getting down to writing the first draft of an essay or book, like a novel or short story, can be a difficult task. You should start by putting together the ideas you are going to put on the draft so that your creativity can express itself, before taking the time to organize the draft in broad outline. You will then be better prepared to get down to writing your first draft.
Part 1 of 3: Collecting Ideas for the Draft
Step 1. Write freely on the topic
Express your creativity by writing freely on the topic of your essay. Use the teacher's assigned topic statement as a prompt that will help you start the free writing session. On the other hand, you could also focus on describing the subject from the main character's point of view if it is a piece of fiction. Free writing is a great way to get your brain warmed up and ready to write.
- Free writing is often most effective when you set a deadline, such as five or ten minutes. You should therefore try to stop lifting your pen from the sheet as soon as you start writing, which means that you will have to continue writing on the subject for the set time.
- For example, if you are writing about the death penalty, you can use the statement "What are the problems or issues with the death penalty?" And write freely for ten minutes on this topic.
- Free writing is also often a good way to create content that you can use later on your first draft. You might be surprised at how much you can achieve while you write freely on the given topic.
Step 2. Make a cluster map about the topic
The cluster map is another great way to gather ideas, because it allows you to identify phrases and keywords that you can then use to make your first draft. It can also help you determine your position on a topic, especially if you are writing a persuasive essay.
- To use the cluster method, you will need to put a word that best describes your topic in the center of a sheet. Then you will write the thoughts and keywords all around the central word. Make a circle around this word, and draw lines from this circle to the other ideas or thoughts. Then circle each of the words as you group them around the central word.
- If, for example, you are writing a short story about anger, you would put that word in the center of your sheet. You can then write the keywords like heat, rage, volcano, my mother around the word anger.
Step 3. Research the topic
If you are doing academic writing, you may need to do research by reading scientific texts that deal with your subject. Reading these texts may inspire you and help you write your first draft. You could also take notes as you read these texts, which will lead you to find key points and themes that you will explore as you write the outline.
- If you are writing a work of fiction, you may need to find texts that evoke a certain idea or theme that you want to explore in your own writing. You can search the texts by subject and read several to get ideas for your own story.
- You may have favorite writers you turn to for inspiration, or you may be looking for new writers who have covered your topic in an interesting way. You can take elements of the writer's approach and use them when writing your own draft.
- You can find additional texts and resources on the Internet or in your local library. Talk to the librarian for more information on the texts and resources available.
Part 2 of 3: Outline the outline
Step 1. Write the outline of the scenario
If you are writing a work of fiction (short story or novel), you should take the time to write the outline of the script. It can be a basic plan and not necessarily very detailed. Having the outline of the script to refer to will help you organize yourself when drafting.
- You can use the snowflake method to outline the scenario. This method will have you write a one-line summary of your topic, followed by a one-paragraph summary and character descriptions. You will also need to create the scene plan.
- On the other hand, you can also use a plot diagram. This method will lead you to create 6 sections: Setup, Start Incident, Confrontation, Climax, Fall, and Resolve.
- Whichever option you choose, you need to make sure that your plan contains at least the starting incident, climax and resolution. If you have these three things in mind, it will be easier for you to write your first draft.
Step 2. Try the three-act structure
The other option you have for fictional stories is to use the three act structure. This structure is popular in dramaturgy and screenwriting, but you can also use it for writing novels or longer stories. The three-act structure can be quickly put in place and used as a roadmap for writing the first draft. It looks like this.
- First act: here, your protagonist will meet the other characters from the story. The central conflict of your story will also be revealed, and your protagonist will need to have a primary goal that leads them to make a decision. For example, you can say in Act 1 that your main character is bitten by a vampire after a one night stand. He then goes into hiding when he discovers that he himself has become a vampire.
- Second act: this will serve to introduce a complication that will make the central conflict even more problematic. The complication can also make it harder for the main character to achieve their goal. For example, you can say in this act that your main character realizes he has to attend his best friend's wedding the following week, despite having now become a vampire. The best friend in question could also call to confirm his arrival, which will make it harder for the protagonist to stay hidden.
- Third Act: Here you will have to present a resolution to the central conflict of the story. The latter could cause the protagonist to accomplish his goal or fail to achieve his goal. You could say, for example, that the protagonist shows up at the wedding and tries not to show that he is a vampire. His best friend could still find out the truth and help him somehow. You could end the story with the protagonist who ends up biting the bride and making her her vampire partner.
Step 3. Create an outline for an essay
If you are writing an academic essay, you should outline your essay with three main sections: the introduction, the body of the essay, and the conclusion. Although essays have traditionally been written in a five paragraph structure, you don't have to break into paragraphs. Having three sections allows you to put as many paragraphs as you need to fill out each section. Your sketch might look like this.
- Section 1: The introduction which includes a first catchphrase, a thesis statement and three main talking points. Most academic writing has at least three key talking points.
- Second section: paragraphs in the body of the assignment which include a development of the three main points. You should also have support for each of these points, with arguments drawn from outside sources and from your personal perspective.
- Third section: the conclusion which involves a summary of the three main points discussed, a reformulation of your thesis and concluding thoughts or sentences.
Step 4. Create a thesis statement
If you are doing a first draft for an academic dissertation, you should have a thesis statement. The latter should allow readers to know what will be discussed or demonstrated in your essay. It should serve as a roadmap for your writing, in addition to illustrating how you plan to tackle the topic. Thesis statements fit in a line and should contain a statement through which you state a discussion or argument.
- If, for example, you are doing the first draft of an article that should be about gluten intolerance, the thesis statement “Gluten has positive and negative effects, and some people develop intolerance when it is eaten” is bad.. It is indeed vague and does not set up a discussion on this subject.
- A better thesis statement would be "Due to the use in northern America of flour obtained from genetically modified seeds in foods, an increasing number of Americans have gluten intolerance as well as other disorders related to gluten. this food product. This thesis statement is very specific and presents a point that will be discussed in the essay.
Step 5. Put a list of sources
Your sketch should also list the sources you will use for your writing. You should have several sources that you will read in your research, and ultimately, you will need to list them in a list of references or bibliography. This step should only be followed if you are doing academic writing.
Your teacher might ask you to create a bibliography following the APA or MLA style. So you will need to organize your sources into one or the other of these styles
Part 3 of 3: Write the first draft
Step 1. Find a quiet place to write
Eliminate any distractions around you by finding a quiet place, whether it's your home, school or the library. Turn off your phone or put it on silent. Also turn off the WiFi and use a pencil and paper if you tend to be distracted by the games that are on your computer. Creating a calm environment will help you focus on writing your first draft.
You should also make sure that the temperature of the room is ideal for you to sit there and write. You can also play classical or jazz music to set the mood, in addition to bringing snacks to where you need to write, so you have something to occupy your mouth while you write
Step 2. Start in the middle
You might have a hard time coming up with a great opening paragraph or a better first line. If so, start your writing in the middle. You could start with the body of duty, or when the going gets tough for your protagonist. Starting in the middle of the story can help you find the words more easily.
You could also write the conclusion before the introduction. Several writing guides advise writing the introductory paragraph last, as this would allow you to write a great introduction based on your entire story
Step 3. Don't worry about making mistakes
A first draft isn't supposed to be perfect. Go haphazardly during the draft writing process, and don't be afraid to make mistakes or worry about how the work is progressing. Use odd or awkward sentences until you find the right rhythm. You can fix all of these issues later, once you are done sketching.
You should also try not to reread what you are writing while you are still finding your rhythm. Don't go over each word before moving on to the next, and don't make corrections as you go. Instead, focus on evolving the draft and putting your ideas in writing
Step 4. Use the active voice
You should get into the habit of always using the active voice when writing, even when making the first few drafts. Avoid using the passive voice because it can be boring to the reader. Active voice, on the other hand, allows you to be clear, to the point and to the point, even while you are writing the first draft.
- Instead of writing, for example, "It was decided by my mother that I would learn to play the violin when I was two years old," use the active voice by putting the subject before the verb. It reads, “My mother decided I would play the violin when I was two years old. "
- You should also avoid using the verb to be in your writing, as it often introduces the passive voice. Remove it and focus on the active voice to make sure your text is crisp and clear.
Step 5. Refer to your sketch if you get stuck
If you find yourself stuck while writing the first draft, don't be afraid to bring out your sketch and the ideas gathered. For example, you can refer to it to remember what content you need to include at a given point in the plot or in the body of your essay.
- You could also review the ideas gathered before you start writing, such as free writing exercises or the cluster method. Reviewing this information can guide you as you write and help you focus on finalizing your first draft.
- You should take breaks if you have white sheet syndrome. Go for a walk, do the dishes, or even take a nap, as this will help you think about other things besides resting your brain. You can then come back after your break with a new approach.
Step 6. Proofread your first draft and correct it
Once you have finished your first throw, take some distance by taking a break. You could take a short walk or do some other activity that will keep you from thinking about the draft. You will come back afterwards with a fresh look at your work which you will reread. There is a good chance that you will notice problems more easily if you take a little distance before returning on the first draft.
- You should also read the first draft aloud. Be careful of any sentence that seems confusing or vague. Underline them so you know you will need to correct them. Don't be afraid to review sections or entire sentences of your outline. After all, this is a first draft, and revising it can only improve it.
- You can also read the first draft aloud to someone else. Accept comments and constructive criticism made by this person. Having a different perspective on what you have written will greatly improve it.