The beauty of the fast draft – Rachel Hauck

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By Rachel Hauck

I love fast drafting a novel without going back to edit or rewrite. Fast drafting really helps me discover the story.♥

When I’m fast drafting, I don’t care about editing or polishing – I’m just writing. I can write two thousand or more words a day in a few hours by staying committed to forward motion.

In this process, I uncover the nuts and bolts, stumble upon symbols and metaphors, and discover a friend or foe of the hero and heroine.

A fast draft takes about four to six weeks. And yes, it’s UG-LY. Sometimes I write “blah, blah, blah, something here, emotion, senses,” and move on to the part of the scene where I do know what’s going on.

Sometimes I summarize. “She’s standing in the garden wearing red. Looks so brilliant against the snow. The mother shows up at the door.” Then I move to dialog.

The purpose of this fast draft is pure and simple: discovery.

The fast draft is about a whole, complete, get to THE END book. Let’s review some How To tips:

1. Plan your novel. Take a few weeks to just brainstorm and develop your characters and overall plot.

2. Tell yourself the story. Talk out your story on paper to get a general idea of where you’re going.

3. Start writing. Give yourself four to six weeks to hammer out this first draft. Set a word count goal of seventy to ninety thousand words. At this point, the word count is more important than anything else.

4. Do not rewrite. Do not edit. Do not start over. If you have possible changes you want to make, put those in a separate document. When you’ve finished fast drafting, they may or may not pertain to the story.

5. Hit your Word Count. Once you’ve reached THE END, then you can go back and start rewriting your novel.

A rewrite can take anywhere from another four to six weeks, depending on how much you need and/or want to change. It also depends on your schedule. We all deal with interruptions, right?

Every aspect of writing a novel is valuable. Don’t disdain rough scenes and bland sentences. Books are not written – they are rewritten. Make up your mind that you must rewrite. Now, get to fast drafting because it is the first step to writing THE END!


Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner. Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat. Her new novel, The Writing Desk, is out now.

rachelhauck.com

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