Week 6, Step 6: “The First Draft: Learning to Finish what You’ve Begun”

Now that you know how to start your story, you’re probably really super energized and ready to fill up a notebook or computer document with hundreds and thousands of words! And what I’m telling you right now is… Go for it! Take all that creativity and finish your story or book!

You may be thinking, “Wait, what? What about the middle of the book, and the climax, and the end? Aren’t you going to tell us about that?” The answer is… Of course I will! But for right now the important thing is for you to get all of your ideas on paper and finish the book. It doesn’t matter how cheesy or dumb of unrealistic it might sound. It doesn’t matter if your research isn’t completely finished or if there are a few pieces missing. I don’t even care if you decide to get rid of a character half-way through your story! I just want you to finish the book. This is called “The First Draft.” There will be many more drafts where you can polish and critique and change things, and I’ll talk about that when we get to the middle of your story.

Let me explain why I think it’s so important to finish your book or story before we launch into all the nit-picky details. First, I’ve known too many young writers on fire with an amazing idea who never finish their stories. They lose interest around the middle or the climax and start another book. Before they know it, there have half a dozen stories that aren’t finished and might never be finished. Persevere, buckle down, and finish the book! It’s ok if you have to leave out a few parts or if you get tired or have to take a break for a few days, or even a few weeks. But God doesn’t want our creativity to go to waste. He doesn’t want us to start a project and never finish it. If your story and your creativity is from Him, He’ll help you finish.

1 Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.”
2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”

Perseverance and finishing well are things that are important to God. Perseverance proves character and gives us hope. Sticking to the course of writing, even when it seems difficult, will ultimately give you the great reward of someday seeing your work published and able to bless others all around the world.

I also know that it’s very hard to push straight through, however. If you have to, skip around a little bit. Write fun action sequences on the days when you’re struggling with moving the plot forward. Play some awesome worship music or epic movie soundtracks for inspiration. Rope your friends into throwing out random, crazy ideas for your story. Pray, find creative ways out of your writing block, and have fun! Just get your story out there and get those thoughts out of your head and onto the paper into something that will end up being roughly the same book someday!

The only thing that you have to have in the first draft is basic character development, a main theme, a climax, and a resolution. See? It’s not that hard! You can do it!

Happy Writing! :-)
Suggested Homework:
1. Get as far as you can in your first draft. Try to finish it in the next few weeks!
2. Figure out how to get out of a writing block. Use the techniques mentioned above, or try writing by hand for certain sections.
3. Pray hard for the perseverance and the strength to finish well.

  • Sarah

    I always listen to http://www.klove.com a Christian radio when I write. 

  • Sarah

    I have been writing sence I was eight and still havn`t finished a book yet, but I do think that these tips will help me with that.
    You have done it again, Hope! Thanks for another great post!