IWSG - February 2018

For anyone who doesn't know, the Insecure Writer's Support Group is a group of writer's who post once a month about their insecurities, and then visit each other to offer help and support.

Last July, I wrote a novel for Camp NaNoWriMo. I got the idea for the novel earlier in the year, and I absolutely loved it - I was more excited about it than I had ever been for any other idea.

So, over the course of one month I wrote the first draft. 

Besides printing it out and reading the first couple of chapters, I haven't touched it since.

I really hate reading my early drafts. I know that first drafts are pretty much always terrible but that doesn't make it any easier to read my terrible writing! I also know that in order to start edits on the story and therefore make it better, I need to read it.

This has always been my pitfall - I write the first draft, and then nothing. I'm determined to get this story finished, to make it the best it can be; I just have to read the first draft.

So that's my major insecurity (and goal) for this month - read the first draft, no matter how much I hate it, so I can get started on the edits, and change it from an awful story, into a great one.

If you have any tips or methods you use at this stage, please feel free to share in the comments!


  1. It's funny...I wrote a similar post today about my Camp NaNoWriMo project from last July. Though my problem is, despite the fact that I did hit my word count goal, I still haven't finished that first draft.

    I hate reading my first drafts. They are often cringe-worthy, but I just take a deep breath and dive in because I really do want to make the story better. I find that if I can make myself get through a few chapters that the rest go easier.

    Best of luck to you with your goal this month!

  2. I know the feeling, Laura. I usually send the first draft to my kindle to read first. It gives me a bit of distance and I feel almost like I am reading someone else's work and I can be more objective. Might be worth a try. Good luck.

  3. I think of it this way, if I don't have a draft to read, I'll never have a book to put on the market. I really see that first, second, third, and even the fourth draft that I write of a book as a step toward publication. And every new revision shows me just how much I have accomplished on each succeeding draft. Sure, I have to kick myself every now and then but I do my best to keep my eyes on the prize at the finishing line.
    Wishing you all the best. Now pick it up and start working toward your finish line.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  4. Just tackle it a section at a time. Take notes so you can maintain consistency, but don't let the whole story intimidate you.

  5. I like Alex's idea of taking it a section at a time, it's so much less daunting that way. Good luck!

  6. I have a hard time reading my stuff, too, and I haven't really solved the problem. I guess, just start somewhere, doesn't have to be at the beginning, and work through it, bit by bit. Okay to skip around.

  7. I really get this. I have several first drafts that are still first drafts because I just haven't been motivated to read them to edit/rewrite them. Since I've been plotting more before I write, I don't usually read-through the first draft before tackling editing/rewriting. I just start editing and go from there.

  8. I think I'll participate in Camp NaNo this year...my first time. :) For me, though, I enjoy re-reading and revising my first draft. I can see it clearer and enjoy it more. But I also know that many people who do NaNo don't end up touching their drafts after completing the challenge, which makes me sad. I hope you get the motivation you need to read your first draft. And thank you so much for signing up for my mom's blog hop. :)

  9. I always hate my first drafts. But that's why we do second ones. I usually find some good things in the first mess and then fix or throw out the rest.

  10. Hi Laura. For me, the first draft is the hard part. I get really excited when I have something to edit. That said I have 5 unfinished novels from NaNo, which is why I don't participate anymore. Now I'm concentrating on rewriting/editing/polishing etc.

  11. You may have built it up in your mind as terrible. Reading it could remind you of what you loved about it in the first place.

  12. I'm much the same. I still haven't read over the incomplete novel I wrote for NaNo 2016! Once I have a finished first draft, I leave it for a while, usually a couple of months (or more) until I know I can be objective. Then I tackle it one chapter at a time to make the task less overwhelming. Only after I've done that do I start looking at it as a whole book that I can start shaping into a cohesive thing with arcs and interweaving plot lines etc.

  13. I never print a draft until LATE in the editing game--like for a final edit. The system that works for me is going over the first chapter and smoothing it out until I really like it, then going on to the second and so on. Then, when I get discouraged, I go back and read over the chapters I've fixed and everything is okay.

  14. To tell the truth, I love re-writing. When I re-write, I make my raw prose of the first draft shine. I just read the text without rushing to get the story out (it is already out) and see what's needed to be done to get it better. To make it perfect. I play with words. I use thesaurus. I shuffle sentences. I delete. It's fascinating.


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