I stumbled across this fantastic vlog made by Joanna Penn, writer, speaker, and aspiring novelist, as she chronicles her progress and lessons learned as she writes the first draft of her novel.
It's about 5 minutes long and definitely worth the time.
A few things to note as you watch:
- You may not need a strict outline, but some kind of outline or idea of where you're headed helps.
- You may get an "aha" moment that changes your outline. That's OKAY. (And probably fantastic.)
- Set specific goals for yourself. Personal deadlines are awesome.
- Be realistic. Even though she's thousands of words from crossing the first-draft finish line, Joanna is fully aware that it's a first draft and that after crossing one finish line, there are more ahead: revisions and editing. Lots of both.
- Push yourself to write. Don't wait for the muse. The muse may well show up in the middle of a session you forced yourself into.
- Research can not only make your story more accurate, but it can make it come alive and even spark plot and character ideas.