This is bad. This is really bad.

I have outline brain.

I have outline brain.

So, when you write a first draft of a novel, it is, for the most part, horrible. It really should be horrible. Just awful. The first draft is you thinking on paper. Very little aspect of your story is fully formed during this point in the process. If you’ve done an outline, you have some skeleton of an idea, but adding the meat, heart, and soul of a story is a multi-step process.

The only thing worse than the first draft of a novel is the first draft of your outline for the first draft of a novel. I’m working on the first draft of the outline for the second book in the Pearl of Justice Mystery series, and I’m making myself cringe. As I’m writing, I’m saying to myself, “That’s not going to work.”

But that’s okay, I’m really just looking for various moments in the book that I can build and tie together, and that will come in the next draft of the outline. I know in my head how I want certain events and revelations to go, I just don’t know how I’m going to get there yet. Essentially, I’m building a maze as I’m walking through it. It’s frustrating and rewarding all at once.

If you’re a writer, don’t sweat the first draft of any manuscript or outline. Rewrites are where the magic happens.

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