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The First Draft

Regarding my writing process, I carry the storyline in my mind until I have a good grasp on where I’m heading with it. During that time, I get to know the characters - their backgrounds, personalities, likes and dislikes, pain points, etc. There are three elements that are always present in my writing - a central theme, a major event that has changed the protagonist’s life, and conflict. I like to write about characters who are total opposites, because I have to take them out of their comfort zones and also find the common thread that will create harmony between them. In all of this, the characters have to remain true to their personalities yet be open enough to understand each other. The lessons learned are priceless. My preferred time to write is in the morning… early morning, when it is quiet and I can hear myself think. Using Microsoft Word, I do an outline of what I’m hoping to achieve in each chapter. After that, I am all about getting the story out of my head. There’s always a rush to complete this because I need the characters to stop talking. When I am away from my laptop, I use the memo pad on my cell phone to note things that I would like to add to the story. I do research while I am writing.

There is no better feeling than completing the first draft. Then, the rewrite begins. During the rewrite, I add to the outline to keep tabs on pacing, character development, conflicts, resolutions, etc. I will do another rewrite/self edit to make sure the story is authentic. When I am positive that this is the story I would like to present to the world, I prepare the back cover description and come up with a suitable title and cover.

Next, the editing process begins.

QUESTION: What is your process to ensure that you have a great first draft?

Let me hear from you!

Ann Marie Bryan CEO & Founder, Victorious By Design Author, Encounters of the Heart series

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