This one is subjective, but I hear it lot, and it works for me. Don’t edit the first draft until you’ve finished it. Write your story from beginning to end – smash it out. Don’t worry about sentence structure and beautiful images. These things can be polished into the novel at a later date. If you get bogged down, write some ‘he did’ ‘she did’ sentences to move your mind out of the mental quagmire. Then continue with the story. Flesh out the gaps on subsequent drafts. As I said, it works for me.
Thought for the week
I spent three weeks in New Zealand last year. My father and his partner have a bach at Matarangi on the Coromandel Peninsula. Kiwis refer to their holiday homes as baches. Matarangi is the type of place where you can play cricket on the road or sit on the long white surf beach believing you’re it – that there’s nobody else on the planet. I can’t remember seeing more than four people at a time on the pearly Matarangi sands. Then I took my family back to Auckland stopping at several boutique cafes serving top shelf cuisine and superior coffee. My mum lives in Tindalls Bay. This idyllic seaside suburb boasts a beach protected from the ocean swells and therefore perfect for my firstborn boy (No. 2 was just a twinkle in his parents’ eyes at the time).
I am a Kiwi living in Australia. My partner is an Aussie, our sons wear the green and gold too. I’m outnumbered three to one in my household. I love Australia – it is my home and I consider it a privilege to be able to live here. But I was filled with pride when I returned to New Zealand. The Land of the Long White Cloud is one of the most beautiful spots on Earth. If you haven’t been, you’re missing out.
Jonathan K Benton