I am writing a new children’s story called “Gary’s Noodles”. I first went from the basic idea to an “outline”. Here’s what I did next:
Step 4: First Draft
When you have a rough idea where you are going with your story, you can start actually writing. Some people swear by outlines, others just “wing it” as they go. I do a bit of both: I like to know a basic structure and some plot or character points, but I also am free to go in different directions when necessary.
That being said, the first draft of the story is not the end result. If it seems bumpy or unrefined, that’s because it is! So you don’t want to beat yourself up about that.
Step 5: Preliminary Edit
Once you have a first draft, congratulations, you finished a text from start to end! Does that mean you’re done? No. Now comes the editing phase. It’s where you get more and more refined with your work. Any scenes that are not adding to the plot? Get rid of them. Got generic or repetitive words? Replace them with more interesting ones. And each time you go through, you re-read the text to see how it’s taking shape. Like a painter, you focus on little parts of the picture, yet you keep stepping back to view the whole result.
(Note: This is only the first part of the edit. It will do if you are just writing for fun. But if you want to write professionally, the “Editing phase” goes way beyond your personal re-read. In this case, you need to let other people proof-read your work and you should definitely get a professional editor involved.)
So now, I’ve written my first draft. And I am starting to edit the text. Here are some snippets from the text, so far. Enjoy!
[The Opening Scene]
“Stan and Gary are best friends.
They meet every day at the red bench and walk to school together. And in the afternoon, they like to play soccer in Gary’s yard.
But one day, Stan didn’t see Gary at the red bench. Where could Gary be? He walked to school alone. And in the afternoon, Gary didn’t come out to play soccer.
Where could Gary be?”
[Monologue: Stan finds out that Gary is sick]
“Don’t worry, Gary, I will cheer you up!
I will bring all the things to get you better soon!
Now let me see… what kind of stuff would cheer up me?”
He went through the room and got out his cars,
an action figure robot, and a picture book of dinosaurs.
And a movie and a softball. And he put them in a box.
All things that Stan liked. “And tomorrow,” he thought
“I will make you the best ice cream sundae:
With chocolate, pistachio and caramel crunch.
And a banana and some whip cream and a silver spoon.
Don’t worry, Gary, you will feel better, soon!”