What is a Zero Draft?

Hello Lovelies, and welcome to the blog.

Today I wanted to talk about a thing I discovered in the writing community only a few years ago, and that is the concept of a Zero Draft.

What is a Zero Draft? A Zero Draft is your first attempt to assemble thoughts related to your research topic or question. It is more or less an unstructured piece of writing that flows quickly from your own mind as you reflect upon your topic, your questions, and your reading. A Zero Draft is focused freewriting, or the very next step.

Some people consider a zero draft to be an extremely detailed outline, sometimes with full scenes written and snippets of dialogue.

I personally consider any draft that I haven’t taken to completion yet a zero draft. I don’t care that I have over 50K in words into my vampire story. Until I write ‘The End’ on a project, I don’t consider it a first draft. And I have attempted projects multiple times without a successful first draft. They are all zero drafts to me until I write a full novel.

Does it have to be good? No. Even most first drafts are decidedly not good. You don’t even have to tell a complete story on your first try.

Should you edit it? Probably not, unless it ends up being a completed draft because things will inevitably change.

Do I have to Zero Draft? No. Absolutely not. It’s not like I ever say, “Okay I’m going to try to attempt to make this a novel but it’s so broken that I’m going to write six scenes and quit.” But sometimes it is. Sometimes an idea that I think is super clear at the onset has technical issues or things that need to happen that I simply haven’t thought through that well. Sometimes, I haven’t done enough research and I get bogged down trying to solidify things in my brain that I didn’t know enough about in the first place. Other times, I attempt it and realize I’m not strong enough as an author to tell the story I’m trying to tell. There are so many reasons I attempt a draft and it ends up being incomplete.

I used to think of incomplete drafts as being failures. I suppose unless I drop them entirely, they can’t be failures yet, Thinking of incomplete drafts as Zero Drafts helps me reframe it and challenges me to keep trying until I have something (admittedly bad) that I can say is a First Draft.

Hello Lovelies, and welcome to the blog.

Today I wanted to talk about a thing I discovered in the writing community only a few years ago, and that is the concept of a Zero Draft.

What is a Zero Draft? A Zero Draft is your first attempt to assemble thoughts related to your research topic or question. It is more or less an unstructured piece of writing that flows quickly from your own mind as you reflect upon your topic, your questions, and your reading. A Zero Draft is focused freewriting, or the very next step.

Some people consider a zero draft to be an extremely detailed outline, sometimes with full scenes written and snippets of dialogue.

I personally consider any draft that I haven’t taken to completion yet a zero draft. I don’t care that I have over 50K in words into my vampire story. Until I write ‘The End’ on a project, I don’t consider it a first draft. And I have attempted projects multiple times without a successful first draft. They are all zero drafts to me until I write a full novel.

Does it have to be good? No. Even most first drafts are decidedly not good. You don’t even have to tell a complete story on your first try.

Should you edit it? Probably not, unless it ends up being a completed draft because things will inevitably change.

Do I have to Zero Draft? No. Absolutely not. It’s not like I ever say, “Okay I’m going to try to attempt to make this a novel but it’s so broken that I’m going to write six scenes and quit.” But sometimes it is. Sometimes an idea that I think is super clear at the onset has technical issues or things that need to happen that I simply haven’t thought through that well. Sometimes, I haven’t done enough research and I get bogged down trying to solidify things in my brain that I didn’t know enough about in the first place. Other times, I attempt it and realize I’m not strong enough as an author to tell the story I’m trying to tell. There are so many reasons I attempt a draft and it ends up being incomplete.

I used to think of incomplete drafts as being failures. I suppose unless I drop them entirely, they can’t be failures yet, Thinking of incomplete drafts as Zero Drafts helps me reframe it and challenges me to keep trying until I have something (admittedly bad) that I can say is a First Draft.

Hello Lovelies, and welcome to the blog.

Today I wanted to talk about a thing I discovered in the writing community only a few years ago, and that is the concept of a Zero Draft.

What is a Zero Draft? A Zero Draft is your first attempt to assemble thoughts related to your research topic or question. It is more or less an unstructured piece of writing that flows quickly from your own mind as you reflect upon your topic, your questions, and your reading. A Zero Draft is focused freewriting, or the very next step.

Some people consider a zero draft to be an extremely detailed outline, sometimes with full scenes written and snippets of dialogue.

I personally consider any draft that I haven’t taken to completion yet a zero draft. I don’t care that I have over 50K in words into my vampire story. Until I write ‘The End’ on a project, I don’t consider it a first draft. And I have attempted projects multiple times without a successful first draft. They are all zero drafts to me until I write a full novel.

Does it have to be good? No. Even most first drafts are decidedly not good. You don’t even have to tell a complete story on your first try.

Should you edit it? Probably not, unless it ends up being a completed draft because things will inevitably change.

Do I have to Zero Draft? No. Absolutely not. It’s not like I ever say, “Okay I’m going to try to attempt to make this a novel but it’s so broken that I’m going to write six scenes and quit.” But sometimes it is. Sometimes an idea that I think is super clear at the onset has technical issues or things that need to happen that I simply haven’t thought through that well. Sometimes, I haven’t done enough research and I get bogged down trying to solidify things in my brain that I didn’t know enough about in the first place. Other times, I attempt it and realize I’m not strong enough as an author to tell the story I’m trying to tell. There are so many reasons I attempt a draft and it ends up being incomplete.

I used to think of incomplete drafts as being failures. I suppose unless I drop them entirely, they can’t be failures yet, Thinking of incomplete drafts as Zero Drafts helps me reframe it and challenges me to keep trying until I have something (admittedly bad) that I can say is a First Draft.

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