As I mentioned in a previous post, my son is writing his first novel. He’s working on the first draft and is almost 5,000 words in. This is the most he’s ever written. It’s a little choppy and filled with action scenes. I contribute most of this to being a boy; he’s all about the doing.
At this point, we would call the folks in his story cut-out characters. They don’t have a lot of depth. They’re quick to react, and we don’t know why they are reacting like they are. But they are moving forward and they are doing things. The story is getting written.
The first draft is like this for many writers. It’s supposed to be imperfect. It’s supposed to be a little choppy. It’s supposed to be messy like a three-year-old eating chocolate pudding.
The one thing I noticed my son’s story lacked was thoughts. Any and all type of thoughts. The characters never shared their thoughts with readers. They talked and they acted. I pointed this out to my son, and he began adding a thought here and there. I told him not to worry about it too much; this was the first draft and things like thoughts can be added later.