20 Tips for Selling Your Novel, Part Two: Writing the Draft

Write, rest, revise — and repeat

David Valdes
4 min readNov 26, 2021
Photo: Michael Burrows for Pexel.

If you’re ready to swap pre-writing for actual draft writing, it’s good to have some strategies for facing the tasks ahead.

5. Don’t sweat the whole book at once.

As I mentioned in part one, some writers have trouble knowing where to start; some get out of the gate fast and then get stuck. The answer to both things is the same: don’t be wed to the idea that you must always write the book in order. Though I often do write sequentially, I realized long ago that trying to imagine the whole book can at times be a hindrance.

If I have a great scene in mind, I should write that scene, no matter where it falls. If I don’t know the perfect opening, then I should write a decent middle. An entire book can feel like an enormous burden, but if I focus on a chapter or even a single scene, I lighten my own mental load. I can go back and fill in missing material when I need.

Considering that there are going to be multiple drafts — and if there are not, are you really a writer? — there’s no good reason to feel like you must always write in order. For sure, if writing only forward suits you best, embrace that knowledge; but don’t stay wed to that practice if it stops you cold.



David Valdes

David Valdes is a Cuban-American author who writes about family, race, and LGBTQ issues. His book Brighter than the Moon releases in January 2023.