Matthew Hughes: Don't get it right; get it done
The SF and crime writer on what a first draft of your SF novel may in common with D-Day.
Many first-time novelists end up rewriting their first two or three chapters, trying to get them 'just right.' But the point of the first draft is not to get it right; it's to get it written—so that you'll have something to work with. Writing the first draft is like hitting the beach on D Day. You don't stop to mourn the dead or comfort the wounded. You get off the beach because, if you don't, you'll die there."
Matthew Hughes is a Canadian author of SF and crime fiction who has sold fifteen novels to publishers large and small as well as more than fifty short stories to mass-market magazines. He has won the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award and has been shortlisted for the Aurora, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards. He spent thirty years as a freelance speechwriter for corporate executives and politicians in British Columbia but now wanders the world as an itinerant housesitter while continuing to write genre fiction.