Dec 7, 2010

How Do You Begin Your First Draft with VS Grenier

New writers starting out have asked me this very question and I often share with them that there is no right or wrong way when it comes to writing your first draft or writing in general. What writers must do is find what fits their life and writing style. My writing schedule may not be another writer's ideal schedule. Let’s face it . . . I don’t get to block out hours of writing time. I tend to write in short bursts throughout the day. And each day is very different from the day before.

For some reason, I work better under stress. If I do not have a deadline, then I will put off the task. Therefore, I have to set deadlines to keep myself writing. With that said, the first draft typically takes me about a couple of weeks to type up. First, I do any research if needed. Then I type a loose outline and throw a few thoughts on paper. After all that, it’s time to sit down and write. I have children so I don’t get the opportunity to sit for an hour or more just letting my thoughts flow to the computer screen. I typically get a few minutes here and there. When I do have to get up, take care of the house, and run my children around, I record any additional ideas on my phone voice recorder to type up later.

If maintaining a daily writing schedule has worked for you, then don’t switch to another’s writing habit just because you think theirs might be better. Their writing schedule might not be for you. What I mean by this is I know writers who can type out two to four picture book manuscripts in a day. Others can write a novel in a month. Then there are others who take months and even years to write just one book. My recent book Babysitting SugarPaw first started out as a short story. I wrote the first draft in about a week. Did some revisions and then had a fellow writer/illustrator look it over. It was his suggestion after reading my story to turn it into a picture book. I spent a couple of months trying to write the first manuscript before doing revisions and feeling it was ready to submit to a publisher as a picture book. However, I have other picture book manuscripts where I only spent a week or two writing my first draft. Then there are others still waiting for me on my voice recorder.

The point is . . . one writer’s way is not better than mine, and vice versa. In the end, we both come out with something we are proud of and hope to see published, like my picture book Babysitting SugarPaw.



VS Grenier is an award-winning author and editor who learned how to hone her writing skills at the Institute of Children’s Literature, and has been a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators (SCBWI), the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), the League of Utah Writers (HWG chapter), and Musing Our Children. Her works include Babysitting SugarPaw, the Best of Stories for Children Magazine Volume 1 anthology and over 30 short stories, articles, and crafts for children along with newsletter articles for writers.

“Having others read what you have written and giving feedback not only makes you a better writer, but you start to understand how a well written story’s voice captures the reader . . . drawing them into your world of ink,” states VS Grenier.

She is the Founder & Owner of Stories for Children Publishing LLC., and also is a freelance editor for Halo Publishing; in addition, to running her own editorial and critique services. A California girl at heart, she currently lives in Utah with her husband, their three children, and the family’s big fat cat Speed Bump and miniature schnauzer Taz.

You can learn more about VS Grenier at her author website or her company website You can also follow her on The Writing Mama at

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for hosting, Virginia. I hope her articles are helpful to many.