But it's far from perfect.
There are characters who I ditched after eight chapters, and point-of-views that jumped into the book halfway through. There are major plot twists I need to go back and foreshadow.
Let's not even discuss how the beginning doesn't fit the current story anymore.
When I was at the beginning of my writing journey, I thought all you had to do was write a first draft, fix the typos, and then bam you'll get published. I didn't even realize there could be second or third or even eleventh drafts. I thought the first time I wrote the story it would be perfect.
As Shannon Hale says:
Now I don't go into my first drafts thinking or even trying for them to be perfect. First drafts aren't meant to be perfect.
So don't expect them to be.
Laugh at how your characters changed hair colour halfway through; sigh at the people who end up on the wrong continent to fight a different villain. Muddle through the middle as you try and connect the dots.
Don't be discouraged if there are plot holes the size of the Mariana Trench. Don't toss away words because they're not perfect.
First drafts should be you trying to discover the story buried beneath a collection of plot bunnies. Find its true heart. Let your first draft be imperfect, because if it is, not only will you have an excuse to stay with your characters longer, but you'll grow as a writer.
What draft of your WIP are you on right now? (If you can even count how many) How would you describe your first drafting process? What's your favourite writing quote?