An Overview of First Draft Examples: What You Need To Know

Are you curious about how to go from your first draft to your final draft during the writing process? Learn more about how to polish first draft examples below!

After all of your ideas are on paper, it can be a challenge to take your work and move it from a blank page all the way to the publication stage. Even best-selling authors and non-fiction writers have to revise their work before they finish it. They need to fix their point of view, fill in potholes, and they may even have to proofread sentence structure. This is even an opportunity to eliminate areas of unintentional plagiarism.

Whether you are on your second track or third draft, you need to take a closer look at your initial statement and make sure it matches your ideas. This is also an opportunity for you to correct typos and commas, further polishing your draft.

Whether you are a non-fiction writer or a blogger doing some brainstorming and creative writing, you need to appreciate and respect the editing process. Make sure you have your word choice down and learn more about moving from the first draft to the final draft!

The Differences Between A First Draft And A Final Draft

An overview of first draft examples

When you are writing a story, there are a lot of differences between your first draft and your final draft. In general, your first draft is going to contain everything you want to say. In contrast, your final draft will include everything you need to say. If you keep these differences in mind, you should be able to produce a beautiful, professional, finished product. 

The First Draft Is More Abstract

First draft examples
The first draft may contain a lot more abstractions, the final draft is going to focus on the details

One of the first differences between a first draft and a final draft is that the first draft will be more abstract. In contrast, the details of the final draft are going to be more significant.

In general, your final draft should not contain everything that you think is clever or interesting; however, it should include details that are relevant to the main purpose and that add meaning. Even though the first draft may contain a lot more abstractions, the final draft is going to focus on the details that are most important to the rest of the story.

The Final Draft Is More Focused

It is not unusual for the final draft of your story to be significantly longer or shorter than your first draft; however, it does not need to be. It needs to be more focused on your first draft.

Even though this often means that the final draft gets shorter as you remove unnecessary information, it is also entirely possible that you have produced a skeleton first draft that you will fill in later. In this case, the final draft may get longer. Again, there is no length requirement. Instead, you simply need to make sure that your final draft is focused and to the point. 

The Final Draft Is More About the Audience Than Yourself

Finally, you may notice that the first draft is written more for yourself while the final draft is written more for your audience. When you produce your first draft, you should write from the heart.

You may feel like your words are flowing from your fingers or your pain, creating a beautiful essay that is entirely about things you find interesting. Eventually, you will have to make a concession that not all this information is needed. Therefore, your final draft will likely be more about what you think the audience has to know. In this manner, your final draft is more about your audience than yourself.

Whether you are writing an essay, a research paper, or a short story, you need to keep these differences in mind. That way, you can keep your story on track and on point.

Top Works on First Draft Examples

If you are curious about the writing process, you may want to look at the information published by some of the best-selling authors of all time. Fortunately, a lot of these books are available on Amazon. Some of the top examples of books you may want to use to help you produce your first draft include:

1. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King

Stephen King is one of the best-selling authors of all time. He is known for his Illuminating work, his meticulous attention to detail, and his thought-provoking works. As a result, many people have taken a close look at his writing style, trying to figure out what makes it tick. Now, people no longer have to wonder, as he has published a memoir that focuses on his writing style.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a helpful book for any aspiring author. This book will provide people with an insight into his experiences, habits, and tactics that allow him to produce such notable works of literature.

In addition, writers can learn more about the challenges that Stephen King encounters during his own writing process that they may be able to apply to their own work. That way, new writers may be able to develop new ideas, overcome writer’s block, and figure out what they have to do to produce a finished product. 

“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story, he said. “When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

2. Ernest Hemingway on Writing, by Ernest Hemingway and Larry W. Phillips

If you are interested in producing a good first draft of a book, then you may want to take a closer look at this collection of memoirs from Ernest Heminway. Without a doubt, Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest writers of all time. A prolific writer who produced a wide variety of works during his career, he serves as a testament to all other writers who want to improve the quality of their work. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many people are looking to learn more about his writing process. 

This book represents a collection of reflections from one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. He shares his thoughts on what has made his writing so profound, and he gives advice to those who would like to follow in his footsteps. He talks about one of the biggest challenges that he encountered during the course of his career, and he discusses what he needed to do to overcome them. 

One interesting point is that during the course of his career, Ernest Hemingway believed that it was bad luck to talk about writing. Despite that, he realized that he had a duty to share his thoughts with other people. So he talked about writing in his novels, stories, letters, and interviews. In many ways, he wrote just as much about writing as he did stories. Now, this book provides individuals with an opportunity to learn more about work habits, discipline, and the skills required to become a good writer. 

“All you need to write is the blue-backed notebooks, the two pencils and the pencil sharpener (a pocket knife was too wasteful), the marble-topped tables, the smell of early morning, sweeping out and mopping, and luck were all you needed. For luck, you carried a horse chestnut and a rabbit’s foot in your right pocket.”

3. The Simple Guide to the Writing Process, by Patricia Martin

If you are concerned about the quality of your paper, another book you may want to take a look at is called The Simple Guide to the Writing Process by Patrician Martin. This book is a guide to the basics of the writing process. In particular, it is particularly useful for those who are trying to overcome writer’s block. Some people may not have enough information to write, while others might be confused about the organization of their work.

The book covers many important topics for people writing a wide variety of works, ranging from essays to short stories and even social media posts. Individuals who read this book will learn about the writing process, figure out how to brainstorm enough information to write, and even learn about graphic organizers to keep their information straight.

If you are interested in becoming a better writer, you may want to take a closer look at this book. It might help you overcome some of the biggest challenges during the editing process between the first draft and your final draft.

“Education is one of the only ways that we can improve ourselves at a low cost.” 

4. The Writing Process: A Step by Step Approach for Everyday Writers, by David Hatcher and Lane Goddard

The Writing Process: A Step by Step Approach is another book that may help you improve the quality of your work. Even though a lot of people believe that writing is a way to record sentences we have in our heads, it is also a way for us to share our ideas. This is a book that will help you change your approach to writing. With a simple, straightforward set of steps, you can figure out how to organize your ideas, what to do first, and how to improve your word choice.

Furthermore, you can also figure out when you have said enough in your writing. As you go from your first to your final draft, you may have difficulty figuring out which words to include, which words to cut out, and what ideas you need to elaborate on. This is a book that can help you do that. You can learn the basics of writing, figure out how to proofread your work, and learn how to do so much more than simply write a five-paragraph essay. 

“Readability is hard to define. Some writing can be clearly understood in one smooth, easy reading. But other writing is hard, unpleasant work, putting the reader through loop-backs, head-scratching, and displeasure.”

Final Word on First Draft Examples

Ultimately, it can be challenging to move from your first to your final draft. Your first draft is everything that you want to say. If you think you want to include it in your work, then you should write it down.

At the same time, remember that not everything you want to say has to be included in your work. Eventually, you will have to fine-tune your ideas to help your work stay on track. That is where you need to move through multiple drafts until you have your final, finished work.

If you are having a difficult time with the writing process, you may want to look at a few books that can help you improve your work. Whether you want to learn from a teacher or one of the best-selling authors of all time, there are options available that can help you improve the quality of your work. 

FAQs About First Draft Examples

How do you write your first draft? 

There is no single way to write a first draft. You simply need to make sure you get all of your ideas down on paper. Some people prefer to write too much and then cut later. Other people prefer to write a skeleton draft and then fill it out at the end.

What are the benefits of writing a first draft? 

You probably have a lot of ideas in your head that you want to get down on paper. Even if you do not know how to organize them, you should write them down. This will be your first draft. Then, you can figure out how to reorganize and rearrange your ideas into a professional, polished product.


  • Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.