Vlog #2: Don’t Ask for Feedback on an Unfinished Manuscript

by Laura Michelle Thomas


In this vlog, I respond to a young writer’s request for feedback on an unfinished novel manuscript. I also read from page 155 of Polly Wants to Be a Writer, where Polly asks Ms. Whitford to read and comment on the unfinished first draft of her short story.



The Truth About First Drafts

1) A first draft is always crappy. It’s a lump of clay.

2) A first draft is not finished until you write the final scene.

3) A first draft is never publishable.

4) You are going to be your most creative when you let yourself have fun on your first draft.

5) First draft writing is uncritical. No dragons allowed.

6) Say yes to everything, knowing you will refine your draft later.

7) First-draft writing is a rare opportunity to be free. There are no limits except those you impose yourself.


If you have a writing question, please email it to laura@laurathomascommunications.com and I might just answer it on You Tube.

Laura Michelle Thomas

About Laura Michelle Thomas

Laura Michelle Thomas is a novelist, freelance writer, writing mentor, and the owner of Laura Thomas Communications. She is the creator and administrator of the Junior Authors Contests and Junior Authors Conferences. Laura is publisher and senior editor of jaBlog! and is dedicated to fostering the development of young writers worldwide.

6 comments on “Vlog #2: Don’t Ask for Feedback on an Unfinished Manuscript

  1. I am writing something like, in Indian history, there was a great king Ashoka and I relate him to a story that he was reborn as a normal person of today’s life, but, soon realises what he is an incarnation of Ashoka. I have just begun the story, by introducing King Ashoka, when, I while exploring the net, I learnt that a legend says that he killed all if his 35 brothers, leaving only one to become the king. This gave me a flow of ideas. So, will mentioning such incidents improve or worsen my draft?

    • Hi Akshta. If you are writing historical fiction, add the details that fit your theme. Don’t add details that are not related to the story you want to tell.

  2. Hi Laura! While writing a first draft, one must take care of mentioned facts and non-finctional ideas. When I write something about history, I get to see many legends or saying which may or may not be true. Whom or what should I refer to insuch situations. Will mentioning such untrused sayings improve or worsen my draft?

    • Hi Akshta. That is not a first-draft question; it is a revision question. I don’t have enough information to answer your question. Please try to explain your situation again with more detail.

  3. Hey Laura! Could really relate to the truth about first drafts. While experiencing the daily life, I come across fine ideas to ‘start’ a story but when I actually start working upon it, I want it just to be perfect. Those different ideas to ‘start’ a story seem great but I get baffled for what topic do I actually go for? Could I ever make a nice dish of the final story by putting all those ideas as ingredients?

    • Hi Akshta. First drafts are never perfect. But as you revise your draft, it can become excellent.

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