It’s just a first draft

“The first draft of anything is sh**.” Ernest Hemingway.

In his typical style, foul-mouthed genius Ernest Hemingway makes a good point in this short, succinct quote. Despairing over the quality of your first draft is a waste of time; you’d be better to spend the energy picking it apart to figure out where improvements can be made. And hey, if you’re sitting with the first draft of your manuscript in your lap, try focusing less on the grammatical mistakes and more on the fact that you just wrote a book?! Maybe not a fully complete one, but still.

How to Write a Short Story Outline — E.M. Welsh

Writing a short story can often be intimidating, even if you’ve finished a
novel recently or some other grand project. Despite it’s brevity, a short
story is much looser in its structure and up for a lot of interpretation.
Because of this, if you’re struggling with short fiction, it becomes
difficult to look to classic structure for guidance—even if you’re writing
a more structureless piece.

Plus, not only is the structure much different, but it also requires more
efficiency with your words, which is why knowing how to write a short story
outline can be a lifesaver for some in the brainstorming phase, and even
great for writers approaching second and third drafts!
— Read on

Kick-Ass Characters: How to Create Epic Characters in 4 Easy Steps — Tomi Adeyemi | CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

When I start a story, I love falling in love with my main character. Eager
to join the Hermione Grangers and Katniss Everdeens of today, I dream up my
heroine’s quirks and skills. 

I think about her favorite Chinese takeout, how often and how long she
looks at herself in the mirror. These details may seem mundane, but detail
builds character.

The girl who orders vegetarian’s delight and curls her hair each morning is
not the same girl who stuffs her face with crab rangoon and avoids looking
at her reflection in the mirror. The more details I add, the more I
discover. The more I discover, the easier it is to write!

But no matter how much detail I create in the beginning, there are always
moments where I find myself stuck. I think, “What would my protagonist say
in this situation? Is she doing what she would actually do or what I need
her to do?”

In these moments I turn to the very basics of character, and here are a few
rules and exercises to help you build your own epic story characters!
— Read on