Completing a book typically requires a lot of rewrites, so what is the value of the first draft? The first draft can be the most important draft, depending on the final product. The National Novel Writing Month, after all, was started to get people to write at least 50,000 words.
Since 2006, more than 470 books have been written during this month that were later published with traditional publishers, and more than 100 books were self-published. Some books written in this period have reached the New York Times Best Seller List.
How the First Draft Benefits the Completed Product
The Writer Writes It Down
This is the first step of every effort. In the writing of the draft, the creative process unleashes the characters that will live in the story and may even develop a life of their own that was unplanned at the start.
The Draft Enlightens the Writer about What Works
It is where the writer tells the story but after completion may find it is imbalanced in some way. Imbalance can reveal, for instance, that some of the characters do not belong in the story, or that the story is missing a character, or a character needs to become more dominant.
In the writing, the writer may decide to change the intended story line or the point of view, and add more or less background information. To keep the writing going and creative juices flowing, it is better to make notes about changes and keep moving forward to tell more of the story.
In the First Draft, the Writer Decides the Book’s Genre
The writer may decide the story is one genre, but in writing this draft may decide to change it. It is an explorative venture that enriches the process of refining the final product.
After the First Draft
In completing the first draft the writer becomes an author, even if not a published one. An important milestone is passed en route to the final product. A completed first draft means it is not a false start, even though this draft is still an imperfect product.
The potential to be a writer has been realized; the story has been told. Next, the first draft needs to be refined through the editing process and however many rewrites and content discarding that involves.
After completing the draft, the writer should take time off before coming back to edit to make this process more effective. Yes, some writers edit during the first draft, but for other writers editing dampens the creative process.
A business plan is a written description of a company’s present and future. It lays out what the business is, what its chief executive plans to do and how he/she plans to accomplish it. The strategic document presents a roadmap for success. It projects three to five years ahead and outlines the intended path for revenue growth in that period.
The business plan reveals the current position and capacity of the business, and then how it plans to expand its revenue base, capacity, and associated factors between the present and the projected future.
How to Make the Business Stand Out in the Business Plan
What makes the business unique? Presenting this effectively will help you differentiate your business from its competitors and show that you understand the value of the business to the market or markets it is targeting.
Essential Elements of the Business Plan
The Executive Summary
Readers see the executive summary first, and it summarizes the business plan. In one or two pages, you emphasize the positive and play down the negative (when pitching to investors nor creditors). It can include vision and goals.
It should include a brief presentation of the main elements of your business plan:
Description of the Business
The business description provides information about the business, what differentiates it from others, and the market or markets the business serves or intends to serve.
Every business is structured differently. Discover the optimal organizational structure for the type of business and compare how yours stacks up against that model. Discuss the pros and cons.
Services or Products
What does the business offer? How does it benefit its current and potential customers? What is the product lifecycle of the products, if any? These are some of the important elements to include in this section.
Here research about the business industry, markets, and competitors is presented. Thorough research is needed to show you understand the market and the value of the company’s services or products.
Marketing and Sales
How does the business plan to market itself? What is the sales strategy? How many sales people does it have and what are their specialties and experience? These are some of the elements you need to include in this section.
If the business is seeking funding, include the necessary information investors want.
If funding is needed, providing financial projections to back up the funding request is essential. Find out what information you need to include in the financial projections for the business.
An appendix is not an essential part of a business plan, but it is a useful section for including specific backup documents, such as resumes.
The business plan functions as a roadmap for the business and as a pitch for funding from investors. The amount of information you include in each section will depend on its intended readers.
The Establishment of the London Police Inspired the Creation of Detectives in British and American Crime Fiction
Until 1829, crime prevention in London was the responsibility of a cadre of men working for magistrates’ courts, parishes, or local divisions. In response to increasing crime and unrest, a parliamentary committee in 1812 recommended putting a unified force throughout the capital, although the Metropolitan Police wasn’t formed until 1829.
Before the Metropolitan Police came the Bow Street Runners, who served the magistrate at Bow Street, Henry Fielding and then his half-brother, John. The Runners pioneered systemic crime investigations through information-gathering. The Runners also had horseback and pedestrian patrols.
By the 1820s, their reputation suffered because of association with unsavory people to retrieve stolen property. They were disbanded 10 years after the police force was established in 1829.
The new force wore blue uniforms to distinguish themselves from the red uniform of the army. Initially its role was crime prevention, until a long delay in finding a murderer led to the creation of a department of crime-solving detectives. Scotland Yard became shorthand for detectives, but it was actually the address of the police force headquarters.
Charles Dickens and the Bleak House Detective
Charles Dickens created the detective character Mr. Bucket in his novel, “Bleak House.” He was modeled after a real person. The character was a hit with readers, so more stories with detectives emerged from other writers.
Other Writers Follow
Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone” was published in 1868, preceded in 1862 by “Ruth the Betrayer” with the female detective Ruth Trail working in a Secret Intelligence Office established by a former police officer.
Another female detective appeared later in “Revelations of a Female Detective” by Andrew Forrester. In “The Boy Detective,” Ernest Keen emerged in the penny-dreadfuls.
In 1840s, the First Detectives in America Emerged in Boston
Boston detectives were modeled on what had been introduced in London, but the Boston police department was established later, in 1854.
Poe Inaugurated Crime Fiction in 1843
In America, the first crime fiction was “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe, published in 1841. In 1855, Emile Gaboriau’s crime novel, “L’Affair Lerouge” was published and became very popular. The first American-based story, “The Leavenworth Case” by Anna Katherine Green was published in 1878. Her book was preceded by the translated French book, “The Widow Lerouge” in 1878.
A deluge of detective fiction followed the 1887 story by A. Conan Doyle, “A Study in Scarlet,” published in The Strand, a popular magazine. Since then police detective fiction has become a global phenomenon.
New English Translations of Frederic Dard’s Books Are Introducing the French Noir Master to a New Audience
Until 2016, despite writing more than 300 novels and selling more than 200 million books in France, Frédéric Dard’s books were not available in English translations. This is unlike the speedy translation of young French author Leila Slimani’s novels.
In 2016, the Vertigo crime imprint of Pushkin Press published “Bird in a Cage” and followed it with ”The Wicked Go to Hell,” and “Crush.” These are the first major publications of Dard’s psychological thrillers in the “novels of the night” or noir category.
Why Dard May Have Been Ignored Before
The books’ editor, Daniel Seton, said in an article in The Guardian that publishers may have thought Dard’s invented slang was untranslatable. But his noir novels are beautifully written and do not use that slang heavily.
As a fan, Seton is very happy to bring Dard to an English-speaking audience. He also thinks publication comes at an appropriate time because the market is publishing more psychological thrillers.
A Penchant for Pseudonyms and Style Similar to Georges Simenon
Seton describes Dard’s style as being similar to that of Georges Simenon. Unlike Simenon, many of Dard’s books were written under 17 aliases, including the name of San Antonio, his Parisian secret police superintendent character. No one knows why he wrote under pseudonyms or how many there were. Only 17 are confirmed, so far.
Although Simenon preferred a third-person narrator, Dard preferred tales seen through the eyes of the protagonist or the villain. Both preferred gritty, unremarkable settings. David Bellos, a Princeton professor of French and another Dard fan, translated “Bird in a Cage.” Bellos told Boyd Tonkin in an article published by The Economist’s 1843 magazine that Dard and Simenon use language with “extraordinary efficiency.” The reader reads their fast-paced novels quickly.
Imperfect Protagonists and Cinematic Plots
Dard’s protagonists tend to be flawed characters; the prolific writer who also composed screenplays and scripts wrote plots that would be easy to use in films. If the Dard books sell well, the San Antonio character alone can provide aficionados with plenty of material as there are 173 books about his adventures.
Born near Lyon, Dard preferred writing in the settings of nondescript semi-industrial small towns. The industrial landscape is more native to his Belgian- born mentor, who was born in the city of Liege. The San Antonio novels offer filmmakers plenty of material.
Writers who want to try their hand at noir crime fiction should check out why Dard has devoted fans. Reading is an essential part of the making of a writer, so aspiring authors should take advantage of a revealing glimpse of a master.