Puke it out! This is probably the one piece of advice I give to anyone who asks me. Sure, it doesn't sound pretty, but it.is.the.way!!!
Why do I say it this way? Because what usually happens when someone writes a book, or attempts to, is they keep messing with it. Trust me on this one. I wrote my first book for twenty-two years. I'd write a page or two, go back and edit, and fix, and change, and rewrite, then edit... BLEH!!! Do you see the problem? Once you start doing that you never finish. And, once you start doing that you lose focus of your story.
So you have an idea. You have a character. You have a path. Now run down that path as fast as you can! Do not stop and look around. Keep your fingers on your keys and write that story.
If you live in the modern day, you have enough technology to give you immediate spell check. Sure, if it turns red fix the word, but don't keep going up to the start of the chapter and edit, edit, edit. What's the use?
Think of NaNoWriMo. If you are a serious author I'm sure you've taken a shot at writing a book in November. Keep this kind of momentum all year long. During November, if you're doing NaNoWriMo, you don't have time to keep going back and looking at your work. You have to keep plugging away.
At what point should you go back and look? This is a good question. When you get to the last quarter of your book go back and reread it. (Now... I didn't say edit, just read.) Why do this? This will give you a good perspective on where you're going to tie up your book. You're going to find out if you strayed from the story. The reason I don't recommend editing here is that you loose your momentum, and really, we're racing to the end. But what I think you'll find is you're right on track.
Make notes in this rereading process if you must. Jot down a page number if you need to go back and look it over. But don't go messing with it until we hit the editing process.
So this post is short and sweet. Puke it out. Get your thoughts on paper and who cares how raw they are. You might be telling a story and not showing it (I'm a stickler for this when it comes to submissions to my publishing house.) Yes this is something that can be taught, but if an editor has to teach each author this skill every time they contract a book, it gets old. However, at this point of your writing just get the idea down. To be honest, you're brainstorming the book.
When people tell me they want to write a book but can't I assume they haven't tried. Anyone can get words onto a paper, and in this process no one fails. You only fail when you keep second guessing yourself and going back to the beginning and starting over and over and over.
Puke it out.
Get it down.
Free your mind of the story.
Don't stop until you're done.
Next time...let's talk editing.