These methods are called Caidin Methods because Martin Caidin is the inspiration. We don’t know what his methods actually were, but would like to write like he did. For example, he wrote the best-seller Marooned in five days of nonstop writing. Since he never wrote about how he pulled off his one draft book trick, we must make assumptions. His advance preparation was either all in his head or writing that he never looked at while writing his books. At least, those who were present when he wrote never saw him following any notes.
Warming Up to Caidin Style Writing
There is one kind of writing most writers do that is one draft as final draft. Journaling. Any journaling could be thought of as Caidin style practice. To really imitate him, we need to write complete pieces in our journals.
To do this, take the time to plan what you are going to write in your mind first. Then, write it. There are two approaches. One is to journal about topics you don’t plan to write for submission; pure practice. The other is to write articles that you will eventually sit down and write in one draft for Caidin Method 101. Never looking back appears to be a rule. When you decide to write an article in one draft after having already written it in your journal, don’t look at the first version. Any points you don’t remember may not be worth writing anyway.
Caidin Method 101 – Articles
It’s logical to start with short essays before attempting entire books. Since Caidin was a scientist before he was a novelist, we can assume he wrote many short papers before he ever attempted a book. You should do the same for your own one draft as final draft writing.
I’ve already mentioned writing the article in your journal first and then ignoring that version when you sit down to write the real article. You can also write it as an article more than once. To truly imitate Caidin, don’t look at the earlier version(s) when writing the latest.
This is a variation on the multiple draft process for writing. Instead of drafts, you have versions. The versions may come out different enough that an early version could be a separate article. Just be sure to submit it some place other than where you send the final.
You pass the final exam for this method when you can write an article in one draft as final draft without writing any early versions. Proofreading before submission seems a reasonable step even though Caidin himself claimed he never did this.
Caidin Method 201 – Book Versions
This is what I assume would have been Caidin’s early method for writing a book in one draft. Sit down and write a book in one draft. Don’t like it? Too many problems didn’t get resolved. Forget about it for a while and return later to write the same book again in one draft without looking at the first version.
To use this method, write an outline version of your book in one draft. Getting the story straight in your mind ahead of time will help a lot. Read your outline a few times. Then, write a first version without looking at the outline version. Continue with a second version without looking at earlier versions. Repeat until you have a version you are willing to submit to a publisher or want to move on to your next book. Read each version several times before moving to the next. Proofreading is allowed.
You pass the final exam for this method when you write a book that you would be willing to submit to a publisher.
Caidin Method 301 – One Draft Books
This is the way Caidin said he wrote all of his books. Sit down and write the book in one draft with no revisions. If you have already completed Caidin Methods 101 and 201, you should be able to do this without writing too many turkeys.
It might seem like a waste of effort to write a book and then throw it away, but consider the difference in time invested. With the multiple draft method, you write and rewrite one book. With Caidin Method 301, you write several different books in the same amount of time.
Like Caidin Method 201, you pass the final exam for this method when you write a book that you submit to a publisher. The only difference is that you’re only writing one version of each book and you must submit a manuscript.
This article was written using Caidin Method 101. I deviated from the plan by writing it in my journal. It’s not the first time I’ve written an article in one draft this way. Now for more practice.
Article by Ivan Izo.