I'm beginning my writing posts with the concept of rough draft because I think it's the hardest for me to understand.
I'm a perfectionist and I'm inclined to want everything super perfect the moment I write it down. The reality is it's never going to be that simple.
Now, there are many writers out there who can write fast and bang out a first draft that needs very little editing. I am amazed at their ability since that is not how I function, and I respect that.
But for many of us, we need to work hard at getting our words ready for publication. This includes realizing that our first draft might be extremely rough and that it's going to take a few revisions to get it right.
So this is my advice to you (if you're like me and fall into this category). It's okay if your prose is not fantastic. It's okay if you don't know how to describe that foreign parallel world full of walking Twinkies. It's okay if you haven't mapped out each and every scene.
You rough draft is rough. It's meant to be.
The real magic will happen afterwards, during rewrites and revisions. The story will come together during editing.
Just get the words down on paper (or type them on screen) and worry about tweaking it into a novel once the story is done.
Writers write. Getting stuck on the first line for years on end will never get either of us anywhere.
So, lock up Mr. or Ms. Perfectionist and just lose yourself in the story. :)