Write, Read, Rewrite

I’ve been asked many times how long it took for me to write my first 40,000-word middle grade novel. The answer surprises most. It took me four months to write and two years to rewrite.


Now that I am well into the second novel, I’ve begun a new chapter myself in the way I write this book. I’ve settled in on a routine that mixes the writing and rewriting sessions. I start with having a beginning, middle, and end in mind but know little else about the scenes that will make up the final product.

I write the first chapter and each day after that, I reread and rewrite. This pattern keeps up for 5-8 days until it finally sounds like a first chapter. While rewriting, my mind is also spinning out the next chapter, visualizing a beginning, middle, and end there, too. I’m always about 2 chapters ahead.

Again with chapter two, I read it over and revise, put it away for the day and revisit the next day. After a week or so, I have it in good shape. The important thing for me is to keep moving forward while having a firm eye on the rear view mirror.

Currently I have about 10,000 words and looking at an end of the year completion, five months total. Next will be more rewriting, critiques, reading it out loud etc., but I’m confident the rewriting will be shortened with the time I’ve put into the process. Overall I am looking at a finished product one year after starting.

Every author creates in his or her own way. I’ve found “Write, Read, Rewrite” works for me. How about you?

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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2 Responses to Write, Read, Rewrite

  1. Jodi says:

    I started out by writing key scenes and then rewriting them over and over while trying to figure out the rest of the book. Now I start at the beginning and force myself through to the end all in one huge push to get the story established and then read it and find issues that need correcting. Once all of the plotting issues are corrected I start from the beginning again revising and making it shiny. A few dozen passes later and it’s done, at least I hope so – I’m still in the middle of the process!

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