Done. Finished. But Far From Over…

Yes, I did it again. Finished a first draft of the story I’ve been forming in my crowded mind this year. As expected, the journey was not without its bumps, but all were solved.

  1. I began writing with a Third Person POV/Present tense. About 15,000 words in I suddenly realized my mistake. The tense was wrong. I couldn’t come up with one other middle grade book written in this way and it wasn’t working for me either. I went back and painstakingly changed to past tense and the story flowed better. Lesson learned. Spend as much time beforehand debating POV as you do tense.
  2. About a dozen times I had a scene that wasn’t working. In the past I’d spend hours working on it at the computer – deleting, adding, reworking with often no better results. This time I tucked it away and for the next day or so I’d rework the scene out in my head. It was a big help to visualize and then return to the keyboard with a much better focus.
  3. I’d never used an outline before and this time I did. At first I was scribbling them out on a piece of paper and it wasn’t helping. When I put them in a two-column table (one column for the action; one for the time frame) it became a nice synopsis and direction for each session of writing.

For now I’ve saved the 40,000 words in several places and emailed myself a copy. That way I’ll have one sitting in my inbox in case my other storage devices decide to end their life. I’ll let it sit for a month before jumping in to do a first revision. Anyway, it feels good to have another first draft complete.


Eleven-year-old Christian Kale Kalani (C.K.) is half Irish, half Hawaiian. That may explain his impulsive and passionate nature, especially when it comes to saving the environment. But now his globetrotting divorced mother has signed him up for the Big Brother’s program. His ‘Big’ arrives one morning and soon they discover each others secret. One has a past he cannot let go of, the other a future he never asked for. When their growing friendship is threatened, they’ll have to save each other or risk never saving themselves. For C.K. the choice is not as obvious as he expected.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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9 Responses to Done. Finished. But Far From Over…

  1. Sounds like you’ve found a great method–good luck with your first revision!

  2. I’m glad you got through your draft. It is a great accomplishment.

  3. congrats on that first draft! Also, I email the file to myself too. I don’t trust the other devices! I think I have copies saved in a million different places. better safe than sorry!

  4. Braden Bell says:

    Congratulations! That is such a good feeling. Huge accomplishment!

  5. Joanne Fritz says:

    Congratulations, Greg! Your story sounds intriguing. Coincidentally, several chapters of my current novel (that I’ve just started querying) take place in Hawaii!

    Isn’t it terrific to finish a first draft? For me, that’s always the hardest part. I love revision but hate first drafts. And you’re wise to save the document in several places. I now save important docs in Google Docs, as well as emailing an attachment to myself.

    • My story never makes it to Hawaii, but it made for an interesting part of my MC’s background.

      Google docs is a great idea. One more place for safe keeping.

      Best of luck with your querying. That process goes on longer than the actual writing of the story sometimes!

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