After publishing my first book, I looked back and realized how much work went into it. Writing a novel is a long journey. What I didn’t realize is that to get from rough draft to finished work isn’t one leap, but a series of many steps.
For my second book, my husband suggested that I use milestones as a way to break up the long stretches. Breaking a book down into its parts gives a much better scope of the deed. I didn’t agree with him immediately, but after finding a free project management software, I soon realized how much more I accomplished than I realized.
First, there’s pre-writing. Which is when a writer starts cooking up an idea for a book. Even pantsers (those who fly by the seat of their pants, rather than plot things out on paper) will start developing thoughts about their work before they put pen to paper. Next, there’s a rough draft, which is where the major story is fleshed out. Then, there’s editing the rough draft, which is a different depth of attention than what will be called for in later drafts. There can be an unlimited amount of drafts but generally around three to five is standard for practiced writers.
Let us not forget the humble chapter, which has become my default milestone. Finishing a chapter is generally only finishing a sliver of a novel, but there are definitive earmarks and a sense of completion when a chapter is done, which makes it a great place to checkbox.
I just finished the third draft of Bento Box. It has undergone major adaptations from the rough draft, including professional developmental editing. It’s now ready for a copy editor and then into formatting for sale.
I’m really excited. It’s been two and a half years in the making. I would work a full day at my job, come home, and work a few hours a night on my novel. It’s my best story yet, something that was fun even from the little short story I noodled up one day.
I think it’s safe to say that by June, Bento Box will be available!