Behind the scenes of a novel: One Love

Generic book photo

A lot of people ask me how long it takes to write and produce a novel. Here I’m going to break down step by step what I did to write and produce One Love.

  • September 2016: I started getting ideas for a sequel to One Night. I started writing two different potential sequels that I abandoned. The story lines weren’t strong enough and bored me, to be honest.
  • January 2017: I got a different idea and wrote a four-page outline for what would become One Love. The story structure template I’ve used for many years is the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet. Technically it is an outline for screenplays but it works great for novels, too. To order Blake Snyder’s book which details each part of the template go here.
  • January-March 2017: I wrote the first draft of One Love. I wrote roughly 1,000 words per day, five days a week (I take a break on weekends if I can).
  • April-June 2017: I did two revisions of the manuscript. This brought me to draft number three.
  • July 2017: I sent the book to my editor. It took about eight weeks for her to review. I also worked with a designer on the cover.
  • September 2017: I got the editor’s report back and spent two weeks making edits. I edited what I could on-screen then printed out the book and did one more edit. If you’re keeping track this would be version four of the manuscript.
  • Early October 2017: After I was satisfied I sent the book to a proofreader.
  • October 2017: I reviewed the proofreader’s changes then laid out the print version of my book which took approximately 4 hours.
  • November 2017: I ordered a print proof of the book. I read it, made minor word changes (I changed maybe two or three words) and updated the print file.
  • December 2017: I released the book. It would have been out sooner except I submitted the book for consideration to Amazon’s Kindle Scout program.

There you have it. I hope this takes some of the mystery out of the writing and production process.

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