I finished the revisions on my young adult novel and have begun querying agents. While I don't have an accurate timeline for the book, I think I worked on it – off and on – for about three years.
I wrote about four chapters and then set it aside to work on other things. When I came back to it, I picked up where I left off. Then I started writing the middle of the novel all the way to the end. I came back and finished the beginning.
The next step was to revise the entire thing, which I did on the computer.
Then I printed it out and revised again. Which led me to retype the entire thing and revise it again on the computer.
Another printout. More revisions – this time with highlighters!
Typed it all again.
Another revision on the computer.
Took it to a novel revision retreat where three other people critiqued it.
Revised again – retyping it once more.
Printed it out again for more revisions. I read this copy aloud to myself during lunch in my office.
Made corrections. Printed it out again. Emailed copies to some trusted readers for comments.
Made final corrections. Read over it one last time (mainly for typos) on the computer.
Prepared complete document for sending out to agents.
Wrote query. Revised query. Revised again. Revised one last time.
Wrote synopsis. Revised synopsis.
Sent queries to some agents.
And now the waiting game begins.
I have four different drafts saved on my computer. The first and second drafts had thirty-one chapters, and the third and fourth have thirty-three. Scenes were dropped and added, characters were added, and the ending changed completely.