I have an almost-presentable, all-in-the-right-order, *almost* every scene actually written, second draft of my book. All that’s left is the denouement. I mean that literally. I still have to write the denouement.
Obviously, it’s not even near finished. For one thing, the denouement never even had a first draft. So it has to have a first draft before it can have a second. The denouement does have a fabulously impressive array of backstage material to support it though:
Plus: Character sheets, character notes, an incredibly confusing scrawl of handwritten notes on nearly every page of the second draft, typed notes in the margins thanks to Word’s built-in functionality, and even a few words written in ink on the very last page of the manuscript with incredibly helpful directions like: “Show Jed with Other Characters” and “What will Nat do now?” and “Are the refugees settling in?”
Once the denouement’s written, the first round of proper edits begins.
Then beta readers.
Then revisions based on betas.
Then more editing.
Then subbing to agents.
And somewhere in there I’m supposed to “step away from the vehicle,” apparently, for … a year? Three months.