More specifically, I spent two months planning it and the next four writing and revising it.
Even more specifically, I spent two months planning it, two months writing it, and then a solid month smashing my head against brick walls of my own wretched construction.
Eventually I made it to the last page, and three drafts later there was even something vaguely readable. But that month in the middle, where I span in circles and nothing got done and only sheer bloody-mindedness stopped me chucking it in, stuck with me.
The planning I had done, I could now see, was inadequate. But so - it seemed to me at least - were the tools I had tried to use. Flowcharts, spreadsheets, mind-maps, to-do lists - nothing understood what I was trying to do, or what I needed software for. Keeping track of alternative ideas, trying to find which ones fit together - when it all fell apart 60,000 words in, I was lost. It wasn't fun and I didn't enjoy it.
So I decided to do something about it.
Project Davenport is the working title of the app I'm creating. It's a little like a flow-chart to look at, but with fewer distractions and a lot more under the hood in terms of how it understands the way characters and situations evolve and relate to each other.
It's pre-alpha at the moment, but if it sounds like something you'd be interested in using, you can check out the development blog here. There are some videos, too, so you can have a giggle at me trying to sound all professional.
Also if any agents reading are interested in the novel, I will literally eat the chair I'm sat on.