Soliciting advice: Best techniques for efficient novel writing

I hit a huge milestone in life – one year and three months after starting, I completed my novel and began to query agents. I couldn’t be more proud of taking the plunge but simultaneously, more scared. Most authors that have spoken on the subject speak about rejection the way that actors do – it happens to everyone, it’s part of the game, learn to expect it, keep going, and of course, it sucks.

While I anxiously await answers and revise and resend my query (my first version had a typo – grrrr), I am starting new projects. I have a few articles, perhaps a personal essay, and another novel in the pipeline.

My goal for the next book is to shave three months off the next effort, assuming the same hours per week worked. Before I invest another huge chunk of my life in another novel, I’d love to hear from others how they embark on such a journey. Do you outline your novel in scenes? Do you brainstorm wildly? Do you write page one and not stop until you hit the end?

Writers use myriad techniques to polish off a body of work, and while none are wrong, per se, some are certainly more efficient than others. What advice would you give a newbie author to keep the thoughts, drafts, and advice organized and rolling? 

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