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What was the hardest part of the process of writing Mission 51?

Writing a book seems like a daunting feat. What was the most challenging part?

Back in 2017, I thought writing the first draft (about 100,000 words) was the hardest part, but I soon discovered how naive that was. I learned that "first drafts are shit."  The hardest part was learning about structuring this type of story according to the "Hero's Journey" which is standard Hollywood format. I wanted my story to be able to be adapted to film/TV (which I know is a long shot). So I had to outline and rewrite the entire story, rebalancing to fit the proper form. Scenes were deleted while others were added. It shrunk to 60,000 words, then gradually grew back to 100,000. The subsequent 7 additional rewrites were easier, each focusing on things such as character, dialogue, scene, and prose. But learning about "story" in order to fashion Mission 51 to fit the proper form was the hardest part.