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Cat Sebastian
Because I just finished a round of revisions, I thought I'd explain how I keep track of changes that need to be made in a draft. This may be of interest to people who don't always work linearly or whose brains are A Lot or who need a very visual bird's eye view of information.
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
First, I make a list of everything that needs to be changed. Everything. Sometimes it's straightforward: "clarify X's backstory" Sometimes it's shorthand for a theme that I want to highlight: "trains = connections" Sometimes it's a timeline issue like "mention X earlier"
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
As I'm making this list, I notice that the items can be grouped into a few categories (or, let's be real, problem areas). For me it's usually MC1, MC2, black moment, timeline, and miscellaneous.
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
Then I put the list into Airtable. Each item gets a separate line. Each item gets tagged according to the category At this point I want to cry because it is a long list and I know it's going to get longer when I start working. It looks like this.
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
It's terrible! There are tears! What talentless hack wrote a draft that requires so many changes! Despair! Then I change the view from grid (ie normal spreadsheet) to kanban and then it looks like this:
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
This, to me, is much more manageable. I can see everything at once. I can slide the cards around so similar items are near one another. When I've addressed an item in the draft, I slide the card to a column called DONE.
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
When I'm revising, I often cut a chunk that I know I want to put elsewhere in the draft. When this happens, I paste it right into a card (you can see them above, they're the ones within quotation marks). Then, when I find where that segment needs to go, I can paste it in.
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
Also, sadly, when I'm revising I often notice new problems. If it's not something I can address on the spot, it gets a new card for Future Me to deal with. IT'S FINE EVERYTHING IS FINE.
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
For me it takes about two weeks of work until almost all the cards are in the done column. Some never get put in the done column because they turn out to be Not Problems. Then I go back and polish.
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
This system allows me to break down the task of "make this book less shitty" into several manageable, identifiable tasks. It also lets me see everything at once. Even though the cards only show a few words at a time, those words are enough to jog my memory.
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
FWIW I use the free version of Airtable. The screenshots are from my desktop, but there's also an app that conveniently allows me to add thoughts like "add desk sex feelings" when i'm in the Dunkin Donuts drive through.
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
Anyway, this has been today's episode of I Don't Have Executive Function But Have You Heard of Airtable, hmu if you have questions
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
Here's a link to a blank table that's already set up with tags. It ought to work???
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Megan should be writing Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
THANK YOU CAT
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @booksandfey
FYI this comes after the 48 hours of crying that we've talked about
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Megan should be writing Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
I've moved past my first horrified panic crisis section and have moved into "oh no wait now I have to finish?"
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Megan should be writing Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
Also like "what do you mean it needs a plot" and "wtf is a subplot sounds fake"
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Cat Sebastian Aug 24
Replying to @booksandfey
“What if I just write a different book instead” is an important step
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Megan should be writing Aug 24
Replying to @CatSWrites
I'm so close Cat. Not quite there yet but I'd estimate next month
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Profromance Aug 29
Replying to @CatSWrites
Test-driving for a book chapter I'm expanding, and while I'm probably not using it well, I think it's been useful.
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Cat Sebastian Aug 29
Replying to @jayu77
I hope it works out!
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