Need some ideas about how to handle The Waiting Game?

tiny white flowers light up the forest floor like a white carpet
Just when you think it will never come, spring arrives. Image: ©Laurel Decher, 2018.

Today, I’m over at The Winged Pen for a post about what to do while you’re waiting. . .

. . .for query responses,

. . .for editors,

. . .or for anything else in the writing life that requires another person to react.

How do you handle The Waiting Game? What did I forget?

Feel free to weigh in–I’d love to know how you handle the inevitable patience practice of the writing life.

Check out the post here:

The Waiting Game and 15 Ways to Play It

It’s part of the Winged Pen’s Master Your Craft series.

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If you’d like to stay in touch, sign up for my Reader’s List. Once a month, I share new middle grade fiction, story-related freebies, and/or related blog posts. If it’s not your thing, you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

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Serious about Writing a Series?

I’m over at The Winged Pen today with a round-up of the best online mentors to help you plan a series of novels.

Read the whole post here: Six Mentors to Help You Plan Your Novel Series.

 

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If you’d like to stay in touch, sign up for my Reader’s List. Once a month, I share new middle grade fiction, story-related freebies, and/or related blog posts. If it’s not your thing, you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

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Tame Your Revision Step-by-Step: 7 Simple Steps to a FEEDBACK FOLDER in Scrivener

Infographic of 7 revision management tips battery icons

One of the problems with getting feedback on your manuscript is overwhelm. If you’ve got five Word documents floating on your computer somewhere, it can bring your revision process to standstill.

This post is about the simple way I keep track of valuable feedback from my critique partners.

Over at The Winged Pen, you can read the Tame Your Revision overview as text and download the infographic.

Last week my post about SLICE AND LABEL was unexpectedly popular. So here’s the second post in my how to manage your revision process with Scrivener. Hope it’s useful!

If you’re not a Scrivener fan, you can use your organizing tool of choice. And share your tips in the comments if you feel so inclined.

Here’s how I use a FEEDBACK FOLDER in Scrivener:

  1. Create a place for feedback in Scrivener’s Research folder. When you open a new file in Scrivener, you have a Manuscript folder and a Research folder. I put feedback in the Research folder because I don’t want these “words” included in my manuscript word count. Click on the folder name and type to re-name it. I call this folder FEEDBACK. (Brilliant, no? I told you this was simple.)
Screenshot of Scrivener showing highlighted Research folder and Project--New Folder drop down menu.
Create a new subfolder in Scrivener’s Research folder

2. Click on the FEEDBACK folder and create a few subfolders. I have SYNOPSIS, DRAFT, and QUERY because I work on each of those separately. You could have one for PITCHES too.

Screenshot of FEEDBACK folder with subfolders SYNOPSIS, DRAFT, QUERY.

    Create folders for each kind of feedback.

3. Import Word* files with feedback and label them with critiquer’s name and date. This way I know at a glance who has seen what even if I fall into a revision hole for a while. Critique partners’ time is valuable. Don’t want to waste it.

(Don’t toss the original files yet until you decide if you like reading the feedback from within Scrivener. The comments can get kind of small.)

My crit partners are very kind and also send me general comments via e-mail or Twitter. I paste these into the file so all their insight is in the same place. (I know–not rocket science. Took me a while.)

*Or whatever form your feedback arrives in. Physical objects don’t work well, so save any tomatoes for salsa.

Screenshot of Scrivener File--Import--Files
Import those Word files with Track Changes that are cluttering up your desktop.

4. Flag the feedback you want to re-visit. Here you see my current draft and a long list of files that represent the hard work of my critique partners. On the right-hand side you see the Inspector panel. (If yours looks different, go to View–Inspector–Synopsis. Then click on the blue circle with the i on it in the upper right-hand corner.

Screenshot of Scrivener's View--Inspector--Synopsis menus
Find Scrivener’s Inspector with the View–Inspector–Synopsis menus and the tiny white i on a blue circle.

5. Pick a color. Click on the drop down arrows next to the Label field, Scrivener will let you pick a label or edit to create your own. Double-click on the color to change it.

Screenshot of Label menu showing categories and colors
The menu that pops up when you click on edit in the Label or Notes dropdowns.

6. Make it really obvious. Scrivener lets you change the color of the file in the Binder so you can easily see what feedback you want to re-visit.

Screenshot of View--Use Label Color in--Binder menus
Don’t lose your place in your next revision. Scrivener can help.

7. Motivation and Status. Click on the Status arrows to choose a status. Scrivener’s existing Statuses are handy. I like concrete labels like: “Send to name of critique partner” or “Posted on Wattpad.”

*FYI, Scrivener’s Status menu doesn’t let you color code, so I use it for things I want to know when I’m “in” the file. If you need color, use the Label menu.

Screenshot of Scrivener's Status dropdown.
Add a goalpost to your revision with Scrivener’s Status dropdown. Click on + to add a new one.

There you are, a shiny new FEEDBACK folder and a game plan for your revision.

Happy Revision! Let me know how it goes!

If you’d like to see the SLICE AND LABEL post, click here.

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If you’d like to stay in touch, sign up for my Reader’s List. Once a month, I recommend a new middle grade book, and share story-related freebies, and/or related blog posts. If it’s not your thing, you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Tame Your Revision Step-by-Step: SLICE AND LABEL with Scrivener

tameyourrevision

Revising a novel is a form of bookkeeping. How do you keep from losing your mind? At The Winged Pen, we’re talking Revision. You can read the overview and download the infographic here.

To go along with the Winged Pen’s post, I’m attempting a “how-to” series. Let me know how you like it.

If you find yourself in a revision rut, may this jog your creative process back onto the smooth road.

If you’re not a Scrivener person, feel free to adapt to your tool of choice. There’s more than one way to slice and dice a manuscript! 🙂

Here’s how I SLICE AND LABEL in Scrivener:

  1. Select the chapter(s) or scene(s) I want to revise today. In the screenshot below, I’ve selected the chapter “A Delayed Party.”
  2. Duplicate the chapter folder including the scenes inside the folder and give it a new name. Scrivener just adds the word “copy” to the end of the name.
Screen shot of Scrivener menu, Documents--Duplicate--With subdocuments and unique title
How to duplicate files in Scrivener

3. Read through the chapter and see what’s happening. For example, “Conversation about goldfish.” Or “Transition to Castle.” I don’t make a judgement about whether its worthy to stay in the story. Just label and move on.

In the screenshot below, I’ve highlighted “Mamma had noticed!” as the beginning of a conversation about goldfish. Scrivener offers me the choice of “at Selection” or “with Selection as Title.”

Screenshot of Documents--Split--At selection
How to slice and dice your manuscript in Scrivener.

 

I choose “with Selection as title” and Scrivener creates a new text with the title “Mamma had noticed!” I can click on the label and change it to Conversation about goldfish if I want.

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-9-29-23-am

4. Put like things together. Write new connections. Once all the pieces are labeled, it’s easy to see where you’ve covered the same thing twice. I lift out the pieces I want, leaving the throat-clearings and engine-startings behind. Add transitions if needed.

5. Merge everything together. Scrivener will put “A prank” and “Mamma had noticed!” together and label them “A prank.” You can change that after the merge by clicking on the name and typing over it.

Presto! A nice tight scene with all the ingredients you need to move your story forward.

Screenshot of Scrivener Documents--Merge. The selected files on the left are highlighted in blue.
How to merge the good stuff together again in Scrivener.

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If you’d like to stay in touch, sign up for my Reader’s List. Once a month, I recommend a new middle grade book, and share story-related freebies, and/or related blog posts. If it’s not your thing, you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

 

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