Would ppl be interested in a day-by-day thread about how I’m approaching some huge structural revisions on a very tight deadline? It *might* be helpful/interesting 🤷‍♀️
Okay, my kids are home and writing time is 💀, so here goes!

Note: this is less “how to,” and more “case study,” so take what’s useful and ignore what isn’t. I’m a mom of 2 young kids, w/ ADHD (me, not the kids) and what works for me may not for you!
Day 1: Edit Letter/Feedback Day

Getting feedback can either be your personal Dark Night of the Soul OR a honeymoon period where the possibilities are endless and sparkly!

I usually choose B, knowing it won’t last, but LOOK—so organized AND prepared! Yay for me!
D1: Gather supplies!

LOL. Gonna need a bigger desk
That’s better!
-Read my edit letter/critique straight through
-Read it again to highlight, take notes, etc.
-Categorize edits by type of work: Re-ordering, adding, rewriting, cutting, worldbuilding issues, character development, etc
D1: I get overwhelmed without an entry point, so I categorize potential edits by emotional reaction:
-want to fix, know how
-want to fix, don’t know how
-resistant to (FEELINGS, remember? Gut says, “No!” but brain says, “Let’s explore that more”)
-not sure about/can’t handle yet
D1: I try to dig deep and ask myself WHY I feel ambivalent or reluctant about some things. Do I have a valid objection/concern, or am I just scared/intimidated? Do I just need more time to process the possibilities? Etc.
D2: A BIG part of this particular revision is re-ordering key scenes/fixing pacing, and I don’t how to DO THAT yet, but time is precious, so I prepare to by opening Scrivener, duplicating my entire draft and putting one copy in a safe place labeled DON’T TOUCH
D2: In the remaining copy:

-ungroup the chapters into a list of scenes
-break each scene into its basic parts
-label them

Now I can easily move individual conversations or moments around w/o copying and pasting, like so:
D2: I add a 1-line note about each mini-scene in the synopsis section, so I can flip to “outline mode” and skim through to reorient myself whenever I get overwhelmed/confused after moving things around.

(Scrivener is a GIFT!!!)
D3: Before a scheduled progress/brainstorm session with my brilliant agent, I figure out:

-my plans for fixing the stuff I know how to fix
-what aspects I could use guidance on
-what I’m not yet mentally ready to process
D3: Scheduled agent call!

Many insurmountable challenges were surmounted, others were set aside for later, we clarified expectations/timelines, etc, and decided what I should focus on first.
D3: Go time!

-Wrote down all key scenes in new, proposed order, w/different color pens for scenes I have and those that will be entirely new
-got out my trusty beat-sheet whiteboard and made sure I knew how everything *should* fit (we’ll see if I pull it off! 😆)
D4: (Today!)
-New chs/scenes labeled in order
-move scenes that will stay mostly unchanged into their new homes
-note what’s left over (a lot)
-scenes to re-write: jot down notes
-scenes getting trashed: highlight sections to cannibalize 😭
-whine and scarf chocolate
To be continued tomorrow, complete with our story’s first pinch point—small children underfoot for Thanksgiving Break!
-Made pies with “help” from children
-wrote 2 new scenes in an attempt to recover from yesterday’s brutal massacre of darlings that nearly broke me.

It... helped? But they are not darlings yet.
-color coding as I cannibalize scenes for the new draft. Red for entirely/mostly, yellow for partially
-move into a “plundered” folder once I I’ve taken everything I need
-gradually arranging these fragments in order in the new draft
Deep, happy sigh as I indulge in a few new scenes with these characters I love so much. I really hope I get to share them with readers someday. ❤️
D6: Thanksgiving!

Printed my MS to re-read comments during the 2.5 hr car trip and on the sidelines of a family touch-football game (noooo thank you, I don’t sport)

Note- Will put it away during the actual family time! ❤️
Please remember that these revisions are ambitious with an equally ambitious timeline (I do love a challenge!) so this isn’t a run-of-the-mill process! Don’t take any of this to mean YOU should approach your process the same way, k? Case study, not “how to!”
D7: Ending up commandeering 2 (then 3? What’s happening???) sick kittens, and I got some revising done but also, sick kittens, so...
-Burned through a few notebooks trying to sort out the best order for a few key conversations
-wrote two new scenes
-found a spot (maybe?) for a key plot point that was in a cut scene
-lots of angst
White boards ON TOP OF white boards. Literally.
Yes, I have reached the “writing notes on my hand” phase
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