We’re going to call this the MAgic Post-It Method aka the MAP-IT Method. Work with me on that acronym, okay? It’s worth it.
Prior to going on my writing retreat, I got my edit letters for both TURNING POINTE (the prequel novella, aka the prequella) and SECOND POSITION (the book formerly known as Serenade). I went through and did just the easiest stuff first, followed by the harder stuff, and then eventually, I got stuck.
There were too many things in all three of the books and I felt like I had no plan. I like plans. I can’t believe it took me so long to become a plotter but I find that plotting a book, or writing down my revisions, or something, anything, can reduce my anxiety about it. It’s the same way I used to write out every single minute of my day in a notebook in my first class in college. (“12:00-12:07: Walk to coffeehouse. 12:07-12:10: Obtain coffee and a booth, set up notebooks.”) It was deeply neurotic and I’m glad I don’t do it anymore, but I also know why I did it and I think for us highly anxious people, organization–when we get beyond the anxiety of organizing!–can be super super helpful.
So I decided to make a roadmap, with post-its, for my revisions.
Ta-dah! (All three books but spoiler-free!)
If you can’t see, yellow is Second Position, pink is Turning Pointe, blue is Book 3, and orange is Series Continuity. I was able to pick five things for each column off the top of my head (in two cases, when I took post its off, I had more things to fill the spot because of changes I’ve made). As I went along and tackled a Post-It, I took it off the map.
See? Turning Pointe and Second Position’s post-its are all gone! LIKE MAGIC, YOU SEE.
I liked this method so much, I mapped out Turning Pointe’s timeline (blue for Zed chapters, pink for Aly chapters, yes, that’s super super gender binary normative and stereotypical but made for really fast referencing) to fix timeline issues (it’s a Katherine Locke book so there were a few ;)).
Then I used it to check myself on evening out the sexual tension in Second Position. This is just mentions of desire/kissing/actual sexual acts that occur, and whose chapter they are in by color again.
I use a giant sketchpad for all of my books (I have stacks of them) and I really like it for this method in particular!
I’m a visual person, despite being a writer, and this really helped keep me on track this weekend as well as increased my productivity by a lot.
Let me know if you have questions and if I can help!