Making a Manuscript Key

I want to be able to track this journey of how my stories evolve, but not being able to go back and know which manuscript I was discussing feels problematic. Solution:create a manuscript key. The manuscript key allows me to discuss a manuscript by its catalog number. I don’t discuss my projects by title should the title change and I’d like to not share the titles until the stories are ready. The manuscript key gives me a way to title each story in my journaling so I’ll know when I look back what story I’m discussing. I’ll use MS for manuscript and then the letters of the current title of the story for the key. The manuscript I’m currently writing would be catalog number MS:L. The Nanowrimo 2018 manuscript catalog number is MS:D and Nanowrimo 2019 is MS:TS. I’m liking this already. 😬

I created that document last week, though I haven’t decided what other information I’ll track. I feel like I could track when I make major changes to the story or when I do a revision, but I’m not sure yet. I also completed the paper revisions to chapters 15-18 of MS:D which means I’m halfway through the revisions to that manuscript. I haven’t finished the chapter I started writing for MS:L yet, but I know now how I want it to end. Last week I also started making notes for the manuscript I want to write for Nanowrimo this year. It started out as a drawing project where I was playing with a compass and made two littles circles next to a big circle and couldn’t figure what I was doing with it. Then it made me think of a diagram and then it made me think that it would be a great way to visualize the third book I want to write to finish my trilogy for Nanowrimo 2020. So, I dove in and started doing just that. For right now it is the barest beginning of a skeleton for the story, but my initial thoughts are down on paper and that feels good.

This week I’d like to finish writing the chapter in MS:L, type the revisions for MS:D into Scrivener, and then decide how I’m moving forward with MS:SB (revision or revision and addition.) I am really leaning into working on multiple projects at once because it is what’s working for me right now. I don’t always feel this way with my writing, but it’s how my mind wants to work so I won’t fight it. I’m glad to be making progress on my projects.

If you track your progress on projects, what kind of tool do you use? Do you discuss the titles of your projects before the story is ready to be shared? Remember, you are doing a great job and you are enough.

Happy Writing!

7 thoughts on “Making a Manuscript Key

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  1. oooh, 4 of those manuscripts I don’t know anything about!

    I don’t mind sharing my titles, I often call them “working title” on my blog if I know it isn’t the final title (sometimes I call it that even if I *am* sure of the title, it usually just means I don’t have a final draft I’m happy with). Other times I like to keep my WIPs secret and call them, logically, my “super secret WIP” online.


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