So I have a series of books that I have started. I have a manuscript with multiple books created. The original novella has already been published. During editing, that book was updated in google docs then Word.
What I would love is to have a project with the most up to date version of the stories, so that I can keep track of consistencies. Is that possible?
I have 5 plus books and world notes in one dabble project.
After editing, how do you get the final version back into the Dabble project?
That’s tricky. Right now. I edit scene by scene and do a full copy replace of the scene so I don’t take the whole thing out at a time.
You can export it to a text file from dabble, do your edits on that, I don’t know if the word version works the same in terms of formatting. But the text file has the scene breaks formatted correct. And with a new scene or the top of the chapter you can past it all back in, but it’s going to create NEW scenes not replace old ones.
There is no real good way to edit outside of dabble and get the changes back in. That’s where I’m running into problems myself.
My editor wants the document in Word. With critique partners we sometimes use Google Docs. Exporting to word works fine. No additional steps needed really except to make sure the headers/footers are the way you want. This can also be uploaded to Google Docs and again, works great.
It’s after the edits are done in Word that is the problem. Because what I have as the “story” in Dabble doesn’t match the final. And for a standalone it doesn’t really matter. But for a series I really want the correct version there to reference.
I’m assuming you want to be able to import your up-to-date draft back into Dabble. There is no import feature at the moment, but I know that it’s been heavily requested and I believe Jacob has plans to add it sometime in the future according to the roadmap. At the moment the only
tedious way to “import” your project by copy/paste.
Thank you! Yes, that’s what I ended up doing.
And the consideration here is that for the “import” function, the use case isn’t just start a new project with an import - it’s update book 1 or book 2 or book 3 in a project.
If there are relatively small number of changes, consider turning on track changes in word before edits. Then go through and make them manully in Dabble. This works if the Word doc contains comments and suggestions that need to go through your brain anyway to get to the specific words.
However, this method really sucks if you have a lot of changes that you just want to make exactly in the word doc. For example, this happens when working with my ProWritingAid subscription. I need to export a Word document, run it through ProWritingAid (there are a lot more tools than just what is integrated into Dabble) and then I want to import a large number of specific changes. Cutting & pasting all the little pieces is tedious.
I’ve tried that method and it may work for a small project, but for my published books I export to Word, and then it goes through a set of critique partners/beta reads, then to editing, then to proofing. Each iteration involves a bunch of changes. And in many cases for editing/proofing, I’m “accepting” changes written into the Word document by my editor/proofer.
Exactly as you say for the ProWritingAid piece, it’s just too tedious, and there’s no guarantee that you would catch everything.
Probably not the answer you want
I use Vellum (on a Mac) and so after Dabble, I export to word import to vellum for beta readers. Editor gets the word file and when I get that back I process the edits in word, then reimport to Vellum.
From there, Vellum is now the system of record. Any tweaks to the MS happen in Vellum. I’d love to have Dabble or Scrivener be the system of record but as stated that would be really tricky and incorporate a lot of importing/reimporting/exporting etc. That’s a lot of points of failure.
No, that makes perfect sense. I have a Word file that is my system of record for the final manuscript that is then imported to Vellum for formatting (at the moment I don’t have Vellum so I pay a formatter). Luckily I haven’t had to make updates to a formatted file, but that’s included in my current agreement if it needs to be done.
My main issue is that I want the “final” version back in the Dabble file I am using for my series, so that I can ensure series integrity. As I supsected, there’s not a supported method to do that, so I went with the copy/paste option.
Thought I’d chime in. Dabble still has some growing to do. The first focus was on plotting and writing. Editing is next and we have some tools for personal editing such as the ability to move scenes around and grammar/style checking. After co-authoring is implemented, that will pave the way for track-changes style editing to be done by a third-party, still within the Dabble system. An import-edits-from-word would be nice, but that will take more work (decisions) to figure out scene alignment (e.g. what if a new scene is added or one is deleted, and they are changed significantly enough that Dabble can’t determine accurately which is which, and then the plot grid is off, stuff like that).
It is something we do want to support.
I don’t think the dabble import from word with changes is really a factor once you implement the track changes feature and the co-authoring. The only real problem then is that in order to edit the file the co-author/editor would need to have their own dabble account. Which could be a source of income for dabble by allowing an author to add ‘editors’ to a project with the edit capability only. But stardard is word these days so chances of an editor wanting to do it this new way might not work as well for the traditionally published. And the paid editor unwilling to use it. It’s too bad word doesn’t save a deltas…but there are lots of other little things to consider too.
My suggestion for now on keeping your series together @Kim_Katil might be to have a work in progress project, for each story and then a final series binder project for the finished project. It would require some flipping between projects but with two window of dabble open it’s just a easy if they were in the same project… actually easier you’d never lose your place in your WIP when you flip to the other books in the series… (as I’m editing this has become annoying and I end up with 2 windows open… my wip and my notes)
done rambling now lol
The plan for Dabble’s future editor workflow is:
- author creates an editable link for their project
- author or Dabble emails that link to the editor
- editor clicks the link and can see and edit the story without any account (the link acts as the account and is attached to them)
- author deletes the editable link once done with the round of edits (for security)
Dabble is a tool for the author, not the editor. I do not want to charge the editor. It needs to be as easy as possible for editors to accomplish the same thing they would in Word. Easier than the Word workflow if I can manage it.
Beta reading will be a similar workflow.
That sounds hard
The end result would be wonderful though
sweet! I wasn’t considering charging the editor, more like the author would pay for the editor access. But I like that much better. Like google does with their programs.
Can’t wait! Those sound like awesome additions! I’m in the same boat. I outline and draft in Dabble but then revert out for edits with my agent/editor. Would love to stay within the ecosystem entirely but would need those features and would also love the ability to export the cards as a standard text outline.