Monday, July 1, 2013

Finally sensemaking

I am proud to announce that I have finally released the pre-publication version of the rewritten Narrative Sensemaking chapter for the third edition of my monster book. You can find it on the Working with Stories web site (look where it says "NEW!").

The chapter came out far too long, and it took nearly a year (half time) to write it, but it's done. I said what I think people need to know about narrative sensemaking. I might not be able to include all of what I've written in the first volume of the series, but I'm not worried about that right now.

The next steps are:
  1. I need to finish the intervention and return chapters. These will be far, far shorter than the sensemaking chapter, probably not more than 30 pages each. I don't have much knowledge to pass on in these areas, thank goodness. Most of the intervention chapter will consist of three may-I-say excellent interviews with colleagues who do more in the storytelling line than I do. Most of the return chapter will consist of various reflections on my attempts to support group storytelling during my Rakontu project, most of which I've posted here or on the rakontu web site already. 
  2. I need to make final decisions about which parts of the book go into which volumes. I said it would be three volumes before, but I've been thinking about that. I may end up with either two or three volumes. (By the way, writing in Scrivener has been a great help with this. Scrivener makes it easy to rearrange hundreds of pages of text in seconds. Definitely recommended for writing long complicated works.)
  3. I need to add more figures and diagrams to Volume One so it is more accessible. I would like to have an average of one diagram per 3-5 pages in the first volume. I also need to clean up and standardize a variety of diagrams I've created over the course of five years!
  4. Next I will hand Volume One over to the editor who will be doing the layout and indexing for me. While that's going on...
  5. I will finish the case studies. I have notes on about 15 of these left to consider. I need to clean those up into readable prose. I also need to clean up a few more essays first posted here that belong in the book somewhere.
  6. Then it's into CreateSpace (probably CreateSpace) for self-publishing, and we will arrive on paper. I'm hoping both volumes can be out in print by the end of the year. I've learned never to say when anything "will" happen, but that would be nice, wouldn't it?
Writing this book has been a long journey: far, far longer than I expected. But it's almost over. Many thanks to the volunteers who read this sensemaking chapter early and gave me essential feedback. Many thanks to the people who have stood by me during this long project. All of you know who you are.

EDIT (July 18): I posted an updated copy of the chapter with small scattered improvements based on reader feedback. Same file name; slightly altered content.

EDIT (Oct 9): This book chapter is no longer available as a separate download. I merged the chapter with the rest of the book when I added the figures.