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And Down the Stretch They Come

Choose the frontrunner issues and tackle them head-on with a quick-listing exercise.


Special Agent


Applying Feedback


20 mins


And Down the Stretch They Come

As a Special Agent, your strong intuition is likely to kick in before a feedback session is even done. Chances are high that you already know which problems are the front-runners.

Play to those strengths and tackle the big issues first. You know that 20% of the effort achieves 80% of the results, so focus on those areas where your efforts will pay off most. As far as solutions go, take that same approach. Go with your gut, and remember that you think and write fast. For you, writing a scene and then, if necessary, writing it again, is much faster than procrastinating in the decision-making process.



How to Play

  • Feedback
  • Timer
  • Paper
  • Pen

 NOTE: Once you receive feedback, you may choose to process it with a collaborator, or to take it to a quiet place where you can think it through. Both approaches can be effective as part of your Cafe toolbox.


1. Review the feedback you received. You may have your own notes, written thoughts from someone else, or you might be quickly jotting down feedback you just heard.

2. Set a timer for three – five minutes, depending on how long you’d like.

3. On a clean piece of paper, list the top three issues you see highlighted in the feedback.

4. Set the timer again, this time for three – five minutes per issue. Quick list a variety of solutions for each of these three problems.

5. Even if you come up with a strong idea first, keep listing. Remember that a little ahead-of-time thinking can save you time later.

6. Choose your solutions, make a quick plan of action, and make sure to start solving the first problem right away. Momentum is your friend!

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Pin the Heart on the Problem


List the issues raised and then use “Why …?” to narrow in on the heart of the problem.

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The Question Queue


Line up your questions and address them one by one in this structured revision approach.

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Scramble and Sort


After collecting feedback, scramble and sort it into new categories so the group can help the writer choose a starting place for a revision.

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