Custom Metadata > List: option to select multiple items

I have a list of enumerated (narrative structure) points that I have in a Custom Metadata List.

Usually the way I check to see which ones I haven’t used is to click on this column in Outliner so that the texts are ordered by this column. It’s easy to see at a glance if a number is missing from the sequence.

Currently I am working on a story in which two of the points are covered in a single scene, and I don’t have any obvious way of expressing that. The best I can think of is to change the metadata type and type out every step by hand (bad solution - not going to do that).

It would be really handy to have a list where I can click on multiple items, e.g. “01 Item A”, then Ctl + click on “05 Item E” and so on.


Is this something that may happen frequently to multiple different combinations of list items, or is it a one-off or something where “01 A” and “05 E” really deserves to be its own, essentially compound, entry that combines the two factors?

I should have just said that this is for John Truby’s “22 Steps” since this is probably all writers in here. Like a beat sheet.

My issue is that with short stories, often a single scene covers multiple points. I want to continue using my template, in which each of the 22 Steps is a list item.

E.g. “5 Desire/Goal” and “10 Plan” are sometimes applicable to a single scene.

Combining them as list items would really muddy the whole thing.

Plus, I sort by this column to see whether they have all been applied. If I started adding items for every special case, it would become less uselful. The whole point of this metadata in my template is give me a quick check - have I really figured out the hero’s entire arc and how it fits with the plot?

Whenever I run into a condition where I need multiple variables on a single data point, and there are too many combinations to make compound use efficient, I use keywords.

I think they would work fine for this, even if you are already using keywords for other things. So long as the numbered entries are at the top of list in the sidebar, then sort would work well in the outliner. Just make sure to use the option that disables the “Keywords as Color Chips” setting in the column setup menu.

The main disadvantage to using keywords seems like it may not be applicable here: that is for values that tend to change frequently, it is more of a process to remove a keyword and then add a replacement, than simply pulling from a dropdown.

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