Friday, May 22, 2009

It's A L I V E

It's true. When you write a book, it's a living, breathing thing. No moss ever grows under a WIP. It never stays stagnant. It seems to go through growing pains. It often needs surgery. Then a little medicine to ease the pain. It goes through stages, from infancy, to adolescence, to adulthood. It's always a good idea to keep old drafts, but keep in mind, old drafts sit and age. They don't breath, they don't change, they don't keep up with the times. It's probably best to stay with one draft and feed only the one. Making copies and working on the new copy will kill the original as surely as if you'd lit a match to it. I'm not encouraging lighting that match, just in case, but remember, if you must go back from a copy to an original draft, you must catch it up.

That brings me to another subject, Back up your work regularly. I have three flash drives, one at home, one I carry with me, and one I keep at work. I'm not too faithful about keeping all copies in sync. That's my bad, but I'll never completely loose all of my work. You know that sinking feeling when your computer quits on you. Back it up.


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  1. You know what's great for backing up files - Google Docs and other online hard drives that allow file storage and retrieval from any location. I'm pretty fond of Evernote as well.

  2. 1. I agree with this post 100 percent. A piece of fiction is a person in your life. It breathes, and needs to be fed, it's something that infuriates you one moment and you fall in love with over and over again.

    2. YES. Back up everything. I lost a third (150 pages) of my novel to a fried hard drive. I had to retype those pages straight from the hard copy. Now, I save my copies on an external HD as well a the computer's HD...AND have a stack of pages next to my keyboard...

  3. What a good thing to remind all of us about. I have been there too many times. The thing now is to backup all my card layouts. Must do. Thanks again

  4. Gosh, yes. My feeling was more of descending into hysterics when my computer quit on me--a week and half before my Master's thesis was due and my backed up revision was old, old, old.