Friday, February 19, 2010

The importance of saving OR: How I almost had a nervous breakdown

When one creates a long word processing document, such as a novel, saving multiple versions is vital to ensure one's sanity.

Case in point: today I realized that the version I had been polishing was NOT my final version. I knew that the final version had existed somewhere, in some format; I simply could not find it. The later version contained my re-write of the climax and epilogue chapters, and brought the draft together in a satisfying way.

The version I had been editing, 25 pages from the end, had the words STOP POINT written in large red letters. This was followed by my earlier, crappy ending.

Naturally I began to hyperventilate. I'd made a grave error: in working back and forth between my desktop and laptop, I had somehow saved over my rewritten draft. I had just polished the first 190 pages of the draft with the crappy ending (though the versions up until the last two chapters were identical).

Thankfully, after searching every damned writing file on both machines, I discovered that I had been smart enough to email the corrected version to myself. After a few hours of thinking I'd have to go over my notes and do a re-rewrite of the ending, I discovered I didn't have to. I copied the 190+ pages of my polished draft and pasted on the corrected ending, creating a new Frankenstein file.

I'll finish polishing the last two chapters tomorrow. Right now I need to roll with this emotional comedown.

So, remember kids: always keep track of your drafts!

1 comment:

kathleenwall said...

I would've completely freaked out. Thank goodness you found it!