Tara Tyler's Beastly Survey, Save Your Writing!, Three Things I Write, Brenda Novak's Latest, and ROW80

Have you ever lost some of your writing?

Asking because I missed posting for the Insecure Writer's Support Group last week, and I happened to see this tumblr post by Neil Gaiman just now:

I haven't lost writing in a while, thankfully, except for last week's Wallace fiasco. I've heard horrible stories of authors changing the names of their Scrivener files and then being unable to locate them. Mine was two different things: text in PlainText on the iPad that didn't sync to Dropbox because the wifi was not on, but that also for some reason did not save in the PlainText app itself; and the next day myself highlighting all the text and trying to click on "copy" and then realising I'd pressed the letter n by accident, and then pressing two more buttons before I discovered where the "undo" button was (and undo on the iPad only goes back one step), thereby losing everything I'd typed in that session.

That was nothing, however, a mere loss of some transcription of an already-printed text. Losing actual writing hurts much more. One major incident I can remember is when I had a book stolen. Before I left the office for the day I went into the washroom and put my purse and book down on a chair in the entrance. When leaving, somehow I forgot to pick up the book, which was a crazy thing to do because it was stuffed with bits of paper with story scenes and ideas scribbled on them. I went back first thing the next morning, and my book was gone. Neither the cleaning service nor security was any help. Who steals a book with notes-to-self in it? I'll never get those scenes back!

The IWSG tip is therefore Save Your Work! And make sure you have backups. One thing I learned while visiting places with slower internet is to periodically highlight your text and copy it (this is especially useful for when blog comments go wonky). That way if you're in the middle of a heartfelt reply and the internet crashes, you won't lose your wording. Unless you have your Firefox settings set to not save copied text when the browser closes - another thing that happened to me last week!

In more exciting writerly titbits, Stephanie had an interesting post the other day on three things I write and three I don't.

Three things I write:

Historical romance - my mainstay. I love exploring historical eras I've always wanted to read about, and romance is what makes the writing most interesting, especially since I'm a pantster.

Middle grade/Young adult - I love reading these genres. So far I've only written one full length novel with a younger main character. It's mostly middle grade; I don't think I've tried a story yet that explores young adult themes.

Short stories - This isn't a real genre, of course. So far I've written a realist fantasy, a historical murder mystery, a historical literary piece, and others. Short stories, when they come, are always out of left field for me.

Three things I don't - yet:

Poetry - I used to write poems all the time but it's been years - at least since the last time I read Stephen Fry - that I've been able to express myself this way.

Dystopian - I haven't tried it yet. But I've got a story idea rattling around in the back of my head. The first ever snip from the story is up as part of the August writers' exercise on the Forum right now! Another ROW80 goal for this round met!

Fantasy - I've never tried this before. I've got one brief glimmer of a story idea. But it's not set in a world of my own creation, even, so this'll be a back burner idea for a long time.

Speaking of fantasy, I'm a Goblin Girl!

Take Tara Tyler's fun Beastly Survey, part of her promotion for Broken Branch Falls, book one in the Beast World series.

I got to read Brenda Novak's latest Whiskey Creek story, The Heart of Christmas, this week!

I really enjoy catching up with this town's residents with every new book. The circle of friends who hang out at the Black Gold coffee shop are a great group of characters, each with an interesting back story, and with intriguing circumstances in their lives. I'd been wondering about Eve, owner of the bed and breakfast, for a while, so it's been great to see her side of things (especially about her relationship with Ted, who ultimately was in love with Sophia not Eve).

The story builds really well, from the moment when Eve wakes up: "There was a naked man in her bed." From there it's a seamless set of actions and consequences, centred around stranger-in-town Rex's dark and dangerous past, which is determined to catch up with him.

Eve finds herself falling for Rex, and thinks she can overlook the troubles he's been facing -- but only if she can help him evade the danger once and for all. That is, if Rex can only trust her -- and his feelings for her -- long enough to let her help...

Any new books that you'd recommend?
Which genres are you more used to writing?


Always save often!
Don't forget to save and backup your blog as well.
For a while, I was having trouble with embedded comment boxes. The first one I'd encounter when I logged online would always eat my comment. I got very good at remembering to copy first.
Keep forgetting to do the beastly test...
Loni Townsend said…
I've lost some scenes here and there, but thankfully nothing big. What I have an issue with is figuring out which of my drafts is the latest (since I'll make copies upon copies). And then it's also scattered between a few different accounts and services (Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox).

Maybe my "back it up" gets a little too extreme sometimes.
Anonymous said…
I haven't lost a file in a long time, but on the other side, I have too many virtual drawers clogged with who-knows what. I used to save a new file every time I make any change to a story. Now I only keep the rough draft, and subsequent revisions when I've been through the entire thing.
My favorite way of backing up is to e-mail my story to myself. I don't have to actually save it but if I need it later I can easily find it.
I haven't lost any fiction writing, but I did lose years' worth of files from grad school a long time ago, due to a damaged hard drive. I screamed a lot about that. Now I always back up my work, like you advised.
Hi Deniz .. losing work is a pain isn't it .. I usually save as I go along - but occasionally get caught out commenting - hadn't thought of the copying bit - I lost my own comment the other day after blogger didn't take it - as it was over 4,000 characters .. and that frustrates me - l hour's worth of replying ... I quite often use word to comment and then if I lose it - it's there ...

Life is interesting in the saving story - it's all here ... but if I was writing a book - I'd be very frustrated.

That book of yours disappearing - how frustrating ...

Cheers Hilary
Couldn't resist that survey. I can't believe I've gotta wait 24 hours!

Books to recommend? I just finished the first Showa book by Shigeru Mizuki - excellent.
Those lost files stories are scary! I am so paranoid. I email myself periodically as I write. We also have a external hard drive that pulls my computer content 2x per day.

Interesting about writing a MG novel. That's what I've been doing lately. I have many book recommendations! Let me know if you want them.

I've written YA and MG--contemporary and contemporary fantasy. I've also done short stories and poetry and vignettes. I've never done dystopian or mystery or adventure. I did try a YA paranormal romance once.
Carrie-Anne said…
I learnt my lesson about saving my work and breaking up books into smaller files. If you lose the entire book, or one of your super-sized files, there's no way you can recoup that. I seriously save like 5-10 times per minute, for over 20 years, after some devastating losses on our older computers.

I only know how to write historical, with some historicals eventually turning into late contemporary historical. I also have some soft sci-fi/futuristic books on hiatus. I don't think I could ever write a contemporary or fantasy, or hard sci-fi.
I've "lost" (actually voluntarily surrendered because it would have cost too much money to get my Bernouli disks read and transferred to a newer electronic format)... I know the feeling.

Which is something to consider... Who says the present format we have all our electronic files in will be the same one we need in ten or 20 years? Will we still be using jpegs for photos? Once gifs were the big deal. And who uses .wp (Wordperfect format) for their documents anymore?

So don't just save early, save often, and go back to make sure you can still use the old stuff too.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for coming by everyone!
Good point about saving our blogs, too, Alex.
And, Eden, you're right, formats change often. I have piles of photos on CDs that I should save elsewhere.

I'm afraid to ask for recommendations, Theresa, because my TBR pile is so huge!

Popular posts from this blog

Contest to Celebrate My 900th Post!

IWSG Day, and RIP Tom Petty

Books, etc.