Last week, was at the 90,000 word mark for Book of Knights. Was thrilled to have reached that point, only two chapters to go. It’s the moment when you can see the finish line and you get ready to run, you are part of the story, you ARE your characters and you feel breathless at what will eventuate.
Had been assiduously clicking File > Save after every page or two.
Last time saved to external hardrive (and USB) was 5 days before. On the fateful 90,000 day, checked the word count, checked battery level, put the computer to sleep and tottered off to kitchen. Forty minutes later, I went to open the computer to read what I had written that day. But the computer was dead!
Plugged in machine but it wouldn’t start. Tried not to worry and gave ‘On’ button just one more push and the beastie fired up! Relief. Husband, on way to a long hot soak in the bath, suggested I back up. I plugged in the USB first and did the necessaries and then did the same with the ext. hard drive.
When I checked the files by opening them, found wordcount was 84,000 words.
Trying not to worry, and believing a specialist could help me, I shot into town to our favourite MAC man, Mr. Mac+More. Worked on machine for 30 minutes.
Seems I reversed saving process: ie, saved the USB file to the computer and not vice versa. And then of course, I only had the earlier 84,000 file to save to the hard drive. Gaaah! Call it exhaustion after being at the shearing shed and getting ready for shearing that week. Call it a blonde moment.
BUT refused to lose my cool, even though tears were very close!
I write first drafts in longhand…
So original pages were filed…
Four pages in garbage bin in townhouse and 20 pages in garbage bin at House. Town ones not messy at all, ones up at House had sundried tomato stains, old meat pack juices, dogfood bits and tea stains.
Dove into bins(rubber gloves on), retrieved all bar one page, laid them in the sun to dry and then began awful job of transcribing and trying to remember what I’d deleted, what I’d expanded upon etcetera, etcetera, and so forth…
By Saturday had reached 89, 000 words but knew something was missing.
Lay in bath that night and…
I knew what the gap was, how it should be filled and jumped out and made notes ready for the last gasp on Sunday.
By Sunday night had 91,000 words.
Saved, backed-up and the garbage was just that…
a bin full.