Disaster Strikes

Disaster Strikes

Well here I am at the dining table of a lovely old victorian house in the centre of Whitby for the October Goth Weekend, effortlessly utilising my new mobile writing setup that comprises my Kindle Fire and a fabulous little compact bluetooth keyboard.

And for the past few days, things have been going very smoothly, despite travelling on Wednesday and getting settled into the holiday lodgings I still managed to get well over my 1000 word daily target written, in fact it was almost double that, and then I managed to get even more written yesterday on the Thursday, nicely polishing of chapters 19 and 20 of my Glass Darkly storyline. This is the one I’m intending to publish in 30,000 word episodes, and which I finished the first episode of before leaving Leeds to come to Whitby.

Anyway, all was going so well, i’d just started on chapter 21 and had even gotten the first 500 or so words when I thought i’d best separate out the new chapter from the document with chapeter 19 and 20 in so that it all stayed manageable and the chances of an accident were reduced . . .

But! Although I use the Microsoft cloud (OneDrive) to store my documents in, I’m using a non-Microsoft app on my Kindle to do the writing, and for reasons which are still a bit too traumatic to detail I ended up accidentally saving chapter 21 over the top of the 4500 words i’d written for chapter 19 and 20.

Needless to say, this morning when I discovered my mistake I was far from being a happy camper, and I just had to go out and walk my irritation off.

Now to keep things in proportion, while the loss hacked me off immensely, I importantly realised within a few hours, and as such there are options:

– Firstly, after Googling it, there is a small chance that I may be able to recover a previous version of my document from OneDrive by logging into the site proper and interrogating the version history. This would be amazing if it works out, as it would save me several hours worth of work, and actually it would also create a strong case for me to switch to using OneDrive full time rather than relying on the hard drive and local backups that I tend to use at home, neither of which have any form of version control built in.

– Secondly, if restoring my lost chapters isn’t an option, then I’ll just have to re-write them, But because I’ve realised while it’s all still fresh in my mind, I can and will just jot down a detailed synopsis of the plot elements I covered in those two chapeters, which should make the re-write a lot less painful.

All of which brings to the one occasion when I’ve lost a big block of writing before. In that instance it was a chapter in my Flames of Time series that I didn’t realise I hadn’t got until about a year and half after i’d written it. I’m still not entirely sure how I lost it in the first place as I tend to review the previous sessions writing each time I sit down to work, even if it was only the previous day tha I wrote it. Someone this didn’t happen though, and on that occasion it was a long hard slog to re-write the chapter again, mostly because I’d moved on from that bit of the story a long time previously, and REALLY wasn’t in the mood to re-do it.

So far, so bad, but here’s the silver lining. . .

Even a year and half after i’d written and apparently forgotten that chapter, when I did finally drag myself back to the keyboard to re-write it, it not only came back to me fairly quickly, but it also ended up being written better, more fluidly and elegantly. Now this last bit is just my own impression because the original doesn’t exist anymore, but I’m convinced it is better and I’m certainly happy with it.

The moral of the story, while I’ve still obviously got a few kinks to work out in my new mobile writing setup, if I have lost a couple of days worth of work, as least I know I can re-write it, and in all possibility, with at added time which that bit of the story has had to ferment and develop in my brain the re-written version will probably end up better.

I’d still rather not have to do it though.