Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's my own fault

I've been panicking this week. You see, about a year ago I was working on a fairly hefty (for me anyway) novel and I was about 13 chapters through it. It was coming along really well; something I could be proud of. Then NaNo got in the way and I shelved it while I produced something else.

What I should have done was just cheat on NaNo and continue with the work in hand, but I didn't. I'm not saying I didn't produce something good from Nano - far from it. In fact I'm seriously considering giving that a good edit (now it's a long way behind me and I can look at it with new eyes) and publishing it through LuLu.

But I shelved the thing I was proud of. Bad girl! Because this week, when I finally thought I wouldn't mind having another go at the WIP, I couldn't find it.

I'll pause a while for the other writers out there to take that in.

Thirteen chapters. About 21,000 words as far as I can remember. Missing. I was convinced that I'd saved multiple copies of it: at home on my laptop;  at work on my personal drive on my PC; on at least two thumb sticks. Apparently not.

I couldn't even find the notebook that I'd carefully planned the story in. Planned? Me?  Yes! That's what makes this work so special. I'm normally a seat-of-the-pants kind of writer and this is a HUGE thing for me. I know from the start what the story's about.

Well, I've turned the house over trying to recover anything of the story and first of all I found the notes. That's a start, but I didn't relish the prospect of rewriting the whole thing. I know there was some pretty good prose among the verbiage.

I have managed to rescue some chapters - quite a chunk, actually - but I know there are still gaps. I hope to be able to track down the missing pieces as I continue to search through the probably several million words I have turned out in the last couple of years. (I write professionally remember - I turn out a lot of words!)

The panic has subsided a little. I know I can recover the project with some effort. And there are now several copies of what I have found. But it's going to be tough.


Sandra Davies said...

There's enough going AWOL in my house these days (three knives yesterday, and a Leonard Cohen CD) without losing WORDS.
Fingers crossed you'll track them all down soon, but that panicked ache at what was writ being now unretrievable is so very painful.

MorningAJ said...

I read a short story a long time ago about aliens who were trying to work out what life on earth was like by helping themselves to 'artefacts' from someone's flat. Every time he left something on a particlar mark on his desk, it disappeared. He tried to confuse them (once he worked out what was going on) by leaving all kinds of strange things for them to steal.

I wonder what they'd make out of three knives and a Leonard Cohen CD....

Akelamalu said...

Oh dear, I hope you recover it all!

MorningAJ said...

Quick update: After a flash of inspiration I managed to track down 24,750-ish words on an old PC that I don't use any more at work.


I'm going to assume that is as much as I can find and I'll start reading it back tonight so I can back into the swing of it.

snafu said...

I know that feeling, I have lost lots of stuff, but nothing mysterious, just carelessness and pc failure. I never did get it all back, hope you have better luck. I am paranoid now and keep everything on several different media.