Thursday, August 26, 2010


I've found an issue with not working on things for a long time and then suddenly getting a burst of energy - things get lost in between.

Late last night and early this morning I had a couple of those moments of clarity where a small section of the story came to me in a complete format. A couple of bits in a scene that needed work, expansion, or revision (or all of the above), hit me. Not just how it was supposed to play out, but the actual words I needed to describe it properly.

I got up this morning ready to start work, only I couldn't find my USB key. Mild panic set in as I tried to ensure my daughter got ready for school while I madly searched the study. Anxiety slowly rose until I reluctantly came to the conclusion that if it was gone, then maybe it was fate telling me it was time to give it away.

I trudged into the dining area and got my work bag ready for my 'day job'. Inside a pocket I found my USB key. Relief flooded over me, but time had run out. I packed it back inside my bag, and the little one and I headed out. I dropped her off and then went to work. Only after a couple of hours did I find time to actually plug in my USB and work on my two new bits.

The first one went in seamlessly and sets up some stuff that happens much later in the story. The second doesn't exist...

That's not right. I know I wrote in a scene in the first chapter where our hero runs into the bad guy as foreshadowing of what's to come. I have it written down on my chapter breakdown notes so I'm not going totally crazy. I had an extra piece of description in my head that would allow a couple of things to happen later on - but the meeting isn't in the copy of the manuscript I have on my USB!

It must be (I hope) on my laptop at home.

So now I've updated one version of the manuscript, which isn't complete with updates I'd done some time ago.


Short of carrying around my laptop, has anyone come up with a away to centralise Works In Progress to eliminate these types of issues for those who tend to work from a couple of different locations?

How do you keep track of your revisions?


  1. Email a copy of the lastest version to yourself on a free email account accessible where ever internet connection is available. Good for access and good for additional backup. I always count on more than a flash drive and hard drive for my works.

  2. I keept my revisions on a USB key and half the time forget to transfer it at night so if I lose it I too will be devastated. I keep telling myself that as well as being disciplined enough to write every day I need to be disciplined enough to back up every day.