Yesterday, I about had a heart attack. I spent all day revising my entry that finaled for Huntress for Hire, and I wanted to clarify a point I'd made earlier so went to look up the full mss to see what I had said.
It was gone.
I think I saved over the lastest version--with the 14-page new version just for the contest. What if by some miracle the final judge wanted to see a partial? A full? There's no way I can rewrite a 100k manuscript immediately, even if I know the story. It would never be the same. Sure, it needs work but rewriting from scratch? Couldn't do it. It's been probably over a year since I read it. But it makes me sick to think I'd revised it a lot already and now--it's gone. Had I saved it on a floppy, or flash drive, or external hard drive? Nope. grrr.
But thankfully, it had sold to a publisher, who released rights, so has never been published, and I had a version, not the latest version, but at least a version of it in my sold mss file.
So the point I'm so round about trying to make---SAVE everything two or three times in different places!
I've gotten better about newer stories, but I have done this before--been busy with a million things at once, save over a file that has the same file name, thinking when it asks me "Do you want to save over this file?" it's because I've also saved to my flash drive and gone back to my hard drive when it will ask that question. So there is reason to my madness. I just wished I'd made sure that was the case.
At least I still have an older, messy copy of the story. So I'm off to writing another magazine story, finished workshop lessons for the minute, and wanted to share another promotion tip---
If you belong to writing chapters--they often have newsletters. Be sure to get your good news in their newsletters. I just had one mention they only had one announcement for this newsletter. I hadn't sent it in. I hadn't mentioned to any of the chapters I'm members of that Heart of the Wolf was listed as one of PW's BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR!! and that I finaled in a contest.
So today, I need to go to all the chapter sites and find the forms to send the word. Promo opportunities are there, we just need to find them!
Has anyone else failed to save a manuscript, had a crash, or saved over the wrong mss before? What did you do???
I have one more story to share, then back to work. I had written a manuscript and my critique partners had critiqued it, then I got a full request!! But when I went to read over it one last time, I was missing the end. Yep, another one of those, save the wrong version issues. Sooo, I asked my critique partners if any of them had the ending--last two chapters. In the meantime, I rewrote them. But have you ever noticed how rewriting is never the same? Thankfully, even though my critique partner had dumped the chapters in her trash bin several months earlier, she hadn't dumped her trash bin. Wow, it's amazing how great critique partners can be!!! I rarely empty mine either. Sometimes, I use it as another storage place, just in case. :)
Hearf of the Wolf, Winning the Highlander's Heart