Thursday, February 23, 2017

Manuscripts in Cyberspace

It's early morning and blue light drifts into my writing space. I open a one subject, wide ruled spiral notebook and begin the first draft of chapter 10. Writing first drafts in longhand has always been my approach to writing in any genre. The words flow down my arm and out through my hand in blue swirls across the page. And any time I wish to review a few pages, find a certain scene that needs tweaking or check my scene notes, there they are inside the bright covers of the notebook.

Things can get tricky however when those character arcs, plot twists, and back stories are converted to documents in a word file on my computer.

I've been at work on this present novel for several years. Over that time plots and characters have changed and hopefully the whole has become better. But there are files, files and more files related to the varied forms of this novel. Some on the computer, some on a flash drive. Up until the passed few weeks this has worked okay. But I have been struggling with finding the first draft of the particular version I want to actually finish.

I have searched every document and folder for this draft and had not been able to find it. Until today!

I decided to do one more search and finally was able to seize the draft I was looking for. There it was in a file, in a folder within a folder that was inside a folder marked "saved folders." One hundred and sixty-five pages rescued from the ether. Two thirds of a first draft just waiting to be finished. As in the play "Six Characters in Search of an Author," my characters were waiting in cyberspace to see what was going to happen to them next. Lovers caught in mid-kiss wondering what that kiss would mean to their futures. An abused and pregnant teenager not sure if my protagonist would be able to save her or not.

Well, now those one hundred sixty-five pages are printed, hole punched and secure in a blue binder never to be lost again. And my poor characters will now, finally, discover what their futures will hold.

The document is also stored on the computer, in the cloud, and on a flash drive, hopefully never to be lost again.