On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ooops! Losing your work. How to keep/find it.

Image hosting by PhotobucketThis is the worst thing that can happen to a writer because you always think you can't recreate the paragraphs/page/scene/chapter to the original brilliance. The truth is, you may NOT be able to do it again as well as you originally did. Or you might do it better.

First, this blog is about COMPUTER saving. There are other techniques for hard copy saving.

1. Set your word processing system to ALWAYS backup.
2. Set your word processing system to back up at small intervals. Mine is 3 minutes and I can still lose a good chunk if I'm going fast. My backup files are in the same folder I use for all my writing. My writing is in a separate folder than anything else. So if I'm desperate, I can find it fast.

3. Wordperfect has a macro "SAVTOA" in it's OPTIONAL macros (which means it isn't automatcially loaded, you have to find it on the software and load it), which will save to a floppy and your hard drive at the same time. One hit of a key. I'm not incredibly computer savvy, but I have modified it to save to a flash drive. If you can write macros in Word, you might want to try and do one like this.

4. I have Norton Utilities now and I can usually find my backup file in the recycle bin.

So, what happens when your computer crashes in the middle of something and you had a great idea and haven't even saved the first time? You may be screwed. BUT, recently (thus the blog). I'd had one of those drip, drip, drip words days and only had a couple of paragraphs when my "working" icon started spinning (ok it's a gamer's blue die). I knew the program wasn't responding. I knew if I ended the program I wouldn't have this INCREDIBLE (yeah, right) paragraph. An even sorta lyrical paragraph.

But I could see my few short paragraphs behind the spinning icon. Other programs worked. I couldn't cut and paste to the despicable Word, but I COULD do a "print screen." If you hit ALT and PRTSCN together, if the other programs are working, your computer will take a "picture" of what is on your screen at the time. This works for whatever is on the screen, including toolbars, so it's a good fix for anything that's short and on your screen...like a half page.

I've also used Restorer 2000 when absolutely desperate (because I haven't really read the instructions), and found stuff.

So there's my advice today. Save often. With one touch of a button, it isn't hard to do.

May you have computer bliss today.


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