When I first decided to write my own novel I found a software called Storyist, which you can check it out at your leisure on their site. (Sidenote: I now use a different software called Scrivener, but this has nothing to do with why I switched.) I wrote most of my story in order so it went right into the manuscript, although it isn’t broken into chapters yet. I hit a mind block and jumped to one event that was kicking me. Wrote that completely out and jumped to yet another event. These singular events I make into files. If you click and enlarge the above image (Note it is not my book! It’s from the website!) you’ll see “Notebook” — that’s where these out of order events go.
Back to the fear.
I wrote this one event that’s been eating at me for a couple weeks now, but I never could get it right in my head. Finally, two nights ago it was like BAM and my fingers start going. It was a ridiculously slow process, it’s just that type of scene(s). A lot of rewriting paragraphs. Delete, rewrite. Delete, rewrite.
Side Note: I use shortcut keys for literally everything. Shortcuts people don’t even know exist I use. Well, this is my punishment for typing faster than I think. Things went in this order:
- I ⌘-A the text to see my word count (2,290 words)
- I ⌘-S my work. It autosaves every five minutes, but I naturally do it every once in a while without thinking
- I ⌘-Q and just as it is going bye bye I noticed all that was on the page was a period.
I’m already going “Nononononononononono!” and feel a sick. I don’t even want to reopen the program but I know I have to. I know what I’m going to see.
Yup, the three hours of work is gone and there’s just a little tiny . laughing at me. My guess: I didn’t deselect the text and hit a period (accidentally?) so it deleted all of it and left just that damn punctuation.
And yes, it’s gone. Storyist autosaves every five minutes as mentioned, but the autosaves are deleted once I do a manual save. It also backs up daily and once a week I save it on my iCloud. I checked the back up — it was backed up before I began writing. No go.
I try to look at everything positively, though I was somewhere in between crying and throwing my computer Monday night. I tried to write it while it was fresh in my head — I got about eight hundred words in before I got too frustrated with the details I knew I was missing. It was also after two in the morning and I was getting tired. (Side note: I had napped earlier in the evening.)
This was all Monday night/Tuesday morning and I haven’t written since. It’s just…gah. Awful. This will never happen again. Never. Ever. Again.
For giggles, total word count stands at 59,579. From the advice I’ve been given, you aren’t supposed to query really long manuscripts so I’m stopping around 65,000, which is just over 260 pages. Comparing it to other [hardcover] YA fiction, that’s short. City of Bones is almost 500, Hunger Games is over 350 and Sorcerer’s Stone is around 300 for comparison. I can always make it longer, but to shorten it would be much more painful. Ugh, query letters. That’s a nightmare all by itself.
All right, enough with the whining. Off to bed.