3/30/09 — I’m well into the rewrite of STORM MOUNTAIN, and things have been going fine. Well, up until yesterday, anyway, when I noticed mistakes that I was sure I’d already fixed on a previous draft, ranging from word repetitions to misspellings to awkward language usage, stuff I pride myself on ironing out before submitting.
All of which got me wondering at 3:00 AM this morning if the draft I submitted to my editor (#32) had somehow gotten deleted from my computer. (I’ve had on-going software and operating system issues.) Which would mean that I was currently working on an earlier draft and was rewriting something that I’d already rewritten.
I searched all of the files related to the story, and couldn’t find anything. At a loss of what to do, I emailed my editor with an embarrassing, she’s-going-to-think-I’m-a-bozo question that went roughly like this: "Did you find places in the text I mailed you where I’d made notes to myself, i.e. ‘REP’, or ‘CHAP BREAK HERE?’, or ‘FIX THIS’, or anything like that?"
It wasn’t until after I’d clicked "Send" and launched the message to New York City that I realized I had not only submitted a hardcopy manuscript of STORM MOUNTAIN, but also an electronic one, attached to a email. I went back through several mailboxes and — BINGO! — there it was. Sure enough, I had been working on the wrong draft.
So today I’m back at it. Thankfully, clearing things up has gone fairly easily. Still the whole thing really does make me feel like a bozo.
Bottom line: If you are writing on a computer, make doubly sure you have everything backed up.