It’s around here somewhere…
It took me more than a week to notice that the pages were gone.

I always do this thing: when I give pages of my writing to someone to read, I find myself overcome to re-read it myself, trying to see it through their eyes in anticipation of their response. After giving a chapter’s worth of pages to a co-worker to read I did this and noticed a few typos that needed to be corrected, so before passing the same chapter on to my writers’ group I sat down to do a proofreading pass. 

I’m not sure what it was that tipped me off, but something reminded me about a scene that I’d thought I’d written in which a character makes an important phone call.

 I couldn’t find it anywhere. 

 Now that I was looking for it, I realized that I hadn’t missed it. I wondered if I’d decided to cut it altogether and had simply forgotten that is made that choice. It wasn’t very central to the action of that particular chapter, but that set up a few important facts for a follow up phone call down the line, and the characters themselves made reference to making that phone call.  

At last I found it in an alternative draft. This is the pitfall of having multiple iterations of a draft in progress at the same time. I was flooded with relief. It was a solid page and a half of material and I’d worked on it for several days. Even if I decided to trim it out later, I was relieved that I at least had it now. 

So clearly I need to work out some kind of backup system. All my work on this project is on one laptop and in Google drive, but even that feels like a very tenuous form of insurance. I suppose that I ought to print hardcopies of the completed chapters so that I can file them away- that way I’ll at least have some of my work in hand in case something happens to my digital files. 

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on November 3, 2017.

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