Friday, 18 February 2011


When writing I go through many drafts. I find it helps to save them in separate word documents, so I can go back to a previous draft of the novel if necessary. Then I save them in a totally useless naming system which jumbles the files as effectively as if someone let a cow loose in my study.

I don't have a study, by the way. I write on the dining room table, surrounded by detritus, so it's not a big push to imagine a cow-induced jumble.

Some bright spark pointed out that my operating system would let me sort my files by 'date created'. Brilliant, I thought. But I have files on 'Character', on 'Ideas', 'Thoughts', 'Letters to Agents' and I name the main text things like 'Out of Time FINAL' 'FINAL Out of Time' 'Out of Time this is really it now' - not to mention the versions where the novel had a totally different name (The Boy Time Forgot).

So I sorted my files into dates. In a way it was great. For the first time, all my files were in order. I knew exactly when I'd created each one. I just didn't know what was in it.

More Useful Structures for Writers...

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