So I posted yesterday how I looked at the Chaos Pen Challenge #5 that I put together and how I had nothing save for a few images in my head with it. Up to this point I’ve thrown together an outline each time and written the story. So my sister told me to just “pants” it and see what happens with it. So I did… while doing laundry… kicked out 2,000 words… I wasn’t freaking out… actually enjoying the characters… Then for some reason unknown to me, the computer decided to just shut off. @_@ Like it had been unplugged or something.
Get everything back up and running. Loaded Scrivener up and I shit you not the entire document is blank. I had the settings set for it to automatically back up and THERE’S NO BACKUP FOR THIS. It’s. fucking. gone.
Part of me wants to immediately start outlining the story based on what I had written and take it from there. The other part of me is saying I should just start over on the fly and continue to “pants” it. This discovery process with Clarissa has been interesting after all…
What does she find behind the door?
And what is she looking for?
Do I really want to outline that? Part of me says I should at least just sketch out basic plot points to at least map out the imagery I need. But overall I’m feeling pretty pissed and railing against the urge to rage quit.
2 thoughts on “2,000 words…”
I’ve told this story to a few people but I’ll tell it again. Two years ago I was pantsing my story- no real plot outline to speak of, just some character concepts and a setting. (To no one’s surprise the first draft is still to this day a first draft…) sometime a few weeks in to NaNo I’m writing and for the first time that month inspiration strikes me: the words are just flowing naturally without me thinking at all. It was about 10 pages of truly inspired writing. I don’t even believe in god, but it felt like it was coming from some higher power! You know that feeling?
Anyway, at some point towards the end of this writing, my text editor crashed. No big. It crashed frequently, so I had made a habit of saving often. It had only been about a sentence since I last saved, but when I re-opened and it asked me if I wanted to restore to the most recent version I thought “sure, why not. Every sentence counts right?”
So I click on it and my words are gone. It had glitched and restored to a version of the document that was two days old. All of that inspired writing- literally the only 10 pages I’d actually liked all month- and it was gone. I was devastated. I think I cried. Like a lot.
And I did actually manage to find the overwritten file later, but that’s not the point. The point is that the next day after I’d gotten all my feelings out I sat down with a notebook and pencil and I started writing again. I thought since I hadn’t planned the writing at all there was no way I’d be able to reproduce it. But I did. I reproduced nearly all of it, verbatim, actually. Later on when I found the overwritten file I compared and found only a 100 word difference between the two.
So the moral of the story is, sometimes brains do weird stuff. Just because your computer lost those words, doesn’t mean they’re not still there rattling around in your head. 🙂
Oh I’m aware of this. I’m sure I told you about the typewriter and losing the actual typewritten pages of a half written book and how it happened twice and thus the short story series for Tale of the Phoenix was born? I’m sure I could have rewritten what I just wrote verbatim BUT I decided to make it an opportunity to capture the symbolic imagery (I hope) and work with it more. Normally I admit I’m a bit lazy with description. Usually I limit what I give the readers to what only the characters are paying attention to, but this is a special situation. Clarissa just stepped through the looking glass so to speak so I want to play in there and see what I find. It just pissed me off that it happened right in the middle of something fun is all really more than anything else. So I’m hoping to recapture that and expand on it.