Forced Rewrites

3 Feb

This morning I was about to forge ahead with my novel. To my surprise, everything I wrote yesterday disappeared. Completely. Word said, “Unexpected error occurred. We apologize for the inconvenience.”


But I retrieved the document. At least Word said I did. I swore I updated and saved it. I even checked and rechecked my precious new words before shutting down my laptop yesterday morning.

This morning, the document I knew that I saved was no where to be found.

Get over it and start rewriting, I told myself. So I did. Grudgingly.

As frustrating as this can be, the scene turned out better than what I wrote yesterday. This isn’t the first time I’ve lost material. I have to admit that I’ve come up with better material via forced rewrites. However, I’m not sure if I’d like to rewrite an entire novel from the beginning per Word or a computer malfunction.  I can hear you say, “Save it on multiple sources–just in case.” You’re right.  I’m going to do that after work.

From this point on, I’ll work out rewrites with my editor.


10 Responses to “Forced Rewrites”

  1. Mac February 3, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Yes! I understand how this feels. But, it does always come out better, which is great!

    I have my story saved on my computer, my email, my friend’s computer and I’m going to put it on an SD card too! If you’re on MSN and send it (via IM or email), whoever you send it to (say a Beta reader?) will have a copy in their ‘downloads’ folder. I think it’s great! (Try asking them to check there if you send something to a Beta reader and they lose it)

    • Mac February 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      *You lose it, that should read

    • never2late2write February 4, 2012 at 1:51 am #

      Hi Mac. I’ll check it out.

    • never2late2write February 4, 2012 at 2:03 am #

      Mac, you got my curiosity going. How does one get a beta reader? Is your material safe? If you have any recommendations/advice, please post. I’d love to know more.


      • Mac February 5, 2012 at 1:44 am #

        By Beta reader, I mean someone who reads your novel and critiques it and tells you their thoughts while writing it. In this case, I mean my best friend, who also happens to be a writer. That person can be a friend, which is what I’d recommend, personally.

        Also, I’m part of an online critique site called the Young Writers Society ( where I post my work to get reviews and I review other people’s work. Of course, there’s writing help, community and discussion areas…

        Of course, writing sites like those aren’t always safe. There are people out there on the internet who would plagiarise your work, but it’s pretty unlikely, especially for unpolished first drafts of novels. Poetry and short stories… maybe a bit more likely. But one day, I probably will have to go back and delete all what I’ve posted, but for now, the positives outweigh the benefits.

  2. Janet February 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    I guess that’s a nightmare that plagues us all. I email copies to myself, my husband and regularly save onto an external hard drive – a bit paranoid maybe but my laptop is prone to “Emergency crash dumps” (or something like that) whatever that is.

    • never2late2write February 4, 2012 at 1:50 am #

      Hi Janet.

      You’re right. I thought I was safe because I have drop box, but yes, I’m going to additional back up starting now.

  3. Jennifer M Eaton February 4, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    I usually find a re-write will end up better than the original. Sometimes, if something is not working, and I am not sure why, I start with a blank page and just start over. For some reason, things just find a way of working themselves out in the second draft.

  4. Kirsten February 4, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    Ouch! That is so frustrating!
    Good thing you learned this lesson with only a day’s worth of words. Let’s just say, I’ve heard some horror stories…

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