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Saving one's Work In Progress (WIP)

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parthianbow
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Saving one's Work In Progress (WIP)

Post by parthianbow » Thu February 24th, 2011, 4:30 pm

This no doubt is obvious to all of you worthy HFO members, and please disregard all the information below if that is the case. It's not obvious to everyone, however, and I thought that by posting about it, I could perhaps save someone an awful lot of heartache in the future. Even if it's only one person, it will have been worthwhile.

I was watching local TV news yesterday, and there was a feature about a town where there has been an upsurge in burglaries/break ins. A woman whose house had been attacked was interviewed. She revealed that she'd had a laptop taken - and on it was a novel that she'd been working on for A YEAR. She had not saved it anywhere else. I nearly fell off my chair. The poor woman. I don't know how she was able to speak to the TV crew. If that had happened to me, I would have been on the floor, screaming and kicking, and there I would have remained for I don't know how long.

Verdict: save all work to at least one other hard drive (preferably two). Do this religiously, and several times, every day. Do not keep these hard drives in the same place. Make sure that when leaving the house that at least one hard drive leaves too (just in case the house burns down). This may sound obsessive, but it is a good way to prevent severe heartache in the case of burglary, computer breakdown or unforeseen, tragic events such as fire.
Ben Kane
Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.
Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

http://www.benkane.net
Twitter: @benkaneauthor

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Thu February 24th, 2011, 4:54 pm

Years ago, my day job was Systems Analyst, where we had the frequent backup rule drummed in our heads. When I moved into management, I tried to instill that into my staffers, but inevitably, it took a crash or some other disaster before it hit home. For writers, I also recommend saving somewhere other than home. My writer's group has a private Yahoo group where we can park our work. You can also use Google docs. There are many "cloud" options. You can email your work to a family member, or friend or even yourself. If you use an online email service, the "sent file" will have copies of all your stuff. There are many ways to do it, but as Ben said, do it!
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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parthianbow
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Post by parthianbow » Thu February 24th, 2011, 5:11 pm

Thanks, Faith. I didn't mention 'cloud' options as I don't believe in using them (to be honest, I don't trust large, faceless corporations with my WIP - they have enough of my details already!). But as you say, it's a simple, easy to use option, and I know many people who do use it. It doesn't matter how the WIP is saved, as long as it is!
Ben Kane
Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.
Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

http://www.benkane.net
Twitter: @benkaneauthor

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Thu February 24th, 2011, 6:22 pm

We have so many problems at my school where I work. The kids will be working and the computer shuts down on them.

My motto: Save early and often.
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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Thu February 24th, 2011, 7:13 pm

If the movers and shakers in the corporate world have their way, computing will move to the cloud (ubiquitous use of mobile devices is making a strong case for it). I use Google docs for files I want easy access to or to have a backup for. Dropbox is another file hosting service I've heard of. You can sync files on your pc to Dropbox, e.g. I haven't used it.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Thu February 24th, 2011, 7:17 pm

NaNoWriMo always makes a point of this as there is a history of people's computer crashing midway through the month of November.

I email my work to my "writer's" account. I should really email some more of my files to myself. Thanks for the reminder, Ben.

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N. Gemini Sasson
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Post by N. Gemini Sasson » Thu February 24th, 2011, 8:45 pm

Excellent reminder, Ben. I only lost a chapter once, but that was enough. I e-mail files to myself like Faith suggested. That way - heaven forbid my house should go up in flames or someone break in and take every computer in the house - they're on a server somewhere.

I can only imagine how heartwrenching it would be to lose a year's worth of work. Which author was it who (in the days before computers) had the only copy of her ms. stolen out of her car?

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wendy
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Post by wendy » Fri February 25th, 2011, 4:05 pm

I back everything up on my thumb drive - and my thumb drive goes with me when I leave the house. Completed manuscripts each have their own drives that are kept in a fireproof safe. Thanks for the reminder though!
Wendy K. Perriman
Fire on Dark Water (Penguin, 2011)
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri February 25th, 2011, 4:16 pm

Every time I lose something and have to re-write it, it comes out better. Sharon Kay Penman lost her entire first manuscript of the Sunne in Splendour -- but the re-write is what got her published.

So I don't sweat it if I lose something. After all, the creative source that produced it is still there, and probably more seasoned. I figure God wanted it to be a little better, so He sent me back to the word processor.

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N. Gemini Sasson
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Post by N. Gemini Sasson » Fri February 25th, 2011, 5:16 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Every time I lose something and have to re-write it, it comes out better. Sharon Kay Penman lost her entire first manuscript of the Sunne in Splendour -- but the re-write is what got her published.
[/quote]

Ah, maybe that's who I was thinking of.

The ironic thing is after having read this I was writing an article summary last night for a course I'm enrolled in, the electrical cord came loose on the laptop when the dog walked over it, that battery had died and poof! - there went 20 minutes of work. Lesson learned . . . again.

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