Thursday, July 29, 2010

Keeping Track

When I'm editing, I'm bad for keeping a million different copies of my chapters. Okay, maybe not quite a million, but a lot more than I care to admit.

I find that every time I go into the chapter I save it as a different name just in case I change something and then decide I want to go back to what I had previously written. And, of course, because I'm getting older, I can never remember the exact wording.

Hence I have a lot of the same chapter with just a few changes, which can be hard when you're trying to figure out what document is the most up to date. So with this book I've been using dates in the name, which so far is working well.

What about you? Do you save your chapter each time you open it or do you just rewrite and forget about what was once written?

13 comments:

Mim said...

I use Scrivener, so I just take a picture of my document--which saves it as that version, and go through the edits. Generally I edit the whole thing, then save a different version of it. I've got lots of copies, but it is easy to find them.

Heidi Willis said...

So funny because I so identify!! The first book I wrote I kept changing and tweaking, so that I had a "book final" and a "book really final" and "book to query" and "book to send," etc. You get the picture. I never had any idea which was the really really final! :)

Using the last time edited info helped. Now I have one first draft document and I do very little change. If I change it, the old is lost. Now I've saved it as second draft and am using track changes so I can see what I've changed if I want to go back and reverse myself.

Carolyn V. said...

I do save my chapter under a different name each time. I use "Chapter 1 [1]" and then add the numbers up each time I change something. I have gone back many times to put words back into my ms. =)

Patti said...

Mim: I've never heard of Scrivener. You learn something everyday.

Heidi: I like your idea of tracking your changes so you can what you changed.

Carolyn: I've gone back a lot as well. I like even to read the difference between the versions, makes me feel like I'm getting better.

Elaine AM Smith said...

I wish I didn't but I do. Last January/February time when I couldn't shake off my chest infection I sent out queries with the old versions attached. I killed six possible contacts. :(
These days, I am very careful how I store old versions and label the new.

Patti said...

Elaine: I'm so sorry that's terrible. I think I'll brush up on my file management skills.

strugglingwriter said...

I do this as well, though I usually only if I go on a huge tangent in the writing.

I think your software might help with this, though. They call it versioning. I know Word does it and I think Open Office does it as well.

Google Docs has Version History.

patti said...

rewrite.
The old stuff is history.

Probably not so wise, but I do have an extensive back-up system and two hard drives...
P

reberto.alberto said...

Hi there!

Shortstorybook.net is organizing a short story writing contest.

We do think that you too might have a marvelous story to tell, one that is your own! So if you can compose it in not more than few words, we would want to hear from you. Also, you stand a chance to get your story published on our site and win cash prize of USD 100.

“Then what are you waiting for? …put on your thinking cap and get writing. For registration and other information check - http://bit.ly/short-story-contest-2010

Happy writing!

Natalie said...

Yes! I have probably 10 copies of my first manuscript saved on my computer (but they aren't saved with dates, they all have different names, which is so confusing! I need to try the date thing). I also have about 10 print out copies at various levels of revision. I should probably throw some of those out now.

Kasie West said...

I'd rather have your problem then mine, which is: I don't save enough versions and then wish I had. There is nothing wrong with having too many, but not having the one you wish you did stinks. :) Keep being obsessive.

patti said...

Missing you! Just popped in to say God bless.
P

Laura Pauling said...

I do keep track. I only work on one version at a time. I put older versions in a separate folder. But if I forget I look for the most recent rewrite to see if it's there. :)