Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been working out a rough outline from which to work for everything I’ve written. Though it’s prone to change and is by no means super detailed, it gives me a chance to work out plot holes before hand and to have something to guide me while I write. It’s been working incredibly well, to have a little guidance, and during two novellas and a short story, I’ve come to rely on it.
So yesterday morning when I went to open the outline for the next story and couldn’t find it anywhere, you can imagine that I freaked out a little.
Okay. A lot.
I’d put in the work, I’d replotted the dang story three different times, and that one was the right one, finally, the story that was supposed to be written. And even though I wrote it a few weeks ago (okay, a month), I hadn’t opened it again because between work and my own brain, I wasn’t ready to start it. And then I was and the document was not there.
Or anywhere. I scoured my entire hard drive. I looked everywhere. I handed the laptop to someone much more tech savvy than me, to see if he could find it. And it wasn’t anywhere. It was just gone. Like I never saved it in the first place. Which is the only explanation I have even though I’m an obsessive saver…to the point where I do it every few minutes sometimes, and back up my back ups. I save to the hard drive, two different flash drives, and also the cloud. But this document I needed, my outline, no longer existed.
So I had to start from scratch and write it all over again.
Which sent me into a panicking tailspin. I was utterly certain I wasn’t going to remember something important that I wanted to write, and it was going to be less of a story because of it. I had another doc where’d I’d written down a few snippets from scenes that I had seen in my head over the last few weeks, so that gave me a little bit to work with. And then, miracle of miracles, I found a hand written version of the very basic plot details. I breathed a sigh of relief. It wasn’t everything, and my hand writing was bad enough that I could not read all the words, but I had the very general plot, and the main plot points, and I could recreate my outline from there.
Which I did.
And saved it to every damn thing.
We’re good now. Panic has passed. I definitely have my outline. And I’m once again excited to write this book.