Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Lost Scene

I lost a scene today. It wasn't serious, just about a page on the manuscript, and it was in recent memory, so it didn't take too long to re-create it. But I'm sure it's about 50 words shorter than the original version, and I don't know what I left out.

Microsoft Word again. The old problem. If I leave the document open for too long, Word refuses to do a save. It had been about three days this time. When I'm working day and night on a story, it's all too easy to leave the window open. Yes, I save regularly. Yes, I have autosave turned on. But it isn't enough.

So when the dreaded error message showed up, I went into recovery mode, highlighting many pages of text and copying them to the clipboard and then quitting without saving (the only option other than crashing Word on purpose). My mistake this time was that I had been too productive, and my clipboard text was one scene short. Software error + human error = lost scene.

I need to quit out of Word every single day, and that's not my habit pattern. Most of my programs are left on and running for days, weeks, on end. Only Word gives me a problem. Tick. Tick. Tick. Sooner or later, it's going to be replaced.

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