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Saving Drafts: Lesson Learned the Hard Way
Posted: Saturday, April 16, 2011 12:05 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 103

To experiment with different writing techniques or genres, or anything else new to me, I start with a short story. That story then either goes to a contest or is turned into a longer work.

When I was greener than I am now, I used to write  short stories to the word count length of their intended target (contest, or whatever), editing without thought to the future of the idea beyond my current intention for it.

Later, when I learned that ideas can be recycled, I realized I would love to have some of those cut non-essentials back. But alas, I didn't save any drafts - those words are gone forever.

I've always saved and archived versions of my longer works, but for some reason had been blind to this for the shorter ones.  Now I've learned the lesson and have a file archive system for everything I write, even those I intend as throw-away pieces.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you learned from that mistake? How do you prevent it from happening now? What's your system for saving drafts, even for those works that, at the time, you have no intention of expanding on?

Danielle Bowers
Posted: Saturday, April 16, 2011 12:27 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 280

I haven't had this happen with my writing yet. When I used to do a lot of programming I've had it happen so now I use a script that saves everything I write to several drives over the home network with one click.

Dropbox is now on my drive too and I find having that reassuring too.
Lew Yedwab
Posted: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 6:16 PM
Joined: 10/1/2013
Posts: 3

I save bleedin' EVERYTHING. After the requisite hosings before learning decent data hygiene, I now save every draft. 

The file names are invariably appended with something like "So and So draft 20131001 1815". 

It's dweebulent, but it works. 



Jay Greenstein
Posted: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 10:28 PM

One of the really nice features of the Mac is Time Machine. It automatically saves any changed file every hour. It saves that till the end of the next day, then converts it to a single combined backup for the day. It saves days for a month, then converts it to a weekly backup. And it keeps on saving till you run out of room on the backup drive. That converts the loss of a file to an inconvenience. It even backs up your mail if you use Apple's Mail program.


It's a lifesaver to someone as disorganized as I am.


Mac owners swear by their machines. PC owners swear at them


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