I do make notes when I write. Not very logically at times I will admit, but I make them. Yes, I can remember most of the why’s, what’s and who’s when I am deep in the creative groove. I also have a few dozen post-it notes and print outs scattered around the place. Once the writing is over and my opus has left my sticky hands for editor-land all of that gubbins is packed up and the next project takes over.
This month I am in edit mode for an older manuscript. One that sat on a publisher’s desk for 18 months whilst they pontificated, assuring me that it was being carefully considered. And then, when the editor left, said manuscript apparently fell into a black hole.
Not to be put off I decided to give it another edit before sending it out again.
So far so good, until I came across a little section that has gone missing. I know I wrote it at some point, but there it was … gone. When I say section it literally is half a page, but half a page bearing the name of a small town that my main character has been stranded in. I could write round it but my mind does not work that way. I have to find it.
No problem, thinks I, because I kept notes.
It is then that I discover that ALL of those fine details that I need to know vanished. The hard copy notes made whilst writing have apparently slid into the same dimension that socks go to die, and as I have killed two computers (long story) the data files have gone walkabout in the same magical fashion.
So … I have just spent an afternoon collating what I do have in a desperate attempt at finding those elusive snippets. I’ve found a lot of them and it’s a useful thing to do when I am in edit mode. But the one thing I needed to know? Fat chance.
I shall have to make more notes as I go (again) and pin a huge note above the monitor in the hope that I come across it. I will put something down and trust that my beta readers will spot it and slap me around for being an idiot, but until then I am going to be stressing over that anonymous town.
Take note, people, and make notes – and DO NOT lose them!