Seriously, though. I have decided to post my progress, or lack thereof, on my “Barbarian” story.
As some may know, I have been using Scrivener to compose my “Barbarian” novel, and have also put “Challenge…” into a Scrivener project.
I used the compile function with “Barbarian” a few months ago so I could make a file to send out to some of my contacts who agreed to take a look at it for me, knowing it is still incomplete.
Since then, I have added, edited and generally jostled about on different files. It’s kind of crazy.
I’d read a part in order to “get a feel” for what goes next, and find something missing. Something I know I wrote, but it isn’t where I remember adding it. So, I have to go through various other computer files pertaining to the Barbarian, trying to find the illusive passage, and then copy-and-paste where it goes in whatever file I happen to be in. The result: A bunch of different files, mostly with the same content.
So, I have come to a decision: I’m going through all the different versions ( the txt and doc and docx as well as scrivx) and make sure I have all the parts I have written, and put everything not redundant into a brand new Scrivener project. Then, I need to take all previous files and either move them into my external HD, or just delete them. I need to get on this so I only have one file to look at. I am, after all, easily distracted. (Want to know how many sittings it took just for this post?)
Okay, I’m not going to actually delete the other files, I’m just going to take them out of my computer documents to avoid more confusion. I will only have one project to add, edit, look at, avoid, ignore…
Wait, that’s not how to go about this. It is, however, how my (ahem!) brain sees things. The reason I am hesitant to just delete them any writer should be able to tell you. The fear that, when I only have one, I’ll get to a section I know I wrote, but it wouldn’t be where I know I put it.
Yes, fear. I ran into such a scenario when I knew I had written the start to the Grand Finale, where the Barbarian is facing the Red Griffin. I had penned an awesome retort by the Barbarian, and did not (still don’t) want to have to try to rewrite it. Any time I try a rewrite from (?) memory, it comes out a different scene.
Another example is when I wrote a part that had the ruler of The Twelve Kingdoms leading his armies to face the Red Griffin’s forces. He tried to give an encouraging speech that fell short of the inspiration he wished to impart. He had a flash of future events; his death, his daughter’s capture and her fate, as well as the destruction of all his efforts to unite his Kingdom. In his defiance of that vision, he finally gives the rousing words his people need to hear, and they all ride toward the inevitable battle.
It came out great, in my mind, and when I tried to find it, it seemed to have disappeared. I had to look in 4 different files, each producing more frustration because I knew I wrote it. I just had to find where it ended up by looking in the other files. All while trying not to edit the “lesser” files in which I had to look to find it.
I did end up finding both passages, and have pasted the entire story, my in-transcript notes and all, into a brand new Scrivener project, and now need to tweak it back into the novel I want. Plus, add the missing parts. If I can just get my committee to shut up enough to get new stuff written where there are major story-line holes.
Right now, my open project informs me I have 39,989 words. Should we say “Half way there”? That is more than I had at the start of the year, but I had hopes of getting it a lot closer to completion. Between re-reading and having to find the elusive passages, I have failed.
I am not, however, going to focus on the negative of not accomplishing my goal, but in the fact that I am farther along. If I brood on the failing, I extinguish all desire to continue on. It’s hard enough holding on to the belief I have a story lots of people would like to read when I hear no comments from anyone who has looked at it.
I believe this concludes this post. I thank you for taking some time out to read it. I wonder, though: Do you ever have the problem of trying to find something you know you’ve created? I mean you know for a fact that you did, but are at a loss to find it. Give your experience with it, and let’s see if we can feel less incompetent by knowing it is just another facet of being human.