Wednesday, November 16
Things Live On My Desk...
So, yes, my desk is a mess. However, in my defense, I know where everything is and what everything is in each of the Piles of Death. I just haven't gotten around to actually filing everything.
And so it might surprise you that I'm actually very organized when it comes to my work. I have folders upon folders - on my computer, mind you - for my non-fiction writing. Folders with article ideas, folders with finished articles, folders with contact information, folders with contracts. Folders, folders, folders. Plus, since I've had a computer crash or 12 (apparently my computers don't like the dearth of files I have), I'm a backer-upper. Those non-fiction files plus an innumerable number of files for the fiction - divided up according to publisher I'm targeting, finished MS's, in-progress WIPs, chapters needing edits, critiques I've gotten back, story ideas, lines/paragraphs/entire chapters that have been cut...you name it, I have a file. I even have files for submissions. Those files live on my hard-drive. On a flash-drive. On an external hard drive. And in cloud storage (DropBox is my friend, lemme tell you).
And yet I'm missing a few things. Two of the first novels I wrote are gone. They live on a floppy disk somewhere in my garage filing cabinets...I could pull them down if I tried hard enough (have an external floppy drive purchased several years ago with a USB cable). But I don't. I think about it from time to time, but the truth is I like to remember those books As I See Them. The imperfect pieces of perfection that only a newbie writer could produce. Filled with cliches, bad grammar (because, hey, I was getting the words down not paying attention to the order of things), huge leaps of logic, very little internal conflict and way too much external going on. I think one of them has an insane-monster-in-law *and* a bitchy-best-friend in the way of the happy couple. These aren't books I could save. Maybe the *idea* behind the book, but not the books themselves. And so I let them live on that floppy in the garage, hidden away in a filing cabinet. The more perfect versions of those MS's are still in my head and I pull them out every now and again...to remember.
What do you do with those old manuscripts?