No one ever told me this would be so discouraging...

First off, thank you for all the wonderful information and suggestions about synopses! I'm now a lot more optimistic about my chances of writing a good one.

Unfortunately, that is the extent of my optimism.

Yesterday I lost the last thousand words of my new WIP. And there were a couple of pivotal scenes there introducing a main character and beginning a huge part of the plot. And now I have to try and rewrite them, if I can.

But that's not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is the mental block this has put up in my head. My brain hates the idea of rewriting those scenes, especially since they were so difficult to write in the first place. But the way my story is structured makes it impossible to write further without having this character in place.

It has also turned into a huge foothold for self-doubt. I don't know if I can write the scenes as good as they were. Maybe this will be the thing that reveals me to be a bad writer, the thing that proves once and for all that I was just faking it all along...

I'm very sad panda right now.

However... it was only a thousand words, and not two thousand like I originally thought. And I'm still passionate about the story, so that's in my favor.

So today I'll start small-- one paragraph, maybe two. Just to get my bearings. Then I will back up my work, put the matter out of my mind and have a date with my husband.

(We're planning on building a blanket fort in the living room. We're going to hide from the world: turn off our phones, drink hard lemonade and watch movies. It should be a good time.)

Has anyone else lost work? How did you get over the discouragement?


  1. Ug, yes. I learned the hard way when my hard drive crashed, and I'd had several unsaved files on it. Chalked that sad lesson up to experience. I save often and in more than one place now, and slogged through rewriting what I had to. My only encouragement is that maybe in your rewrite, you'll be doing a self-edit of the first lost draft, making it even better than it was?

  2. Oh no! Yes, I've had that happen to me, and it is SO disheartening! I totally know what you mean when you say that it is extra hard to rewrite when the scene was a challenge to craft in the first place. I've been there. My Word has a virus, and TWICE, it has just suddenly shut down and ERASED my entire file! Luckily, I save on a flash drive every time I write. But still, both of those times I lost the whole session of work. Once, it was 2500 words. UGH.

    Well, enjoy your date with your hubby (sounds fun. :) and then press on. It's all you can do, I guess.

  3. Joanne- I can only hope. I keep telling myself that in writing it down, I didn't erase it, it's still in my head. :-) Nice to know it's happened to other people too.

    Renee- UGH indeed! Thanks for the sympathy. Pressing on I go... :-)

  4. First off, building a blanket fort and watching movies while drinking adult beverages sounds so fun!!!! I would totally love to do that, except my hubby and I would not be able to agree on the movie.
    Re the word loss...this is not going to be a popular idea, but I believe everything happens for a reason. Everything. Every. Thing. So, for some reason, you were supposed to lose those words and have to rewrite them. And your ms will be better for it. That won't make you feel any better and you don't have to like it. But I think it's what was supposed to happen.
    Good luck synopsising.

  5. Yes, I have. I was so desperately upset at having lost it! So I rewrote it as soon as I could, while it was still fresh in my mind. I know that if I wallow in misery too long, more of it will slip from the archives in my brain.

  6. Amy- You're probably right, but I don't have to like it. :-)

    Rebecca- Did you have mental block at all. That's my big problem at the moment...

  7. I once heard Carmen Deedy Agra speak about losing the entire manuscript of a book she had spent months revising and was ready to turn into her publisher. She lost the WHOLE manuscript. (She was in the process of moving, I think, so beware little chick.) Well, of course, she had no choice but to rewrite it, from scratch. I "think" she said it was the best version yet, and it was published with nary another revision. (I could be wrong about that, but it makes a good tale.)



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