Saturday, June 26, 2010

Google Docs and Some Help From My Friends

My Mac is Back!

On 12/7/09, I finished the first draft of my novel. Since that time, I have been busy editing it. Only three copies of the first draft existed in the world, the night I went to work on my copy of the first draft (which, technically, would be a fourth copy of the first draft, except that I had done a massive amount of editing on my copy). Two copies went to friends, who live on opposite sides of the globe, and the reactions to the draft were almost as far apart in terms of response.

One friend basically liked it. The other read 16 pages and said something along the lines of "When the hell does the story begin, these first few pages are valuable real estate and oh by the way that was a cheap trick on page 6. A real person wouldn't do that! I won't allow it." I'm paraphrasing, but it was along those lines. (Thank G-d she didn't read the cheap trick on page 29!) I mention the latter because while I was glad that the first friend liked the book, I didn't hear copious amounts of love, and the comments from the second friend I found terribly helpful in that terrible massacre sort of way that makes one feel like wrist slitting is an option but only in front of a couple friends who can save one's life.

Both of the people who read whatever part each read are brilliant writers and multi-published authors. They are very different in their styles and content, and I like to read both of them. So anyway, when Mrs Clinton, I mean, Ms. Congeniality, expressed her dismay at the first 16 pages, I immediately knew her comments were exactly correct. No really, I was glad to be saved from myself, and though another person might have put it...ah, differently, I've always counted on this friend for the unvarnished, jesus-that-wood-is-peeling truth. I was assured I could do better. So I asked the first friend to stop reading until I could send her a hugely revised version. She agreed.

I began to revise. I revised on my my copy of the first draft. I did not back those revisions up. One night I tried to open Safari and the Grey Screen of Death showed up. Ten minutes later, the grey screen had a large question mark in the middle of it. The question mark symbol was probably Apple's sense of humor, as in 'what are you going to do now that you're really f***ed?'

My iMac hard drive had gone to heaven, and I was in hell. However...

Free Dinner!