1. Darkcula
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    Darkcula Member

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    Accidentally deleted away inital piece of my writing, now ain't getting motivation to start again :(

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Darkcula, Mar 14, 2015.

    It so happened with me that one unlucky day, I assumed myself to be a clean freak and out of sheer accident, deleted away my first draft. It was not much to be honest (just around 800 words or so) but it had got me started and in a nice shape too. Now I am feeling like shit. I also tried Recova, Phoenix (recovery software) but all in vain , as the sectors got overwritten :( Please help me out !
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    How can we help you if the recovery software couldn't? All I can say is, I'm surprised the section was over written. I had a computer crash twice in the past and most of the files were recoverable with software designed to recover lost files.

    And, I can feel your pain. Though most of my novel is saved up the ying yang on my three flash drives, I thought I lost the latest chapter revisions a couple days ago when my computer wouldn't wake up. I was able to reboot and the world came back to life. Learned my lesson, when pages are loading slowly, make a back up before closing that notebook for the night. Listen to your gut when your gut is screaming, "something's wrong."

    But I would have still soldiered on. Losing 800 words is tolerable. Losing 90K words, not so much.
     
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  3. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    That really sucks man but 800 words shouldn't defeat you!
     
  4. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Rethink the piece.

    Think if the approach you took was really the best (chances are, it was not). A lot of writers rewrite, and I mean rewrite, whole chapters.

    I'm doing a major revision on chapter one. It still has the same approach, but it needs to expose more of the story world. Also, as I rewrite, I'm writing in logic problems that I need to mark and address later.
     
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  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, that is distressing for sure. Do follow @GingerCoffee 's advice about backing everything up on several pieces of media all the time. Save dated copies and don't delete them either. And print off your work, so you at least have the chance of re-entering it onto computer if you do inadvertently delete it.

    However, that's all locking the barn door too late, isn't it? I've always maintained that losing work in this manner only happens to you once. After that you become paranoid like me ...who goes around with three flash drives attached to her person at all times, has a hard disk backup, four flash drives in a drawer, emailed copies sent at various intervals ...AND a partridge in a pear tree, in the form of a print copy as well. Paranoid? I prefer to call it 'prepared.' Yes, it takes time to do backups, but it's worth it. You also need to name your files so you don't mistakenly delete them across all your devices either.

    I am heartened by the fact that you 'only' lost about 800 words. That is very distressing, but you have three things you can do about it (besides try the computer recovery stuff that Ginger suggested.)

    1) Stop writing, or stop writing that story
    2) Try to remember how you phrased what you lost and re-write it as best you can
    3) Think about the story you lost and start re-writing it from scratch. DON'T try to remember all your phrases, etc. Just write it again as if it was the first time around. Chances are, when editing, you would have changed a lot of what you wrote the first time anyway, so this gives you a chance to correct any mistakes you made. @Robert_S has the right idea, I reckon.
     
  6. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I must ask, how do you accidentally hard delete something (unless it was on an external drive)?
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's easy to do if your brain blips at the wrong time. I have accidentally deleted things because I was clearing up some folders when somebody came in and started yakking at me at the wrong time. I ended up dragging the wrong stuff to the trash. I've also mistakenly grabbed a file I thought contained one thing, only to discover later that it actually contained stuff I didn't want to get rid of as well. These are human errors, and the only way to guard against them is to make sure you have backups, and make sure you never delete all of the same backups at once. Or 'replace' the contents without thinking.

    When all else fails ...keep a printed copy!
     
  8. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a habit of hitting the safe key many times when writing, also back files up a lot and for a quick back up you could e-mail a copy to your self...
     
  9. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    But unless you empty the trash the files aren't actually deleted and can be easily recovered, so accidentally deleting a file like that shouldn't be a problem? :confused:
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, yeah ...IF you realise in time what you've done! If you don't, and you just empty the trash...you've had it.

    In my case, I did realise in time and didn't empty the trash when I got distracted by the person yakking at me. However, I did delete the file I thought I didn't need any more from my computer. It wasn't until much later that I realised ...uh, oh. I had something I did want to keep from that document. Fortunately, I had undeleted backups on secondary devices.

    I guess what I'm saying is human error does happen, and it sounds as if that's what the OP did. Mistakenly deleted something he actually wanted to keep.

    The only way to ensure that doesn't happen is to never 'replace' content of a file with new content. And never delete all your backups. Keep an old flash drive or something else, and don't delete anything from it right away.

    I'm probably tempting fate here, but in the past 21 years of working and writing on the computer I have never yet lost any of my work permanently. I've had computers fail, files get corrupted, backup devices go bad, etc etc. I've occasionally deleted the wrong thing by mistake. But I've done enough different kinds of backup that I've always had something to fall back on. Twice it has even been printed copies!

    Better safe than sorry.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
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  11. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's been a while since I last deleted my garbage files. I have a large external storage unit that I can condense my garbage files (along with all other files) into a zip file and store away. It may be over kill but there's no real harm in it either.
     
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  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, but to hard delete a file, you have to press Shift with the Delete button, which means it's gotta be pretty deliberate. Otherwise, the file is just in the recycling bin on your desktop, and the recycling bin usually doesn't get flushed till you've used up enough memory to push deleted files out of existence. Which means all you need to do is open up your bin and restore the file. Anyway, I assume that's what @Komposten meant by hard delete - not an IT expert myself lol.

    But yeah, definitely always make back ups. I email myself a copy of my book almost every night - it's on my gmail as well as my phone. And my husband's set up automatically online back ups that update our back ups directly from my laptop to cloud regularly. So I'm never worried :)

    My mum once lost like 2 hours' worth of work cus she didn't save the document and the computer crashed lol. I asked her, but why didn't you save it? And she was like, "Cus it wasn't finished!" :rolleyes: Whereas pressing Ctrl + S has almost become a tick. I find myself accidentally trying to save web pages cus I'm just used to hitting Ctrl + S after I type just about anything, even if it's just 2 words hahaha

    Anyway, OP - 800 words hurts but it's almost nothing in the grand scheme of things. Just write it again. It's a shame, but what you gonna do now anyway?
     
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  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm a Mac user, and I reckon we use different jargon. You call it 'hard delete' - I call it 'empty the trash.' I can pull things into my trash can (which looks like a wee wastebasket) on my desktop, and it stays there as long as I want it to. I can access this stuff again, simply by pulling it back onto the desktop.

    However, if I decide to 'empty the trash' that's it gone. Or rather, it's ripe for being over-written. It's a two-step, deliberate process, and I get asked if I really want to remove the items permanently. If I choose yes, then it's gone.

    I do empty my trash quite often, once I know for sure I want the stuff gone. Otherwise the trash gets so full I don't know what's in it anyway.
     
  14. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    We're on the same page here. What I was referring to when I said "hard delete" was mostly emptying the recycle bin, but also other ways of deleting files that makes them "ripe for overwriting" (which, btw, is a much better wording than to say "hard delete" since a file isn't actually deleted even if the trash is emptied, but is still on the drive with the added risk of being overwritten).

    I usually only empty my recycle bin either when I'm running CCleaner on my PC (a program that cleans up a lot of crap from the PC including recycle bin, temp files, caches, etc.) which happens about once every 6 months or when I'm running out of hard drive space. ;)
     
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  15. Carlos Danger
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    Carlos Danger Member

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    Happened to me ages ago. Think what I did was accidently delete a bunch of stuff and then save the file. Not a good experience.

    Started saving everything in multiple places after that. Plus Google Docs, which is what I use to write, makes auto-saves. It's quite interesting going back through the auto-saves and seeing how a particular story has evolved over time.
     
  16. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm sorry to hear about your lost words.

    I started using Dropbox this year. It has a yums 2 gigs of free storage and it's just a like a folder on your desktop. My motivation was A: I can write anywhere as long as I upload it, and B: One of my harddrives is a fancy solid state—fast, but no warning sounds for death.
     
  17. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    I thought the same thing happened to me on a short story I'm working on. I look at deletion as a way to start over and make it better then before.
     
  18. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    It does not matter what type of program I am using, if it has a save function then I'm practically hammering on it after every change.

    Also, 800 words? Bah, I discarded more than that last time I opened my laptop. If you've already written it once, then it should take no time at all to recreate it. I can assure you, you will probably find yourself re-writing large sections when you've finished. Just chalk it up to a premature edit.
     
  19. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    800 word, while annoying, isn't fatal to a piece. Challenge yourself, rewrite the lost data, see if you can make it speak more than your memories of the original. Many times the second attempt will eclipse the first.
     
  20. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Nah, we're talking about the same thing. I think the difference is I didn't realise how often you or anyone else would empty the trash, as I don't really ever touch my trash. My husband gave me a super large hard drive and I'm running on a second SSD drive (apparently it makes things super fast. I have no idea how laptops with and without SSDs compare), and when I'm wanting to clean up - which is rare - I'd probably transfer a bunch of stuff, usually movies, to the external hard drive whose memory is in terabytes - I can't even spell that word. In other words, I don't think much about emptying anything at all cus I don't really run out of space quickly.

    You're right that to empty the trash is a two-step, deliberate thing, which is precisely why it's so odd the OP has lost his stuff permenantly. The trashed files stay in the bin for ages lol. He must have only realised the work was gone a looooong time after he deleted it - but if it's been so long, why would it matter that it's gone? Cus if you worked on it regularly, you'd have noticed a heck of a lot earlier.

    Shift + Delete means you delete it even from the trash in one step - it won't even be in the bin. This is obviously a short cut for PCs. I have no clue about Macs.

    Btw I like the phrase "ripe for being overwritten" :D

    Serious things aside, there was once I told someone, "I went into the recycling bin today." hehehehe (I meant the cyber bin lol) :rofl:
     
  21. ajoyna1
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    ajoyna1 New Member

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    I started using Dropbox this year. It has a yums 2 gigs of free storage and it's just a like a folder on your desktop. My motivation was A: I can write anywhere as long as I upload it, and B: One of my harddrives is a fancy solid state—fast, but no warning sounds for death.




    watson
     
  22. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, Dropbox is excellent. Easy coordination between different computers, etc.

    I use it daily and only save to the external hard drive once a month or so. I throw projects up onto Google Docs (or whatever it's called now) when I think about it, and e-mail stuff to myself, too.

    It's a bit scattered, but I've never lost much. Then again, 800 words, like in the OP? I'm sure I've lost that, just cutting too much from a document and then realizing I shouldn't have. Oh well - 90% of writing is rewriting? Isn't that a saying?
     
  23. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    Yes I use drop box too .

    as for the op I can relate once you write the words , your brain refuses to let you let them out again.

    try to write another story.
     
  24. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    While frustrating, the only answer is to move forward. Rewrite what was lost.

    I make it a habit of emailing the latest version of my work in progress to myself on a yahoo account. In addition to flash drives (one of which I keep at work) I back up a few other places. I have too much writing related materials to lose it all...novels, short stories, cover art files, interviews and numerous pics.

    Use this incident as a learning experience so that in the future you don't lose far, far more.
     
  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, that's assuming that others use the trash the way you do. I generally empty my trash within minutes of dragging something to it.
     

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