1. Knight's Move
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    Knight's Move Member

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    Quick question about drafts

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Knight's Move, Aug 5, 2011.

    Hey guys, just wondering if you keep old drafts of pieces you are working on, in case you want to put something back that you took out.

    Does that ever happen to you?

    Is it worth keeping old drafts, or do you just save over the file?

    Thanks
     
  2. Dresden
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    Dresden New Member

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    It depends on the corrections I made to the draft

    I've always found it easier to save a draft that has undergone a major plot change. If, for example, I decide to kill a major character instead of letting him live, I will keep the draft because it might contain text I can use in a different project. If on the other hand the only thing I did was run a spell check, then I save over it.

    I like to think of an old draft as I would a junk car I can cannibalize parts from if I ever need to. Plus, since I 'm not dealing with old fashioned paper anymore, saving a draft is just a few clicks away.

    Make sense?
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, i've saved my earliest notes, as well as both print drafts with editing notes and computer drafts...

    doing so is the best proof you can have that you wrote a piece of work, in case its authorship is ever challenged...
     
  4. LostInFiction
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    LostInFiction Senior Member

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    I've got all my paper notes from my planning stage and I still add to them if I have a fleeting idea. Now I'm working on the laptop I try to keep a clean manuscript by deleting anything I'm not liking at that particular moment. I have a seperate document (in Microsoft One Note) where I copy and paste the current version of the section before deleting anything just in case I rethink and want to go back.
    I did start by tracking changes in Microsoft Word but it started getting so messy I changed to this system.
     
  5. AJSmith
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    AJSmith Senior Member

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    I have saved each draft in MS Word and the hard copy drafts. They don't take up much space (real or electronic) and so I like having them to reference if needed.
     
  6. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Always save your old drafts. Especially if you're a radical editor. You never know when an overzealous bout of editing might result in a scene being excised that might actually have a role in later drafts.
     
  7. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    I save everything. Word has a versioning function (which is buggy, so use at your own risk) and, whenever I make a draft or major revision, I save a new version. I say it's to protect myself because, in case the work is stolen, it would be easier to plead my case if I can show the work's progression, but it's more out of my own curiosity: I like to read old drafts to see how far I've come as a writer. To this end, I save two copies of my stuff, one with all the versions, and one with only the most current version, which takes up much less space for times I want to work on the road (not so much of a concern what with memory being so cheap now) or for computers that load slowly.

    If I get rid of a scene or one isn't working out, I have a file I call my deleted scenes where I store them all. You never know when they'll become useful and, if they never are, well... no harm in keeping them anyway.
     
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I tend to regard everything I write as some kind of gold, even if it isn't. I know when it's crap that nobody else would ever want to read (unless they need a good laugh), but I still keep it all because it's gold to me. I remember the work I had to do, the effort it took, to get those lousy pages out, and I'm damned if I'm going to lose them.

    Everybody loves beautiful children, but maybe only their parents love ugly children. My early drafts are my ugly children, and I still love them even if nobody else does.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Exactly!
     
  10. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Keep the old drafts. So when you finish the new one, you can compare it to the old and see if you improved it.
     
  11. Knight's Move
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    Knight's Move Member

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    I wasn't aware of the issue with authorship, so I'll be doubly sure to keep old drafts now.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  12. Darran
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    Darran Member

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    100% keep! Delete and it's lost for ever. I just rename ie chapter1rewrite10 and so on :)
     

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