I apologise for the lack of postage late last week and that today’s post is more of a chit-chat catch up. The truth is I just haven’t had a lot of time recently because I’ve been working on polishing and formatting my novel, ready to submit to agents and publishers (among other things).
I have found some gems, which I want to share with you, and I have suffered at the hands of the Technology Gremlins.
I spent last week reading through my novel (completed some time ago, which underwent a number of edits before being put away again), doing one last and final edit. I read the last chapter Sunday morning and made a start on polishing the manuscript followed by formatting it. Annoyingly, as I was going through the completed manuscript, I still found the odd spelling mistake. But I corrected them, proud that I had caught them, even if it was at the last minute.
I’ve recently discovered that there is a standard manuscript format (is this common knowledge?), so I Googled it and found this brilliant post detailing everything with examples. Cue a few hours spent slaving away on my laptop, inserting lines, deleting lines and ensuring that every piece of dialogue in my 84,000 word novel was indented. I wrote up the cover page, fixed the headers and voilà! Finished!
I went to sleep on Sunday night exhausted but happy.
After work on Monday, I sat down to write a 500 word synopsis of my beloved novel. I’ve already written a two page, single spaced synopsis but that was over 1,000 words. At first I tried to condense the original synopsis but it just wasn’t working. Not to mention that it made me realise how bad the original synopsis was. So I turned to Google again (what would I do without it) and found this amazing post with a surefire way of writing that 500 word synopsis.
Under an hour later and bam! A 495 word synopsis!
Thrilled and immensely proud of myself, I decided to submit my novel to an unpublished novel competition. I wrote out the entry form, filled out the email and went to change the header on my beautiful manuscript to remove my name as per the competition rules. Except it wasn’t there.
Not the header.
The file was there, with the name I had given it Sunday night, sat on my laptop and my back up portable hard drive, but neither were the finished, polished file.
I may have panicked.
I checked everywhere. Every file with a similar name, every file in the folder, I searched my laptop under every format known to Google (yes, I Googled it again), I searched my portable hard drive, I checked the autosaved files, I checked the recycle bin. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
Needless to say I didn’t enter the competition, which closed today at lunchtime. I’ve also ticked the box on my Word software to autosave all documents from now on. I’ve even contemplated stealing my husband’s shiny new laptop to do my work in future, as I just can’t work out where I went wrong and my laptop has been a bit iffy recently.
Thankfully (silver lining and all) the file that was saved was the one with the final edits that I started working from on Sunday. So today and tomorrow evening will be spent redoing that final edit and polish, and the labour intensive formatting.
That’s why there’s no amazing, in-depth blog post today. Please send commisseration cakes.