What We Need to Survive: A Draft History

I have a folder for my writing, appropriately called Writing, and within it lies a tortured Matryoshka doll of sub-folders, some marked as Current even though I haven’t touched any of their story blurbs in months.  I should really reorganize sometime soon . . .

All the files related to What We Need to Survive can be found in a single, bloated folder all their own, named Seeking Shelter, because at one point that was my title.  Not even the first title, but the third–though the first, settling in, was never actually intended to be the final title.  It simply described the tone of the first scene I wrote, from the original idea I had, which falls in the early middle of the timeline of the final version of the story.  (The actual scene got axed.)

Most of my story blurbs get short, descriptive titles to help me remember what they are after I’ve ignored them for months or years.  My oldest blurb is just labelled “running”, from the folder Unfinished 2013 stuff, though the last-date-modified is actually in 2011.  It’s 316 words long, does a tiny bit of character setup, then ends abruptly.

But I save it, because it might be useful someday.  I don’t advise hoarding physical possessions, but I do advise hoarding your writing.

Because that’s how my brain works.

To get a further idea of how my brain works, here’s a chronological listing of all of the drafts of WWNTS currently living on my hard drive:

  1. settling in : (6/28/2014)
  2. a few days’ rest : (7/31/2014)
  3. A Few Days’ Rest – Nina POV : (1/16/2015)
  4. A Few Days’ Rest – third person double POV : (4/27/2015)
  5. Seeking Shelter – beta reader draft : (5/29/2015)
  6. What They Need to Survive (novel v2) : (7/22/2015)
  7. What They Need to Survive (novel v2.5) : (7/31/2015)
  8. What We Need to Survive (QW v2.5) : (8/1/2015)
  9. What We Need to Survive v3 – final edit : (9/13/2015)
  10. WWNTS format copy backup / (9/23/2015)
  11. WWNTS clean copy in progress / (9/26/2015)

I started with the original scene idea (1).  When I hadn’t gotten very far and realized I needed to make some ground-floor changes, it became (2).  Then I set it aside for months before picking it back up in the new year with the intention of making this book a reality (3).  But reworking it from only one POV, in first person, didn’t pan out, leading to (4), which is the first finished draft.  I did a rough polish and send it to a few friends of a literary bent (5), and rewrote/revised it based on their feedback (6).  Draft (7) was (6) fed through the Quoll Writer app, editing for typos, clarity, and word repetition.  Draft (8) was (7), formatted to be shared on Google Docs for the next round of beta reading.

Draft (9) is the real deal.  (10) is my backup file, and (11) is where I stripped the formatting down to its bones (preserving only the italics) and am currently building it back neatly from the ground up in preparation for making it an ebook.  Which will be soon.

Then I get to tackle CreateSpace formatting, too, so I can hold my book in my hands.

It’s going to be a lot of work, I know that, but damn, I want to hold my book in my hands.  I want to see it on my shelf.  I want to sign copies for people.

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