It is amazing how quickly and easily manuscripts can become confused, especially with different versions of the same one. If you have more than one copy of a manuscript, make sure they are all well labelled and even dated to ensure mistakes will not happen. There would be nothing worse than sitting for hours, writing or editing, only to find that you have been working on the wrong version. I have a system which I find works quite well:
1. When adding the file name to your original manuscript, make sure you add the word ‘original’ into the title. And then put that copy away if its complete, keep it as a reference. It will also safeguard against any unexpected happenings. Make a new copy to work with and number and/or date it. (I prefer to number it).
2. Keep copies of all your work on an external drive, either a zip drive or an external hard drive. That way, if your computer has problems, crashes, or the power decides to go out in the middle of a session, you have everything stored safely.
3. Save your work as you go – onto both your computer and the external drive. It may seem a bit of a hassle, but believe me, its well worthwhile. I’ve had my computer crash on me (my hard drive died suddenly) and would have lost everything if I had not had it all (and I mean ALL of my folders) backed up on my external hard drive – all 112GB of it! Weeell, I Do have a lot of photos…
4. ALWAYS number the versions of your manuscript. This is especially advisable when editing as there can be so many different ‘editions’. When I edit and go back and forth with my author, I always use the same copy. If you don’t it will become impossible to know where you are with the editing. It can also work the same for writing a manuscript. Labelling is Very important.
5. If you are not sure, ask! There is nothing worse than working on the wrong version of a manuscript – your author will not be impressed, and neither will you as you will have wasted so much time and its practically impossible to edit exactly the same a second time – unless you merge the documents, which could become even more confusing. Writing is easier as you can copy and paste into the correct version, but it’s still time consuming.
I hope this little tips will make manuscript storage a bit easier. If there is something I have not covered, do contact me and I can add it to this post, or add a comment, so that others might receive the benefit of experienced writers or editors.
Visit Aurora House website for more information on manuscript editing