Occasionally I give up on a passage in progress, whether it’s a phrase that popped out in an instant or a chapter fussed over for weeks. Beyond all quibble, it is too wrong to revise, too graceless to polish. The decent thing is to destroy it.
Today, computer-conscious if not altogether computer-literate, I delete. And my deletes are oaken stakes, silver bullets. A jettisoned file is gone forever.
Yes, I know about un-do features and file-recovery programs, but I don’t use them. Once I delete a passage, I feel a moral obligation to leave the beast in the grave.
Here now, a mystery.
I recall that, in the old days, I destroyed by ripping the page from the typewriter, crumpling it, and tossing it into a wastebasket. Eventually, the basket would be emptied and its contents burned or sent to the landfill. Between the crumpling and the burning was a time — hours or weeks — during which I could upend the basket, paw through the debris, and recover a page. I don’t recall doing it often, but there were times. And I did it with no misgivings, no compunctions.
Why the difference? A reasonable explanation occurred to me the other day, but I think I deleted it.
And there was me, thinkin’, “Well, I may have flogged that one to an untimely demise, but good ole’ Victor will rescue me, and it, from oblivion.” And here you come, all arsy-turvy, complainin’ that it’s me in the wrong.
Please, do reconsider.
(Keep in mind that, in order to maintain a decent standing in the eyes of Her Ladyship’s best friend’s family, I will have to forego Jameson this week-end, and live on Paddy’s. Not the worst, of course, but…)
For some time now I have saved my Scriv backups over the old ones.
You know, by saving with the same name, over and over.
For, thinks I, Dopbox will stay skinny that way, and I won’t pay for space.
Then Amber tells me that DB actually saves all of those earlier versions, anyway.
Worse than Google. All early drafts deserve a timely death.
I was thinking about this… Now hear me out, it will be short.
Is my eldest the “first draft” of the creative process and the youngest the final revision? if so this bring about some interesting possibilities. Although I’m betting there would be legal issues with the … timely death … of either. But you have to agree that there are many creatively produced works of homo sapiens that should never have been published.
Well, I might offer a headless person as an example…
Seriously though, how many folks that you run into every day make a justifiable case for their continued consumption of resources? I’m not talking about the guy who cuts you off at an intersection, but the repeat dim bulb who goes out of their way to be a trouble making drain on society? They are not so prevelant here in East-Be-Jesus-NoWhere (most bubbas are helpful really), but there are a few.
But I’m in a bad mood. Something about tides and fish. Should probably get Ahab to explain a few things…