Losing Work – Every Writer’s Nightmare

I’ve returned to the polishing stage of an edit of a novel – in this case, upping the pace in the middle of the story and bringing out more of the characterisation and scenery.  The writing process always raises the issue of keeping the work secure, as some years ago I spent ages trying to find a piece of writing that had got lost in cyberspace.  I never found it, but I sometimes wonder what I would have thought of the piece in question.  A case of one learns through making mistakes.

The key to back up, I think, lies in folders and creating as many as possible, a folder a day in necessary.  Instead of having a date in the folder name, consider using a relevent word from the story.  For instance, title of novel, “bar scene”. Text files don’t amount to much in terms of storage (unlike images and audios), so one a day does seem a good idea.

The next stage involves the backing up.  I like to save the file in as many formats as possible.  Word Doc.  Web Page, Filtered.  PDF, although this last one doesn’t always work.  I send the various files to three or more email accounts and also back it up on several USB sticks. The process can be tedious, especially when I’m in a hurry, but I think it’s better to take the time to make the work secure than to spend huge amounts of time later on trying to recover a document that has probably gone for ever.

Just a few of my thoughts.


Meanwhile, my two novels are available from Amazon in paperback and e-book.

Check out the reviews for Secrets by Lawrence Estrey.

Newspaper article on author.

EggHead by Lawrence Estrey: Questions And Answers

EggHead reviews


Literary Flavouring: No Garlic Butter, Please

By this, I don’t mean a combination of books and cuisine, but rather the job the writer has of drawing out greater flavour in their writing.  Forget culinary delights. Writing a novel is difficult. Many plots, many characters, the question of past and present (if applicable), the alternation of viewpoints. How does the writer weigh up the various issues, add them together, then balance them out (the ingredients) in a satisfying manner?

Obviously, the answer varies from writer to writer. The writer has to believe in their work, to have a strong sense of what they wish to convey. Pruning plays a crucial roles, trimming the unnecessary parts of the writing to bring out greater clarity. However, letting the narrative develop and take shape plays an equal role. The immediacy and psychological build up in the story. I also think that brain storming helps, jotting down ideas, then letting the thoughts take shape. Writers don’t need novel writing software. They just need to let their imagination do the work, then find ways of structuring the work.

Just a few of my thoughts.

Editing: Going In Deeper

Having taken professional advice recently, I’m at the “drawing out” self-editing stage on one of my novels.

So what does this mean?

The novel itself works and has merits, but could do with improvement in certain areas:

  • Every sentence, paragraph in the work has to count.  In other words, would omitting the section have a bad effect on the story?
  • A logical, cohesive way of linking up all back story sections, and these must travel through the 8 point story-arc.
  • Story hooks at the end of chapters to keep readers wanting to go on.
  • Showing/not telling where possible.
  • Incorporating scenery as a character (extremely difficult and still trying to figure this one out).


So it’s back to taking notes and working out how to increase the pace in the middle section of the novel.  Happy writing!


The Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin

I’ve always loved ragtime and when I was a kid, I’d listen to it for hours, longing for the day when I too could playing those works like a master.  In particular, I liked The Entertainer by Scott Joplin, although I prefer the Maple Leaf Rag now.

So here goes.  This is me playing The Maple Leaf, hopefully like a true master.