UNIX time? Physicists? Is this a writing blog or the IEEE?
Thankfully, it is the former. But once again I find myself writing a blog about time. Time. We really don’t know what it is. Natural phenomenon change. Energy is transferred. We can describe how events such as these change using a concept called time. But is it a real thing? Or is it just a quartz oscillator driving a second hand? Either way, I once again find myself at it’s mercy. But this time, it is a little different. And it is all Terri’s fault.
You see, I have the world’s best editor. Yes, that’s right, my writing partner and co-founder of PlotForge is, as far as I’m concerned, not only a great writer, but a fantastic editor. We’ve been talking for a while about how to change my upper YA Viridis. All who read it agree it is a great story, but we’ve known it has some problems. So Terri asked it if would be okay if she went through the novel and did some editing.
Okay? Would it be okay? Do I like chocolate cake? Do I want a six-figure advance on one of my books? Of course it is okay. So off she went. She’d do some editing then send me her changes. I’d go through, editing the edits (not much) and clicking Accept Change. And as I did this I watched Viridis go from good to great. Her changes weren’t huge, most of the text is still mine, but like a virtuoso artist, a brush stroke here, some shading there, and suddenly you’re looking at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. She’s that good. Of course, she says it’s because she has great material to work with. At that point we agree that we make a great team and get back to work.
Ah yes, Time. What does time have to do with all this?
Well, Terri wanted to try moving an event in the text so I cleaned up the latest edits and sent them to her. Then she took a day or so and moved the event. Naturally, it was a lot of work and necessitated moving other things to maintain coherency. She sent it to me, I read through and liked the changes, and incorporated them and made some of my own.
And that’s when it happened. I started scrolling through the document and realized she’d started with the wrong document! Now we had big changes mixed in with other changes that hadn’t been vetted yet. So, I had to go back over about sixty pages, re-accepting the changes and re-making others. In the end it was no big deal and I enjoyed reading the document just as much the second time through. It really is a great story, and now it’s a great novel, too.
But I wanted to make sure this didn’t happen again. So I instituted a naming scheme for files that we send back and forth. It goes like this:
[title] [initials] YrMoDayHrMin
So if I’d just finished editing Viridis I’d rename it Viridis JCB 1104162031.doc . Except Terri and I live one time zone apart which could create confusion. So We decided that we’d go with Eastern Time making the title Viridis JCB 1104162131.doc . And that way, we’ll never start with the same document again when working on the same project. Which I think we’re going to do for a long time to come. Sometimes, it really does take a physicist.
Until next time!