The Pain and The Pleasure (And A Warning)

writing tips

So today has not been a good day. Well, it started off badly, then finished strongly.

A couple of weeks back I wrote about writing a Choose Your Own Adventure story. I started to use this software as a means to get some example for my blog posts, but in doing so, I found that I quite enjoyed it, so I spent the days between then and now writing a CYOA story using the software I mention in that post.

I already had a short story in mind for the adventure that was already written, so I spent days mapping out the connections between each decision, just using a key sentence or two so I knew where I was. Once I had satisfactorily completed the story, I then spent the next week writing better descriptions for each scene, and in doing so, I fleshed the story out to over 10k words. No small feat, especially when I had several storylines running alongside each other.

Last night I was approaching completion, with just the last three scenes to write up, but it was late and I didn’t want to rush it or make a mistake, so I hit ‘save’ and went to bed, knowing I was off work today and finishing those three scenes would be my first job this morning.

So flash forward to 8.30am this morning. My wife has gone to work and I’m all alone in the house. I sit down at my Mac and pull up the story. I have a piece of paper that I have been working from, checking the scenes as I update them, so I know where I need to start eat day. However, there’s a problem: I notice that some of the scenes I added yesterday are not there. I check back and it looks like all the updates I made for the last couple of days are missing.

writing tips

Really annoying, however, not a total disaster, as I had been writing the updates in a word document and copy/pasting them over. I would just have to copy them all over again, although I was a bit concerned, as I had had this problem a couple of days previously.

But, that was when I remembered another feature on the site: as well as having a button to click to save your work, there are also two more buttons, one to import and one to export. Now I am a natural born worrier, so I was exporting my work on a regular basis, the most recent export being last thing last night. So before I start pasting, I hit import.

Nothing happens. So I hit import again with the same results. Maybe that export file is corrupted somehow, I reason. No problem. I have another export from shortly before that one. No joy there either. Long story short – none of my exports work.

Perhaps I need to start a new story and import to a blank story template. I try that. No joy. So now I’m ready to just give up and paste in the missing pieces and hope it doesn’t happen again. And this is where my morning went downhill. I open up my story and get ready to start pasting, however, there will be no pasting today.

writing tips

My ENTIRE story has gone. I can’t import. I can’t load an earlier version. I am stuck. Two weeks of work and 10k words are lost.

My Warning

Firstly, this is a warning to any of you thinking of using this online tool. It’s really great. When it works. In my previous post about this software, I included a short example. If you click that link now, there is nothing; two choices: Choice one and Choice two. That’s it. no description, no story.

There is a link on the website that says ‘have feedback? click here’. I did that over a week ago for another error, but as yet, I’ve had no response. I wondered if perhaps its was a very old piece of software, no longer supported. No. I checked the date on the original blog post that I got this from: December 2018.

My last hope was to leave a comment on that blog post, asking if there is anyone still monitoring feedback. No response yet.

The other warning is just a reminder that I’m sure you all take care of. I know I do. Make sure you keep backups of your work. Save them to the Cloud. Post a copy to a relative in another country (scratch that. We have email now. Do that instead.).

In this situation I couldn’t do anything other than I did. I clicked ‘save’ every five minutes and exported the file every hour. The files just don’t work.

I was setting this story up to be my lead magnet – one of the things I was going to use to attract people to my email list. Oh, yes, that means I also had to delete and set up a new Smartbribe (I’ve got a post coming up on that). I also had it front and centre on my website, and even in it’s bare-bones state I had clocked up 18 plays in 3 days. It had potential.

That ruined my morning. I spent so long trying to sort that, that I didn’t have time to get two other blog posts written, and yes, I know I’m writing this, but I felt I needed to get this said.

So That’s The Pain, Where’s The Pleasure?

Well I got a call from a friend and we went out for something to eat. She listened to me moan, then told me to sort myself out. Then we went to the cinema to see Marvel Avengers: Endgame.

Marvel
Image: Wikipedia

Now I don’t know if any of you are Marvel fans, but I am. There are no spoilers coming up if you were worried, but all I will say is that the film was excellent. I laughed. I cried. I groaned. It was brilliant. I’ve just booked tickets to take my son to see it again on Sunday. If you’re a Marvel fan, go and see it. I imagine it is how I will feel when the final Star Wars film is released in December. I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan since I saw the first film at just 6 years old. That will be 40years in the making. The avengers doesn’t cover that timespan, but it is a long time.

I’m going to bed now to watch an episode of Game of Thrones.

My question to you: will you be watching Avengers: Endgame? If not, what’s your favourite film?

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