Forum / How do you handle your archives?

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    Kevin Myrick
    Feb 06, 04:58pm

    Evening Fictionauts!

    My thought provoking question for the week is this: what do you do about your archives? Do you have a digital collection? Is everything on paper in filing cabinets or neatly tucked away in bookshelves? Are you like me with a mixture of both, including a giant plastic tub of everything you've written since you were 18?

    My archives are currently in the following system: early first drafts are handwritten, then typed and saved either on a hard drive (I've been a user of Microsoft Office since I was in middle school) or now in the cloud in Google Docs.

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    Michael J. Solender
    Feb 09, 10:49am

    Digital with backups on two jump drives. I keep a hard copy of everything that has appeared in print.

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    Christian Bell
    Feb 09, 02:40pm

    Michael sounds organized. Kevin, I sound more like you.

    Way back when, I used to print everything. I have binders of stuff from the early 90s to the early 2000s. I gave up on that to save money on paper and printer ink as well as ungodly paper accumulation at home. Now, I keep stuff on a jump drive and try to back up to my home computer when I remember (thanks for mentioning this—I need to do it soon!). Most of the early stuff I only have paper copies of now.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve written by hand anything that was not free writing or a journal entry.

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    Susan Gibb
    Feb 10, 11:08am

    Right now I have dupe files on two or three computers, plus backup hard drives. I'm paranoid. Though I've lived through several pc crashes that lost everything and wouldn't you know, I breathed a sigh of "oh, well," and felt fresh and free.

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    Finnegan Flawnt
    Feb 10, 12:50pm

    i own a tiny phillips dictaphone. during the day, i speak into it (there is a button with a red dot on it, which i was told need to press when i feel an urge). every morning, i find my writing both in hard copy on my desk (the paper is scented-but i cannot figure out what scent-this drives me nuts) and in digital form on my computer. i believe that an army of small literate soldiers comes into my study at night to do this. i have no direct proof. if you can think of another explanation, i beg you, do not hold back.

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    Kevin Myrick
    Feb 10, 01:42pm

    Finnegan that reminds me of a Philip K. Dick short story "The King of the Elves." Maybe they're responsible for all that work?

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    Matt Dennison
    Feb 11, 01:49pm

    I need a dump truck, baby,
    to unload my head.

    --Bob Dylan

    (Actually, you can open your own 'office' in Zoetrope's virtual workshop and then store your own files. It's a great back-up thingy (in an otherwise, uh, place...)

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    Kevin Myrick
    Feb 11, 02:54pm

    thingy? I think the word you were looking for is "solution" Matt.

    So far am I the only writer left the world handwriting manuscripts? (Well besides free writing and journal entries, of course...)

    The reason I brought this up is to find out if anyone has found any good solutions of how to transfer all that paper over to a digital solution. I was thinking of just taking pictures of all the pages, but that is a time consuming effort and I'd like to use that time to write instead of sort through everything I've written.

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    Matt Dennison
    Feb 11, 03:07pm


    You could get a scanner. It would be slow going (20 seconds a scan, give or take) but good quality. Don't think you could get same quality with hand-held digi-cam.

    If it were TYPED, scanners now have OCR (optical character recognition) and could not only scan original into computer, but then allow you to convert it to chosen font and edit it to heart's delight.

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    Kevin Myrick
    Feb 11, 05:27pm


    I don't get superior quality, but you'd be surprised to see what they can do with text. Thanks for the idea.

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