I spent half of the weekend ripping up a novel written by one of my best friends. It's OK, I was asked to :)
The novel in question was originally written by hand, and photocopied in case the first copy was damaged. Now that the novel has been typed up, the new, edited version can be printed, saved to a disk key, backed up online, emailed to the author - whatever. It is thoroughly safe. The older version, which is now obsolete anyway because changes were made during the typing process, can be safely ripped up and recycled.
Every year, Nanowrimo designated a certain day in November Offical Back Up Your Novel Day. Yesterday, as I was tearing up the second copy of a handwritten novel, I was reminded of how important back-ups are. My novel is currently saved in the following places:
- two computers
- one disk key
- one email account belonging to me
- one email account belonging to a friend
- and one online storage service.
That may be a touch excessive. But if your novel isn't backed up, please do it today! Google Docs, Dropbox - whatever. Just make sure your work is safe!