Today I'm working on my fox novel... something bad happened, I have misplaced the Plot Notebook. I can't find it, not after days of searching, and I need it NOW or else I don't know what to write towards. That's the trouble with working on loads of stories in parallel, I do really need my plot notes. Some people say good novels should be written without notes, and that if the author can't remember something it's not worth remembering, but they don't know my brain. I know exactly what happens, just not in what order. In my mind, it's all one big unwritable simultaneous shape. I simply don't make things up in a linear way, and books are linear, so I need notes with loads of scrawled arrows and time-lines in-between. Even for picture books, yes.
And yes, yes, yes, there should always be a backup copy of that sort of thing, but honestly, you should see my filing system. Every story is stored in the format that suits it best. Some are boxes of significant objects, loose pages and backups of files on memory chips, some exist only in digital form with backups on the internet, some are hand-written, with photocopies and transcripts as backup. Much of the material becomes insignificant. Other bits become more important. Any project may rest for years at a time. And every so often it happens that an important set of notes exists only once, in one notebook, while I am working on a couple of other projects.
So... yeah, this one seems to be pretty much gone, and today I'm doing the only possible thing to stop this from killing the project: write write write write it all up again, as much as I remember. I'm taking the opportunity to improve it and simplify it.
I've done a good chunk, and by now it's stopped seeming like a total disaster. I even worked out some things that I remembered being a mess in the notebook.
Still, STUPID of me. I have a special shelf for important story notebooks, why isn't it shelved there??