Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

In praise of Scrivener (in the face of catastrophe)

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And so my much vexed, five years old PC finally kicked the bucked and went dead on me.
Utterly completely dead.
Dead dead dead.

Sinking-ship-via-Shutterstock

Which is bad – considering I have a lot of things going right now, and all the work in progress is currently buried in my dead hard disk.
It’s still there, mind you, safe and warm.
Only, I need a new PC to get to it.

But not everything’s lost.

Back when my PC started to act up, and right after the open-heart surgery we did on the CPU fan, I decided that better safe than sorry was going to be the name of the game.

Scrivener has a simple backup option – you give the software a target, and on your command, it will do a complete backup of your working folder.
So I just plugged a USB thumb drive in one of the USB ports on my suffering pc, and ordered Scrivener to backup my stuff there.

So, the net result is as follows:

  • everything I ever wrote, coded or converted, which includes an awful lot of ebooks and stuff, is currently not accessible – but it’s safe on my sleeping hard disk1

  • BUT my novel is here on my thumb drive

So, I just pulled an old laptop out of retirement (slow, old, and running on Xubuntu 11), installed a version of Scrivener, and copied my back-up folder on the desktop.
Net result – I’m still working on my novel, having lost only the 2500 words I had written when my machine went dead.

It’s not such a big loss – considering I could have lost the 40K words of text, plus the cut scenes, notes, maps and what else.

Right now I’m looking for a new PC, and in the meanwhile, I try and keep going on this old, pretty dieselpunk2 laptop.

Like John Carter used to say, I live still!


  1. that, in a very lovecraftian way, is not dead, just dreaming 
  2. especially diesel, considering it’s slow and noisy like an old truck – and yet, there’s still life in this old companion from my time on the road as a travelling teacher. 

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

One thought on “In praise of Scrivener (in the face of catastrophe)

  1. Pingback: 5 Tools Everyone Writing Adventure Stories Should Be Using | Karavansara

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