Outtakes 261


By Cait Collins


Sometimes fate steps in and deals a painful blow. Last Wednesday I was putting the finishing touches on the chapter I planned to read at Thursday’s critique meeting. Suddenly, the entire chapter was gone. I tried “undo”, but nothing. I tried “do not save changes” when closing the file, but nothing appeared when I reopened the file. I’m sure the chapter is somewhere out in Cyberspace, but I don’t have the address.

So what should I do? Midnight Thursday morning is too late to recreate the chapter, so I decided to punt. Occasionally I will write out of sequence. And knowing I had a key scene coming up, I decided to play with it. I had a 30-minute lunch break and wrote about a page and a half, printed it and took the pages to critique. It wasn’t my best effort but it gave me a start on the reunion of my hero and his nephew.

Writing under pressure isn’t ideal. You might get away with it once or twice, but it’s not recommended for every project. While I write by the “seat of my pants”, I do take time to research and plan. Face it, not everything can be spontaneous.

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