I Love You iCloud

Look! Clouds!

Up until Sunday morning, I didn’t really know what the iCloud was.  I just thought it was some weird new feature on my Apple devices, and that I’d never need to know.  Apple is all the time putting new features and updates that I’ll never use.  When I first got my laptop and it asked me if I wanted to activate it, I thought, sure, why not…

On Saturday, I had quite a bit of downtime at work.  Saturdays tend to be slow, so I was prepared with my iPad, and thought I’d get some writing done.  The novel is (finally) going spectacularly well, so I managed to get quite a bit done.  For some reason, I decided to sync my iPad on Sunday morning.  When the warning message came up on the screen, something about things on my iPad that weren’t on my laptop, I just sort of clicked the “whatever” button and let it go.

When I realized that ALL MY DOCUMENTS HAD BEEN DELETED FROM MY IPAD, I cried.  I literally sat down and cried, and tried to convince myself that it wasn’t tragic, but that was pretty hard to do when I further realized that I hadn’t synced my iPad since August.  Of 2011.  I lost a year’s worth of stuff, which was important, but nowhere near as important as losing the updates to my novel.

Now, I didn’t lose that much of the novel, maybe a couple thousand words, but it really felt like someone had deliberately harmed me.  I was ready to throw my iPad in the trash, even though I knew it was all my own fault.

My husband asked a few questions that made me want to smack him, and then the one that saved the day… “Do you have iCloud?”

It turns out that my iPad automatically updates to the cloud whenever it’s on a Wifi network, and ALL MY DOCUMENTS were there.  Every last one of them.  I swear, the angels sang.

I’d like to say I learned something from this.  Like maybe not to be so careless, or not to ignore warning messages.

But I hate to lie.

So I’ll just say I’m happy to have my documents back where they belong.  Now, back to my novel.  🙂

U is for Unbelievable

I like writing cross genre, and most of the things I write require some suspension of disbelief.  Now, I’m the perfect audience in both books and movies.  As long as the unbelievableness makes sense in the context of the universe created, I’ll buy it.  I can suspend disbelief and get totally into it.  On the other hand, I’m horrible to watch with when it doesn’t quite make sense in context.  I’ll comment, I’ll yell at the movie (or my book).  I won’t stop watching or reading (unless it’s so bad I can’t continue); I’ll just annoy everyone around me.

I had someone critique one of my works in progress (WIP).  In the WIP, the main character learns she is from a different world and is special, etc, etc.  The person who critiqued it said that he couldn’t believe she accepted it so fast and that it didn’t make sense.  So, being the good little receiver of criticism I was trying to be, I went back and edited.  I added in disbelief and vacillation for pages and pages.

And it slowed down the pace like crazy.

I recently re-read a Black Dagger Brotherhood book (if you haven’t read these, they’re phenomenal, BTW).  In these books, humans find out that vampires do exist.  They have trouble with belief at first, but it doesn’t go on for pages and pages.  If you really examine the reactions, it’s not realistic.  But it works.

Writing isn’t about realism, unless of course you’re writing a memoir or non-fiction.  People don’t read fiction to read about the ordinary person who gets up day after day, eats breakfast, takes a shower, goes to work, comes home, and watches TV.  Though the Sims made a killing off that, people want to read about drama and action.  They want to read about ordinary people who become special or end up in situations we’d all like to be in: falling in love, having families, saving the world.  Since most of us realize that that heady rush of falling in love comes rarely in a person’s life, if we want to relive it, we have to do it vicariously, through books and movies.  Who wants realism in that?

In the end, I went back to my WIP with a critical eye.  I remembered some of the things I’ve read about editing.  In the end, the WIP belongs to the writer.  We want readers to love it, but not every bit of criticism, no matter how well meant, is good criticism.  That’s why it’s important to develop that critical skin as writers, where we can take criticism, chew it over, think about it (without getting insulted!), then separate out the usable parts from the not-so-usable parts.

After all, I’m one of your readers, and I’ll believe anything, as long as it makes sense in your universe.