Saturday, April 18, 2020

Draft Resister

There's been some talk around the blogosphere concerning draft posts. I think it started at Contains Moderate Peril.

The whole idea is something of a mystery to me. Obviously, I understand the concept but I've never been much of a one for writing drafts, not even back in my school and university days. I've always been  more of a " bang it out, knock it into shape, stick it out there" all in one session kind of writer.

Well, apart from my blessedly brief Penman/Morley period, that is. You should see the piece I wrote on DC's first Crisis series. I worked on that for days to make sure I drained every last drop of comprehensibility out of it. By the time it was published even I had no idea what I was talking about.

I'd all but forgotten Blogger had a draft folder until I replied to a comment at... um... oh dear... how embarassing... I do aplologize... Amid the welter of Blapril posts I've rather lost track. I know it was somewhere I visit regularly... If whoever it was would like to remind me I'll add a link later.

As I was saying the other day about my spam folder, I don't do as much maintenance on the blog as I should . Since I was in the drafts folder, I took the opportunity to tidy up a little and have a snoop around.

There were sixteen files, two of which were completely blank. I deleted those. Of the remaining fourteen, two were posts I'd just finished, due to be published that day and the next. Writing ahead like that isn't something I normally do. It's been a bit of an experiment for Blapril and it hasn't really worked. I'll be glad to get back to posting everything on the day it's written.

One more draft in the folder is the ongoing record I'm keeping of songs and lyrics used in titles. It will become a post in its own right in July.  That leaves eleven, only four of which are titled:

Here Comes The New Boss - Looks finished, except for the pictures. A post in which I pontificate at considerable length on the tired topic of subscriptions vs free-to-play, drawing analogies with other media as I attempt some kind of extremely ill-advised historical analysis.

I'm fairly certain that, when I read it back, I must have been too horrified by my cod-academic posturing to consider publishing it. When I write stuff like that, which happens more often than I'd like, I usually make heavy edits in the hope of turning the dry straw into something more palatable. If I can't manage that I usually junk it and move on. It would be very rare for me leave one lying around. In fact, it may be the only extant example from eight years of blogging.

Overthinking Again - Oh wait, no it's not. Here's another! In this gem I ask myself a lot of rhetorical questions about the state of MMORPG gaming, only to conclude "I should probably play more games. That way I might not find myself thinking so much." You think, buddy?

That one might have been re-purposed and published in a much less emo version. I seem to have a faint recollection of doing something of the kind. Unfortunately, opening a draft file in Blogger resets the date so I can't easily flip back to the month it was originally written and check if it ever went live. Shame I didn't think to write the original dates down before I looked through the whole folder, really.

The Potterer's Guide : The Maw, Shadow Behemoth, The Great Jungle Worm and Fire Elemental - This one I remember. I'm pretty sure what happened here was that I got a fair way in before deciding to make it into a series. That's how it ended up being published, anyway.

Why I kept the draft is another matter, although the explanation is most likely "why not?" After all, iIt's been sitting there quietly since 2013, harming no-one. It may as well stay there.

And I mispelled "wurm" but it's probably a little late to go back and change it now.

Scattershot: TSW -  Complete and ready to post with pictures and everything. This really does look finished, albeit it's from the very early days and extremely short by modern standards.

As the title suggests it's a random selection of observations on The Secret World beta, full of shattering insights like
That Templar intro sequence sets a great mood. The guy that did the arm movements probably needs to stop watching those old Thunderbirds videos, though.
Someone likes Keanu Reeves. A lot.
Since I can date this one by subject matter, let's check. Ah yes, it was published in full back in May 2012. Verbatim.

I don't think that really counts as a draft, does it? It's just a copy of a finished post. I suppose that means I could delete it now but you and I both know I'm not going to do that.

Bonus biographical note: "Scattershot" was the name of the column I used to write back when I co-published a comics fanzine in the early 1980s.

That leaves seven more drafts in the folder. Three seem to be fragmentary remnants that went on to become published posts. I probably went at them with the virtual scissors and glue and this is all that's left. Usually I'd do re-writes in the same file but sometimes, if I've really changed the flow, I'll cut&paste into a new one. Then, because I'm messy, I might forget to throw away the scraps.

Two more seem to be things I started but never finished because I decided they were either too shrill or too four Yorkshiremen (RIP Tim Brooke-Taylor). At least I hope that was the reason. A rant is one thing but a hysterical shriek is something else. Plus, who wants to be the "I was happier then" guy? Not me.

That leaves two.  One's a list of ideas for posts about music. I jotted that down last summer when I made the decision to open Inventory Full up to topics outside MMORPG gaming. I think I've written a post for every idea on that list now but I'm going to keep it for its historical value.

Last we have a collection of screenshots, no text. I remember I was flipping through some old folders of shots from Guild Wars 2 one afternoon and I started to pick out the ones with speech bubbles, thinking I might do something with them one day.

Guess what? Today's the day!


  1. On blogs the drafts folder holds posts that are in progress but which have not yet been scheduled. I have 82 drafts currently, most of which were the result of a moment of inspiration when I did not have much time, so scrawled out some notes but which I then subsequently lost interest, passion, or the thread of what in the hell I was on about by the time I went back. Though some of them I just plain forgot about, sometimes making a post on the same topic later, because I don't delve into the drafts folder all that often either.

    RIP Tim Brooke-Taylor. I saw that news item. I think I am the only one I know in person who ever watched The Goodies.

    1. The main Posts folder in Blogger holds all posts, published or otherwise, drafts included. It's sorted in date order by default so any very recent drafts I can still see, like the ones I wrote today and yesterday, but if I don't keep working on them they vanish prety quickly. There's a separate folder that only shows Drafts which is what I used for his.

      The Goodies were always in the shadow of the Monty Python team even over here. They all worked together at various times. Don't know if you've ever heard the 1960s radio show I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again - All three Goodies were in that along with John Cleese, and Eric Idle wrote for it sometimes. Tim Brook-Taylor was still making radio shows right up until this year - there's a posthumous series of "I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue", the very long-running radio panel show parody that span out of ISIRTA, featuring him and Graeme Garden still to be broadcast.

  2. I have a lot of drafts. Certainly for the last few years many more drafts than posts. I've considered a project where I publish one every day or two for a month with just enough notes that readers can figure out what I'm talking about. However, I suspect that appeals to my vanity more than it would to my few readers ;-)

    1. I'm often amazed by what gets traction and what doesn't. I have a feeling posts that look like lists or notes tend to be quite popular so you might be surprised.

  3. My drafts folder is full of intriguing titles... with zero content. After all, if I'd actually put some text into the Post portion, it probably would have made it to Published status. 46 of them, dating back to 2012.

    Wonder and Curses.
    Once More, With Feeling.
    When Games Are No Longer For Playing.
    Blaspheming at the Altar of Challenge.
    The Curse of Knowledge (The View From a Zerg Depends On Who Is Looking).
    GW2: Why the Current Living Story Fails As a Compelling Arc (all the way back in 2013)
    Elitists - Have Point, Zero Tact?
    It's Not What You Do, It's How You Tell It
    ATITD: Singing the Sheetglass Blues
    GW2: Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves
    Puzzle Pirates: The Problem of Being New in an Old Game
    CoH: Is There a Solution for Disillusionment?
    GW2: Boredom and Terror in WvW

    Feel free to rip anything off. I'm certainly never getting around to 'em anytime soon.

    1. Some good titles in there. GW2 never did have a compelling narrative arc, did it? I've alwyas been a big Scarlet booster but even I wouldn't claim her story made any sense.

      I used to start with the title but that seems a long time ago now. For several years I've left the title until the very end. It often takes me almost as long as writing the post.

  4. I too don't have drafts so much. I'll occasionally write a post offline in Notepad++ and then post it, but that's only for very long things like the end-of-year wrapups and I post it the moment I'm done anyway.

    Not that I've been posting many Deep Thoughts or Lengthy Screeds of late anyway, I suppose.

    (Also, alas. RIP Tim Brooke-Taylor, this is the first I learned of it and -what- a shame. The first introduction I'd had to how freeing it could be to be prepared to do anything, any time. )

    1. Keep it fresh, I say!

      And two U.S. fans of The Goodies in one comment thread! I wouldn't have bet on that.

    2. There was a stretch of time in the 70s through into the mid-80s where there seemed to be a direct conduit from the UK to US public television. Masterpiece Theater was probably the premier aspect of that, showing things like "I, Claudius" and "Upstairs, Downstairs." But as a loose network that was mostly known for "Sesame Street" and Julia Child cooking shows and nature documentaries and some low budget local programming, they looked to the UK for filler.

      So I grew up watching not just "Monty Python" (Which was popular enough to get snatched from public television, first by a major network, then by early cable channels) but things like "The Goodies," "To the Manor Born," "The Good Life," "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin" (cigar Reggie?), "Butterflies," "World at War," "Doctor Who," "The Prisoner," and probably a bunch more I cannot recall.

      I happened to grow up in an area with three public television stations when a lot of the country either didn't have them, didn't watch them (it was deemed elitist and a bit effete and mocked at times), or had stations that didn't carry these shows, so it is kind of a small club. But I do run into people now and again who were around at the right time and place and shared that aspect of TV.

      I have, in my drafts folder, a potential series about me and TV that I have been meaning to work on.

    3. Quite a lot of "Are You Being Served?" as well, in my case. Good memories.


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