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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

To Edit or not that is the question.

Hi everyone that knows me.

Tuesday 3rd September

  I have heard it all now. While accepting that Dead Men Lie may still have editorial issues I have now been told it is too long. The expression was "its huge" PLeease. I have to assume that the print industry have set some kind of limit on the length of books determined how I wonder, cost size or length of readers attention span. Surely a story should take as long as it takes I have read books of 1000 pages and if the story is good then I will plough my way through. I have conceded on many issues since writing this story the length is one that is not however up for discussion.

 Now I have to return to the thorny issues of punctuation and grammar, Abigail s story is something that should be enjoyed no matter how many words it takes.

 I shall return later today to add more thoughts on the tribulations of a self publisher attempting to plot his way through the myriad problems we have to encounter without help or guidance and on a limited budget.    


 Once again this thorny issue emerges,How many times do we read of editors and their mistakes.? Too many is there actually anyone who can edit without prejudice or mistakes? From what i am discovering it doesn't appear so.

 I have been told my book is fine by some, that there are errors by others while some just wish to tear it apart yet when i ask these so called editors either fail to reply or point out errors which others then say are perfectly acceptable. Who to believe? While some (mainly our American cousins) say the editing is pretty poor then cite that a comma has been inadvertently omitted, well shucks this from a person who leaves out U's in colour and parlour puts a Z in realise.

 I am an aging fool of 60 plus who has forgotten nearly all he was taught in English lessons which is why like so many others  i put my faith in an editor. In the main she was pretty good (That's telling them Aye Lisa) but neither of us are professional writers or editors we are learning as we go along after being shafted by a publishing house that promised much but put the first edition out so badly edited it was embarrassing.
Yes we may have some issues with comma's and capital letters after speech marks, while my daughter who has read the book three times suddenly states that we should place a comma after for example however when the sentence begins "however, he didn't like the colour of his shoes." If it was so striking why didn't she tell me long ago when we were in editing mode? In my defense  i an but an elderly bloke remembering things he was taught fifty off years ago and not accepting that America has apparently hijacked the English language.  

That is why I am withdrawing Dead Men lie for a couple of months and doing one last edit. after that if any mistakes are found then i fear the reader will,l simply have to live with them. I have said on numerous occasions even books by well known writers published by well known publishing houses make some appalling mistakes. Are they told about them? perhaps do they do anything about them Rarely nor do the daily newspapers who are just as appalling in the spelling and grammatical mistakes. Is it right of course not but no one appears to be able to give a decisive answer as to what is correct and what is wrong.

 If anyone out there knows the answer tho these questions you could make a fortune by offering your services to us the Indie authors of the world.

 I now await the fall out from this blog as no doubt i will have offended someone yet again.

But until our next foray into the great unknown see you all later D


 Well that certainly put the cat among the pigeons. Seems i have stirred the pot once again with most agreeing with what i said while a few obviously thinking i am some sort of Anti-Christ the spawn of the devil for raising such issues.

We are as we speak in the process of adding the missing commas, re jigging the format and adjusting the layout. I have to say one suggestion has in fact made the manuscript appear far more professional. What truly annoys me what really gets my back up are those who deem it their lives work to spread the fact that we made a few errors across the internet. That is as far as i am concerned a cowards attack. If anyone has anything to say be brave, send me an e mail, my contact details are no secret and if i disagree the delete button is an easy tool to use. I have always said i will take on board any and all constructive criticism but be up front about it tell me not the world.

Now for some good news..... oh yes the website continues to attract viewers but i see a pattern emerging. The home page is viewed more than any other page me thinks a re-design is called for. Mean while i must say a huge thank you to all the Irish and Dutch viewers who continue to visit the web page. I do trust that you are finding it interesting and that you will be intrigued enough to purchase a copy of Dead Men Lie As someone pointed out there are but 118 days to Christmas, many a reader would like to see a copy of my book under their tree this year. remember the name Dead Men Lie by David T Procter available on Amazon Kindle Goodreads or via the author

  31.08 13

Well here we go again. Another authors thoughts on the editing of Dead Men Lie. Bare in mind that a Canadian author told us we should set the book up in a certain way which we did now we are told that they are wrong and it should be set up differently by an English author. it is this inconsistency that drives my to distraction.

No doubt in their own differing ways they are both correct, personally both are published authors sharing their knowledge with us amateurs but if there was some sort of template to which all books were formatted it would be so much easier to understand. The issue of commas is a classic example one says a comma was omitted while another says there are too many. Both actually differ in the one comma that caused so much consternation, therefore I have come to the conclusion that everyone is right while being just a little wrong. You chose your poison and simply stick to what you think is best for your own taste.

I have taken on board certain aspects from everyone concerned where their views are similar hopefully this will,produce a book that is close enough for everyone concerned not least the readers of Dead Men Lie who so far haven't commented on the 'errors'

back to the manuscript to see what can be done to improve the book which i must say this particular author did say was 'Readable with a brilliant story line and was a real page turner.'  praise indeed form someone as distinguished as she is. My passion is restored.

Until another day when no doubt someone else will tell me something totally different i return to Stormouth


Sunday 1st September

 Right I have listened and looked. I have taken on board everything that has been said by people obviously far more intelligent then I apparently am and a decision has been reached.

 Dead Men Lie is to be expunged removed eradicated for the listings....... No fooled you din't I. I am though going to reformat the story and go through another re write, edit. When your errors are pointed out it becomes obvious that both the book and you my loyal friends and readers deserve something far better than I have so far produced. I will remove the current edition from sale for a short while to allow for the corrections to be made then we will return with a book that is truly awe inspiring. Thanks Chris for what you said and to Helen for her time and dedication, It is heartening when a professional takes the time to assist us amateurs.

 Now back to Stormouth watch this space my friends.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

small authors united

 Oh dear i have been slack this month. Only one person dropped by yesterday to see what we have been up to my fault entirely for being slow in adding my thoughts. To be honest this month has been slow on every front in my disjointed world nothing is happening and therefore i didn't bother you with useless posts.

The book, by now no doubt everyone is bored witless with my constant blathering about it. However it does continue to sell the website is still being viewed by our friends in Ireland Holland Europe and North America. Plus all the individual hits from such places as China and Taiwan. I have often wondered if it is the title that attracts or has the book reached the outer reaches of the world i like to think the latter though in truth i believe the former is more likely.  

The second story is still work in progress The Smugglers Song is half way written after experiencing the fatal mistake of not backing the file up. and loosing almost half of what was written. Still this second draft will no doubt be better than the first but a salutary lesson once again learnt. The problem i have found in prequels is that despite the story being 'there' it is difficult to make it as interesting as the original. Dead Men Lie was easy to write the elements all dropped into place all i really needed to do was form it f so it read correctly this one is difficult as i am looking at the why's and the reasons as to why the characters did what they did. Still we will get there eventually.  

 This summer like so many others around the world we have been blessed with brilliant sunshine which has meant the plots have given us an abundance of crops. We have the freezers full for winter and now the surplus is being sold off. Mrs P has come to the end well almost of her mammoth jam making session all that is left is the blackberry and apple and then she can rest on her laurels. As for me now comes the time i like best clearing the plots and bedding them down for winter. As we clear so i dig and manure the pooh run has begun and i begin to hate the sight of horse dung but the benefits are more than worth the effort.

What else can i say but  i am but a simple soul if anyone out there would like to comment on what i write please do so. Ask questions make statements tell me what you want even if it to ask me to be quiet For now Stormouth beckons and the sun is rising. it is a tossup as to whether i spend the day shifting logs or writing one benefits the soul the other will keep the cold from the door in a few months time. Perhaps a little of both moderation in all things so they say is good for the soul.

Until another day

Saturday, 10 August 2013

A Portrait of Edward Bayles.

I thought we would take a look at one of the central characters of Dead Men Lie and who better to start with than the main protagonist, the good Reverend.

Here he is in all his glory, A very good friend of mine read the book and then took weeks perfecting his image of the priest. Fortunately he got my own image of the man just right. What do you think? Is he the personification of all things evil?

Edward Bayles is/ was a product of his time, The mid 1700's were a time of both political and social upheaval. Never more so then when the King failed to recognise the growing feeling of resentment felt by the colonists. If only George had listened then maybe the war of independence would never have happened but it did and men like Bayles saw a way of profiting from it.

 However for now I thought we would look at the man in general for to go too deep into his abilities will result in many story lines being destroyed within the Smugglers Song. I see Edwards as a man of middling years, certainly a man who has suffered many painful episodes. perhaps he himself suffered some tragedy and felt compelled to exorcise them through his own malevolence. he arrives in Stormouth and immediately joins forces with Joseph Wood
His church is perhaps shown here during winter when Joseph was buried. What do you all think is this a fairly good representation? More soon as the Smugglers Song has called me back to its writing. I find that inspiration appears at the most inopportune moments this was supposed to be an detailed insight into Bayles instead its turned into nothing more than a bit of a mish mash should i delete and start again? No i think i'll let you see what i did. Sorry maybe one day in the future i will once again get the muse and do some more. In the meantime I have Joseph to sort out and his dirty dealings.

Friday 16th August.

 I have returned refreshed and reinvigorated. I am now thirty chapters into my next book and Bayles is  once again taking over my life. I have begun to consider whether he is in fact the personification of my alter ego? Is he in fact me in another guise what i might have been given a different set of circumstances? Or perhaps if you so believe he is in fact a reincarnation of a life i once lived? That rises some interesting questions have we been here before, if as a friend of mine is convinced we have, then Bayles perhaps did once actually walk the earth spreading his malevolence and i am merely the receptacle through which he has returned. All very deep and very meaningful but possible, for i have no deep rooted feelings one way or the other.

As those who have read these blogs will perhaps be aware Stormouth is based upon a town that exists, it is where until recently i knew little of and still know only a small percentage of its history. Read Dead Men Lie and the new book The Smugglers Song and its identity will become apparent. As for the characters they are as far as i know completely fictitious but the experiences the stories i interweave into them are mostly based on facts gleaned from numerous sources and retold. Is this right? I'm not sure, is it wrong? I doubt it. What i try to do is bring the places to life, to share with you what occurred within that town so many years ago and what would have been lost had it not been for a simple statement asked to me by my daughter in total innocence one summer.

"Where does our name come from?" How many of us could answer that question in all honesty I certainly had no idea but i decided to find out and that set me upon this pathway of discovery. The stories i uncovered became more interesting more fantastic the further i delved. One of the first involved my great Grandfather Doctor James Cooper Procter surgeon at Lydd in the mid to late 1800's  I never knew my grandfather he passed away before i was born but his father through research has been brought to life and i think i would have enjoyed meeting him. A story goes that he was summoned to the marsh one dark stormy night to pronounce a body found on the beach as dead. When he arrived he discovered great consternation among the fisherman and a story being told of a wold loose among the sand dunes. So it transpired this beast turned out to be nothing more than a half drowned Irish wolfhound and my great grandfather tamed it calmed and befriended it. They became inseparable and in later years in fact saved my ancestor from a death in quicksand. as a doctor he had to go out and one night his horse shied up and he was thrown into the mire. The dog then waded in and so the story goes dragged the unconscious doctor out by the collar of his coat.  The old dog then slept beside his master for the three nights it took for him to recover fortified no doubt by smuggled rum from the landlord of the tavern to where he was taken. From then on that dog slept beside its master every night until finally it left the house to die among the sand dunes. This story is true and was recorded in a Victorian book entitled 'Dogs and there doings.' Look for it under faithful old Neptune the story of Doctor Procter. Stories such as this give me the background the basis for my own stories.

I will add more tomorrow but savour this to begin with.


Thursday, 8 August 2013

My personal opinion.

Morning all.

 I wanted to share some more of my thoughts with you about how i write and why but events have overtaken me somewhat.

I appear to have succeeded once again in upsetting a member of our American audience. I don't know how but he has taken offence at a simple bit of horseplay. Now it seems he wishes the conversation to degenerate into verbal abuse. I don't do that.

For those who might have witnessed the conversation on facebook i should say i do this simply to promote my book nothing more. Those who chose to view my posts do so because they wish to, but if there is anything in the content anyone dislikes then simply close me down i won't force my opinions upon anyone. This individual took offence to a remark meant as a joke, he took it the wrong way and now appears to prolong the conversation. I don't, i think the whole thing is ridiculous.He also appears to think i am some sad lonely individual, far from it i do not sit here every day alone i have a life which i am very comfortable with. Anyway i thought i would set the record straight as for our friend well his thoughts are his own personally i don't desire to hear them anymore.

As for my day it has been long and tiring. i finished the drive today then spent an hour or more down the plot picking another 20lbs of beans, while my daughter finished picking the last of the soft fruit came home laden down with the stuff now Mrs P has to find room in the freezers for it all. Now i am going to do some more writing before an early supper and bed for a worn out out spoken writer.

 Until another day

Tuesday 20th August

 Morning All
Well here we are on a damp grizzly overcast morning in southern England. The day has started and I wonder where i will be taken? Certainly yesterday was a roller-coaster sort of day, first of all I must thank Jenni for her latest review of Dead Men Lie which you will find posted on both this blogsite and the website. I always said I would share good, bad and indifferent reviews with you, my readers. Jenni's wasn't that bad not really, but she brought up a discussion, once again, which appears to rage throughout writing land and that is editing.

  There are as many differing views on this as there are books for sale. Some awful errors slip through to publication, we must all have our own tales of mistakes both spelling and grammar which appear in even well known tomes by well known authors from well established publishing houses. I know I have seen some howlers, like the author, a distinguished author whose book was sold with duplicate pages littering it. Such errors are unforgivable from professional publishing houses yet how many times are they admonished, how many readers go on their websites to complain or point out the errors of their ways? Not many if the truth be told.  Do the authors feel aggrieved that their work has been maligned and portrayed in such a slipshod manner or (and i hate to think this of any author) do they forget the book once the commission cheque arrives on the doormat? Are they that cynical? It makes me wonder for such books remain in print, they are seldom withdrawn and reprinted yet everyone feels it is there right to pick up on the smallest mistake in a self published book.

No i am not criticising my latest review, it was most helpful, and I for one appreciate being told if there are glaring errors, my god my editor and myself have argued long and hard over issues like commas and upper case letters. We have taken revisions to the printers so many times it has become a bit of a standing joke. But at the end of the day we are but human beings, fallible human beings at that. We become so accustomed to the story our brains register what should be there not what is there we become word blind. Are we fools or unintelligent? Certainly not but we have sat in front of a computer, for maybe a year, writing, agonising researching and rewriting a book to the best of our abilities. Some like myself cannot affords to spend hundreds of pounds employing copy editors (lets face it from the evidence I have seen they allow as many errors through as we amateurs) So we rely on gifted family friends to peruse our work. Then we place it in the public domain and, low the critiques appear. As I have said and I reiterate I will take on board all corrections that need correcting but what galls me is (and this hasn't occurred to me as yet) a reader from the other side of the pond, speaks of spelling mistakes like Odour when they point out there should be no U in the word.

So many books are in print this way i can only conclude that the English language is being Americanised. Perhaps deliberately, perhaps surreptitiously. perhaps this change occurs simply because spell checker, which is an American tool after all, tells the uninitiated to do so. Which is why when these points arise I have them checked out by English teachers, who tell me that in most cases so far I am correct. After a question or exclamation mark, the next word begins with a upper case letter as the marks in question are in effect full stops. This might be contrary to what our cousins have been taught and what spell checker says is correct but I think it looks and reads far better.

There you are, my little moan, now I await your responses which I am sure will come in thick and fast and will differ to each other more often than not.

Until another day enjoy the day my friends because no one knows what lies ahead of us.      

Monday, 5 August 2013

My views on writing.

Morning all

 I will add this later today when time allows. keep watching keep waiting.

Wednesday on a cloudy day in England, The sun is struggling to burn through the crud and i sit here contemplating what to put into this blog.  is this the basis of my writing for the day? Am i to be denied access to the inner workings of my mind? Will Bayles and the others collude and deny me what i desire most and that is access to their warped and twisted minds?

 Too many questions for the beginning of a new day so lets examine what i have achieved this week and what i have fallen down on. My continuing annoyance with my city council continues with a private campaign directed tat the stupidity of a few narrow minded employees of that said council. As some of you will know i have had tee shirts printed which i wear around town decrying the fact that my book (Here's the plug) Dead Men Lie was banned for the ridiculous reason that it might offend those women abused by men. Now while i have every sympathy for their plight even they will admit that their tribulations should be examined and confronted and any book be it fiction or fact which does this should be applauded. Nor is my book written in modern times but 300 years ago when attitudes were far different. The other question that i would ask is has any reader of this tome been offended by any part of the story? I doubt it, in fact one reader actually said to me on Monday that she could empathise with Abigail s plight and knew exactly what i was attempting to portray. So i will continue to decry those involved until their decision is reversed until then thanks for the added publicity.

As i said this week has been one of many trials and tribulations. Not all connected to writing but they have contributed in their own way to deny me the time in need to write. My daughter is on holiday and she and my darling grand daughter expect gandah to drop what he is doing and spend time playing camps and pepper pig and all manner of childish games. For those of similar years as i and in a similar situation you have to admit such games are fun and so enjoyable when a three year old dissolves into hysterical laughter mainly at my expense. As an after thought her favourite game this week was to tip sand down my back as i was laying a new drive great fun and reminiscent of how i remember sand getting everywhere when i was a child.

That is my week, hardly any writing, busy with grand daughter and repairing the drive, distributing books to those who desire to read Dead Men Lie and annoying the council. Oh yes and one last thing i do every morning is to check the web site. here i see the results of all our efforts. Every day more and more people find us, this morning a new viewer appeared from Belarus. Welcome whoever you are. I do so enjoy discovering where in the world the word of our story has got to The usual places appear and i thank them for their continued loyalty England, Canada, USA, Ireland and Holland are always in the top three or four its the obscure places that amaze me, but i suppose that is the power of the internet. The positive side of what can be achieved as opposed to the hurt and depravity that is to be found.

The sun is now up, daylight has taken over and a new day begins. Gone it seems is the heat of previous weeks and we approach Autumn with frightening speed. On the plot the soft fruit is now in jars lovingly prepared as jams for the winter months, lashings of raspberry and apple conserve spread thickly upon hot buttered toast. The last soft fruit to come are the blackberries and already they are ripening well. The vegetables are cropping well apart from the runner beans which don't seem to be setting that well could it i wonder be the heat? Does this matter to much as everything else has filled the freezers nicely so long as the electricity doesn't fail we are well set for winter the first of the coal has arrived and the logs are on order. All we ware waiting on now is the first snow and the year will be at an end another year gone another book almost ready and Christmas fairs to look forward to.

 Hope this hasn't been too boring but i did say right at the beginning i was at a loss as to what i should write. I will close now and return to Stormouth where The Chamberlin is faced with too many dilemmas. I will reveal his identity and what he is about but i fear the book will not be available for Christmas too much to do and the editor hasn't spoken about the myriad of mistakes as yet. The Smugglers Song (yes i think that sounds good) should be ready come summer next year but we will have to wait and see.

For now have a great day enjoy whatever is offered and do please stop by again to see if i have thrown off the cloak of not desperation (not yet anyway) but certainly frustration.



Thursday, 1 August 2013

A writers eye on the world.

Good morning one and all.

 The temperature his still climbing and i am having a laugh. Some of you may remember this article when it appeared in our local paper. For those who missed it i will explain. My local council took exception to Dead Men Lie, well one small piece and banned me from advertising it on any Council owned property. So now i walk around town wearing a tee shirt upon which is emblazoned "I write banned books." You would be amazed at how many people stop me to ask what its all about. Most take literature and a business card while  the website hits last month increased out of all proportion. I hope sales are just as well increased we shall see, in the meantime i am enjoying myself. Mind you perhaps i should start wearing trousers. maybe these people think i am insane and just feel pity for a poor, underfed and penniless writer.

One more thing to mention. Here in the good old United Kingdom it is barely 6am and i have been awake since 4am. hence the reason for any spelling or grammatical errors. I write, i edit,  i miss mistakes i am human. For anyone who this upsets i apologise profusely and can but reiterate that my books are far better edited and amended than my blogs are.

 Speaking of books The Smugglers Song is taking shape. This is the prequel to Dead men Lie and will explain why Bayles was so nasty and what was happening in Stormouth. It will be just as exciting as DML but different, which is why it is taking so long. Five months in and i still haven't settled on a starting point there are just so many good ideas to choose from.

Now i have to close and get some work done before those who work normal hours arrive to upset my day. The drive is being lifted today to be relaid due to settling after a water main was laid last summer. While at some time this morning the engineer will arrive to service the boiler oh dear is it that time already winter is around the corner waiting to grab us by the throat and sent us into hibernation for another six months. In between all this Mrs P is still jam making and i am blanching and peeling all the good stuff that comes off the plot. we should be well set for this winter raspberries in particular cropped well and now the beans are just beginning.

So you see there isn't much time in my day to actually write and my children often bemoan the fact that i have little to do in a day. Oh the innocence of youth, they will learn one day that work interferes with enjoyment and a balance must be struck.

Until later my friends