Ernest Bywater: Blog

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My health and writing as at 7 Jan 2021

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Yes, I'm alive and in reasonable health.

That loud rhythmic banging you hear is me beating my head against the wall. In the last few months I've had a lot of emails and messages reporting typos and display format errors in a lot of the stories. So far I've made corrections to a number of stories and reposted them since mid December 2020. I've got 4 that are with my proof reader that will be reposted soon. I have another 6 I need to correct and review, as well as another 4 it's been suggested I review. I also have 720,000 words in 35 new stories I'm trying to get finished. So I'm a little busy with writing and editing right now.

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A word about my writing process. I use Libre Office and I write all of my stories in a prepared layout with paragraph styles. This makes it easier for me to see what the finished product will look like and it to convert the story into the different formats I provide the stories in: print book, PDF, E-pub, HTML, and Mobi.

As the layout shows how the story will look in its finished print book version I will often play with the wording and word choices to minimise having large gaps in the letters of the justified pages in the print book while also keeping the number of widows and orphans to the minimum; these are both where there is just one line of a paragraph on a page at the bottom or the top. Normally this won't have much of an effect when I revise a story, but it does sometimes when I have to add words to clarify something a few readers have queried the meaning of. Thus, a revised story will still tell the same story but will have some parts that have different wording to say the same thing. The print books are available through my Lulu page for those who want a printed book.

My usual print book size is 6 x 9 inch US Trade. When I compressed the seven books of the Clan Amir series into a single book anthology I had to change the page size of the book to have the finished product under the maximum number of pages they allow for a print book. At that time I simply selected the new page size and did very little in the way of revising the story other than making adjustments for widows and orphans. In correcting a number of reported errors I've given the stories a serious revision, this is partly due to having to go to a slightly different page size again to meet their current size types. While doing this I noticed my style has changed a lot since the series was first released, and the revised version off being proof read still tells the same stories but with many changes in how they're told, so they're be worth a reread once I repost them. Watch this blog for the announcement of the repost when that's done.

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