Ernest Bywater: Blog

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April 3, 2015
Posted at 5:50 am
Updated: January 12, 2016 - 6:56 pm

My Writing Style and General Comments - April

Watch my blog as I only say things here about the stories here, and give alerts on new stories as well.

Oh, to me email, phone, snail mail, and face to face calls are social media, but Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other such stuff are data mining SPAM sites that I don't use; so please don't send me any invites to such places.

Thank you for reading my stories. I do many things to put food on the table and deal with life, this interferes with my writing, so please bear with me when there are delays in stories appearing. I do NOT post a story until it's complete. Once posting has started I'll make changes to deal with typographical, spelling, continuity, or other important errors like copyright infringement when someone points one out to me. If you see an error, and not just a UK / USA spelling difference error, please let me know. Future revisions due to word choice changes or writing style will not be made to SOL (due to the troubles and time to convert them). As of May 2015 revised versions of older stories will only be available at Lulu. New stories will continue to be posted here. All my stories pass through a few editors, but two that see them all are Tenderloin and my brother, with me doing a final edit after their advice is in.

Writing: I write as if I'm telling the story while sitting around a fire. I find the use of present tense adds to the feeling of being involved, but don't do this with all my stories. Most authors write in the past tense, as it's easier that way to use only one tense throughout. In the present tense you sometimes have to refer to prior events in the past tense, and use both tenses as is appropriate for the situation. I often write in the first person, as this adds to the sense of being involved too. These are both valid, if not common, ways to write. Please, Anonymous, no more emails about it being the wrong way to write.

Aussie narrators use Aussie terms, so please keep that in mind, despite where the story is set. I use Aussie narrators for most of my stories, so, please, no emails about that.

Headings: I use colour codes to indicate headings for Chapters (red), Sub-chapters (blue), and Sections (bold black). They're centred, look more colourful, and are easier to locate. My chapters do NOT match what SOL calls a chapter, and I list the SOL chapter numbers as Parts (green) in my Table of Contents. The submission wizard gets temperamental if the files are too big and makes them into multiple pages. So I try to match my chapter / sub-chapter ends with the number of characters the wizard is happy with - but not always as sometimes I just have to go past the magic number. Once the first part is showing the rest will be appearing every other day. If you can't wait to finish it you can always get it from my Lulu web site (listed below) while contributing to my welfare fund.

Sequels: I do plan to do a sequel to Rough Diamond, Star Performance, the Al Adams stories (on Earth and Chaos), and others. I also have many works in progress to finish, so don't hold your breath. Just watch out for the new stories and enjoy them as they appear. They are planned out, but I need to do some research before writing them, watch here for the announcement of when they go up.

EMAILS: I reply to all emails from valid reply to addresses. However, some block emails from my ISP on an irregular basis - clients of those ISPs who don't get a reply, talk to your ISP about it. To get around this I'm using gmail to reply, but this takes more work by me, so I'm now doing email replies every six to eight weeks.

Thanks to the anonymous feedback email senders who send a smiley or a thanks for each chapter. You more than make up for the anonymous abusive ones. Please don't get offended if I don't respond to a basic 'thanks' email immediately.

I'm an Aussie and have never been to the USA in real life, all the knowledge comes from Internet research. So anyone who wishes to give me advice on such things is welcome to send me some information and ideas so I can incorporate them into stories. Please note that in doing so you give me the legal right to use that idea free of charge.

I write as both Ernest Bywater and Ernest Edwards (the Clan Amir series, only part is here) and have stories at Lulu - page link below.

All my stories are available as epub downloads or print books via Lulu. The stories are written in a 6 x 9 inch paperback format page using Libre Office and saved as .odt files then converted to tagged text files for here. Note: I've been revising my works to make them smoother flowing and easier to read. If you've bought a past copy and the Lulu page shows a copy with an edition date of March 2015 (or later) and you'd like an updated copy, email me with some sort evidence you have a purchased copy and the format you want (epub or pdf), and I'll send you a copy of the latest version. Also the March 2015 versions are being posted here as well.

If you think a story of mine is worth publishing in your local newspaper or magazine, talk to them and have them email me. I'll gladly give them approval to reprint it free, especially for Always a Marine and Coming Home.

What is a Ute?
I've had people asking: what is a ute? It's the short form of utility vehicle, but is a specific type of vehicle here in Australia and has had the meaning expanded a bit. This wikipedia page gives the basics:

A close US equivalent (as reported by a US reader).

The most common form is a sedan type vehicle front with an integrated bed, kind of like a normal sedan version of the US pick-up truck. Today it's been expanded to include most 1 tonne vehicles used on a rural property, like the typical US pick-up truck, and even a flat-bed tray style 1 tonne truck.

Here in Australia chips are bits of hot fried potato. Due to certain US fast food stores doing business here we sometimes call the very thin cut ones French Fries (some people call them shoe strings fries). We also have potato crisps, these are cold, precooked, and in packets from companies like Smiths; sometimes they are called a packet of chips. Chips are hot and eaten with meals or as a snack or meal of their own, crisps are a small snack and never eaten with a meal.

Figures in conversation - especially money.
A common verbal short-cut is to mention the baseline of figures the first time you speak of the figure and then only talk of what's in front of the baseline. Example: "I got a budget of a hundred million bucks, the first ten is for the new building, thirty for operating costs ..." and so on. This is to save saying the million or thousand or grand several times.