Monthly Archives: June 2018

…Authors… a wee re-musing about minor characters in yer masterpieces…

…I carried this post over a year or so ago, and thought it worth another airing… enjoy…

…there’s no doubt major characters in a novel carry the storyline to the reader-at-large… the confluence of their highs and lows (in the scribblers’ jargon – ‘the crisis – the solution – the next crisis – the subsequent solution, ad inforeverum’) are the meat and drink of most dramas… but, right here, I must ‘fess up… the delight in having lesser lights intrude is important to this ol’ Jurassic writer… it’s more than just the scrivener’s equivalent of wallpaper music in the  elevator, or the colour of the restaurant’s backdrop… the insertion of wee players at pivotal points in my books relieves the main characters from having do everything themselves to move the chapters along… more often as not, they can also provide much needed humorous interludes in an otherwise heavy-duty regimen… Master Billy Shakespeare was an expert in doing so… tragi-comedies are built on such techniques… but I digress… to be credible, the minor players, in my not-so-‘umble opinion, require every bit of fleshing out, and paradoxically, possibly even more so than major characters, because frequently they are in the plot for a specific purpose(s), and their actions must relate to the personality background I create for them… in two of my Jack Calder crime thrillers, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and DEADLY IMPASSE, I feature Rico Sanchez, a Mexican undercover operative in South America… although a supposedly minor name in the novels, he has significant impact on the outcome in each of these stories… the danger with minor characters is at least two-fold… first of all, to avoid typecasting… and more importantly p’raps for an author, not falling in LUV with having them in the story… at some stage, I had to devise means of extracting him from the books… not an easy task, I assure yeez… Rico is only one example of many who pop their heads in occasionally, and I generally greet them like friends who only visit at intervals… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

THE VIOLIN MANS LEGACY

myBook.to/theviolinmanslegacy

DEADLY IMPASSE

myBook.to/Calderdeadlyimpasse

 

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…a recap post : ‘…if yeez had a good pair of fitba’ boots, Jesus wanted yeez for a sunbeam…’

…I posted this exactly two years ago, but thought it worth another read during the current WURLD Cup :

Docklands, Govan in Glasgow in the 1950s mirrored life in most of the other huge urban conurbations in the UK… precious little money around… large families, tons of kids… infant schooling on the Scottish Education system was excellent, but we children only realised that many, many years later… but the parallel caring for our well-being, our religious and spiritual needs, were supported by a range of denominations… in amongst our parish tenements sprouted various Churches… Roman Catholic, Wee Free, Church of Scotland, Wesleyan, to name a sprinkling of them… and the one my parents chose to have me attend… the local Methodist outfit… now, I’ve grown up to respect the views and religious persuasions of others, including atheists, but since many years ago, I consider myself more ‘spiritual’ in approach to life than ‘denominated’… that I’m a ‘believer’ is enuff for me, without the need of being proselytized or the desire to ‘convert’ anyone else to my way of thinking… that aside, the early Methodist church affiliation was not without its highlights… not the least were the Children’s Sunday School mornings, where hordes of kids, with fresh-scrubbed faces, clean woolly jumpers and definitely clean handkerfchiefs, congregated for a couple of hours of organized  bedlam… the competition in the singing of the Sunday School songs had nothing to do with pitch, but always sung in the boisterous, preferred key of ‘Very Loud’… and we assorted waifs sang out the verses as enthusiastic ‘Fishers of Men’... one favourite was ‘Jesus wants me for a sunbeam’, which some smartie-pants amended to ‘Jesus wants me for a Morris Minor’, the Sunbeam brand of car being considered not the best of choices…

fitba

…and let’s not forget the need to fill the Church-affiliated ‘Life Boys’ social movement, whose primary activity on a Saturday was to play football against other Churches’ Life Boys’ squads, with teams usually being chosen on who had a pair of football boots…

fitba 2

…watching the WURLD Cup tournament currently in progress, I wonder how many of the wantonly overpaid ‘dying swan prima donna acrobats’ on these fields would have been better equipped to play if they had had a decent pair of football boots as kids, and had Jesus chosen them to be a sunbeam?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…my life gives me writing… my writing gives me life…

…this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has come to understand that being of a certain age does not necessarily bring enhanced wisdom… indeed, all too often, it highlights remarkable nuttiness… but it can breed the indulgence of pockets of awareness of some self-spun truths… my introverted philosophies can creep out of what remains of the wee grey cells at any time… and I confess, I do enjoy these interludes… one such minor epiphany struck me today… that my life gives me writing… my writing gives me life… my career, travels, experiences, and relationships, spanning more than five decades and four continents, have more than amply filled the mem’ry bank with material for a hundred-fold of the books I’ve written so far… my fiction, as with that of most authors I know, is an amalgam of all I have seen, heard and felt, mixed with a sum’times over-imaginative brain… but it cannot be denied that a lot of me has migrated to my ‘fictional’ writing… however, the more insightful discovery I’ve made, is to understand that having immersed myself in the pensmithing over the past ten years has contributed largely to sustaining me through some dark times

…yes, yes, Mabel, I know we all go through periods of highs and lows, but without having to go into great detail, there have been some periods in the past decade when the dawn seemed a long time in  arriving… the accessibility to writing has been a lifesaver… it proved a gateway to mental escape… just as it is truly said that we can lose ourselves in reading books, equally, I can testify, that by creating books, this ability to leave other things behind for a while is just as powerful, and a marvellous antidote to the daily pressing vicissitudes that can visit upon any of us… in short, I repeat, my writing gives me life... it has given me a reason to get out of bed and face the WURLD on many days… that doesn’t mean that I ignore any issues that I have to deal with, but it provides a temporary sanctuary, keeping at bay any negative thoughts in my head… there now, heavy-duty stuff there, maybe, but worth getting it out of my system… thanks for reading thus far… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…Authors, as much as possible, check the facts…

…it will come as no surprise to some of yeez to learn that as a wee boy at school in Docklands, Govan in Glasgow, Master Gallacher was a bit of a ‘smart-ass’…a trait that has doubtless recognisably carried forward into my more advanced years…  always first to raise my hand to try to answer the teacher’s questions… always striving to be first finished with the classroom-bound written exams so I could, “…go ootside and play, noo, please Miss?”… comes now ‘The Writer Age’ the Scribbler-at-Large...  pensmith of novels… blithely transferring the contents of what’s left of my wee grey cells onto the laptop, hopefully for international reader consumption, and possible approbation… thus far, yer Lordships and Ladyships of the e-Reading Universe have wrought unbounded kindness and generosity on my WURKS, by downloading my baby masterpieces on a regular  basis… Kindlers Listers, all, yeez have my grateful thanks… with broad readership also comes a responsibility… to get yer facts correct, even in a piece of fiction... recently, being merely an older version now of that aforementioned ‘smart-ass’ schoolkid, I’ve read more than a coupla books where I’ve picked up on errors of fact… even fictional writing sometimes contains reference s to ‘real’ things, places, and  events… any mistakes in these WILL be spotted by SUMB’DY… and there goes yer credibility with that particular reader… fr’example, the cover of my second Jack Calder novel, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, depicts a Gurkha kukri knife… I found a picture of a real kukri to use… in the fourth novel, KILLER CITY, I needed to know exactly about timetables for flights in and out of Manchester airport in the north of England… I wrote to the airport authorities in Manchester to enquire about those, and they kindly sent me three pages of detail, of which I was able to correctly use ten WURDS of that for my narrative’s purpose… but the point is, THEY WERE TEN CORRECT WURDS... another time, my dear Author pal, Eric J. Gates, pointed out to me that the colour of Semtex is orange-red, not grey, as I had mistakenly assumed… I corrected that in the first novel, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY

 

…Authors, as much as possible, check the facts… yer readers will LUV yeez for it…

THE VIOLIN MANS LEGACY

myBook.to/theviolinmanslegacy

VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK

myBook.to/vengeancewearsblack

SAVAGE PAYBACK

myBook.to/savagepayback

KILLER CITY

myBook.to/calderkillercity

DEADLY IMPASSE

myBook.to/Calderdeadlyimpasse

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…and in other news… bestselling Author, Master Gallacher, turns commercial (shock! horror!)…

…far be it from this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler to blow his own bagpipe, but in seems a groundswell has taken place whereby enuff other writing folks deem my supposed prowess in the craft sufficient for them to entrust their own wee literary baby masterpieces to my eye for, either/or/or both, proofreading and copy editing… I posted the undernoted to my Facebook page a few days ago, and am gratified to have received enquiries from other quillspersons already… (if yeez don’t let them know where yeez are, how else are they gonna find yeez, Mabel?)… as they say in all the classic notices like this… ‘quotes available by return’

To my Author/Wannabe Author Friends:

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been honoured by approaches from fellow writers and bloggers (established and beginners) to bring my professional writing skills to bear on THEIR work. It has developed into a commercial activity for me, and I am pleased with that. I have been persuaded to ‘go public’ and ‘go live’ with the fact that part of my business is now officially that of a commercial proofreader and copy editor. To clarify what precisely each term means, quite simply:

PROOFREADING

Proofreading deals with the final version of a manuscript before it is published, Unlike copy editing, it is not expected to make any revisions to the content or style. It is a check for any typos or missing punctuation marks, and to remove any repeated words or paragraphs, and with an eye to consistency.

COPY EDITING

Copy Editing is done in order to prepare a manuscript for an editor to apply his/her editing skills.
The copy editor’s job is to bring the first draft of an article or manuscript to a proper standard by making and suggesting edits to cut down on wordiness, fix awkward phrasing and eliminate repetition.

I will be happy to quote for either of, or a combination of, these for your manuscripts.

Please contact me by  my email seumasgallacher@yahoo.com or by Direct Message on Facebook.

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…ghostwriters in the sky… getting more than one life through autobiographies…

…this past twelve months has seen this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler delve into a hitherto unknown authorly region… by sheer happenstance, I was invited to consider a ghostwriting commission for the life story of a gentleman in Bahrain… a man whom I’ve much respected for many years… apart from the obvious commercial aspect to accepting the project, I was unaware of some of the other uplifting benefits that would result… it’s difficult to explain how humbling it is when another human being feels comfortable enuff with a writer to share many of his or her innermost thoughts…

…as with each of our own lives, there are many instances where fear and joy, highs and lows, mistakes and triumphs, flow and intermingle ad hoc… being permitted to use my own professed scribbling skills to weave these threads into a recognizable tapestry of someone else’s existence is an amazing journey… amazing for each of us… for the subject, and for myself… such a project usually entails several meetings (in some cases as many as a couple of dozen), over whatever time in takes to capture honestly the nuances and main events in ‘a life’… there are times when tears prevail, at memories of sensitive episodes, or recollection of times of grievance… of unbounded successes and the darkness of despair…

…and I’ve come to understand that, with few exceptions, we are all prob’ly susceptible to an equally powerful range of emotional life swings… as I said above, truly humbling… I’ve now completed three such assignments, each markedly different in content and context, but paradoxically, also containing many similarities… in undertaking (slowly) an attempt to record my own personal ‘memoirs’, such as they are, I’m learning to have much less trepidation in approaching some of the areas which, subconsciously, I was kinda fearful of addressing… we never stop learning… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

 

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