Welcome to my Blogger page, thank you for visiting. This is where I will share my reviews of books, movies and other things I enjoy. If you would like to see my ramblings, fanfiction and other general posts, please visit my Livejournal: beren_writes. Visit my pages to learn about me and my books.
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Thursday, 18 October 2018

The Horror of Shakespeare #17 - The Lady Doth Protest Too Much

A fountain pen with italic writing in the background. Over the top are the words The Horror of Shakespeare and the quote 'The Lady Doth...''

Every day in October I will be posting a horror/paranormal drabble (100 word story) inspired by a Shakespeare Quote. 
I forgot to post this yesterday! I am so sorry. I'm in the middle of reading through final proof of paperbacks and it's breaking my brain!

I went for something a little different for this one - the old serial killer in a limited setting trope :)

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much...


"One of you did it," Nancy said, waving the gun between the two girls.

"It wasn't me," Emma protested, "you know I could never hurt anyone."

"Neither could I," Mary said, face full of hurt.

"You've always been the evil twin," Emma insisted, stepping away from her sister.

Nancy had to swing the gun further to cover them both.

"I'm not," Mary wailed and began to cry.

"We're the only three left it has to be one of you."

"Or…"

The gun dropped from suddenly lifeless fingers.

"…we're both the evil twin," Mary finished as her sister wiped her knife.

If anyone would like to join in, please do!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The Horror of Shakespeare #16 - The Evil That Men Do Lives After Them

A fountain pen with italic writing in the background. Over the top are the words The Horror of Shakespeare and the quote 'The Evil That Men Do...''

Every day in October I will be posting a horror/paranormal drabble (100 word story) inspired by a Shakespeare Quote. 
Greetings :) Today we have zombies. Brains!

The Evil That Men Do Lives After Them


Horror was all Gemima could feel at the sight that greeted her in her father's lab. Pure, unadulterated horror.

The three shambling creatures standing over her father's bloody corpse turned at the sound of her entrance.

"No," was all she could whisper.

The faces, once so familiar, were saggy and grey, with eyes empty of life. When her school friends had vanished, she'd thought they'd run off on a road trip like they had always said they would. But they had been reduced to nothing more than experiments.

Her father was dead, but they were something else, something terribly dangerous.

If anyone would like to join in, please do!

Things to Look Out for When Uploading a Paperback to Amazon KDP

Things to Look Out for When Uploading a Paperback to Amazon KDP

So I've been uploading a final proof to Amazon KDP this morning (3 hours - I've been at it 3 hours!) and there are a few things that hadn't occurred to me to look for, so I thought it might be useful to list them so others don't have to upload their manuscript as many times as I have :).

To be clear, I use the Kindle Create plugin to format my manuscripts and upload them in docx format.

Small tip - don't throw things at the screen when KDP suggests we grab a coffee or make a sandwich - I know it's annoying, but it's not our computer's fault ;)

1. Chapter Title Capitalisation

There are several templates available in Kindle Create and at least one of them capitalises all the chapter titles. This looks awesome, but doesn't allow us to see if we've accidentally capitalised an incorrect letter, or forgotten to capitalise the first letter of each word.

However, inside the table of contents, chapter titles are not all capitals, so these mistakes show up.

Hence, we need to go through our table of contents and check we haven't fluffed it anywhere.

2. Page Numbers

With the advent of Kindle Create and automatic tables of contents you'd think we wouldn't have to worry about this, right? Wrong!

Problems arise when the final page of one of our chapter almost fill the page when we are editing the document. Sometimes, during the conversion, paragraphs are shifted slightly, things move, and this can add in an extra page.

For example, my chapter chapter 9 should have started on page 109 according to my docx file and table of contents, however, during conversion it was shifted to page 110. This was because the final page of chapter 8 almost filled the page in my docx file, and something shifted in the conversion process, making it overflow.

This causes 2 issues:

  • The page numbers in the table of contents will no longer match.
  • Sections that were supposed to start on a right page, will now be on a left page.
The easiest way for us to check this is to:
  1. Download the PDF proof offered inside the Previewer. 
  2. Have this open in one window at the table of content and the previewer open in another.
  3. Type the expect page numbers for chapter titles etc, into the previewer and make sure we see what we expect to see.
How to Fix :
We cannot add another section break in to move the first page of the offending chapter to the correct page number because it will add in an extra page we do not want in the converted manuscript.

So we have to do what is against all rules of formatting documents, we have to add in carriage returns to shift down the section break at the end of the previous page, until it shifts on to the next page. This will add in the extra page in our document, so when things shift in the conversion, everything is where it is supposed to be.

3. Headers

Headers can be tricky. Personally I have my name on one page and the title on the other throughout the book. However, I don't have the headers over the front matter or the back matter.

Especially in cases where we've had to deal with things like the page numbers issue above, sometimes the header can end up on a page where we don't want it. It's just a matter of checking to make sure everything is where we expect it to be in the proof.

[Edit - 17-Oct-2018]

4. Kindle Create Template Issue That Prevents Book Conversion

Yesterday I was also reformatting my first paperback to use Kindle Create, since that's the way I intend to go forward. Frustratingly, every time I tried to upload my manuscript if failed at the initial conversion stage.

First tip: the easiest way to check to see if you manuscript is likely to fail conversion, is to use the kindle previewer inside the Kindle Create plugin. If it has an error, the likelihood is that the paperback conversion on KDP will fail as well. This only takes seconds, rather than minutes, so is a good first check.

This morning, after a little thinking, I tried a few thing, using the tip above as a test and discovered it wasn't anything silly that I had done, it was a bug in the template.

These are the factors required to see this issue:

  • I used the Classic template for the book in question.
  • I added numbering to the chapter title style.
  • This template has a chapter subtitle and chapter quote as part of the template. I don't use these so I removed them from each chapter.

It seems that if numbering is added to the chapter title in the template (does not occur if chapter title style is left unchanged) it requires something to be between the chapter title and the first paragraph of the chapter.

Fix: I added in a blank line of normal text between the chapter title and the chapter first paragraph and all is sorted.

Extra: I can confirm this happens with the Amour template as well - so it probably happens with the others too.

[End Edit]
And there you have it, all the niggly things that have made uploading a paperback a royal pain :). I hope this helps one of you lessen the pain.

Monday, 15 October 2018

The Horror of Shakespeare #15 - Cry “havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war.

A fountain pen with italic writing in the background. Over the top are the words The Horror of Shakespeare and the quote 'Cry 'Havoc!''

Every day in October I will be posting a horror/paranormal drabble (100 word story) inspired by a Shakespeare Quote. 
Hello on this rainy Monday, I hope everyone is well. Today I mixed it up a bit, with vamps and werewolves :)

Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the Dogs of War


It wasn't that Justin had anything against werewolves personally, it was just they made such a mess. Yes, pointing them at a target and telling them they could indulge their basest instincts made a definite point.

But there was no way the blood was ever coming out of his lovely cream carpet.

He looked away as his minions did their work.

Sometimes acting as the law in the supernatural community was so tiresome. Being the eldest vampire in the city, however, it was a responsibility he could not shirk.

He was going to have to redecorate the whole office now.

If anyone would like to join in, please do!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

The Horror of Shakespeare #14 - To Thine Own Self Be True

A fountain pen with italic writing in the background. Over the top are the words The Horror of Shakespeare and the quote 'To Thine Own Self Be True'

Every day in October I will be posting a horror/paranormal drabble (100 word story) inspired by a Shakespeare Quote. 
Good evening again - today has been so busy, but I got to my drabble eventually :D. The moral of this story, is don't treat your staff with disrespect.

To Thine Own Self Be True


Marion took a deep breath.

"Please don't shout at me," she said, in as pleasant a tone as she could manage.

"Why? You worthless idiot. One thing, I asked you to do one thing and you screwed it up."

"Sir," she tried again, "that was not what…"

"Are you trying to say I'm lying?"

"Mistaken…"

"You're fired!"

"Fired?"

"Yes, get out."

Marion felt a weight lift off her shoulders.

"Gladly," she said as the chains of loyalty in her head snapped.

The beast within her rose, no longer fettered. Fur erupted from her body, long fangs descended, and she attacked.

If anyone would like to join in, please do!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

The Horror of Shakespeare #13 - Some Cupid kills with arrows

A fountain pen with italic writing in the background. Over the top are the words The Horror of Shakespeare and the quote 'Some Cupid Kills with Arrows'

Every day in October I will be posting a horror/paranormal drabble (100 word story) inspired by a Shakespeare Quote. 
Good evening all - I'm a bit late today because I've been proof reading my final draft for one of my new paperbacks, but I got here in the end :). More ghostly goings on today - I hope you enjoy it. 

Some Cupid Kills with Arrows


The Ouija board flipped, throwing the pointer across the room.

"You said you loved me."

Dan twisted as icy breath ghosted over his ear.

"Who's there?"

"Who do you think, Lover?"

"Which one of you did that?" he demanded, looking at his friend.

It was just a stupid game, none of it had been real, but they stared back at him. There was terror in every gaze.

"Come with me, my love," the voice said.

An icy hand seemed to reach into his chest.

"You promised me your heart."

"You're not real," he screamed, even as that hand slowly squeezed.

If anyone would like to join in, please do!

Friday, 12 October 2018

The Horror of Shakespeare #12 - The Is Nothing Either Good or Bad

A fountain pen with italic writing in the background. Over the top are the words The Horror of Shakespeare and the quote 'The is Nothing Either Good or Bad'

Every day in October I will be posting a horror/paranormal drabble (100 word story) inspired by a Shakespeare Quote. 
Ghosts! Ghosts I say... yep, today it a haunted little tale. I hope you enjoy it.

The Is Nothing Either Good or Bad


I wish I could say the good go to heaven and the bad are punished, or rehabilitated, or something, but I'm stuck haunting my old office, so I have no idea. A filing box fell on me from a top shelf. Ridiculous I know.

There was a bright light and everything, but I was too confused to go. By the time I realised what was happening the light was gone.

Haunting can be fun though. I have Ralph from purchasing convinced I'm a demon come for his soul. That'll teach him to sexually harass his co-workers. Take that Mr Handsy.

If anyone would like to join in, please do!

Thursday, 11 October 2018

The Horror of Shakespeare #11 - Life's But a Walking Shadow


Every day in October I will be posting a horror/paranormal drabble (100 word story) inspired by a Shakespeare Quote. 
Hello and welcome to day 11 of The Horror of Shakespeare. Today we have a little fanfic drabble based on Dracula - so yep, vampires for the third time. I make no excuses ;)

Life's But a Walking Shadow


Pain, everything was pain. Lucy threw her arms out to fend it off, but hit something flat and hard. After that it only took her a moment to realise the pain was a phantom, remembered thing, which quickly evaporated.

She was surrounded by darkness, but not afraid.

"'Arise, my beauty," the words of her count drifted into her mind.

As she listened the world outside was alive as it had never been. She could feel the lives awaiting her touch and, without a second thought, she embraced the darkness inside. Her body became incorporeal and she floated from her coffin.

If anyone would like to join in, please do!

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Horror of Shakespeare #10 - Off with his head!

A fountain pen with italic writing in the background. Over the top are the words The Horror of Shakespeare and the quote 'Off with his head!'
Every day in October I will be posting a horror/paranormal drabble (100 word story) inspired by a Shakespeare Quote. 
Where has the week gone? Now contrary to popular belief, the quote today is not from the Queen of Hearts, it's from Richard III :)

Off With His Head!


The psychic had said they needed the eye of the peacock to destroy the ghost. They'd found the sword hidden in the statue of the bird in the garden, and the hilt was made to look like a peacock feather.

But, as Cally stabbed it through Sir John MIllingborne, the raging phantom didn't so much as slow down.

"It's not working," she yelled.

The ghost appeared every 23 years, killing one of her family. Cally refused to let it go on.

"The neck g… the neck," Bethany shouted over the maelstrom, "…hanged."

Cally pulled her arm back, prayed and swung.
If anyone would like to join in, please do!

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

The Horror of Shakespeare #9 Misery Acquaints a Man...


Every day in October I will be posting a horror/paranormal drabble (100 word story) inspired by a Shakespeare Quote. 
Good morrow! I hope everyone is well. Today we have zombies!

Misery Acquaints a Man with Strange Bedfellows


Jamie pulled at the board over the door. The nails squealed as they were ripped out of the wall, but he didn't care anymore. He didn't want to go on alone.

Hope was dead.

No one was coming.

All his friends were buried in the basement with their skulls smashed in.

Wrenching the handle he threw the door open in broad daylight for the first time in months. He cocked the shotgun with the last precious amo and stepped out into the sunlight.

The shambling hoard turned at the noise. With a grin he blew the first one's head off.

If anyone would like to join in, please do!