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My first Novel

Updated: Apr 17

Davy Stuart

Fight or Flight


Many years ago I had this idea, more of a continuing buzz going though my head.

It was an idea for a book based on and around the original shipyards in Leith, set in the later part of the 18th century.

Anyway to cut a long story short so to say, I started putting some ideas down on paper, before I knew it the ideas had grown and I had in fact began my first novel.

I have no idea how other writers operate or start just my own experience of this particular writing process. I had the bones of a story I now needed to put some flesh on the bones. I had determined right from the beginning that my novel would be as real and as raw as I could make it, after all they were no angels that worked in shipyards during this time, nor were they very P.C. So the novel has an adult theme with many swear words which I make no apology for.

As I began writing it just sort of happened, very natural and my story about the young shipwright Davy Stuart and his accomplice Pat just ran out of my pen and onto the paper.

His mate in the shipyard where he had only just began his apprenticeship was a young lad a year or so older than he, Pat was originally from Ulster.

The two got on just fine even if they were a wee bit chalk an cheese at first, working together in the yard constructing some of the classic old ships built at the R&F shipyard at Leith.

So the tale of adventure began, with a nod to the actual ships being built at the time.

As time went on I found that I had a beginning, then a middle part with a few different endings, so now I was on my way.

At times it was very difficult juggling my day job with trying to write, turning on and off as time went on. How I envied the full time writers, but the hard work is also very rewarding as you see each chapter finish.

My way of working was to write various chapters at the same time then as one chapter got going more than others I would concentrate on that one to its conclusion.

I was given some advice a while ago by someone in the publishing industry and he told me to ignore my English and grammar, a good editor will soon sort that out.

Great advice as I did not spend much time faphing (is there such a word, well there is now) around with my grammar meaning that the story flowed although just not in the way an English teacher may view it.

So, while by now means any kind of expert on the subject.

I can only write about my own experience, the best thing to do if you have a story to tell, is to get it down on paper, or on the laptop as is more likely today. I found I wrote a lot long-hand then as I copied it into the story on the computer I revised and or changed as I went along, once more not spending to much time worrying about not being able to find the correct word and such.

It is a bit of a slog but as you get each part of your story down and read it over and over again, the feeling of satisfaction is worth all the hard work.

That is how I approached the writing game, if anyone gets any inspiration from this then great, if not at least it is not running around in my head anymore, I have made space for more tales of adventure involving the not so young Davy Stuart as his travels take him over the stormy Atlantic, to voodoo parties in the Caribbean, to stealing gold bullion then onto the Southern States of America and beyond.

The first book with the working title of “Fight or Flight" is now completed just awaiting a friendly publisher to pick up on this amazing adventure tale………

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