Relaxing with a story - image via Pixabay

FLASH FICTION TIPS

Sorry for the no-show last night but back to business now!

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

I share some flash fiction writing tips in Five Flash Fiction Tips and hope these prove useful.  I’ll be running a flash fiction workshop soon and will expand out on these ideas but there’s certainly enough here to help you to start!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Keeping a Diary looks at the advantages of doing exactly that.  I keep a writing diary to help me track what I’ve done and what I would like to do.  But there are character diaries too and writing those could help you discover if you really know the character as well as you thought you did

FACEBOOK PAGE/CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

I talk about my forthcoming Chandler’s Ford Today post, which will be looking at why history is vital for all.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F900359730067007&width=500

There's still a place for writing directly to paper. Image via Pixabay

There’s still a place for writing directly to paper. Image via Pixabay

 

Bookshops are vital to encourage literary - image via Pixabay.

TRUTH AND DISHONESTY

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Truth and Dishonesty looks at how these traits show up in characters and asks what are the consequences of brute honesty from a character?  Are there times when a “kind lie” is better?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Favourite Books looks at what characters would read and why.  Are books treasured in your fictional setting?  What is the role of the storyteller in your setting?

FACEBOOK PAGE

There have been some lovely reviews on Amazon for my debut flash fiction collection, From Light to Dark and Back Again.  I thank those behind these and discuss reading habits.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F898718823564431&width=500

My debut flash fiction collection from Chapeltown Books

My debut flash fiction collection from Chapeltown Books

 

 

You can't beat a good book. Image via Pixabay.

WHEN IN DOUBT…

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

When In Doubt looks at editing as my motto when deciding whether something should go into a story or not is when in doubt, leave it out.  If I have to think too hard about whether something should go into the story, then I inevitably won’t put that in as it will not weave seamlessly into what is already written.  I share what I do in the way of editing here too.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

What I look for in a story applies across all story forms.  I list five different things here though the biggest and most important one (for me anyway) is any decent story has to have strong characterisation.  Do you agree with my list?  Can you add to it?

FACEBOOK PAGE

I discuss what, for me, makes for a good writing session.  Short post tonight.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F898012870301693&width=500

The magic of stories. Image via Pixabay

The magic of stories. Image via Pixabay

SHORT AND SWEET – OR NOT AS THE CASE MAY BE…

My posts are all flash fiction theme based tonight.

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Flash Fiction and Fairytales looks at why I think these make for an incredibly good mix.  One thing I love about fairytales is they are direct and flash fiction, of course, forces you to write “tight” to meet strict word count requirements.

I share one ofmy stories, Living the Lie, in this post.  (I hope this story will be in my next collection).  A lot ofmy flash stories are my take on fairytales and this one is my take on Beauty and the Beast.  Hope you like it.

And why not have a go at writing flash?  One thing I have found (and From Light to Dark and Back Again reflects this) is that it can cover all genres.  (My book has fairytales, crime and light horror stories in them amongst others).

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Short and Sweet – or Not as the Case May Be looks at the advantages of flash fiction and I discuss one of the methods I use when it comes to writing these.  I also discuss one huge advantage of flash fiction for all writers, regardless of genre and including non-fiction as well, is that it does force you to write tight.  That skill of course can transfer across to whatever it is you write (and is bound to improve it.  My stories and posts always improve when I write tight and cut out all the unnecessary words.  There are always more of those than you think/would like on a first draft!  Still the good thing is that is true for all writers!).

FACEBOOK PAGE

I share a little of what is around my writing desk tonight and talk about why I think border collies are great dogs.  (I know it’s a strange mix but writing and dogs are a major part of my life and both are phenomenally important to me).  I managed to catch up with some reading today after a hectic week (most of which was not writing related unfortunately).  I don’t know quite what it is about reading but I do know it is good for you!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F897281743708139&width=500

Open a book, open a gateway into another world. Image via Pixabay.

Open a book, open a gateway into another world. Image via Pixabay.

 

 

The Kindle. Has expanded my reading (no more worrying about how many books I can take on holiday either!). Image via Pixabay.

WHEN WISHES WON’T COME TRUE

INTRO

This is a bit ironic really since one of my wishes has come true today!  From Light to Dark and Back Again is now available on Kindle and the Amazon link is https://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-Dark-Back-Again-ebook/dp/B06VT92429/

I use the Look Inside feature a lot when browsing books on Amazon so am glad to say it’s available on mine too.

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

When Wishes Won’t Come True is a piece about when magic is limited in your stories and I think it has to be.  If all problems can be solved with the wave of a magic wand, where’s the conflict, the drama, the story?  Also what do you do when you face something who is as good magically as you are?   You effectively stalemate each other.  I also look at those characters who might be relieved magic can’t solve everything and how that would put them at odds with almost everyone else in a magical environment.  There should be some good story pointers here.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Working Hard discusses which characters work the hardest and why in your stories and what kind of world are they living in?  One that uses machines a lot or is still dependent on manual labour?

FACEBOOK PAGE

I spread the word about the Kindle version of my flash fiction collection.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F896621447107502&width=500

My debut flash fiction collection from Chapeltown Books

My debut flash fiction collection from Chapeltown Books

You can't beat a good read and I would include Jane Austen in amongst the top of my list. Image via Pixabay.

BEING EXCLUSIVE

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Being Exclusive looks at the pitfalls of this as it is not necessarily a good thing.  People can be singled out for “special treatment” and history has shown far too often just what that kind of thing is and what it can lead to.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

What the Magical World Will Not Tell You lists five things it won’t tell you!  (Yet another of my sum it all up in the title posts!).  Included in this is a phenomenally good reason why visiting castles and stately homes on any magical world is not a good idea.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

I share news of a Jane Austen Festival coming up later this year in Southampton (UK), one of Jane’s many residences.  It is being co-ordinated by the Sarah Siddons Fan Club whose heroine was one of the earliest actresses to make her name, and living, acting.  For centuries women had been barred from being on the stage.  It is good both women were pioneers in their fields and that they are both still fondly remembered.  It is ironic that Jane’s book sales are far greater than they were in her lifetime.  I wonder if she would have appreciated that irony…

FACEBOOK PAGE

I talk about my Chandler’s Ford Today post.  There will be several events commemorating the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s tragically early death and the Festival is just one (though I hope it goes well and it does sound fun).

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F895910427178604&width=500

Winchester Cathedral where Jane Austen is buried. Image via Pixabay

Winchester Cathedral where Jane Austen is buried. Image via Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never give up, work hard, be disciplined... all valuable traits for success, whether you're a tennis player, a writer or a character in a story! Image via Pixabay.

FAIRYTALE LAWS

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In Fairytale Laws I list three golden rules that the decent will uphold and witches and treacherous wizards will break at every opportunity.  This includes the rule that you should always use magic to help those weaker than yourself.  All fairy godmothers uphold that one (it would cost them their wand at best if they didn’t) but the magically evil/ambitious/both break this at every opportunity.  This is where it pays you to have a fairy godmother on your side!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Top Tips for the Magically Inexperienced gives five useful pointers for those just starting out in the magical world.  The big rule is to never turn your back on those more powerful than you.  If you don’t, well let’s just say worrying about your pension will no longer be an issue!

FACEBOOK PAGE/CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

I share details on this week’s Chandler’s Ford Today post, which involves Jane Austen, Sarah Siddons the actress and Taking the Flounce!  More tomorrow…

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F895322973904016&width=500

Books make wonderful gifts. Image via Pixabay.

Books are wonderful – whether in print or electronic, whether as audio stories or told by a storyteller. Image via Pixabay.

 

COSTLY MISTAKES

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Costly Mistakes looks at what kind of mistakes your characters make (and are said mistakes in keeping with the type of characters you’ve created.  I also ask how do your characters react to the mistakes they make?  Do they shrug them off, ignore them or react badly?  How do other characters react to the mistakes?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

When Dreams Come True looks at how characters react when this happens to them.  Do they go on to have other, perhaps more ambitious goals to aim for or does achieving something they were after somehow throw them?

FACEBOOK PAGE

I finally get to put up my “proud author with new book out” picture and wonder why posing for the camera somehow seems to take away (or at best greatly reduce) my ability to smile without producing a rictus grin!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F894611257308521&width=500

A moment I've hoped to achieve for more years than I care to recall...

A moment I’ve hoped to achieve for more years than I care to recall…

One way through to the magical world but is it all sunshine and flowers? I doubt it! Image via Pixabay

WORKING WITH THE IMPOSSIBLE

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Working with the Impossible looks at the importance of realism in even the most fantastical of settings.  I find the best way to achieve that realism is through realistic characters.  Ones that bicker, crave power, cheat etc etc and those that either try to stop them or are in the way and get trodden underfoot.  I also discuss why using magic all the time in a story is not a good idea.  Characters have to have other ways to resolve things, otherwise there is no tension or drama.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Looking into the Future continues the theme of why too much magic/special powers in a story is not a good thing.  I share what my rebellious fairy godmother character, Eileen, thinks of being able to see into the future.  I also look at time travel (as that can also be used to see what the future brings) and ask whether characters should pay a price for being able to do this.

FACEBOOK PAGE

I meant to put up the classic “author and book” pose today only mud and my border collie, Mabel kind of put paid to that – for today at least.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F893828080720172&width=500

Come sunrise the fairies (and fairytale witches) must vanish. Image via Pixabay.

Muddy walks and woods – all good fun for Mabel and I. Image via Pixabay.

My debut flash fiction collection from Chapeltown Books

MORE QUESTIONS TO ASK…

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

More Questions to Ask follows on from yesterday’s post and shares some questions I like to ask about a story as part of the editing process.  For example, are the characters generating the responses/reactions I originally envisaged?  Sometimes characters end up being different from my initial thoughts because they have grown and developed during the course of the story.  But it is never a bad thing to check that any changes like this are good ones.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Remembering the Past looks at how history is vital to a story.  How do your characters commemorate important events in the history of the world on which they live?  How do your characters cope with their own history?

FACEBOOK PAGE

Tomorrow, 7th February, is a red-letter day for me.  My copies of From Light to Dark and Back Again are due!  I discuss this and the importance of working hard and not giving up.  I’ve wanted to be able to hold my own book for years and it is lovely that sometimes dreams do come true.  I have a framed poster above my desk which says “Don’t Give  Up On Your Dreams” and it has been an encouragement.  Not so much as this development though!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fallison.symes.50%2Fposts%2F10155026340932053&width=500

Back cover of From Light to Dark and Back Again

Back cover of From Light to Dark and Back Again