A very busy night tonight.
Association of Christian Writers – More Than Writers (and also Facebook – General)
In my monthly spot for More than Writers, I look at the changing seasons and attitudes towards them. My maternal grandmother hated autumn. She always saw it as the season when everything died (and ironically perhaps died in a September many moons ago). I love autumn despite the downside of the darkening early evenings, fog etc. Just as we have to have autumn and winter before we can hope to have spring again, I talk about how I don’t feel you can avoid the horrible side of life and how I feel I should handle this as a Christian.
Chandler’s Ford Today/Facebook – General and From Light to Dark and Back Again
My weekly post looks at why writers should “put themselves out there” and flags up a local Book Fair a group of local authors and I will be running at the end of October. I discuss the advantages of writers banding together like this. There will be a nice range of books available at the Fair too, many with special offers (including my From Light to Dark and Back Again). There will be YA fantasy, short story collections, flash fiction (guess whose!) and romantic comedy to name but a few.
One nice thing about events at the end of October is you have to have them indoors generally speaking and we will be at the Age Concern Centre in Brownhill Road in Chandler’s Ford. I will flag up a reminder a bit nearer the time but I should add we were pleased to meet many people at the recent Hiltingbury Extravaganza and hope to meet still more at the Book Fair.
And dare I mention THAT word? Yes, I think so. We see the Book Fair as a great chance to start your Christmas book buying! There will be special offers too…
Goodreads Author Programme
I’m working my way through what has been a busy week. Pleased to say I’m now on the Goodreads Author Programme and I was delighted at how easy it was to set up the profile and share it on Facebook. (It is now a link on my author page and my page for From Light to Dark and Back Again). I loved answering the questions they use to get you started but then I do love author Q&As! Please do drop by and visit the page. Would love to answer writing questions so do send them in!
Fairytales with Bite – The Point of Fairytales
The link below takes you to the post but also to a slideshow.
To be fair, there is more than one point to fairytales but, for me, the most important one is fairytales can show children things about life and people’s behaviour in an entertaining way that doesn’t preach.
Cinderella doesn’t need to say bullying and cruelty to others is wrong. You pick that up from the story (and the idea virtue is rewarded, even if it is slow!). Okay this doesn’t just apply to children but for many it is their first venture into the wonderful world of reading (as it was for me). All stories show the world we know to some extent via their characters. We may not be able to identify with the strange world portrayed but we can do so with the character that’s battling for justice against the odds.
What is remarkable about fairytales is their bluntness at times. They call evil out for what it is and not all of them end happily either (which is also a lesson in life we all need to learn but fairytales are a great way of getting that point across reasonably gently).
I grimace when people dismiss something as “just a fairytale”. There is nothing “just” about fairytales. They have to be well crafted stories to hold children’s attention for a start. When people are asked to name the first book or story they read, they often refer to children’s classics, including the fairytales.
This World and Others: Using What is Around You
The link takes you to this post but also to a slideshow.
What is the most popular question ever asked of any writer? My nomination would be “where do you get your ideas from?”! Certainly it is the impression I have had from writer interviews I’ve read it is one of the top questions ever asked.
I can understand why people ask it but it is a difficult one to answer. I get my ideas from a combination of sources and if you even try to explain that, all you will see is your questioner’s eyes glaze over as they were expecting a quick, pat answer!
Over time, I have learned to use what is around me to inspire ideas. For example, in the UK right now, we are well into autumn and I’ve talked about the changing seasons in my Association of Christian Writers’ blog post this month on their More Than Writers page.
In From Light to Dark and Back Again, my flash fiction pieces have been inspired by moments in films, my take on well known books (for example Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde) and also my take on fairytales, my first love when it comes to reading and writing. My characters are nearly always amalgams of character traits, interesting things I’ve overheard that I’ve wanted to adapt and put into the mouth of a fictional person, and physical qualities (some good, others less so!).
So there is no one “go-to” place for ideas, nor should there be, and I guess the only answer to the question is to tell your questioner you get your ideas from many different places. If they are really keen to know more, you can expand the conversation. If not, well there’s your quick answer and you haven’t bored them! Result!
As at the HE, we would also be delighted to share information about creative writing classes, the Hampshire Writers’ Society and so on so so do come and along and see us if you can. We would be very pleased to chat.