Carols, Stories and Comedy

Facebook – General

Really enjoyed the Carols and Lessons at Romsey URC on Sunday though am so glad I was nowhere near the candles! Lovely though they were, I must admit I’m not much of a fan of candles. The practical side of me keeps thinking “fire hazard”.

(On the other hand, I DO love four candles… Two Ronnies anyone?).

The church looked lovely, I enjoyed the Christmas story as ever and there were some thoughtful poems too. Had a good old sing too. Good for the lungs and the soul!

Over the next week or so, I’ll probably watch A Christmas Carol. (My favourite version is the Muppet one with Michael Caine. I love Marley and Marley with the two old hecklers).

Then I must try and watch Hogfather but I must admit I don’t think you can beat Dickens for a corker of a Christmas story. Indeed how many writers can say they add to the Christmas traditions? (I’m thinking Christina Rossetti for In the Bleak Midwinter and Clement Clark Moore for The Night Before Christmas but it is Dickens I think of first when it comes to festive tales).

Facebook – General – Stories

Which type of stories grip you the most? The twist in the tale or the “slow burn” story where it takes a while for the tale to “get going”? I love both. The slow burn story often resonates with me for a long time after initially reading it. I would count many of my character studies as being slow burn type tales.

I like a story to have a good pace (and for it to be appropriate to the tale). I like a good ending (i.e. one that’s suitable for the type of story. I love story endings that surprise me even better as I enjoy guessing how the story will finish long before I get to that point. I like being right but all kudos to any writer who can outfox me.). I look to be totally immersed in the world of that story for the duration of it.

Character types that particularly appeal to me are those that overcome adversity (especially if they are not expected to). I like brave characters, even if their bravery is limited to a domestic environment. Which type of characters appeal to you the most?



Facebook – General – Story Formats

Following on from my recent post about what stories grip you, what story format do you prefer? I must admit nothing, to my mind, will ever beat the paperback but I love the Kindle (especially when going on holiday. It makes packing books a doddle!).

I’m also very fond of audiobooks, as are other members of my family who wouldn’t wade through a “proper” book. (Given the size of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, to name one example. I can understand this. Don’t agree with it but do understand it!).

Facebook – General – Classic Comedy

My Chandler’s Ford Today post this week will take a look back at my writing year. I’ll also be sharing some Cafelit stories of mine too. Well, you have to have stories at Christmas, don’t you? More on Friday.

Have been doing plenty of carol singing the last couple of days in church and whenever Classic FM puts some on. The latter has meant Lady has been a bit bemused. (She has almost certainly put it down as one of those strange things her human does – and quite right too!). I do like a good sing.

Am enjoying reading the joint biography of Morecambe and Wise on Kindle at the moment. It’s bringing back many happy memories and I still love Eric and Ernie. Happily, this means I can link back to classical music again. Anyone for Grieg’s Piano Concerto by Grieg as played by Eric Morecambe?


Classic music can make a classic film

Classical music is wonderful.  Combine it with classic comedy and it’s even better.  Image via Pixabay.


Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
Knew the others would just sneer
At his odd nasal arrangement
Their teasing was just torment
What he wouldn’t give for a beer!

Copyright:  Allison Symes – December 2017

Okay, the Poet Laureate’s joke is safe but I am partial to the odd limerick. Some of mine are very odd!

Am editing what I hope will be book 2. Hope enjoying re-reading what I wrote some months ago now is a good sign. Below is a link to a recent story of mine on Cafelit. For some reason, there seems to be a Christmas theme!

Facebook From Light to Dark and Back Again – Talking Flash!

Flash fiction has to condense all that you look for in a standard short story into a much tighter word count, yet still be entertaining/gripping etc. Learning to write for flash fiction has improved my editing skills a lot for I know now what my wasted, often repetitive, words are (so those can be cut immediately).

Stories often shed light on what it is to be human. With flash, it is a case of shedding a powerful spotlight! Dare you be caught in its beam?!


Flash fiction for impact. Image via Pixabay


Flash – for light or dark fiction! Image via Pixabay

Not all of my flash fiction ends up at the 100-word mark. I find that my next category tends to fall anywhere between 150 and 500 words and these are often my character studies, where I need just that little bit more room to “show the characters off”.

The most important thing is that the story is the correct length for what you want to convey in that tale. Some of my tales simply wouldn’t work if I tried to compress them to 100 words. Simple answer – don’t compress them! When editing I look at the story first, has it said all I wanted it to say? Then I look to see if can do that in fewer words. Often I can, sometimes I can’t, but I have learned not to worry about that!















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