STORIES – AND A WRITER’S THREE WISHES

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My Chandler’s Ford Today post this week will be Part 2 of my interview with crime writer, Val Penny. She discusses how much research she does and why networking is invaluable for all writers, amongst other topics. Will put the link up on Friday.

I was thinking, for my new Goodreads blog post, which went up earlier this evening, about why I love short stories and flash fiction so much. I think it may be because I’m impatient! With a novel, you have to wait for the tension to build and build… With a short story (and even more so for flash fiction), you get the impact nigh on immediately. That probably says a fair bit about me!

Let creativity spill out - image via Pixabay

Let the creative process flow! Image via Pixabay

Hunter's Chase book cover

Val’s latest crime novel. Image supplied by Val Penny.

The fantastic world of books must include non-fiction too - image via Pixabay

The wonderful world of writing should include non-fiction, which benefits from creative techniques too. Image via Pixabay.

Feature Image - Facts and Fiction - image via Pixabay

What writing triggers will help you create your new worlds? Image via Pixabay

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What do you find most difficult to do – start a story or finish it?

For me, it’s finding the right starting point. Once I’ve got that, I’m up and running, I know I will generally end a story on a “punch” ending (and often a twist in the tale at that). As the story progresses I can sense myself getting to that bit, so finishing a tale is usually okay. I’m the same with blog posts. Get me started and I’m away!

I try to start anything I write with a “hit the ground running” approach. I often will go straight into the main character’s head so “they” can show a potential reader what state/mood they’re in, what crisis they’re facing etc. I find that really useful.

Other opening lines can include a brief indication as to the setting, but I keep that as short as I can. Later, if I need to go back and fill in more details, I do but I am wary of too much description. In flash fiction, there’s no room for it anyway!

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

I created a poll a few days ago about whether an intriguing start or a twist ending was the best for a story. Please do vote if you haven’t already. I’ll discuss results in a few days’ time.

Have submitted my follow-up book to From Light and Dark and Back Again. Really glad to have that done. Would like to focus on my third book and getting more stories out there. Would like to do something with my non-fiction articles too at some point. Always good to have plenty to be getting on with!

Only wish? As ever, that I had more time. Now, this is where I could do with arranging for one of my fairy godmothers to become real and grant all writers three wishes. What would those wishes be?

1. Whatever time you need to write with NO interruptions or disruptions.

2. You will never suffer a dodgy internet connection again.

3. You will also be given as much time as you want to read whenever you want again with NO interruptions or disruptions.

Sounds good to me!

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

What do you think is the most important part of a story, whether it is standard length or flash fiction?

I’ll leave this poll up for a few days and report back later in the week. I’ll give my view as part of that.

An intriguing start
A twist ending
This poll ends in 2 days

Goodreads Author Programme – Blog

I’ve loved short stories for years. Flash fiction has been a fairly recent innovation and I quickly became addicted to both reading and writing it.

As you can imagine, I was thrilled to be published for the first time last year with Chapeltown Books for a flash fiction collection (From Light to Dark and Back Again).

Now I have nothing against the novel. You can’t beat the novel for a satisfying, longer story when all is said and done.

But sometimes you just want a glimpse into a character’s life (rather than have the whole “spiel”) and this is where short stories, and especially flash fiction, come into their own.

They really do pack a punch when you consider their limited word count. (Even the longer short story is still short when compared to your average novel).

I love to write my stories knowing they will have an impact, whether it is to hopefully make readers laugh or, if the tales are darker, to make them shudder!

The big problem with a novel is keeping impact going without it seeming artificial and ensuring the final impact happens at the right moment. It is possible to write a final scene for a book and then decide you’ve just got to add this, or that, and thaen the final impact is diluted.

You can’t really do that with short stories (and you certainly can’t for flash). You have the big, final moment and that’s it. But to me that is a huge advantage as a writer. I know when to stop then!

The images below were taken at the Bridge House celebration event last December.  We all know the value of stories!

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