DRAFTS, TLAs AND FAVOURITE GENRE

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Managed to draft a few flash fiction stories on my train journeys yesterday. Great use of time, made even better with my headphones plugged in so I can enjoy classical music while I write. She will indeed have music wherever she goes… unless the train goes into a tunnel of course!

I sometimes draft blog posts on this kind of trip too. This has come in extremely useful. It means I always have ideas drafted down I can refer back to and then flesh out when ready to do so. I did take my Kindle with me yesterday meaning to read as well but ran out of time. Still, I made up for that later…

It did strike me though, as I looked around the carriages to see practically all of us plugged into our phones, what a bizarre sight this could seem for an outsider looking in. All of us in our little virtual worlds, all with a kind of invisible barrier up around us. Hmm… I strongly suspect there’s some story ideas to be had from that image! Good luck…

 

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TLAs turn up everywhere. And it’s fine if you know what the three letter acronym is for. You can feel a bit of a twit if you don’t. Apparently, HFN means Happy for Now and HEA is Happy Ever After, both used in romantic fiction. I can’t think of any TLAs for flash fiction writers (do share if you know any but keep them clean!).

You could use TLAs as part of an outlining process for your characters.

ABB = Awkward but Brave
SBK = Stupid but Kind
NBT = Not (to) Be Trusted
DBD = Daring but Dim

Hmm… some interesting character possibilities there I think What TLAs would you use for your own characters and why?

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What is your favourite genre (whether writing or reading it) and can you sum this up in one line? Name an example.

Mine is fantasy because, while taking you to other worlds, it can also shed light on this one. My example would be The Lord of The Rings. The traits of the main characters, for good or ill, can all be found on our own planet. The places such as The Shire or Mordor can be compared to places on earth (and this is made even easier thanks to the fantastic film version).

The battle between good and evil is something to be identified with too (though, from a fictional point of view, the very “best” villains don’t consider themselves villainous at all. They see themselves as having a just cause. They’re wrong and it’s up to the hero/heroine to prove them so). Can treachery be overcome (it so often isn’t in life)? Will justice be done (it so often isn’t in life!)? Fantasy then can be a vehicle for resolving injustices we know so often aren’t put right on our world.

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I enjoy a lot of flash fiction collections on my Kindle. It’s helped me widen my reading of contemporary fiction (which is no bad thing) and flash does read so easily on a screen.

It is a huge advantage to those who prefer technology to paper books. I hope it encourages those who wouldn’t pick up a paperback to discover reading electronically is absolutely fine and flash is such a great format for that.

I like downloading story magazines now too. I love magazines in any event but one problem is storage space for those ones you really do want to keep. No worries about that for e-magazines!

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It’s difficult to say what I like best about writing flash. It is great when you have completed a piece, have edited it well, and after leaving it aside for a while, you come back to it and discover it is actually a good story! (One of the biggest enemies of all writers is the demon known as self doubt).

I like the process of writing the story out and then going back through it, removing what I realise I don’t need, and discovering it is a much stronger tale as a result. Of course, you don’t realise what is unnecessary material until you’ve completed the story, look again at what its theme is and then know what you have to take out, so the theme is not undermined.

What I do know for sure is there are no shortcuts and you have to persist, while learning from your mistakes too.

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Goodreads – Author Programme Blog

I’m a bit of a traditionalist in that my favourite place to read is in bed shortly before I head off to the land of Nod.

However, the Kindle has widened my choices of location when it comes to reading. I sometimes read from it on a train trip (unless I’m too busy writing something via my phone). I always read from it when I’m travelling up to Scotland for my annual holiday.

One of my favourite things about e-reading is I no longer have to worry about how many books I can take with me when I’m away. I can have loads! I do find I want to get back to paperbacks when I’ve “feasted” on the Kindle for a bit though. Not that this is a bad thing!

I must admit I do hope we get some good weather in the UK soon. It would be nice to be out in the garden again, with book or Kindle in hand, and a glass of something nice close by. I suspect I may have to wait to August for that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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