WRITING DIARIES, REVIEWS AND CLARITY

Another nice mixed bag I think!

I am on Goodreads and part of their author programme so if you wanted to send me questions about flash fiction, blogging, writing for online magazines, I’d be pleased to hear from you.

Facebook – General

Do you keep a writing diary? I find mine useful for planning out when I want to have work done by etc. (I don’t always achieve what I originally set out to do, life can get in the way sometimes, but I find I end up achieving what I set out to do, albeit occasionally later than I’d have liked. I think if I didn’t plan out what I think I’d like to get done, then I wouldn’t get as much written).

It’s also useful for keeping a note of submissions sent, where to, results etc. Naturally acceptances are written down in capital letters! I don’t think I’ll ever get over the buzz you have when you know a piece is going to be online or in print and that is how it should be.

 

Facebook – General

My CFT post this week will be Part 5 of my 101 Things to Put into Room 101. I’m up to No. 75! Link up on Friday.

Off to see a local show with my lovely CFT editor tomorrow and again next week. Seems like ages since I’ve watched a play so am looking forward to both of these plays. Reviews will probably follow! I have to say I have been impressed by the quality of the local theatre productions I’ve seen. Always a good sign when the time seems to whizz by as you’re watching.

I must try and get around to seeing one of the Discworld plays at some point. Love the novels, curious to see how the plays work. The great thing about seeing plays is that it is another way of taking in a story. I think it is a good idea to mix up the “formats” in which you do take in stories. No chance of being bored, sometimes a play will get across something in a way a novel doesn’t quite do and so on.

I admit though it would be a challenge to make a play out of a piece of flash fiction though!

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

Reading widely is a sensible thing to do regardless of what genre you work in, given doing so helps you feed your own imagination. Ideas for stories spark from all over the place. The trick is to be open to receiving those ideas. (Also it does make sense to support the industry you want to be part of!).

What drives a story are the characters, of course, but knowledge of human nature/how politics works/history etc can inspire how you create the world your people live in. By knowing what we’re capable of as humans, you can create your own worlds based on what we know here. If we act in this manner, how will your people act? Are they better than us or worse? As a result, it will make your world seem more “possible” and believable to a reader.

What will change here is the length of the story you are writing. For flash fiction, you have to convey a sense of the world your people are set in quickly. A few telling details are key here. If you say your character lives under a dictatorship, that is enough for the purposes of your flash fiction. We all know what dictatorships can be like so our imaginations will fill in the details your flash fiction piece doesn’t have the room for. If you were writing a novel, you would want more details as to what that dictatorship is like, possibly how it came into being, and what happens to those who rebel against it.

 

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

Clarity is important to any storyteller but when you have limited word count as with flash fiction, it is vital. The words you use can often carry more weight as you select the ones that will give you the most meaning without using up too much of your word count.

I’ve come across some annoying examples of how NOT to write in adverts, business speak etc, and I think the main reason why these things irritate so much is because they lack clarity. Someone somewhere with these examples has equated lots of words with lots of meaning. To quote George Gershwin, “it ain’t necessarily so” as any flash fiction writer would tell you!

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