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It was another get some writing done on the train day on Saturday. Managed to draft most of my next Chandler’s Ford Today post and two new flash fiction stories. On the way back, feeling more than a tad tired, I managed to get some editing done. So pleased with what I achieved!

Let the train take the strain? Yes!

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My CFT post later this week will reference one of my favourite series of books when I was growing up – the Famous Five by Enid Blyton. I never really read any of the Secret Seven and as for Noddy, the less said the better. (In fairness, by the time I discovered Enid’s works, I was way beyond the age range for him!).

Much as I enjoyed the Five’s adventures, I never really did “get” their love of ginger beer. Oh well. I collected the books as the local independent newsagent got them in regularly, which was fab. Back then, most newsagents had a reasonably sized books section (and it wasn’t just W.H. Smiths or Menzies either). I do miss that.

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The lightbulb moment in any story for me is when I have to find out what happens to the main character in it. Then you know you’re hooked! Doesn’t matter what the length of the story is but the characters have to interest you enough to keep you reading.

Plots in themselves aren’t enough. They have to be driven by the right characters. It is possible to have a wonderful plot let down by characters that simply don’t hold the readers’ attention. Get the characters right and the plot will come from them. Why? Because the right characters will find themselves in conflict(s)(they’ll be unable to help themselves!) with something or someone and that’s where the story really lies.

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Hope to submit some more flash fiction stories during the week. Very pleased to be making progress on what I hope will in time become my third book. Train journeys are great for drafting stories. I’m usually far too tired when I get back to do much writing done then, as I normally would, so not only do I feel like I’ve made progress, I feel as if I’ve made the most of the time available to me. I always like that.

I did wonder when I got the smartphone how I would get on with a stylus for writing. No problems! Just hope I don’t lose the thing…!

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I love that moment when I’m drafting a new flash story when you can feel the tale “coming together” and you know exactly how it will end.

I outline my stories but deliberately don’t set everything down to the “nth” degree as there has to be room for the old creative juices to flourish and “do their stuff”. But when you’ve written the ending that comes to you and you look back at the piece and think “yes, that works”, that is a good feeling.

It’s an even better one if you need a bit of encouragement to keep going. It reassures you that you are coming up with the ideas. So keep going!

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Flash fiction can be a great mood reflector (of the main character that is!). I know I wouldn’t want to read page after page of a character’s introspection but a brief flash story showing what a character is feeling and why is fine.

Of course, there is nothing to stop you then expanding that idea out and having a standard length short story which shows how the character got into that state (and ideally out of it again if the state is not a good one. I feel a good story of this kind has to have some sort of hope within it. This is why I personally can’t get on with “misery stories”. There has to be something uplifting, even if at the end of the story, the character has just found what they think may be a way out a dismal situation).

Of course, flash, like any story, can reveal something of the author too so you may want to watch what you write!












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