ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR – AND NIGHTMARES!

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Went to our local Funtasia at one of our parks today. Very hot. You should’ve seen the queues for the icecream vans and the cold drink sellers! Good to catch up with friends at Bettermaths and Three Rivers Rail Community Partnership in particular. I’ll write more about this for CFT later this week (though I will put in now a quick nod to the lady selling old paperbacks for charity. Hope she did well. Mine wasn’t in there!).

What kind of fair/show would your fictional world have? Are they based on a religious festival or something decreed by the powers that be that should be celebrated? What would happen to those not taking part? Now I suspect there are quite a few stories to be had from answering those questions alone. Good luck!

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What would be your main character’s worst nightmare and what would happen if they had to face it? Now there’s a writing prompt for you (and I would guess it is the basis for most horror writing in particular).

Equally, success can corrupt so what would happen if your character’s ambitions came true and then they found what they had longed for wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be? Disappointment happens so how would they handle that? (Good question to ask yourself at times I think!).

Thinking about this kind of question will help make your characters seem more real to you, which is crucial. If you don’t believe in them, nobody else will!

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

The perfect flash story is one which grips your readers, where nothing more could be said in that tale, but also where you have created such a character, it is easy to envisage further stories involving them.

I love it when characters come to life as you know your story has “legs” then. (A recent play performed by local group The Chameleons had the writer bringing their characters to life literally! Were the characters impressed by what their “boss” came out with? Not a bit of it!).

Another sign of a good story is when you re-read it after a suitable gap and you still enjoy it. Remember your first reader is you. If you can’t convince yourself with your story, you won’t convince anyone else, so if you enjoy the re-read, it is likely a reader would love the story too.

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

One of the reasons for the need for escapism in any form of fiction is that real life can, of course, be pretty horrid at times. I can understand misery memoir can be therapeutic but I’m afraid it’s not for me. I have to have a story that entertains me (whether is by making me laugh, cry, or by making my blood run cold).

The great thing with flash, naturally, is you can do all of those things in a very short word count. Sometimes you have the “perfect” short story that would be ruined if you tried to pad it out to a more standard length for competitions etc. So never pad! It does show.

 

Goodreads Author Programme –

Blog – What is the Best Thing about Stories?

What would you say was the best thing about stories? The happy ever after/for now ending? The twist? The engaging characters?

Any decent story, to my mind, has to have at least some of those elements but, for me, the best stories reveal something about human nature that, for whatever reason, has not occurred to me before.

A good story will show you something about yourself and challenge you to think about whether you would have done what Character X did or not. A good story also shows consequences from action and, sometimes, inaction. You should be asking yourself what would I have done had I been the character in this story?

Do you find yourself a bit less quick to condemn when doing this? Putting yourself in the shoes of characters, whether you write them or not, can be enlightening.

I also love it when justice is seen to be done where the story calls for it given we all know that so often doesn’t happen in life. This is one reason for the continuing huge popularity of fairytales.

And you can’t beat pure escapism as one of the great joys of story reading and writing. So whatever the best thing for stories is for you, enjoy it all!

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