Unless otherwise stated, all images are from the magnificent Pixabay.
Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today
I look at advertising in this week’s Chandler’s Ford Today post. I also look at the topic of writers and advertising. Naturally I get in a little bit for The Best of Cafelit 8! Well, you’ve got to practice what you preach, right?
Also, if you remember the 1970s and 80s well, there’s a quiz here which may well suit you! Have fun. (I’ll be putting the answers up to said quiz in the comments box early next week to give people a chance over the weekend to see how many they can remember).
I also discuss how advertising has benefited me – yes, really!
I’ve got some slogans and products for you to identify as my quiz within my CFT post on Favourite Adverts this week. I look at how adverts have benefited me too (they were my way into classical music for one thing).
Branding etc is a topic very much on my mind as I continue to revamp my website so I thought I’d write about a closely related topic!
I’ve found the postcards of my book cover (From Light to Dark and Back Again) have proved effective, as have the pens. I guess you can always use a postcard and a pen when all is said and done! (The postcard can double up as a bookmark too).
I’m generally not impressed by “flamboyant” advertising. For me the ones that work best are simple, often humorous, and to the point.
The lesson about not going on for too long and refusing to over-complicate things is a good one for writers too.
My CFT post this week is called Favourite Adverts. I share some of mine and also look at advertising for writers. I will be sharing some thoughts on what can work for writers and how important it is not come across as too pushy. It puts people off! There will also be a kudos only quiz! Link up on Friday.
Talking of advertising for writers, there will another CFT post prepared by me which will go up tomorrow advertising a joint local author talk.
#RichardHardie YA author of Temporal Detective Agency fame and Antony M Brown of Cold Case Jury fame will be in the Hiltonbury Farmhouse next Tuesday from 7.30 pm. They’ll discuss how they became authors and hold signing sessions. Do get along if you can.
I don’t need an excuse to visit a pub but finally I seem to have one! Thanks, guys.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
My CFT post on Favourite Adverts this week of course made me think about advertising for writers.
Good copywriting makes flash fiction look “wordy” given the best adverts keep their slogans simple and to the point. The trick for writers is to do exactly that for our one line pitches/tag lines. The old question of can you sum up your story/book in one line is a good one.
Thought for My Day
Write some one liners down that sum up a story or book you love which is written by another author.
Then do this for your own work.
(Never go with the first efforts here. You will know when you’ve got your one liner right – it will be when you really cannot change anything and it flows and it sounds so good to YOU that you’d read the work if someone else had written it. That’s a good test by the way – ask yourself, would you?).
I was pleased to find the picture from Pixabay that I’ve used for this week’s Feature Image. It kind of says it all for writers. What is our brand? How do we come across when engaging with readers, potential or actual? All of that should feed into the brand we present to the public. But it should be genuine (people spot fakes) and it should be fun for YOU. You’re the one living with this after all! You’re the one who needs to keep it going for future books and stories.
What are the things you most like about your characters?
What are the things you most dislike about your characters?
Even in flash fiction, I have a rough idea of the answers to these for my lead “actor”. I find I have to have something to like AND dislike about them. It reassures me that this character is “real” enough to be liked and disliked. Well they’re real enough to me anyway. The first reader you have to convince IS you!
Besides nobody’s perfect. Our characters shouldn’t be either. Nobody wants to read about perfect characters even if somehow they did exist. It’s how flawed creations overcome their difficulties (or not) that fascinates readers. I can’t see that changing at any time soon!
Flash fiction, like any good story, needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. The only difference is those three key ingredients are so much closer together! I often find with my very short stories (sub 100 words) that one line is the middle and acts as the pivot point of the whole tale.
I occasionally start with the pivot point and then work out how my character got to it. I then work out in which directions the pivot point could take them and go with the one I like best. But I do find it hard to start with a middle point. (There are competitions which give you a middle line you have to incorporate into the story).
My preferred way of starting a story is with a strong character whom I’ve just dumped right in it, (I’m a sweetie, really, just not to my characters!), and then go from there. It’s a really fun way to start! But however you start a story, it helps a lot if you know where you want your character to be at the end of it. It helps keep you on track.
Fairytales With Bite – Fairytale Advertising
Linking in with my theme for tonight, what would or should be the advertising slogans for some of our favourite fairytale characters? Hmm…
Cinderella – Comfortable Classic Shoes Always or
Cinderella – Troubled by rats? Worry no more!
Sleeping Beauty – You can’t beat a good cocoa to send you to the Land of Nod or
Sleeping Beauty – Needles giving you the needle? Worry no more!
Rapunzel – Never let your hair get too long or
Rapunzel – Life too short for washing your hair? Worry no more!
Snow White – Additives in my Apples? Never!
Thumberlina – See what the high-heeled look has done for me.
Tom Thumb – If I can get a suit to fit, so can anyone.
The Ugly Duckling – Feel good about yourself, look good!
I love inventing this kind of thing, as you can probably tell. Hope you enjoy. Several of my stories in From Light to Dark and Back Again play on nursery rhyme/fairytale themes and characters though the example given in the trailer below is my nod to Frankenstein.
This World and Others – Likes and Dislikes
As well as working out what your characters like and dislike (so you get to know them ahead of writing the story), what is it about the world you’ve set them in that you like and dislike? No world is perfect. What are the flaws of your creation? How do your characters cope with or overcome those flaws?
Why have you put those flaws in? If a character has to go on a quest and hates water, having your world mainly as a seafaring one, with all that implies, gives said character a lot to overcome before they even start on their quest. They will know that they’ve got to go by boat at some point so how do they prepare for that? What makes them do it when the more sensible thing would be to stay at home? (I know, I know, no story then but your character does have to be driven enough to overcome their fears. And having to face fears as well as carry out the quest makes for a very powerful story when well done).