WRAPPING UP

Image Credit: All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing.

Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today

It is a bit odd, I know, to start a CFT post with a picture loudly proclaiming “The End” but it is appropriate!

The sub-title for my CFT post, Wrapping Up, this week is “Is A Writer’s Work Ever Done?” It isn’t a one-word post starting with N and ending with O, honest! I do discuss balancing writing, editing, submitting, and marketing though.

I also look at having an online presence, building on successes (think series of little steps) and discovering new markets for your work in the process.
Hope you enjoy!

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Further to my CFT post earlier, I have to say it was a huge wake-up call to me when, having had my first book published, I discovered the need to market it. AND to do so without annoying the socks (or other hosiery items of preference) off everyone else in doing so.

My main focus has been to try to entertain or “give value” to anyone reading my CFT and other blog posts or my stories. I know I don’t like the hard sell. I DO love reading an interesting blog post by someone and then go on to check their books out. HOW you approach things I think makes a huge difference.

You need to engage with people and that means give and take.

Mind you, it is an absolute pleasure to celebrate with friends who have books out (though it is a shame we can only do so online right now). At the end of the day, books and stories are wonderful things and getting them out into the world is a fabulous thing to do.

So keep writing and reading, folks!

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Looking forward to sharing my CFT post tomorrow. I’ve called it Wrapping Up – Is The Writer’s Work Ever Done? And no it is not a one word post starting with the letter N and finishing with the letter O! Honest!😂

I do talk about getting the balance right between creating new work, editing current work and getting it submitted, and marketing. It is not an easy thing to get right and something I think all writers have to see as an ongoing process.

There will be times you get it spot on. Other times, despite best endeavours, you won’t. What helps here is to look at what you are achieving and to continue to get work out there.

You are in it for the long haul and you are looking to build on what you’ve achieved to date. Sometimes you will build a lot. Sometimes it will feel like you’re not building anything. (You almost certainly are by the way. You’re probably busy learning about what works for you and what doesn’t in terms of writing and marketing when you feel like this. I’ve found it is at times like that I learn the most and that helps me save time and effort later on).

Link up tomorrow.

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Am delighted to confirm I’ll be taking part in the Brechin Book Fest on November 21st and 22nd. It’s the first Book Festival I’ve taken part in and I’m looking forward to it a lot. (Link takes you to the Facebook event page for this).

Naturally it has to be online but it should be a lot of fun. And if you want to buy books as Christmas presents etc. (and you DO, don’t you?!), why not check out the Festival and see what takes your fancy!

I’ll be talking more about this nearer the time but am glad to say Scottish crime writer #WendyHJones will also be taking part in this.

Screenshot_2020-10-21 BRECHIN ANGUS BOOK FEST Facebook

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

Another aspect to flash fiction to consider is you can take a piece of short work you’ve written and expand it to something much longer later on.

That in turn means you can submit the short piece to a flash fiction market and the longer one to, say, a competition for work over 1000 words long. The two pieces WILL be different.

And then you could take the basic flash idea and expand it out into, say, a play, or other form of writing.

I have done this occasionally. (I’m usually too busy working on the next idea and character(s) to do this as much as perhaps I should but do bear it in mind).

Below is a video of me reading The Back of Beyond from Tripping The Flash Fantastic. As you’ll realise when you come to the end of it, this idea here gives huge possibilities for extending a story outwards. And is one I’ve marked down to have a go at myself at some point.

– The Back of Beyond by Allison Symes. From Tripping the Flash Fantastic (Chapeltown Books – September 2020).

Now when I say I’m glad flash fiction has taken off as a format, you’re not going to be surprised. But aside from the obvious reasons why I would say that, I am glad it has because the world of words thrives on variety.

One kind of book does not suit all. The same applies to stories. And I am all for encouraging those who would rather read shorter tales and who, for whatever reason, just don’t want to go down the novel route.

You never know. By reading lots of shorts, that may encourage people to take steps into reading longer works. But even if not they’re reading and that is what really matters.

And I understand why, for some, it has to be the novel that they read. They want the scope and depth a novel can give them and perhaps don’t see the point of the short form where you can’t expand. Both have their place. And the authors of both would love your support!

A MASSIVE thank you for the wonderful reaction to my post yesterday re my book signing for a customer. I have been overwhelmed in a very good way by the support. Thank you one and all. (My better half took the pics and hoped they’d be okay. I have confirmed to him all is absolutely fine!).

With close to 650 people reached, it is easiest the biggest response to a FB post of mine. I am glad I was sitting down when I saw that figure…😊

You may have seen on my author page I will be taking part in the Brechin Book Fest on November 21st and 22nd. I’ll talk more about this nearer the time but naturally I shall be waving the flag for flash fiction.

Oh and if you want a taster from Tripping The Flash Fantastic, do look out for my Chandler’s Ford Today post on Friday. The subject is wrapping up and I ask if a writer’s work is ever done, can we ever say “it’s a wrap” as they do in movies?

Well, you can easily guess the answer to that one but I also discuss balancing writing with marketing and as part of that I share my book trailer for TTFF and my video of Judgement Day. Update since I wrote this post: numbers up to over 700. Thanks, everyone.

Enjoying my workAlways lovely getting to do some signingsSigning TTFF

Fairytales With Bite – When The Magical Element Goes Wrong

I’ve mentioned before I like fairytales and fantasy stories which show the downside of magic.

(And one forgotten element here is the continual pressure on those who can “do” magic to produce the goods as if expected to bring the rabbit out of the hat each and every time… oh… maybe they do! Joking aside, anyone with special skills will be expected to (a) practice them and (b) be able to reproduce them on demand. Any magical being that can’t do that is going to have a short life expectancy).

But another element is to consider is what if magic goes wrong. Who does the clearing up? (And there will be loads of clearing up to do almost inevitably).

Have they had to do this before? Do they get fed up being called in by those who have experimented with magic where they should not have done etc? There are story possibilities there (and potentially humorous ones too).

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This World and Others – Cultures

I am not talking yogurt here! In the world you’re setting up, how many cultures exist within it?

Which cultures always clash and what is the history of that? Does anyone try to break the mould there? What are the lovely sides to your cultures? What are the not-so-nice sides?

Within each culture, how do they deal with dissenters? Lots of potential for stories here precisely because there is clearly room for conflict and without that there is no story.

Is there one dominant culture and how do the other kinds react to that dominance? Does the dominant culture see their role in your world as a “burden of responsibility” kind of thing or do they see their dominance as a matter of pride and aggravate everyone else?

The cultures that are looked down on and despised – what do they do to fight back against that or do they prefer to be ignored and left to live their lives in peace?

Plenty of food for thought there but the main point is no one character is an island. They have to have a background and a major part of that will be a reflection of the culture they live in, whether they like it or not.

So it would pay then to not just outline your character but to outline their cultural background and how that makes them what they are. (Even if they rebel against it!). All of this will add depth to your story too.

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