All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Some Pixabay images used via Book Brush to create captions within the picture. (Love that facility!).
Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing.
Busy week ahead with my WI talk happening mid-week and the Share Your Story Writing Summit starting on 18th March. Images from the Summit provided by the organisers, Creative U.
23 Presenters, 23 Writing Workshops, Join Now! (FREE for a limited period, paid options available so you can keep the presentations – link below. An affiliate link will apply so if you go for either of the paid for options, I will earn some money from that affiliate link).
Share Your Story Writing Summit Link – https://www.creativeu.ca/a/46030/yLSebqrq
Facebook – General
Pleased to share my Book Trailers and Story Videos post for Chandler’s Ford Today. I look at how much has changed between my first book trailer (From Light to Dark and Back Again), which Chapeltown Books produced, and Tripping the Flash Fantastic, which I produced.
So much has changed in terms of software available to writers and this is wonderful. There are so many more ways we can be creative without it costing a fortune.
I also look at learning how to be creative in different ways, including learning to think laterally. I often have to do this with my blog posts, including for CFT, as some of my topics don’t lend themselves to obvious picture links but there is usually a theme I can peg to, so that’s okay. And I take a quick peek at getting the balance right between marketing and writing new material. It’s not an easy juggling act!
Hope your Thursday has gone well. Just a quick reminder my usual Chandler’s Ford Today post is up tomorrow and I’ll be talking about book trailer and story videos.
I’ll be sharing a few thoughts on my involvement with these and how they’ve helped me learn to think laterally. That in turn has helped fuel my creativity.
One interesting thing about the writing life is how so often one thing learns to another. For example, my first book trailer was produced by my publishers, Chapeltown Books. For Tripping The Flash Fantastic, I produced the trailer myself. Between the two I learned so much about how to do these things as I found I needed to be able to do this kind of thing to help with my marketing.
Nearly everything I have learned over the last five years especially were things I had not anticipated needing to know when I started out. In some cases the technology simply wasn’t available!
But the writing journey is not meant to be a static one after all so this is a good thing indeed!
Link up tomorrow. (Also nice to put this video up again!).
Have posted a bonus article on Chandler’s Ford Today about the Share Your Story Writing Summit. All the details you need are here.
As well as having the info in one handy place on CFT, I wanted to give at least a week before the summit starts so those who wish to can take advantage of the special discount if you decide you want to go for a paid version of the workshops (23 in all!).
The paid for versions do have the advantage of your being able to keep the presentations for ever and means you can refer to them whenever you wish, rather than have to be about on the day you want or for a limited time afterwards.
As ever with these things, the earlier you book in for a paid version, the greater the discount. There is an affiliate fee so I will earn some money if you go for any of the paid for versions using the link in the post itself.
Am looking forward to taking part in this and to catching up with the other presentations. There will be much to learn!
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Many thanks for the responses to my post yesterday and in particular to my opening line from My Life (which you can find in From Light to Dark and Back Again).
Hooks for a reader have to include an enticing book cover, a promising blurb, and an interesting title but, for all forms of writing, the opening line is essential to get right. It is that one line which will lead your reader on to read the next one, the one after that, or not as the case may be!
My favourite hooks for opening lines are to intrigue a reader with a setting or a character who is about to do something odd or which will grab the reader’s attention in some other way. I also love promising dialogue (who doesn’t like “eavesdropping” a conversation between interesting characters? I refuse to believe that is just me!).
But I do know that if the opening line doesn’t grab me, well… time to scrap it and come up with something much better. It won’t grab anyone else. You are your own first reader (so if you’re not grabbed by the line, why should anyone else be?) and it helps, after you’ve set aside the piece for a while, to come back to it and read it as a reader would.
You’ve almost got to pretend you haven’t written it to be able to do that but it does help you look at the work from a different perspective. I ask myself if I would like a story of mine if it had been written by someone else and I’ve found that a good technique to use. And yes, to quote that famous writing phrase, I do kill my darlings on a regular basis!
What I love about flash fiction is how a few well chosen words can take you straight into a setting. For example, in My Life in From Light to Dark and Back Again, I start with “It is all white dresses, lace, and flowers now but I hated him when I first saw him”.
No prizes for guessing the setting here or the genre of the tale. The pivotal word here is “but” of course. I love “but” used like this as you know something is about to happen or be revealed. And you’ll hopefully want to find out what happened so the “white dresses, laces, and flowers” bit makes sense. All ways of drawing your reader in, which is what you want.
Flash fiction does make you think carefully about what description you have to show (and it is a case of showing the reader here, so win-win there too). It makes you focus on what the reader has to know and that is a good thing, regardless of what else you write.
I’m currently leafing through the latest edition of Writing Magazine, which has its phenomenally useful writing competition guide with it. Am impressed to see a huge number of flash fiction competitions (and am sure this is up on last year too). Must go through with a red pen and circle some to have a go at myself!
One nice thing to look out for here is some of these are ongoing rolling competitions, so if you miss one deadline, you can get a piece ready for the next one. Must make a note of a few of those in my diary too.
And good luck if you are entering competitions.
Fairytales With Bite – Mood Music for Fairytales
Music is wonderful for soothing the soul (especially classical) but it can also inspire and somehow “suit you”. So what music would suit certain fairytale characters then?
Cinderella – I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass – can imagine her the moment Cinders was able to smash those wretched glass slippers. I find it hard to believe they would have been comfortable.
Snow White – Poison Apples – Snow White should have heard this before her stepmother came to visit.
The Little Mermaid – Under the Sea – what else?
Okay so let’s flip this and look at music in general that would suit a magical world.
One obvious one stands out – Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens – to reflect the quirky nature of the magical world. Also a good one if you have Death as a character (though for me nothing will ever beat the wonderful creation of Terry Pratchett here)
Another obvious one is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I’ve never seen Fantasia in full but always have images of Mickey Mouse when this music comes on Classic FM. But this is a great track for almost any magical setting.
Thinking about your own stories, what music would suit it and why? Can you think of any anthems that would suit your characters? This kind of thing is just for fun but what you work out here will help you get further insight into your characters’ personalities and that is always useful to know.
This World and Others – Promotions and Demotions
What kind of careers exist in your created world? Are all jobs manual, magical, or a mixture of both? Can people/beings/what have you (!) work their way up the career ladder? Could they also come tumbling down it and, if so, what would the consequences be? I would suspect in some settings losing a job would be nothing compared to what else a character would lose!
So how do promotions and demotions work? Are rewards made in money or magical gifts? Is there corruption in your setting and do people accept it or rebel against it?
What are the careers people could follow? Do certain backgrounds mean those folk from them can only do certain jobs? What would happen if someone decided to break out from that?
Is work compulsory for all or are certain groups exempt? Do other groups resent them for that?
What political links are there to career advancement (or otherwise)? Who controls those links and can that control be broken or opposed?
Lots of interesting story ideas to come from answering these, I think!