All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Some images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos.
Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing.
Screenshot of Mom’s Favorite Reads was taken by me, Allison Symes. The June 2021 magazine is now available free to download on Amazon – more details coming up.
It has been an interesting few days as tonight’s post title confirms!
Facebook – General
Pleased and relieved that my better half and I have now had our second Covid jabs so that meant another trip out to the lovely city of Salisbury. A very slick operation and both of us came home wearing our “have had the Covid vaccination” stickers. I suspect we’ll end up having to get a booster every year but that’s fine. Lady now won’t be the only one in our household who has to have an annual booster (though she will remain the only one who gets treats from the vet for being a good girl!). (Lady has also had a good day today, getting to play with her Labradoodle pal, Coco, and having fabulous walks. Lady has now crashed out on the sofa, having thrown the cushions off first. It is her equivalent of an Olympic sport).
Does listening to music (of any kind) trigger memories of stories you’ve written or which you feel link to your characters in some way? Danse Macabre is one of mine as I used it for the book trailer for From Light to Dark and Back Again but every so often I will hear a piece of classical music and think yes that would suit my character because… and I am right, it would. I find that encouraging. If my character is real enough to me to trigger that kind of response, they’ll seem real enough to a reader as well.
Dodgy start with the weather today but brightened up considerably. Lady did too on getting to play with her Rhodesian Ridgeback buddy today, and other pals including a Labradoodle and a Hungarian Vizler.
Glad to report the June 2021 issue of Mom’s Favorite Reads is now available to download FREE from http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B096BGP93Q
(It is available for a wide range of other Amazon stores but I thought it best to just share the UK link here).
My article on flash fiction and sharks is in there along with my story Dressed to Kill. There is a wonderful selection of other flash stories in there too and a wide range of fascinating articles. Do check it out.
Am thrilled to report I am now MFR’s Flasher Queen (!) and am looking forward to contributing regularly to this magazine.
Due to have my second Covid jab next week. It’ll be good to have that done. Nice weather again today. At least it’s feeling like June though we’ll see how long that lasts! My maternal grandfather, whose birthday would have been today, always felt a British summer fell on a Wednesday afternoon… sadly, he was often right!
My Chandler’s Ford Today post later this coming week will be about Finding Themes so I hope will prove to be useful.
Have just submitted another story to #FridayFlashFiction. This time it is a 100-word acrostic. Good fun to do. Best kept short and can be highly effective. You need to choose “open” words which can be taken in any direction. Will keep you posted on how it goes.
Also looking forward to sharing another acrostic tale, this time in a new story video, which will be up on my Youtube channel tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, if you want to check out my other stories here, here is the link.
And it’s back to the warm sunshine here. Managed to get out in the garden for a bit too.
Went to a highly enjoyable Zoom talk by #WendyHJones about killer first lines today. I always learn something useful from talks like that. And it doesn’t matter what you write – that first line has got to hook, hook, hook your readers in and keep them wanting to read.
In flash fiction, that opening line is even more important. It does a lot of heavy lifting. It sets the tone for what is to come and you don’t wait long for the delivery to come on the promise of that line.
And talking of flash, I’m pleased to share this link for obvious reasons. https://moms-favorite-reads.com/2021/06/05/flash-fiction/
As well as my article and flash tale here (Dressed to Kill) there are wonderful flash stories by other writers here. Check them out. I loved them. Sure you will too.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Thanks for the great response to my Stories acrostic story video yesterday. It was good fun to write. Also thanks for the great responses to my story on #FridayFlashFiction (Gossip). Preparing the videos and, separately, the drabbles, is proving to be a good way of helping me balance out my fiction and non-fiction writing during the week.
One great thing about story writing is you get to choose what happens to your characters and how they respond to it. In Tripping the Flash Fantastic, my story Enough is Enough shows what my character does when she is finally fed up with being body shamed. Let’s just say she’s a feisty soul, my favourite kind of character. You know a character like that is going to act and react in interesting ways! Characters have to seem real and readers need to be able to identify with them, even if they don’t like them. Characters have got to make your readers react.
Time for another story video and this is an acrostic called Stories. As ever I used Book Brush to create the video and then uploaded it to Youtube where I found a free to use audio track to add to it. The nice thing is I don’t have to wait for YT to add the track. As long as I’ve saved it, they’ll process it and when I next come back to YT, there is my video with the music added. I also like the smoke motif on this one. Hope you enjoy.
I talked about transformations over on my Goodreads blog yesterday (Transforming Stories – see below for link) – as transformation is the point of all stories, regardless of their length. Something has to change in a story. Something has to happen.
With flash fiction of course I have less word count room in which to do that but the upside of that is you can pack a more powerful emotional punch to the reader. There isn’t the word count room for that emotional impact to be diluted.
And in character studies, you can make the change or transformation as simple as a character realising something they hadn’t before and that it is clear this realisation is going to change their lives from that point onwards. Dramatic transformations are great fun to write and read but don’t neglect the more subtle types. Those are the ones that tend to grip the heart.
It has been a great joy over the last few weeks to have drabbles regularly appearing on #FridayFlashFiction. So how do I come up with the ideas for these? I’ve mentioned before I use odd pockets of time to jot down potential ideas and I am now writing these up so I have something to submit here.
The great thing is plenty of distance in terms of time has passed between when I first jotted that idea down and my writing it up. The ideas have still hooked me (and that is the test. If I suddenly think what was I thinking here, that is not a good sign, ever!).
What this also means is I will have to give myself another brainstorming session to jot down ideas for future use but that’s fine (and it is also fun to do).
Goodreads Author Blog – Transforming Stories
All stories pivot on change. I write a lot of short stories and even more in the way of flash fiction where word counts are restricted but even in a 100-word story (a form I am fond of) there is a journey for the character. Okay, it is not a long one but it can pack the punch because the form is so short.
Transformations in characters don’t have to be dramatic. A character realising something is a change. Think of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Both of them change – one loses their pride, the other their prejudice – as they realise they do love each other. (And I refuse to believe that’s a plot spoiler after all this time!). Jane Austen was going to call this one First Impressions which is a fine title funnily enough but lacks the emotional punch of Pride and Prejudice I think.
Another favourite transformation for me is Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and the courage Frodo Baggins and Samwise develop in The Lord of The Rings.
So transformation matters then. (It is with some pride I can say I am in a book called Transformations from Bridge House Publishing with three of my stories. It is such a powerful idea to write and read about).
After all it is why we read. We have to find out what happens. And nothing happens without something or someone being transformed.
liked Allison Symes's blog post: Transforming Stories https://t.co/d2NQBJbYwf via @goodreads I look at the vital role transformation has in stories, regardless of their length, and on the characters in said tales. What is your favourite story where a character is transformed? pic.twitter.com/AixMKK1llI— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) June 5, 2021
Time for another story video and this is an acrostic called Stories. I used Book Brush to create the video and then uploaded it to Youtube where I found a free to use audio track to add to it. Hope you enjoy.https://t.co/6d41wxa4rV— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) June 7, 2021