All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Some images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos.
Screenshot of my latest story on Friday Flash Fiction taken by me, Allison Symes.
A huge thanks, once again, to #HelenMatthews for supplying author and book pictures for her fabulous interview with me for Chandler’s Ford Today. Our conversation has led to an idea for next week’s CFT post too.
Book cover images from Chapeltown Books (CafeLit 10 especially this week – screenshots of cover taken by me, Allison Symes) and Bridge House Publishing. It has been a busy but overall a great week with further publication news too. Like weeks like this!
Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today
Am pleased to share Part 2 of a wonderful interview with #HelenMatthews on Chandler’s Ford Today. In this half of this two part series, Helen explains what drew her into writing domestic noir and shares her top three tips for writers amongst other things. Many thanks, Helen, for being my guest here and good luck with the writing.
Good news too – Helen has news of a special offer for one day only on Sunday, 11th July. See my CFT post for two useful links – one is to her author newsletter accessed through her website (which will also tell you about her books) and the other is to her Amazon Author Central Page. But save the date for the chance to pick up a bargain – it is for one day only.
Meanwhile and looking ahead to next week, an idea Helen “seeded” while we were talking is going to be the theme for next week’s post on CFT. I’ll share more about that later on in the week but hope it will prove to be useful to people.
Small World Syndrome – Part 2 – Helen Matthews
Hope you have had a good day. Changeable weather again here. Hard to believe it’s July. (Lady also not that impressed).
Delighted to see a fantastic review in for The Best of CafeLit 10. See screenshot below – just too good not to share. Well done to all my fellow authors in this lovely collection of stories, who I know will appreciate this review as much as I do. It is also good to see the book break through into the top 1000 of Fiction Anthologies (Kindle Store) – currently at 741 as I type this – would love to see it break into the top 500 – how about it, folks?
When I write a review myself I look for things to highlight and I will also point out excellent characterisation whenever I come across it as this is one of my great storytelling loves. Therefore it is always lovely to flag that up. I keep my reviews short, appropriately for a flash fiction writer I guess. I don’t review books I know, due to personal taste, I am unlikely to enjoy as, to me, that is not fair on the writer. We all have differing tastes after all.
But on behalf of all writers with books out there, I would put in appeal to write reviews. They don’t take long and they do help authors. It is one of the best ways people can support writers they know.
And talking of CafeLit 10, see what arrived late this afternoon. Always nice to open boxes like this one.
Looking forward to sharing Part 2 of my interview with the lovely #HelenMatthews for Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday. See above. And something Helen mentioned is going to be the topic for my CFT post for the following week – more details nearer the time. Just to say when writers get together and start chatting inevitably ideas will bounce around and let’s just say I know a good cue for a CFT post or a flash fiction story when I hear them!
Currently working on some edits (and a potential further interview for CFT) at the moment so there is plenty going on with the non-fiction side of things.
Glad to say The Best of CafeLit 10 is now up on my Amazon Author Central page and also on Goodreads. As ever, folks, please review when you get the chance!
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
It has been a busy week but I was so pleased when my copies of The Best of CafeLit 10 turned up yesterday, a good ten days earlier than expected. I have two flash pieces in here – Breaking Out and Taking Time Out of the Day Job.
And to finish the week, please see the link for my latest story on #FridayFlashFiction called No More Miss Mousy. Hope you enjoy it.
I talked yesterday about using dates or days of the week as a frame for your story. But there are other types of frame of course. A good one is a journey as you know that has to start and end somewhere. Basic story structure in place from the word go, there.
A frame I use a lot is where I know the ending in advance and I then work backwards to get to a logical starting point. Story frames are a bit like finding the corner pieces of a jigsaw – they give you something to work with and then you fill in the middle.
Ways in to a story are vital. I like frames and knowing my characters well enough. Once I feel I can get cracking on a story, that is precisely what I do but I have found taking a little time to work out how I am going to “do” this one pays off.
Hope you have had a good Wednesday. Do you use days of the week in your storytelling and, if so, how? I have used dates before (but not tied these up to the actual days of the week) in my Losing Myself in Tripping the Flash Fantastic, which is a story told in diary format. For that the time of the year etc was more important than knowing whether a certain day fell on a Monday. But the calendar (and time generally) can be a useful framework for a story.
For flash, it would be pay to use a limited time frame given you’re not going to have the word count room to go on for too long. But you could have a story set over a week, say, and show what happens to your character on each day of the week without going over the 1000 words maximum allowed for flash. It would encourage a tight pace.
Fairytales with Bite – Fairytale Acrostic
F= Fantasy setting maybe but reflects aspects of our nature, brutally at times.
A = Animals can often be smarter than the humanoids in a fairytale.
I = Imagination encouraged – what would you do with a magic wand if you could use one?
R = Real conflicts between good and evil reflect on our world too.
Y = Youngest will often turn out to be the hero or heroine, maybe because they’re more willing to listen to sage advice than their elder siblings.
T = Terrific tales, usually happy ever after endings (which we know we don’t get in life so perhaps these act as a comfort even for adults).
A = Action, reaction, cause and consequence make fairytales a gripping read and always fascination with worlds not like our own.
L = Lessons often learned as most fairytales do have a morality to them but get this across without preaching.
E = Expect magic, expect adventure, expect wrongs to be put right, except right to triumph, and expect those being cruel to not get away with it.
S = Splendid and timeless stories – it is amazing how, for example, the Cinderella story crosses cultures too.
This World and Others – Communications
What are communications like in your created world? Is technology the same as ours, far more advanced, or does it not exist at all? How do your characters communicate with one another? Are there forms of communication only available to the elite and why do they keep these for themselves?
I can’t imagine a world without some sort of communication but the methods vary. Looking back at our own history, the invention of the phone and radio, for me, stand out as landmarks (given how far they can reach people. Radio, for me, had to be the precursor to television being invented. When you stop and think about it being able to talk to those thousands of miles away from you is pretty amazing so imagine how people reacted when they could first do this. We tend to take it for granted now).
So in your fictional world are there inventions which transform your society and how do your characters react to it? Are there any characters who loathe the inventions so much they want to destroy them because it threatens them in some way?
All interesting story ideas to explore there.
Delighted to say The Best of CafeLit 10 is now out. I have two stories in here – Breaking Out and Taking Time Out of the Day Job. A huge thank you to CafeLit readers for voting for my stories. See https://t.co/l8CO9U8mn2 for more— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) July 8, 2021
https://t.co/rhhuQu8zaW In the final half of this series, Helen shares her top 3 writing tips and discusses what drew her into writing domestic noir.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) July 9, 2021
Also, breaking news, she has a special offer for one day only, this Sunday, 11th July. See post for links to her Amazon page.
No More Miss Mousy, by Allison Symes – Friday Flash Fiction https://t.co/DlZTe27Otx My latest drabble is up on Friday Flash Fiction. This could be my favourite ever title… hope you enjoy. pic.twitter.com/fyGj8YjJOL— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) July 9, 2021