Haunts and Twists

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Has been a day of rainbows, forest walks, and enjoying watching a gleeful Lady run after her ball on Golspie Beach. 

We’ve calculated she’s probably walked/run close to ten miles today. She always does twice as much as we do as she bounces around all the time. Think furry toddler and you get an idea of how active she is. 

Golspie also has a fab fish and chip shop, the perfect thing after an invigorating day outside. Am hoping my walking today will offset some of that but loved the walk and delicious food.

A huge thanks for all the lovely comments on my post yesterday. Am making great progress with the editing I wanted to work on whilst away and enjoying my reading too. 

Strange time of year for a break I know but we weren’t sure if we were going to get to go at all so when the  chance came, we grabbed it.

I’ve been doing more of that with regard to my writing too and it has been paying off.

Had you asked me two years ago if I’d be giving author talks etc on Zoom and in person, I’d have said it would be unlikely. Yet that is precisely what has happened because opportunities came my way and I went for them.

Hope to do much more of this but I have had to learn to be open to possibilities.

Good to revisit Dunnet, right on the top coast of Scotland. Lovely beach and Lady had a fabulous time. Is now having a lovely time snoozing away where we’re staying.

Am happily editing away on my non-fiction project and catching up with The Lord of the Rings trilogy boxset. First time I’ve seen the extended version. Loving it. Do feel this works so well precisely because it is true to the books.

My Chandler’s Ford Today post will be up on Friday as usual though I suspect I won’t get to submit anything to Friday Flash Fiction until I am back from Scotland. I am loving reading the stories on here and it is great to see more familiar names appearing here. More power to your pens and PCs, everyone!๐Ÿ˜Š

Stormy day (hope everyone is okay) but it was good to explore Lairg and Golspie, two lovely places. Will probably be touring over next day or so.

The autumn colours on the hills around where we’re staying are amazing. And have seen loads of red deer in the field opposite. Not surprised at that as rutting is around now.

Looking forward to seeing what Doctor Who is up to later given it is the start of the new series.

Planning to edit non-fiction project while away. It has been on the back burner for a bit but want to get cracking on that while here. Definitely given myself enough time and distance to judge it more objectively now!

Am on my way for a short break in stunning Scotland. Plan to do plenty of walking with other half and dog.

We’re used to all sorts of weather conditions when out walking dog so we are reasonably well prepared for whatever might come our way. We also hope to visit favourite haunts, which is an apt phrase given it’s Halloween tomorrow!

Now do your characters have favourite haunts? If so, what are they and why do these places matter?

If not, could you give your character a favourite haunt which can reveal more of their personality? Could the haunt play a pivotal role in your story? Food for thought there I hope. (And if your story involves pumpkin it is even more timely!).

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

One of the nicest things I saw today was a massive rainbow over Golspie Beach. One end hit the sea (so you would need to be a decent swimmer to get the pot of gold from there!๐Ÿ˜Š), and the other end coloured a swathe of trees quite literally in all the colours of the rainbow. ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ

Moments/single events are what flash fiction does best. It makes you focus on what really matters and nothing else. But you can apply that technique to any other form of writing you do and sharpen it considerably. No more going off at unhelpful tangents or diverting but no good to your story dead ends!

Nice job to do when I get home from my Scottish break is pack up some of my books ready for the Brechin/Angus Book Festival.

Looking forward to doing that and being at the Festival. Always good to spread the word about flash fiction. Though I think my dog might be confused as to why I’m off to Scotland again, this time without her!

I’m running a workshop at the event and will also be talking about the ups and downs of the author life. Looking forward to meeting people and book events are joyous things to go to as a writer and a reader.

A good flash tale will surprise the reader whether it is through a twist they didn’t see coming, or by showing them an aspect of your character that is not obvious at the start of the story.

It is a good sign if the writer enjoys writing the tale. I’m sure readers pick up on this. I know I’ve often thought a writer really enjoyed doing this bit when I read something that has struck me.

And I really enjoy coming up with twists or character development reveals so that is what I write most. I try to play to strengths and a writer has to love what they do to do that.

A huge thanks to all who have commented on my latest Friday Flash Fiction story, Competition. Am glad it has raised smiles though one of my characters in it wouldn’t see the funny side.

My author newsletter had to go out early but I do include all links to my online stories here too.

If you would like to sign up please head over to my website at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com
It usually goes out on the first of the month and I include prompts, tips etc.

Goodreads Author Blog – What Counts as “Proper Reading”?

When I was a kid, I loved Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series but she was not approved of. Yet she got kids reading. Other authors have faced the same thing, most notably J.K.Rowling.

For me it is the getting people reading that matters most. I’ve never understood the snobbery against comics and comic books either.Whatever you read, it’s vital you enjoy it. Else what’s the point?

Even books designed to educate rather than entertain need something to ensure readers don’t switch off.

Proper reading for me is when a book, story or article grips me enough to make me keep reading.

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