All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Some images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Hope you have had an enjoyable Christmas break. Happy New Year!
Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today
Firstly, may I wish you a very Happy New Year.
Secondly, I’m pleased to share Out with the Old?, my new post on Chandler’s Ford Today. Hope you enjoy it. I talk about whether you should necessarily discard everything that is old about your writing (old markets, old work which has been turned down, old ways of doing things) and about appreciating the new.
I also look at how this time of year is a great opportunity to assess where you are writing wise and maybe set some plans for the coming twelve months. And I also include a timely reminder that it is a normal part of the writing life to have to take the rough with the smooth, which gives added reason to celebrate the positives in writing when they happen.
Out with the Old?
One of my post Christmas treats is to have a day trip to Dorset with better half and Lady. Cobwebs well and truly blown away. Lovely time had by all. Big walks are not where I find story inspiration funnily enough. What they do achieve is being something where I chill out. It’s being in that state of mind which does achieve kickstarting the old imagination.
Posting early today but am pleased to share my latest post for More Than Writers, the blog spot from the Association of Christian Writers.
This time I talk about Aspects of Writing. I look at what I need to know before writing and why it helps to accept a first draft is not meant to be perfect, far from it!
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Will be sending out author newsletter tomorrow. I share tips, prompts, links to stories and videos I’ve created etc, as well as news. To sign up head over to my landing page at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com
Given flash is brief, and newsletters work better when they’re kept fairly short, a flash fiction based newsletter is a good match up I think! (And Tripping the Flash Fantastic is still on offer over at Amazon – see screenshot).
Happy New Year!
Looking forward to resuming drafting drabbles at the weekend. The 100 worder is a great form to practice as there are plenty of competitions and markets for it. Check out the Writing Magazine Competition Guide or do a web search. And if you can write to that tight a word count, it will help you draft your blurb and synopsis for longer works.
Lovely warm and sunny day for the time of year though Lady did manage to find all the mud in the park this morning!
As I write this on route to see family, I get glimpses of people, houses etc. Now any of these could spark ideas for flash fiction pieces. Who is that person? Why do they live where they do? Have they always lived there? If not, what or whom made them move? All story ideas there.
Anything that triggers you asking questions, start wondering “what if” etc, will have good flash potential to it. And people watching is a great one – just be discreet. Nobody should be able to guess what or whom inspired your story unless you tell them.
Fairytales With Bite – New Beginnings
This is an apt topic as we rapidly approach 2022. Do your characters see a new calendar year as a chance to have a new beginning or is this not something which would occur to them perhaps because their world does not celebrate the passing of time like this? If the latter is the case, what would make your character decide now was the time to begin again and which aspect of their life needs them to have a new start?
You could argue that a new beginning for a fairytale character should start after the “happily ever after” bit because your character(s) would be making a new life for themselves. And there are stories to be told here. How well did Cinders, Snow White etc adjust to married, royal life for example?
I should stress that does not need to be a negative story. They could adjust very well indeed but it would be likely they would need time to adjust, they would make mistakes, and it would be there that the stories could be told. How do they overcome all of that?
How supportive are their spouses? What mistakes would they make as they adjust to married life themselves? Certainly there would be space for good romance stories there – and probably humorous ones too, if the couples overcame the issues in a humorous way.
New beginnings, for me at least, would be positive stories and there is no reason why that can’t happen in a fairytale world. For me, here, the stories would be more interesting if the fairy godmother was not called in to sort things out and the couples had to sort things out themselves, probably making a bit of a hash of it along the way but overcoming that too. (Don’t we all do that at times?!).
This World and Others – A Brand New World
I don’t know about you but the New Year period can feel a little like we’re about to enter a brand new world. There is (usually) more optimism and hope around for the start of the next twelve months. Okay, at the end of the year, we tend to look back and review whether the year was as good as we’d hoped for or not. In the case of 2020, with the onset of Covid, I suspect it could be named the Year Everyone Wants to Forget. (And I suspect 2021 is not going to score too highly in the Best Year of All Time Awards either!).
How do your characters respond to a new time in their lives? Are there the equivalent of New Year celebrations? If so, how are these celebrated and do your characters join in with this? What is societal expectation here? If not, how is the passing of time marked in your fictional setting instead? Why is it different from what we know? What would make your characters feel like they were about to enter a brand new world? Are they right to feel that way?
Taking your setting and characters a whole, what is the prevailing mood? Is it optimistic or pessimistic and why? For example if your world is generally optimistic because it is at peace, most people have all needs met etc., what would it take to change that mood? What would make it become a brand new world in a negative way? (And you can swap that round too – what would make a negative world positive? In either case, are the changes permanent?).
https://t.co/cgBzLxPDnn. My turn on the ACW blog today. I share how accepting a first draft isn't meant to be perfect helped me. pic.twitter.com/3HfB36nKaN— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) December 29, 2021
Out with the Old? https://t.co/xgpU1xDR6E Firstly, Happy New Year! Secondly, in Out with the Old?, I ask if you should discard everything that is old about your writing. I also talk about appreciating the new and look at how now is a great opportunity to review your writing.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) December 31, 2021