All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes. Hope you have had a good few days. It’s got off to an odd start for me as the title above confirms.
Facebook – General
Hope you have had a good Tuesday. Had a most enjoyable swim earlier. When I started swimming more often I thought I’d be using the time in the pool to work out story ideas, dream up further ideas and so on. Not a bit of it. My mind tends to go blank when swimming! Make of that what you will!
I’ll be looking at Quizzes and Word Games for my Chandler’s Ford Today post on Friday. I’m fond of word games so this post was a particular pleasure to write. I suppose it makes sense that a writer unwinds by playing with words!
Many thanks for the continuing comments in on Moving On, my latest Friday Flash Fiction tale. The feedback on this site is so helpful.
Glad to say the August edition of Mom’s Favorite Reads is now out. Treat yourself to a free read. Plenty of fascinating articles and stories here. I talk about Funny Flash Fiction this time and share useful tips here. As well as setting a flash fiction challenge in my column, I respond to it myself so you get a story from me here too – and do check out the wonderful tales that came in as a result of the challenge.
Is there ever enough writing time? Probably not but I suspect the answer to this dilemma is working out how to make the best use of the time you have got. In my smaller pockets of time, I’m jotting down blog ideas, story titles, possible opening lines etc. In my longer pockets of time. I’m writing those ideas up! I also plan my week around my Chandler’s Ford Today post. Generally I have that written and scheduled by Tuesday. I then start work on the one for the following week.
I plan my monthly blogs so I have them ready in good time. I like to have those scheduled at least a week before due date. Now life gets in the way sometimes but giving myself this leeway means I still have a few days to get something in and I like knowing that I have this safety net. I rarely have to use that safety net. It is a relief to have it when I do.
So yes I outline my writing time too and have found doing that pays off.
Also my next author newsletter goes out tomorrow. To sign up head over to my landing page at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com
Newsletter has gone out but new subscribers are always welcome.
Hope you have had a good Saturday. Looking forward to catching up with some Swanwick friends on Zoom tonight ahead of seeing them in person again soon.
Many thanks for the comments in on Moving On, my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction. Don’t forget comments are welcome over on my Chandler’s Ford Today blog post pages as well.
I do enjoy getting my monthly posts together for Mom’s Favorite Reads and am just putting the finishing touches to my piece for September. My piece in the August edition, which is due soon, will be about Funny Flash Fiction, which is is also a joy to write.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Further to yesterday’s post and in breaking news, the goose came back!
Again I was hissed at. The dog turned tail and ran (back into the house). Yours truly scared the goose off into the wooded bit of the garden with the aid of a garden broom. Am not having my dog too scared to go out into her own garden. My herding skills were okay (I have clearly learned something from my collies over the years). Most annoying thing of all – I can’t write this up as a story. It’s a bit unbelievable, isn’t it?!
The goose is fine, Lady is fine, I’m fine, but I still don’t get why this bird isn’t flying – it isn’t injured and its attitude – well it would have that anyway. There is no sign of injury or anything like that. Have shut the garden gate on it so hopefully that will send it back to where it should be at the lakes about a mile away from where I live where there is a colony of geese and ducks.
They say you can’t make it up. Well, as a writer I would dispute that. It is a question of whether you can use the material at times!
In other news, am looking forward to getting my copies of The Best of CafeLit 11.
It’s Monday. It has been a long, hot day. It has been an odd Monday. I got hissed at by an irate lost Canada Goose in my own garden this afternoon. There are a group of them on nearby lakes and it clearly had got lost. I am betting it is male and didn’t want to ask for directions!
Why the barking of Lady didn’t persuade it here was not a good place to be I don’t know but it did wander off eventually. (Lady would happily have chased it off but one slightly bonkers dog and an annoyed goose did not seem like a good combo to me!).
So as I say it has been a long day. It’s Monday when all is said and done. Definitely time for a story. Hope you like Acting Your Age, my latest on YouTube.
PS. Will keep you posted if anything odd turns up here tomorrow. Am hoping not though I suppose I can always get a flash story out of it. See above – The Goose Came Back! Not a typical day or two in the life of a flash fiction writer, I can tell you!
Wow, another month gone. It won’t be long before I’m writing my festive flash pieces!
Am not kidding. For the short story market, you have to work on these much earlier in the year than I need to on my festive selections. But it still pays to give yourself plenty of time to write and hone your festive flashes so around summer/early autumn is not a bad time to start on that.
I find having a rough schedule to write to means I produce more finished writing. I like that aspect.
While flash is shorter prose, it still takes time to edit and hone. I can get a draft down relatively fast but it is the editing that takes the time. And that is how it should be too, no matter what you write. The writing is in the re-writing.
Opening lines have to intrigue the reader enough to make them want to read on. This is even more important in flash where you do have to hit the ground running. You don’t have the word count room to expand on things later. In my The Silence (Tripping the Flash Fantastic), I start with It was the perfect way to shut up Mr Know-it-all.
I imply questions here – hopefully the reader will want to find out what the perfect way is, did it work, and who is the character behind this. Sometimes I use questions directly as opening lines but implying them also works well. It is key to provoking reader curiosity, that have got to find out what happens here moment. And then the tricky bit – delivering on the promise to answer here!
This is a key reason why I outline. I set up the question. I want to know in advance what the possible answers could be. It means I know where I am heading as I draft the tale. And I always go for the answer that makes me go “wow” – If I do that, it is likely someone else will. Naturally my hope here is that someone else will be a publisher, editor, or a competition judge!
Goodreads Author Blog – Reading Between the Lines
I write as well as read flash fiction and implying happens all the time here. You do get your readers reading between the lines all the time. You just give them what they have to know to be able to do that.
With my reading hat on, I love having to read between the lines. Crime writers do this constantly too – give us clues to work things out and you accept some of them will be red herrings. All great fun.
I don’t want tonnes of description. I just need enough to be able to picture the character and the setting. Specific details often work better anyway. A moth-eaten chair conjures up a stronger image than just saying an old chair. (Well, how old? Are we talking antique here or something that is only 30 years old?). ]
Specific details matter. Whenever a writer put them in, I am looking to see how important these things prove to be later on in the story. They usually are important. At the very least they have significant meaning for the lead character and that’s the important thing (if only because their opponent could use that against them).
I love reading between the lines then. The great stories encourage this I think.
liked Allison Symes's blog post: Reading Between the Lines https://t.co/Ppvz3xPCDL via @goodreads I talk about reading between the lines and why I love this aspect of stories for Goodreads this week. pic.twitter.com/iggueLG32I— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) July 30, 2022
It’s Monday. It has been a long, hot day. It’s Monday when all is said and done. Definitely time for a story. Hope you like Acting Your Age, my latest on YouTube.https://t.co/2HC85wP72P— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) August 1, 2022
Glad to say the August edition of Mom’s Favorite Reads is out. Go on, have a free read!— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) August 1, 2022
I talk about Funny Flash Fiction and share tips. As well as setting a flash challenge, I respond to it so you get a story from me here too.https://t.co/QlHxlDzuCY