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 had a good weekend. Starting to get rain, thunder etc here. Lady okay with it but does not like being woken up by it. Can’t say I blame her.
Facebook – General
Hope you have had a good day. Not bad here and I managed to get some swimming in as well so that’s good. Managed to duck most of the showers as well – definitely a good day. Lady and I have had plenty of soakings in our time so any time we miss out on that, we feel we have won!
Just to flag up there’s an offer on the paperback on Tripping the Flash Fantastic. See the link at https://mybook.to/TrippingFlashFantastic
Writing Tip 9002.5 or thereabouts: Regular writing is important. So is life. If life does get in the way, don’t feel bad about what you can’t do. Focus on what you can.
If it means you need to have another writing session some when else, then fine, so be it. The writing journey is a marathon and not a sprint. Pacing yourself helps a lot.
I must admit I know there are some nights of the week I know I’m not going to get a lot done so I focus on blogging (just adding a few paragraphs sometimes) or I draft a flash story. It gives me something to work on when I do have more time.
Am grateful Lady isn’t fazed by thunder and lightning as we had some in my part of the world at about 11 last night. Her policy here is the same as mine – the sensible one of sleeping through it and letting the weather carry on without you. It’s not as if it needs our help!
My Chandler’s Ford Today post this week will be about Good Interviews. I’ll be looking at what writers can do to help themselves prepare for these as well as looking at interviewing your characters to find out more about them ahead of writing their stories up. Link up on Friday. (And I’m interviewing two great writers for CFT before long – more news nearer the time – so I plan to be practicing what I preach here!).
Changeable weather today with rain forecast this week. Won’t be that sorry, though it will mean Lady and I will probably get a bit wet. The trees here are shedding leaves early to conserve water so the rain is needed. And Lady and I are used to being “drips” anyway so that’s okay!
Many thanks for the comments in on Fitting In, my latest Friday Flash Fiction tale. In case you missed it, you can find it here.
Now this story is loosely based on fact. I did have a dog called Gracie and I did fall for her immediately. Inspiration for story ideas can and does come from incidents in life but also from what I read and sometimes an overheard bit of conversation which intrigues me. (Train journeys are great for that by the way).
It’s being open to the possibility you might get a story from something that is important I think. The more you read, the more you are open to being inspired too.
Hope you have a happy weekend.
Any autumn plans you’re looking forward to? Any books you’re planning on reading this season? I mentioned the other day I’m currently reading Churchill’s Wizards on Kindle (having just finished the excellent Regal Retribution by Jennifer C Wilson).
It’s a lovely contrast in reading material – non-fiction -v- contemporary fiction (historical crossed with ghost). But I love to mix up my reading and ideas for stories come from both sides of my reading diet. I’ll read something and the cogs get whirring and I jot down ideas for another flash story or blog post. Reading feeds the imagination and it pays all writers to keep theirs topped up.
Best of all, it is fun to do!
And talking of reading, why not check out the latest edition of Mom’s Favorite Reads? It is free to download, has a wealth of articles, photos, stories and, of course, my flash fiction column.
This time I’m talking about Questions and Answers in Flash Fiction. I love questions as they give you a great story structure from the word go. Your story has to answer the question set. Your question draws the reader in – they know there will have to be an answer by the end of the story. Do also check out the flash fiction pieces that came in as a result of my challenge – there are wonderful stories here.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Don’t forget I often post flash fiction videos to my YouTube channel. New subscribers are always welcome (and the current ones treasured!). You can find my channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPCiePD4p_vWp4bz2d80SJA
It’s Monday. It’s time for a story I think. Hope you enjoy my latest on YouTube – The Right Number. No prizes for guessing which random generator I used to trigger the idea for this one!
Does geography come into your fiction at all? It sometimes ventures into mine. For example in A Day Out from Tripping the Flash Fantastic, I refer to Earth Mark Two. I didn’t have the room in this story to say more than that but you immediately know you’re in an alien environment loosely based on what we know here.
More importantly, I didn’t need to say more than that. As ever it is the telling detail which matters here. You can bring the senses in here too.
For example, if you say Character X was standing by the blood red waterfall, you can deduce they must be on a foreign planet even if you don’t give the name of it.
Also think about how geography might impact your story (the quest tale is the obvious one here but it can be done for the smaller flash stories). If your character is on a mission to deliver cakes, (quite possibly to Grandma’s house), how could the geography get in their way and what do they do to bypass that? There’s the story. Readers will want to know if those cakes did get delivered. There’s your structure.
The geography is what causes conflict and challenge for your character and they will have to resolve it as best as they can to be able to do what they are meant to do. Usually failure is not an option (and you can increase the hazards for your character here by making it clear what will happen if they do fail).
I often refer to some of my stories as “fairytales with bite” because they often have a twist and they’re not aimed at children. They often see characters getting their comeuppance. I also like to look at stories from the viewpoint of alternative characters to the well known ones.
Indeed my first story in print was A Helping Hand in Bridge House Publishing’s Alternative Renditions. My story looked at an aspect of the Cinderella story from the youngest step-sister’s viewpoint. Great fun to do.
The original fairytales are anything but twee as I’ve mentioned before. They can work so well as in flash fiction format, especially if you want a succinct story focusing on one incident in a character’s life.
My The Poison Pen from From Light to Dark and Back Again looks at the Snow White story from the viewpoint of the crone before the King marries Snow White’s mother and shows early indications of what the crone is like.
This kind of tale can add to the world of the well known fairytales I think. But you need to think about what character you’re going to use for this and work out what you can do with them. In this story’s case, I am showing the crone was like this years prior to the original Snow White story. In other words, she’s got form!
Goodreads Author Blog – What Makes You Read?
Leading question, hmm? What makes me read is curiosity first and foremost. I have to find out what happens to the characters in the story. Or I have to find out what an expert is imparting to me via their non-fiction work. I read to escape worries and cares for while. I read because I love stories and finding out things. I read because it is a privilege and pleasure to be able to do so.
Reading fuels the imagination and that is why I think all writers should read widely and regularly, inside and outside of their chosen genre. I’ve had story ideas come to me from reading non-fiction. Occasionally a blog idea will occur to me from reading something in a story. I also see reading as supporting the industry I am part of – makes great sense to me.
Besides, as we go into autumn in my part of the world, what is better than curling up with a hot chocolate and a good book or something fascinating on your Kindle?
liked Allison Symes's blog post: What Makes You Read? https://t.co/uoLIGnwXLo via @goodreads Leading question, yes? For Goodreads this week, I share a few thoughts on what makes me read and how this helps with my writing. pic.twitter.com/92eLZR7dFX— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) September 3, 2022
It’s Monday. It’s time for a story I think. Hope you enjoy my latest on YouTube – The Right Number. No prizes for guessing which random generator I used to trigger the idea for this one! https://t.co/cJ8cit7AJ9— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) September 5, 2022
Don’t forget I often post flash fiction videos to my YouTube channel. New subscribers are always welcome (and the current ones treasured!). You can find my channel at https://t.co/7zDgOfQOSz— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) September 6, 2022