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 start to the week. Wild weather here but progressing well with Flash NANO and I’m about to be on a podcast talking about that very thing. Hope to share the link to the podcast in the next issue on Friday.
Facebook – General
Thrilled to say I was interviewed by #WendyHJones for her podcast, The Writing and Marketing Show, today. Show will go out tomorrow and I’m looking forward to sharing the link.
Our topic? Flash NANO! Flash NANO is an offshoot of NaNoWriMO and is where flash fiction writers get to write 30 flash pieces over 30 days. I’ll be working on my prompt for today later on this evening! Tomorrow’s episode follows on beautifully from her show last week which talked about NaNoWriMo – the A to Z – see link for that. It was great fun taking part in this and I am always keen to spread the word about flash fiction – win-win here then!
Hope you have had a lovely start to your working week. Blustery and wet again here but I did have a lovely surprise this morning. Ruth Leigh, whom I recently interviewed for Chandler’s Ford Today, gave me a lovely shout-out on More Than Writers (the Association of Christian Writers blog spot). See link and screenshot.
Talking of CFT, my post this week will be called Remembering, especially apt at this post goes out on Armistice Day.
And in other news, I will be interviewed myself very soon. See above! Will give more details when I can but looking forward to this a lot.
All in all, it’s not been a bad Monday!
More rain last night, fewer fireworks, Lady dozing off to the second part of Classic FM’s Pet Classics – win-win all around here!
I use a good old-fashioned paper diary bought from my local Post Office to help me plan out my writing. I find this especially useful for the different blogs I write pieces for. There is still much to be said for pen and paper technology!
Having said that, I take my turn every month on the Association of Christian Writers Twitter feed. I draft those tweets in advance and schedule them so I use that kind of technology too.
Am definitely one of life’s planners. I find it invaluable for keeping track of my writing. And today being a Sunday, as well as continuing with Flash NANO later on, I will get some flash pieces ready for submission and scheduling respectively. It’s a nice way to round off the writing week.
Hope you have had a good Saturday. There were some fireworks last night but the combination of Classic FM’s Pet Classics, the TV being on, and shut curtains etc meant Lady was okay (and she nodded off during the evening, which is always a good sign). The only positive thing about the wild and wet weather today is it should mean fewer fireworks (I hope). I see some of the supermarkets are now stocking the silent variety. Now that is the way to go with these things. It is the noise which causes the most distress and I do feel deeply sorry for the wild animals. At least I can keep my pet indoors.
A big thanks for the wonderful comments coming in on Old Notebooks, my latest story on Friday Flash Fiction. Feedback always appreciated.
My theme for next week’s Chandler’s Ford Today will be Remembering given it will be Armistice Day.
Memories can make great themes for stories too. You can have characters who struggle with theirs for various reasons from illness to the memories themselves being something they don’t really want to have to face up to and don’t forget false memories. Who has them? What has triggered this? How can they be shown these memories are false?
Progressing well with Flash NANO too. Looking forward to having a go at today’s prompt later on.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Earlier today I was spreading the word about flash fiction and Flash NANO in particular as guest interviewee on Wendy H Jones’s podcast, The Writing and Marketing Show. Show goes out tomorrow and I will be sharing the link then.
But I’m always pleased to share the virtues of flash fiction and one perhaps overlooked aspect is the possibilities of getting into print with it. I hope by the end of Flash NANO to have 30 new stories. Once I’ve polished those up, I hope to send some in for competitions. Others I hope to put towards a future collection. And with the rise in the indie press, there are opportunities out there to have flash collections published. I know, I’ve done it!
I also remain convinced that flash is an excellent form of writing exercise for any writer because you have to think about what the story is about and what the reader needs to know and cut out everything that doesn’t serve a useful purpose.
It’s a dark Monday. It’s a wet and windy one. Time for my latest story on YouTube. Hope you enjoy All In The Game, which is based on fact too.
How to tell when a flash piece is finished? My take on this is when I know I cannot take another word out without losing something invaluable to the characters/story. As for adding words, again the same criteria applies because you can, to use the English phrase, “over-egg” the pudding and ruin it.
As I mentioned yesterday, I have to justify to myself why I’ve included anything in my story. If I’m not convinced if something is necessary, then a reader is likely to feel the same way. I don’t want them switching off as a result.
When looking back at my earlier stories, I can see now how I could improve these but that is the point. That was the stage of writing I was at then. I have moved on since and rightly so too. I want to try and keep on improving on what I do. That attitude helps fuel my imagination and creativity and I am all for that. I don’t think any writer can feel they’ve “made it”. There are always ways to develop your characters further and to come up with other interesting situations to dump them in. That is the fun bit!
Flash fiction is the definition of Less is More being true but it is nice being able to exploit that to maximum effect. This is another reason why knowing the last line first is such an effective device for writing flash. If I’m given a prompt which could be an opening or a closing line, I nearly always make it the last one for this reason. I’ve got the impact in that line so where best to place it? Often it is at the end.
Sometimes a story simply does work better at 300 words, say, rather than 100. Usually there are factors such as more in depth characterisation adding to the story which you would not want to lose. My basis for editing any piece of my work is if it adds something to useful to the story and moves it on in some way it stays in. If not, out it comes. So part of my editing process is to go through my story line by line and query its worthiness to be included. I have to be able to justify its inclusion.
Goodreads Author Blog – Book Wish Lists
It is the right time of year to start thinking about book wish lists (assuming you don’t have an all year round one. The advantage of the latter is it covers birthdays, anniversaries, feel like a new book days etc). I don’t have a wish list for my Kindle. If there’s a book I’m after for that, I just get it.
But I will be compiling my annual list for the family to pick books from for me for Christmas. That’s always fun to put together. I go for a mixture of hardbacks and paperbacks. Some will be books I’ve been after for a while. Others are recent releases I like the look of – and often detective novels at that. I also make a point in checking out non-fiction releases as I’ve found some gems there.
So what it is that makes you put a book on your own wish list? For me the story is the lure. If I like the sound of it, on to the wish list it goes, whether it is by a big name author or not. Some are the latest in a series I’ve become fond of and others are stand alones. As long as I like the sound of the tale and the characters, I’m putting it on my list.
The nice thing about lists is it is a win-win for my loved ones too. I am easy to buy for! Mind you, I think most writers are. There are always books or stationery items we want. No good asking for an agent or a publishing deal though – you’re on your own for those!
liked Allison Symes's blog post: Book Wish Lists https://t.co/Kg2g92tRSo via @goodreads I look at creating book wish lists for Goodreads this week. I share what I go for with mine and ask what is the deciding factor for a book to make it on to your list. pic.twitter.com/tbCxe7BlKO— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) November 5, 2022
Looking Back at The Writers’ Summer School at Swanwick 2022 @swanwickwriters— Val Penny (@valeriepenny) November 7, 2022
My friend @AllisonSymes1 has kindly allowed me to share her article about The Writers' Summer School 2022. You can find her full article here:https://t.co/YVvP5ttHAw pic.twitter.com/L2t8HPifa9
It’s a dark Monday. It’s a wet and windy one. Time for my latest story on YouTube. Hope you enjoy All In The Game, which is based on fact too.https://t.co/DX7icq5ehD— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) November 7, 2022
Thrilled to say I was interviewed by #WendyHJones for her The Writing and Marketing Show, today. Show is out tomorrow. I look forward to sharing the link. Our topic? Flash NANO, an offshoot of NaNoWriMo, is where flash fiction writers write 30 flash tales over 30 days. Great fun! pic.twitter.com/fW7s8rM0Ms— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) November 8, 2022