Positives and Negatives

Image Credits:- All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Many created via Book Brush. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots as ever were taken by me, Allison Symes.
I hope you have had a lovely Christmas. This is a round up of my posts from Christmas Eve until now. Loved having some time off (and especially with catching up with friends, family, and favourite films) but it is also good to be back writing again. Happy New Year to you all.

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Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today

30th December 2022
A bit later than usual tonight, I admit, but it is with great pleasure I share my last Chandler’s Ford Today post for the year. Aptly, I look at Positives and Negatives. Hope you enjoy the post and a big thank you for the great comments coming in on this one already.

Positives and Negatives

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29th December – More Than Writers
It’s my turn on the More Than Writers spot, the blog from the Association of Christian Writers. To wrap up the old year nicely as we rapidly approach the new one, I look at New Directions.

I look at being willing to try new writing directions and I encourage setting writing goals. Nothing is set in stone here (only the Ten Commandments ever were!) but it is useful to know where you would like to head. I’ve found setting some ideas down means I am more likely to achieve them (or at least get close to doing so). Hope you enjoy the post.

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28th December
Hope you have a lovely Christmas break (and are continuing to enjoy the season). It has been great catching up with family and friends and favourite films. Am also loving having more time to read but it is also nice to be back writing again.

I’m looking at Positives and Negatives for my end of year post for Chandler’s Ford Today. Link up on Friday. See above. My next blog round up on my website will also be out on Friday (right here in fact!) with my next author newsletter out on 1st January. If you’d like to sign up for that do head over to my landing page at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com

Also looking forward to tonight’s gathering of the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group on Zoom. Will be nice to have a chat and sharing of festive flash fiction.

25th to 27th December – no posts but had a lovely time. Hope you did too.

24th December 2022
Hope your Christmas preparations are going/have gone well. Have loved listening to the wonderful Christmas music on Classic FM today. I’ll be signing off for a couple of days before resuming writing next week. I hope you have plenty of books as part of your presents this year!

Have a lovely Christmas and many thanks for all the support for my posts etc throughout the year. Much appreciated.

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

30th December 2022
Hope you have had a good day. I was talking about Positives and Negatives as my end of year post for Chandler’s Ford Today this week.

But it struck me you could take the idea of positives and negatives and use them to create stories for your characters.

You could create a positive story for Character A and follow it up with a more negative one (or vice versa).

You could have a “need to be redeemed” story as the negative tale and the “being redeemed” story as your positive one, all based on the same character.

You can also have positive and negative characters in conflict with each other – which one will win out?

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29th December
It was lovely seeing everyone at the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction group meeting on Zoom last night. We shared festive flash and writing thoughts/tips. Great fun and a lovely way to wrap up the year.

One thing I mentioned last night was that festive flash is about the only seasonal writing I do (because it’s fun, best reason of all!). The nice thing with any kind of seasonal writing though is you can prepare for these events all year around. I will often draft festive flash pieces during the summer and autumn for instance. You know these events will always come around so you can make use of that.

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28th December
Hope you have had a lovely Christmas and are continuing to enjoy the season. Hope you had plenty of books in your presents, including flash fiction collections!

I hope to start sending in stories again to Friday Flash Fiction from next week. One thing I’d like to achieve in the coming year is to enter more flash competitions than I did this year. I would certainly have a go at Flash NANO again. Loved that.

Writing a flash tale a day helps keep writer’s block at bay, anyone?

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25th to 27th December – no posts but had a lovely time. Hope you did too.

24th December
Time for a quick Christmas flash tale. Hope you enjoy the following, Being There.

 

Fairytales With Bite – A New Year, A New Start

A new year can be a great time to make a new start but how would your characters do that? Why would they need to make a new start? If they’re magical, what have they done to make a new start desirable? (Good comic potential here).

Of course there are characters who don’t realise they do need a new start. (Scrooge didn’t think he did before the ghosts turned up). Who would be the one to bring this to their attention and how does your main character take this? There would be good potential for comedy or tragedy if they don’t react well.

In the case of a character with power, if they decide to make a new start, whose benefit is it for? Are they accepting the needs for beneficial reforms or are they trying to take rights away? A new start isn’t always a good thing!

Also, are they using the New Year as a convenient time for them (people may not be paying full attention after all) or is there another reason for making a new start now? Are they trying to head off further problems by making a new start “early” or have they left it too late?

AE - July 2021 - Whether you love or loathe the characters, they should make you feel something

This World and Others – Keeping Time

How does your setting keep time? Do they use the same system of seconds, minutes, hours, day, weeks, months, and years as we do? We base our calendar on twelve months but if your world bases theirs on a ten month system what is the reason for that? Are your characters dominated by time? (They might not be if they’re immortal or have something close to immortality so how would they get on with species where time is a matter of life and death?).

As for timekeeping, do your characters run to time or are they notoriously late? Does this land them in it? How do people tell the time? What are their time pieces like? I must admit I love looking at pictures of old time pieces (especially pocket watches which come up on the antiques programmes every so often. I am taken aback by the beauty of these things and how exquisitely they’re made. The craftsmanship is amazing. Does your setting have craftsman like that and how did they learn their trade? How is time kept? Is it accurate?).

Could another character use someone’s obsession with time against them and, if so, how? Could time prove to be deadly to a character? If you portray Time as a character, what is their role in your setting? Are they controlled by anyone else? What would happen if Time was allowed to do as he/she/it liked? Are there boundaries for Time?

Story ideas there, I think!

Characters need time to work out their next move
Goodreads Author Blog – Christmas and Books

I hope you end up with plenty of new books as Christmas presents this year. It is especially comforting to read when in the depths of winter. All you need to go with that new book is a lovely mug of hot chocolate. Perfect reading conditions! Christmas is the perfect time to give and receive new books. (And it always pays to keep the hot chocolate in!).

I hope the New Year will see plenty of interesting new books to investigate. I’ve submitted my own third flash fiction collection for consideration so am keeping fingers crossed for that one. Would love to see that out in 2023.

Whatever your choice of reading material, I hope you have a lovely Christmas and get plenty of reading done. Let’s hear it for the hardbacks, the paperbacks, the e-books, the novellas, the novels, the short story and flash fiction collections, and the non-fiction selections. Let’s read!

Happy Christmas!

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