The Writing Life and The First Day

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 taken by me, Allison Symes. Another wet week of “walkie” sessions with the dog since I last posted. She dries off quicker than I do! Starting to spot spring bulbs sending shoots up though, which is lovely.

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Facebook – General

Last Tuesday, Lady and I, by the end of the day, looked like bedraggled rats. This Tuesday we’re looking more like mildly moist mice! I guess we’re heading the right way.

Have booked my train ticket for the workshop I’m going to be running later this month. Really looking forward to doing that. I love going to workshops too and alway learn so much from them. Looking forward to booking my train tickets for The Writers’ Summer School, Swanwick later on in the year too.

Part of my reading “diet” includes the writing magazines because, as well as competitions I might enter, I find out more about the industry and that is always worth doing. And you never know when a bit of advice which isn’t useful to you right now proves to be very helpful indeed later on in your writing journey. It happens. It has happened to me a number of times.

May be an image of text that says "WHAT'S NEXT Good question! One thing I've learned 1S the writing journey is a continual one."

Hope you had a good day. Lady got to play with her two best girlfriends today and we didn’t get soaked so both of us considered that to be a win! Looking forward to running a flash workshop later this month. I do set exercises as part of my workshops and the advantage of these is they help illustrate the points being made. Also later you can finish these off at home and I hope go on to submit them somewhere.

People do take different approaches to the same theme. I discovered how true this was when I was one of the winners three years in a row for the Waterloo Arts Festival Writing Competition. We all had to write to the same theme and word count yet 15 different winning authors took very different approaches to the topic set. That was enlightening for me! It was also encouraging because a good theme, open to interpretation, should spark off plenty of ideas.

May be an image of ‎text that says "‎زایS I've found writing exercises incredibly useful for recharging my stock of story ideas.‎"‎

Lady and I got a bit of a soaking earlier – she dries quicker than I do! I’ll be looking at some Writing Pitfalls for my next Chandler’s Ford Today post – link up on Friday. Am also looking forward to taking part in another author’s blog – more details nearer the time as it is not until March but it is good to be in early!

Have also got a smashing interview lined up with a writer friend of mine showing publication can happen at any age. Really looking forward to sharing that. I do think it is one of the lovely things about writing – there is no retirement age. You can start writing at whatever age and publication can and does happen at any age. More on that nearer the time as well. Have been catching up with some blogging posts to appear later in the month as well.

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Today has been more hectic than I’d have liked but I appreciate my time at the writing desk even more on days like these. Writing gives me time to be creative, to forget the other worries, and to invent characters and situations. On tiring days. I particularly like to get lots of “little bits” done such as finishing off a blog post, finding suitable pics for it and so on. On days when I’ve got more time, that’s when I get the word count up significantly.

I find you do have to go with the flow and everyone has days when the flow is slow or has been temporarily dammed. It helps to focus on the word “temporarily” here. There will be better writing days. Sticking with writing and accepting some days are worse than others in terms of what you get done is an underrated attribute but one I think all writers need to develop.

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

Looking forward to running my first flash fiction workshop of the year later on this month and to meeting up again with the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group not long after that. I often prepare PowerPoint presentations for the latter. It’s funny how I hadn’t used PowerPoint in years but with the growth in the use of Zoom, it has come into its own again. Good fun to do and easy to share if you want to do so.

I believe the growth in flash fiction has come about as a result of people reading more on screens – the very short form of writing is ideal for this. Flash may be short but it needs as much crafting and editing as any other form of writing – loads in other words! This is why I’ll get a story down, rest it, go and write some more tales, then come back to the first one.

Then and only then can I see how I can make it better and there is always room for improving a tale. What can be tricky sometimes is working out when enough is enough on the editing. At some point you have to let your story “out there” and see how it does. This is where deadlines are handy. They make you do this!

BookBrushImage-2023-1-10-20-5043It’s Monday. It’s still dark far too early out there. It’s cold. It’s been a tough, busy day. It’s Monday. And it’s time for my YouTube story. My latest is called Friends. Hope you enjoy it. (Short and sweet this one).

 

Hope you have had a good day. How easy do you find coming up with titles for your flash pieces? I use a variety of ways for this. I use random generators as those can often spark title ideas. I use proverbs sometimes directly as a title, sometimes as inspiration for a title (especially if I want to “subvert” a common phrase as I did with my story Punish The Innocent). I like to keep my titles relatively short (though there are always exceptions to any rule. It is just that most of the time shorter titles are easier to recall).

May be an image of text that says "Jotting down ideas for future stories, blog posts etc., is a great thing to do when you're short on time. Latr tired and uninspired, you can come back to those ideas and find something you like the look ofto to write up."

Many thanks, everyone, for the lovely comments coming in on my first story for 2023 for Friday Flash Fiction, The First Day. It was nice to start with New Year with a feel good tale. Looking forward to my “flash fiction Sunday” tomorrow which is when I get a lot of flash written.
Screenshot 2023-01-06 at 09-18-42 The First Day by Allison Symes

Goodreads Author Blog – Book Blurbs

I must admit it is the book cover which draws me to a book (whether it is online or via a bookshop unless I know of the author. Know I like their work, can’t wait to snap up the next they bring out etc). But after that it is the book blurb which draws me into buying the book or leaving it on the shelf. I like something crisp and snappy to lure me in but they’re not the easiest things to write. You can be sure what you see on the book is the result of several drafts!

But the end result is usually well worth it. Every writer needs to be able to sum up their book in a line (as it gives you something to tell people without going on for too long – and that is an art still).

Sometimes I’ve come across quizzes and the like where you have to guess the book from the blurb that’s been given to you and that can be fun.

As a flash fiction writer having to stick to a tight word count, I guess I may have an advantage here. Writing tight can help you produce those blurbs or at least be less nervous of coming up with something short and snappy.

Screenshot 2023-01-07 at 20-42-44 Book Blurbs

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