All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated with many created in Book Brush.Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes.
Happy Valentine’s Day to those who celebrate. (Lady has had big hugs today. Mind you, she often gets big hugs!). And it is always a great idea to celebrate our love of books and stories, regardless of what date it is on the calendar.
Facebook – General
Hope today has been lovely, whether you celebrate St. Valentine’s Day or not. Lady had a lovely time playing with her Aussie Shepherd friend. As ever, both dogs went home shattered but happy.
Writing Tip: Somewhere Near Infinity or Thereabouts – Never worry about a first draft being rubbish. It is part of the point of a first draft. Just get something down and then worry about editing. Terry Pratchett has a great quote on this – “the first draft is you telling yourself the story.”.
So true. You have to work out what it is before you can work out what to improve.
Another busy Monday has sped by – hope your one hasn’t been too bad. Lady got to play with her best buddy, the lovely Rhodesian Ridgeback, so two dogs in my area were happy today!
Looking forward to being interviewed for a “catch up” session with Hannah Kate for North Manchester FM soon. More details nearer the time. A lot has happened since I was last on the show.
Later this week I’ll have another story up on CafeLit. Will be lovely to be back on there again.
Am busy getting my author newsletter up together ready for issue on 1st March. I like being able to add bits and pieces to this as I go through the month. It’s especially useful when something crops up, say, halfway through the month and it gives me a nice news item for the next edition. Mind you, the newsletter is also a good measure of how quickly the year flies by as the time for the next one comes round etc etc!
Brrr… it’s turned cold again though glad to see my snowdrops are now out.
Will be looking at Character Creation for Chandler’s Ford Today next time. I’ll be sharing some thoughts on what I’ve found useful here. Link up on Friday.
Looking forward to the next Association of Christian Writers’ Flash Fiction group again soon. These meetings are always great fun.
Glad to say I’ll be having another story up on CafeLit soon and it is one that started life as a Flash NANO piece too, More details later this week.
Hope you have had a good start to your weekend. Many thanks for the comments coming in on How Nice, my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction. See link if you missed it. Hope you enjoy it. The title – well, you could give it marks out of ten for irony!
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Flash fiction is to the point though that doesn’t mean it can’t offer depth of characterisation. Far from it in fact. I’ve found because I have to choose what I show a reader, I think more carefully about what I absolutely need to show. And it is in defining what absolute is here, the depth to a portrayal comes in.
For example, if I need to show a reader a character has issues of trust (for whatever reason) I can show this via action. The character continually checks if a door is locked. They never allow people to be alone in a room etc. I can show those as two different actions in my story and readers will get the point. Definitely a lack of trust here! Dialogue/character thoughts could then show what is behind this.
Monday is with us again and it’s time for another YouTube tale from me. Hope you enjoy Hidden.
Can you use repetition in flash fiction given its limited word count? Yes, you can. It can sometimes be useful for emphasis. I’ve used the odd word repeated as part of the same phrase in stories like Bringing Up Baby, from Tripping the Flash Fantastic. I used this to give a “rhythm” to the sentence and it worked well. But it was a case of deliberate and thought out placement here which is why it worked. Sometimes I will repeat an odd word from the title and place that in the story to give a kind of “mirror” effect but again only when I can justify it and place it well.
Many of you will know I’m the flash fiction editor for Mom’s Favorite Reads. As well as the joy of writing my column (with a story to illustrate the theme), it is an absolute joy to read the stories that come in, to give them a light edit, and then see them in the next issue. What is especially nice is seeing where authors have used the telling details that really brings their stories to life.
One or two powerful pertinent details – always better than a wad of description which sends the reader to sleep!
When I’m writing my stories, I am always thinking what does the reader need to know here? If it’s not something essential out it comes. I look for telling details which make an impact too. Sometimes that can be a visual thing. Other times it is a phrase my character comes up with which is memorable but also shows something about them (such as how well or otherwise they were educated etc).
Goodreads Author Blog – Re-Reading
Do you make a habit of re-reading books or is it something you only do occasionally? I can sympathise with the school of thought that says life is so short, read new books, then read more new books etc. But I must admit I do re-read.
There are certain books I simply have to re-read (or in some cases re-listen to) at different times of the year. For example, I have to take in Hogfather by Terry Pratchett in the run up to Christmas. In that case I nearly always re-watch the excellent film adaptation.
The nice thing here is, as well as enjoying old favourites again, I nearly always pick up something new from the repeat reading – a bit of wonderful characterisation that I somehow hadn’t quite picked up on before. A great book can always stand being re-read.
You should be able to get more enjoyment from it each time. Here it is not a case of familiarity breeding contempt, more like familiarity breeding anticipation of more things to enjoy from a well-loved story. What is there not to like about that?!
liked Allison Symes's blog post: Re-Reading https://t.co/POov6XIfuc via @goodreads I look at re-reading old favourites for Goodreads this week.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 11, 2023
Monday is with us again and it’s time for another YouTube tale from me. Hope you enjoy Hidden.https://t.co/1gVN4M7r7X— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 13, 2023
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