Catching Up – Author News – Allison Symes

Image Credits:-
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.
Hope you have had a good week. It has been a right mixed bag weather wise – snow, sleet, rain, sunshine – but Lady has taken it all in her stride. My solitary crocus seems to have survived the onslaught, much to my relief. Before you ask, I have planted others but I suspect they’ve been taken by animals feeding on these things. This one crocus comes out year on year and is a delight to see.


Facebook – General and Chandler’s Ford Today

Am pleased to share Catching up – Local Author News – Allison Symes as my Chandler’s Ford Today post this week. The first quarter of 2023 has been brisk, I’m pleased to say. Pleased because the writing life is not meant to be a static one. Am also pleased to spread the word for Mom’s Favorite Reads and share some tips I’ve found useful.

Catching Up – Local Author News – Allison Symes

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Looking forward to sharing a catch up post from me for Chandler’s Ford Today where I share recent events and news. See above. There has been plenty going on since my last one. Mind you, the writing journey isn’t meant to be static so I fit in with that well enough. Link up tomorrow.

One tip that has stood me in good stead is to always double check submission requirements, whether it is for an online magazine, a publisher, or a competition etc. Follow these things to the letter (and in the case of Friday Flash Fiction to the comma – see the site (and my screenshot for more on that). Why?

Well, you risk automatic rejection if you don’t, for one thing. There are always good reasons for submission requirements. Sometimes it is to do with formatting.

Secondly, you make the editor’s life that much easier if you follow the rules. Editors, competition judges (and I am sometimes both of these!), appreciate these things (and trust me, I have!).

Thirdly, it can make you look like an amateur if you don’t follow the rules.

Fourthly, if you’re working (or hope to) with a publisher/agent, if you can’t follow the rules, it can make you look awkward to work with and you don’t want to give off that impression, however unintentionally.

So it is worth taking the time here to get these things right.

(In other news, am rather chuffed with myself as I’ve finally managed to score over 600 on an online game similar to Scrabble. I managed to get all seven tiles out on a double treble word score. The likelihood of this happening ever again is remote so am grabbing bragging rights now!).

Screenshot 2023-03-09 at 20-08-57 100-Word Submissions

Well, we did get snow, and Lady had a lovely time but neither of us were that sorry to get back home again.

Where would your characters call home and does home have the same meaning for us as it would do for many of us? Is it something they look forward to returning to or somewhere they just “put up with for now” because they have plans for better?

One of the things I loved about The Lord of the Rings is when Frodo, Sam etc do return to The Shire, they are pleased to be back but it is obvious they have changed. It would be odd if they had not been. And that’s something we need to reflect in our stories if we get characters returning to a place having been through their story.

A character shouldn’t be exactly the same as they were before setting out. Readers expect to see change (and sometimes it can be negative) but there should be something to show they’ve been affected by their experiences during the tale.

May be an image of outdoors and text that says "Hobbiton, home of the Hobbits, in The Lord of the Rings."

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

I mentioned I was going to use the theme of clearing away for my YouTube and Friday Flash Fiction stories this week. The YouTube one went out on Monday but today I can share the one now on Friday Flash Fiction. Hope you enjoy Clearing Away.

Screenshot 2023-03-10 at 09-42-10 Clearing Away by Allison Symes

Just a quick post to say if you find flash fiction books like mine on Amazon saying they’re out of stock – well, they’re not. Most of the indie press such as Chapeltown Books use print on demand (as it saves a small fortune in warehousing and distribution costs and I feel is less wasteful too).

What happens is an order goes in to print your book and you get it shortly afterwards. And do bear in mind you are always welcome to buy from me directly via my website. Just let me know via my contact page (link below). Always pleased to help here! (And I can sign your books for you too).

Screenshot 2023-03-10 at 21-01-28 Contact
Just going to flag up that Amazon have an offer on the paperback of From Light to Dark and Back Again. See link. Many thanks to all who have reviewed both of my books – reviews are much appreciated. More are always welcome, of course. Yes, I do review books myself. It is another way of supporting the author. The nice thing is reviews don’t have to be long either but they do have to be honest ones!

Screenshot 2023-03-10 at 21-07-08 Allison Symes

Fairytales with Bite – Problems Acrostic

P = Problems a character must overcome; cause of great drama and tension.
R = Real issues even in a magical world should be something a reader can sympathize with your character about.
O = Onward and upward but just how does your character do that – with magical help or without?
B = By the end of the story the problem must be resolved in some way but not necessarily happily.
L = Let your character work things out for themselves, even if they end up concluding they’ve got to call help in.
E = Extra help should be seen to be merited (after all, why should someone have a fairy godmother drop in?).
M = Make the problem help your character develop in some way, that will bring about a point of change, which all stories need.
S = Sympathy, struggles, stress – your characters should go through two of these to get the first!


This World and Others – Typical Problems Your World Faces

What are the typical problems your world faces? Are these seasonal? Have they taken steps to make things better or are other things getting in the way of that happening?

If it is a question of your world not wanting to face up to the problems they’ve got, why is that? Is it a question of the problems being so huge they can’t tackle them or a lack of resources? Could they team up with other places to help them sort these issues out or is that where the real problem lies – they can’t get on with anybody, nobody wants to help them etc?

If the underlying problems are to do with the environment, are there characters in your story who are trying to do something to make things better? What can they achieve? Can they change others’ attitudes?

Plenty of story thoughts there. And bear in mind the problems might be exactly what your character needs as a challenge to get the best of them. We generally see problems as to be overcome. Your characters can do and it can develop what they are capable of doing, even if at the beginning of the story (and throughout it) they doubt what they can achieve. People will be glued to finding out what your character can do, how they overcome their doubts etc.





Screenshot 2023-03-10 at 21-07-08 Allison Symes

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