Purposes of Reading

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. Pleased to receive my ALCS money (more on that below, if you’re a writer you really should check them out) and Lady has had a superb week in the park seeing so many of her friends. Better weather too. Yay!


Facebook – General

Pleased to share my latest Chandler’s Ford Today post about the Purposes of Reading. This is the other side of the writing “coin” in that to write well, it helps enormously if you read well too. See the post for why and I hope you enjoy it.

Purposes of Reading

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Delighted to receive my payment form ALCS yesterday (especially nice given it was my birthday! Lovely timing, ALCS!). If you want to know more about ALCS and how they help authors, do check out the website. I get my membership of ALCS as part of my membership of the Society of Authors. I like that – a lot!

One reason for networking being important for writers is you find out about organisations like this through other writers. It is always good to have somewhere to turn to when in need of advice and what ALCS does for authors is a wonderful addition.

Screenshot 2023-03-23 at 20-15-01 ALCS

Many thanks for the wonderful birthday messages on my timeline today. All much appreciated! I am now officially a “Heinz” – of the 57 varieties fame! (Very famous advert which ran for many years saw Heinz boast about having 57 varieties. Well remembered in my part of the world).

Will be sharing Purposes of Reading for Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday. See above. Loved writing that one. (In fairness I love writing all my posts but anything to do with books, reading, writing etc will always be especially pleasurable to write!).

Writing Tip: When reading, note down what it is you love or loathe about the characters in the story. Work out why you feel the way you do about them. Use that to work out what you would like/loathe to see in your own characters. Are there character aspects in common (you really discover you loathe a certain type of character because…)?

As well as being an interesting study, you may well discover themes you really want to write to/avoid writing about doing this. I don’t particularly like grifter stories where the grifter gets away with it so am unlikely to write any. I know that’s partly due to having to deal with scams for real so that colours my view but I am aware of that. If I wrote a grifter story, you could be sure I would make sure they didn’t get away with it!

May be an image of text that says "Do you look at your characters' flaws and wonder what has led to them?"

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

Hope you enjoy my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction called Getting One’s Wings. Fun to write, I hope you find it fun to read.

Screenshot 2023-03-24 at 09-42-13 Getting One's Wings by Allison Symes

I’m talking about Purposes of Reading for Chandler’s Ford Today tomorrow. See above. And I would add here it is important to read widely in your field as well as outside of it. I love reading flash fiction collections (and short story anthologies). I find them inspiring and encouraging and they remind me of why I love both of these fabulous forms of fiction.

If you’re not sure where to start, why not try The Bridgetown Cafe Bookshop? See link. (Oh and if you’re wondering if it is a coincidence I’ve flagged up my own two flash collections, it’s not!).
Screenshot 2023-03-24 at 20-36-22 The Bridgetown Café Bookshop
Many thanks for the happy birthday wishes. Much appreciated. Had nice day having hair done as well.

Now what would your characters consider to be a nice day? Can you set them against one another here? A criminal would see it as a good day if they’ve got away with their crime. Someone on the right side of the law would take a different view. And there can be poignant pieces to be written here. A character has a specially nice day and we discover it is going to be their last one etc.

Flash fiction is very good for those moments you want to “capture” for your character. This time meant something to them because… and that is the story. The impact here is how will it make your reader feel. A story should generate a reaction. And especial moments as stories work best when kept short.

May be an image of text that says "With flash fiction, you have to focus on THE single most important aspect of your character's life"

Fairytales with Bite – Birthdays

Topical subject this week given I’ve just had my own birthday! So in your fictional setting how much importance is given to birthdays? Do people celebrate them or is it just another date on the calendar? Is there a birthday “industry” (cakes, cards etc)? Or are only the birthdays of important figures commemorated? If so, who would these be and why have they been chosen? Would these be celebrations everyone is expected to join in with, regardless of how they feel about it?

Now birthdays can be public gatherings so how would the powers that be in your world look on these? Are such gatherings forbidden or limited to a set number? How are birthdays counted? Is the calendar year the same as ours or much longer/shorter?

Another use for birthdays in fiction is to have them as the point where your character realises something has to change. They’re another year older. Life is passing them by. What do they do to change things? How can the birthday be used as a trigger here?


This World and Others – Celebrations

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone. There is a lot of truth in that. But when it comes to celebrations, for birthdays or anything else, what are your characters’ attitudes here? Do they love to celebrate or do they dread that kind of gathering?

What would your characters celebrate? Do they stick to traditional forms of celebrating or come up with their own thing? If your setting is divided into different settings, are there common celebratory forms or does each “segment” have their own style?

If your character is a more morose type what would they do if forced to take part in celebrations and what or whom could get them to agree to such a thing in the first place? Think about the hold someone might have over them and can your character escape this? Do they use the celebration as a cover for a get-away? (Yes, do think The Lord of the Rings here but what would your character want to get away from? How could the celebration be useful to them?).

If your world is an oppressive one, do the powers that be allow official celebrations or is everyone kept down all the time?
Celebrations have meaning and impact on people which is something your could explore for story ideas. Think about what celebrations have meant for you. What would make your character feel the same way? Could that lead to your character developing empathy?





This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Twitter Corner (2)

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Success! You're on the list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s