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. A huge thank you to The Chameleon Theatre Group for sharing their pictures for my Chandler’s Ford Today post this week.
Hope you have had a good week. Am looking forward to watching the Coronation on 6th May. I discuss below how pictures, including those of crowd scenes, can be used to inspire ideas for stories. I expect some tales may well emerge from this weekend’s events! Hope you find the tips useful.
Facebook – General and Chandler’s Ford Today
It is a real joy to share Review – Spring Trio – The Chameleon Theatre Group as my Chandler’s Ford Today post for this week. My lovely editor, Janet Williams, and I went to see the trio of plays just over a week ago and were thoroughly entertained by the mixture of comedy and drama on offer. This is one of the pleasures of live theatre – you get to see some real gems. I also look at twists in this post as these came up a lot in these plays. Hope you enjoy the flavour of the evening I’ve shared here. It was lovely to write it!
Review: Spring Trio – The Chameleon Theatre Group
Had a nice surprise today in that I was given a nice plug on Write On, Rosemary Johnson’s blog. Rosemary and I know each other though the Association of Christian Writers but this plug came out of the blue. Thanks, Rosemary. Am so glad the writing prompts are proving useful.
I use prompts all the time (and have contributed to some books of prompts published by Bridge House Publishing) and find them to be a great way to trigger story ideas. Occasionally I’ve used things like the random question or theme generator to trigger an idea for a blog post.
What I do find pays is mixing up the type I use. It keeps me on my toes (never a bad thing that!) and it makes you think in different ways too. When I took part in Flash NANO last year, one prompt I’d not tried before was writing a story in the form of a police report. What happened? I had great fun writing the story and it ended up being broadcast on Hannah Kate’s Three Minutes Santas show on North Manchester FM last December. I call that a win!
It has been a gloriously sunny day here today. Lady and I appreciated it. Lady appreciated playing with her Rhodesian Ridgeback pal too. Good time had by all.
Looking forward to sharing my review of Spring Trio on Chandler’s Ford Today later this week. Always enjoy seeing The Chameleon Theatre Group at work. Like the mixture of comedies and dramas. More on Friday. See above.
Talking of reviews, don’t forget these help authors so if there is a book you’ve loved, do drop a quick line to say so in the usual places.
Had a nice surprise yesterday. I receive the Bridge House Publishing newsletter and in that is a link to CafeLit. I discovered my story, Untaken, was the fourth most read on CafeLit in April. Well done to those above and below me here! Very nice viewing figures. That was lovely to know so many thanks, #GillJames, for sharing that.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Am pleased to be back on Friday Flash Fiction with my latest tale, Starting Conversation. The Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group may well recognise this as my response to a prompt I set them recently! A huge thank you also for the wonderful comments coming in on this tale already.
One kind of prompt I should try and use more often is the picture one. You can do this with objects and put them in a story. You can also use pictures of landscapes and wonder who would live there. Crowd scenes are good too as you can pick an individual out to base your character on and then write about them or write a story about why the crowd are gathered. (I suspect there may be Coronation stories coming up here!).
You can use your own photos too and set your character in the scene they show. What would your character be doing? What are they trying to achieve? Is the scene they’re in a help or a hindrance? Two characters could see a scene in opposite ways. What conflict could that lead to and how is is resolved?
Looking forward to giving a flash fiction workshop in a couple of weeks time to a writing group. Always fun to do! And it’s another example of Zoom making things possible. Where transport/distance means in person isn’t viable, Zoom is the answer! I’ve loved the fact that this has got me back into using PowerPoint again. I hadn’t used it in years until Zoom transformed things here. Given PowerPoint and bullet points go hand in hand, it’s ideal for flash. Well, I’ve got to write to a short word count, yes?
Fairytales with Bite – Job Hunting
How do your characters find jobs in your magical setting? Or it is literally a question of stepping into a dead fairy godmother’s shoes here? Not even fairy godmothers go on for ever (magical accidents and dragons can happen to the best of them) so I assume your setting would allow for training to happen to bring up the next generation. Would employment automatically follow that training?
For other roles, consider who else might work in a training establishment. Someone would need to cook, clean, prepare magical ingredients etc. How would these people get their work? Is it a question of who you know here?
For the non-magical beings in your story, what work would they do? How easy or otherwise would it be for them to find gainful employment?
Equally is your character being hunted for a job they really don’t want to do? Can they get out of it? If not, how do they manage?
Story idea potential there I think. (This is where we can use our knowledge of the working world to flesh out our story world and that can be useful. Dreadful bosses/colleagues can occur in fiction as well as in life – as can good ones).
This World and Others – Employment Types
What kind of employment can your world offer your characters? Is it similar to what we have here or something specific that could only happen in your setting? What kind of tools/equipment /technology would your characters be expected to be able to use? What are these things for? And are jobs allocated on merit or on status?
So could there be a character who would love to do Job X but knows they can’t because they’re from a certain social class which never does a job like that. Could they be the one to break the mould here?
Is employment divided between, say, magical and non-magical or is it just down to the job itself? For the latter, you could have, say, clerks working for the government who do have magical skills and those who do not. How would they get on? Would the magical abilities come in useful at work at all and that is why they are employed here? Do the non-magical lot have special qualities/skills which compensate here and are useful in another way?
What would count as manual labour? What would be considered “high end” employment? Do employment types change over time? (Not much call for abacus makers in our day and age, for example. Technology changes employment so much).
AMAZON AUTHOR CENTRAL – ALLISON SYMES
I wrote about taking stock for More than Writers recently and it is something our characters should do too. When they mess up (as they will), what makes them take stock? How do they turn things around? That is the story. That is what grips us as readers. pic.twitter.com/6lswuCXlqN— ACW (@ACW1971) May 5, 2023
Starting Conversation, by Allison Symes – Friday Flash Fiction https://t.co/RPL9cvjTit Pleased to be on FFF with Starting Conversation. The ACW Flash Fiction Group may recognise this as my response to a prompt I set recently! Thanks for the lovely comments on this tale already. pic.twitter.com/ca6KvTYMAL— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) May 5, 2023
Review: Spring Trio – The Chameleon Theatre Group https://t.co/ZTgNLF4yHt It is a joy to share my review for CFT this week. My lovely editor, Janet Williams, and I went to see the trio of plays just over a week ago and were thoroughly entertained by the mix of comedy and drama.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) May 5, 2023