All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Some images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing.
When the news is so grim, and the impact from words can be dreadful, we need stories more than ever, I think.
Facebook – General
Am delighted to share the link to the brand new edition of Mom’s Favorite Reads for March 2022. As ever the magazine is a wonderful mix of articles, photos, puzzles, and, of course, stories.
My column this time is called Random Generators and I share some of those I use regularly as well as share a story I created using one. As ever it was a joy to read the stories submitted on the the theme I used here. I’ll be sharing the topic for next time soon on the MFR Facebook page.
On a separate note, I was thrilled to see someone I know from the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School mention they were inspired by some of my 100 word flash pieces for Friday Flash Fiction and then submitted a piece themselves to the Swanwick newsletter.
Flash is great fun to write – and addictive too! There is always the challenge of can I write a story in 100 words, then 50 etc? And you find you’re never afraid of editing again, as thanks to the restricted word count, you do have to develop a robust attitude and not be afraid to wield the red pen.
One good thing about having the 29th as my slot for More Than Writers, the Association of Christian Writers blog spot, is that I get every three Februaries off! Am looking forward to blogging again on there next month.
Now I’ve been planning my In Fiction series for Chandler’s Ford Today for a while and this week I’m up to H. My topic is Human Behaviour In Fiction. It’s the kind of topic you could write a treatise about but I’m keeping it to one blog post.
And is it timely with all that is going on in the news? Possibly. It is odd sometimes how something you prepared becomes timely. It can sometimes happen with fiction too. Always sends a shiver down my spine when it happens to me.
Anyway, I’ll be looking at how human behaviour is both reflected in fiction and why it is the cause of fiction. Link up on Friday. Oh and I’ll be sending out my author newsletter tomorrow as well. Went out on 1st March but I share a link to the newsletter further down.
Am thrilled to be back on CafeLit once again with my story Delia’s Choices. This story is a result of the ten minute writing exercise set by #AnnmarieMiles at the last Association of Christian Writers Flash Group Zoom meeting. I set the name thanks to using a random name generator.
Those of us at the meeting all gave this exercise a go and shared the results. There was a lovely range of stories all based on one character called Delia. Writing to a set theme does produce varying results as we all have our individual author voices and those come through especially well when you’re all writing on the same topic. Hope you enjoy my effort here (and do let me know what you think of my Delia).
Many thanks for the comments coming in on Light of the Moon, my latest Friday Flash Fiction tale. Much appreciated.
I’ll be sending out my author newsletter again next week so if you would like to sign up for tips, stories, news etc., do head over to my landing page at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com – would be glad to see you.
A big hello to all who have joined since the last edition and many thanks to all who follow me here and on my website.
Now what is the most important thing about any character, regardless of genre, length of story etc?
For me, they have to be relatable whether these characters are human, animal,some odd alien species or what have you. There has to be something I can identify with (though I don’t necessarily have to agree with the character)
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Pleased to get my author newsletter out earlier today. Do take a look (see link at https://mailchi.mp/5955992ab501/allison-symes-march-2022-newsletter-heading-north-again). If you’d like to sign up head over to my landing page at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com.
And a big thank you to the lovely comments in on Blue Memories, my latest YouTube story.
It’s Monday. It’s story time. Hope you enjoy Blue Memories, my new YouTube video. I’ve taken a random object, a blue hanky, and based my tale around it. I’ve done the same for the one I hope will appear on Friday Flash Fiction later in the week. The moods of the two stories are different too. It’s good to mix the moods up and I am relishing getting two ideas out of one randomly generated item.
Flash fiction is the ultimate in the quick read but that doesn’t mean the stories are quick to write. I can get a first draft down in minutes (especially for the 50 to 100 word tales) but the crafting takes much longer. And for me a story isn’t written until it is fully edited and “out there”.
With the limited word count, I am always asking have I really expressed this in the best way possible? Is it better to have extra word count here because it gives more depth to a character and/or moves the story along, and if so (and the answer to this is nearly always yes), what do I cut elsewhere?
Equally do I accept the story is better at 150 words rather than 100? Often the answer to that one is yes too. So all sorts of things come into play when I am putting the final version of the story together and that takes time – as it should do.
What I want is the most powerful story in terms of impact on a reader in the fewest possible words yet to have the best characterisation possible within that limit too. I don’t want much, do I?!
I read flash collections as well as write them, as it is important to read what is in your genre as well as reading widely from outside it. Firstly, it is important to support the industry I am in and, secondly, it helps me to see what is out there in terms of flash and that in turn encourages me to up my game. I also have come to love flash, as you know, so it makes sense to feed that love by reading it.
Goodreads Author Blog – Making an Impact with Words
One of the joys of stories and books is when the words flow, you have to keep turning the pages, and the language just hits you “right there” as it is so appropriate for the character or what have you. And the very best authors add words to the language too, Shakespeare being the obvious one there. There is more than one way to make an impact with words then – have some of your invented ones make it into the dictionaries!
As a flash fiction writer, with a maximum word count of 1000 words per story, I have to make an impact with words quickly. So anything that doesn’t add to my characterisation or moves the plot along gets cut out.
The joy of the novel is having a wonderful reading experience and looking back at that – reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time was a fantastic experience once I had finished the book. It was only by finishing it I could really appreciate the depth and scale of the work. For the short story and flash fiction formats, you get the “pay back” of impact that much quicker.
But the joy of reading widely, in whatever form or genre, is you take in words and their impact and you can learn from how other authors do this to improve your own works so other readers get the impact from your stories, your words.
liked Allison Symes's blog post: Making an Impact with Words https://t.co/dxRjRt4mt0 via @goodreads I look at how words can make impact via stories regardless of book length, how flash fiction writers like me must make that impact quickly, and the benefit of reading widely. pic.twitter.com/J7PnZ6owxo— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 26, 2022
CafeLitMagazine: Delia’s Choices https://t.co/VosRbpETP3 My latest on CafeLit is a result of a 10 minutes free writing exercise set by @amowriting (the lovely Annmarie Miles) at our ACW Flash Fiction Group Zoom meeting. I used a random name generator to set the name. Good fun! pic.twitter.com/m60fYNePtN— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 27, 2022
It’s Monday. It’s story time. Hope you enjoy Blue Memories, my new YouTube video. I’ve taken a random object, a blue hanky, and based my tale around it. https://t.co/Z7K76tjjAD— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 28, 2022
Am delighted to share the link to Mom’s Favorite Reads for March 2022. The magazine is a wonderful mix of articles, photos, puzzles and stories. My column is on Random Generators. I share some I use regularly and share a story I created using one. https://t.co/Hyrtt3eufy— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) March 1, 2022