All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes. A huge thank you to Jenny Sanders for supplying author, book, and other pictures for Part 1 of a great interview with her on Chandler’s Ford Today. I also share my latest Author Electric post about autumn and a fun tale (or should that be tail?) which is my latest offering on Friday Flash Fiction. Hope you have had a good week. Have had some nice autumn days here after a right wash-out earlier this week.
Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today – and Authors Electric
18th November 2022 – 1st Post – CFT
Not one but two blogs to share tonight. First up is Chandler’s Ford Today and I am delighted to welcome Jenny Sanders to the interviewee’s “chair” for Part 1 of a fabulous conversation. This week Jenny shares her lifelong love of books and stories and her earlier career in television (which in itself showed her a lot about putting stories together, a fabulous learning experience for any writer).
Jenny and I cross paths, writing wise, in a number of ways and that is shared here too. Next week she’ll be sharing more about her short story, devotional, and flash fiction writing (just one of many of those “crossed paths” for Jenny and I!).
18th November – 2nd post – Authors Electric
My second blog to share tonight is my monthly post on Authors Electric. Aptly, I talk about Autumnal Reading and Writing. I share my love of autumn, ask if you choose books according to season, and celebrate the one positive about the longer, darker evenings (in my part of the world at least). I find I get more writing and reading done! Do share your thoughts on the season and how it affects you reading and writing wise over on the AE comments box.
Now today was the kind of autumn day I love – dry, not too cold, sunny, and dry. (I mention that again as on Tuesday Lady and I were anything but dry for a lot of the day!).
Looking forward to sharing Part 1 of a fabulous interview with Jenny Sanders on Chandler’s Ford Today. Link up tomorrow. See above.
I’ll be interviewing other authors well into December too so do keep an eye out for these. I always learn a lot from author interviews I read and listen to so hope you do with these great posts coming up. (Many thanks to everyone taking part in them too).
I’ll also be sharing a lovely autumnal post on Authors Electric tomorrow so double bubble for Friday!
Am looking forward to the Bridge House Publishing event on 3rd December. (Hope to report back on that for CFT in due course and my January 2023 newsletter).
Writing Tip: People often talk abut focusing on the senses in fiction writing and it is a great idea but why not just pick one and focus your strory on that? If you decide to focus on hearing, for example, you can focus on what sounds mean the most to your lead character and why these matter. A piece of music could remind them of their lost love etc.
Lady was delighted to have a good old run-around with her best friend, the Rhodesian Ridgeback today. All before the weather closed in later so win-win there. I knew her pal was out because Lady tugged me most of the way to the park and she doesn’t do that for anyone else!
On Chandler’s Ford Today this week, I’ll be sharing Part 1 of an interview called Crossing Paths with Jenny Sanders. Jenny and I do cross writing paths a lot. More on that on Friday when the post goes live. She’ll also be talking about her writing life and her previous life in television. Looking forward to sharing that. See above (and Part 2 next week is also fab so stay tuned).
Friday is one of those days when I will have a second blog post up so I will have two Facebook posts up then. The other blog coming up is for Authors Electric and I’ll be talking about Autumnal Reading and Writing which is definitely topical in my part of the world! Again, see above. Every so often my various blogs “collide” and end up on one day!
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
I’m delighted to share my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction though maybe I should’ve written that as tail! Why? Because my new story is called Cat Chat. Hope you enjoy it, whether you own a cat (or any other pet) or not.
Have recently submitted a festive flash fiction piece – will report back it if gets anywhere. When I write flash, my starting point can be:-
1. Respond to a prompt (Flash NANO is brilliant here).
2. I know the mood of the story I want to write – humour, serious, crime etc.
3. I have a promising opening line (something I brainstormed previously) I now want to write up.
4. I have a promising closing line (again brainstormed ages ago) I now want to write up.
5. I want a stock of stories I can use for various competitions, including open theme ones so I will write something that could fit the categories I know interest me. I also write up stories I know could fit an open theme.
6. I can “hear” a character’s voice in my head and know I’ve got to write their story up.
7. Am responding to a challenge set by something I’ve used a random generator to create. Bear in mind I have no way of knowing in advance what will come up. What I can do is set parameters (and I have found generating a couple of things at a time works best for me).
8. Occasionally a writer friend will set a challenge and I respond to that. I have written a story called The Inside of a Ping Pong Ball based on that challenge. (Hello #WendyHJones!).
9. I have a promising title (again brainstormed earlier) I now want to do something with – and so I do.
10. Something catches my eye or ear when I’m out and about and I will think I’ve got to do something with that. I have used snippets of overheard conversation as a starting point for a story but done in such a way that the original speaker would never know.
11. Books of prompts (some of which I’ve contributed to in my time) are also handy.
12. Something I’ve read inspires me and triggers other ideas so I have to find out what my characters would do with them. I love the classic fairytales and they often inspire me to come up with humorous flash pieces.
Hope you have had a good day. Looking forward to having a go at today’s Flash NANO challenge later on this evening. Yesterday’s challenge was to cut a story in half and I’ve picked an old 2000 worder tale of mine. My goal will be to get that down to 1000, the top end of flash fiction. Can’t do that quickly though.
What I hope I will do is have it done by the end of the Flash NANO challenge on 30th November. I have done this kind of exercise before. It gets harder the more you have to cut down! Its advantage is it does make you get to the core of the story and focus on that.
Fairytales with Bite – Stories and Songs
Stories and songs have massive roles to play in most cultures so how would this work out in your fictional setting? What stories and songs would your characters enjoy? Equally which do they have to endure because it’s more than their life’s worth not to do so (and possibly literally there too)?
Are storytellers and bards etc respected? Are your society’s current generation of writers respected for what they do? Have modern stories and songs gone into popular culture and are expected to live on for other generations or are these “of the moment”?
Are there any restrictions on which stories and songs your characters are allowed to enjoy? If so, why are these restrictions in palce and who brought them in? Is there any kind of underground movement where people/beings of choice can enjoy these forbidden stories and songs?
Do you use the influence of the stories and songs you love to influence what your characters are likely to enjoy or do you go for the complete opposite here? Either could work!
This World and Others – Culture
Culture is a huge topic but how does your fictional world react to it? Is it proud of its culture or embarrassed by it? Does it look down on the cultures of others or use the best ideas from those other worlds to improve its own? History can often come into play in responses to culture. There can be elements of culture that are “covered up” or deliberately forgotten especially if it makes a country look dreadful. Is there anything your own world’s setting would deliberately not bring out in the open?
Also within the arts, are certain things appreciated more than others? For example, is anything audio-related more appreciated than visual media because your fictional species hear better than they see? What factors have led to your world having the culture it does? How has your world’s culture changed over time and what history has led to that happening? If you think about our own world, we can all think of, say, humour, that would have worked thirty years ago but definitely wouldn’t now.
I’m delighted to share my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction though maybe I should’ve written that as tail! Why? Because my new story is called Cat Chat. Hope you enjoy it, whether you own a cat (or any other pet) or not. https://t.co/E3QQujnfYh pic.twitter.com/kiqA4ssyYr— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) November 18, 2022
Crossing Paths with Jenny Sanders – Part 1 https://t.co/aShwiixB5U I'm delighted to welcome Jenny Sanders to the interviewee’s “seat” for Part 1 of a great talk. Jenny discusses her love of books and earlier career in television. She and I cross writing paths a lot – see post.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) November 18, 2022
Authors Electric: Autumnal Reading and Writing by Allison Symes https://t.co/Yg953cOscT I talk about Autumnal Reading and Writing for Authors Electric. I share my love of autumn and celebrate one positive about the longer, darker evenings. I get more writing and reading done!— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) November 18, 2022