BEING CREATIVE

There’s a definite theme tonight!  (Sometimes I don’t plan that, a theme emerges from the different things I’m writing but this theme was planned and is inspired by my wondering if, when you’ve been creating works such as stories for some time, do you still appreciate the joy of doing so?  Anyway, more to follow).

Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today

This week’s Chandler’s Ford Today post talks about creativity being good for you. It is too!

Being creative has proven health benefits (mentally and physically) and my post talks about that and why creativity is a wonderful thing.

I do sometimes wonder if we appreciate it enough at times (which is my inspiration for writing this post). Whether you bake cakes, write stories, play music or what have you, if you have been doing this for a long time, can you end up taking the joy of creating these things for granted?

I think so and I hope my post helps to give us all a renewed sense of enjoyment about what we do creatively.

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Facebook – General

My CFT post this week will be on the theme of creativity being good for you. And it is – mentally and physically. I feel much better once I’ve completed something creative during the day – whether it is flash fiction, a Facebook post (😀), or baking a cake.

The nice thing about creativity is anyone can join in and you can find your own level where you want to be. For those wanting to develop creative skills further, there are courses, online as well as the traditional evening classes/OU etc. I’ve found that though my major creative interest is in writing, I have a greater appreciation of all of the arts, music especially.

I also think if you are involved in one art form, you have an appreciation of the hard work that goes unseen behind others. I learned years ago that if a piece of writing looks easy to read then you can bet that author worked their socks off to get it to that point. (Other hosiery accessories are available!).

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Facebook – General

What is the most helpful aspect of a book review? To be fair, there is more than one! There is obviously the publicity aspect but when people have said what they liked, or what they felt didn’t work so well, that has been what I’ve found most useful to know.

Okay nobody is going to please all of the people all of the time and there are many sound reasons not to even try doing that, but a general consensus does mean you are on the right lines (or not, as the case may be!).

Incidentally I can vouch for the fact Dawn, Paula and I do all appreciate the reviews we have had for books where our stories have appeared!

Paula Readman, Dawn Kentish Knox and Allison Symes and books - with kind permission from Paula Readman - Copy

Paula Readman, Dawn Knox and I at the recent Bridge House celebration event. Many thanks to Paula for the image.

Such appropriate decor for the Bridge House event in a pub room

This was part of the pub decor at the place where Bridge House had their event. Very apt! Image by Allison Symes

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At the back are some of the other books I’ve appeared in. Image by Allison Symes

Facebook – General

Am currently listening to the wonderful Planet Suite by Gustav Holst on Classic FM. Each piece of music within the suite tells its own story. (My favourite piece is Jupiter, the bringer of jollity. It also contains what many will know as the hymn tune for I Vow To Thee, My Country).

Holst used music to convey his thoughts. Writers of course use words. But the way you put them together (and the order) makes a huge difference to meaning. So are your words having the impact you actually mean them to have? Of course, this aspect can be “sent up” for comedic effect (hence the pun, the innuendo etc) but it is true you do have to know the rules before you break them!

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

Why does editing always take longer than you think it will? Answers on the back of a postcard… Seriously though, I do give myself plenty of time for this and it STILL takes longer than anticipated. I think there must be an unknown Murphy’s Law for Writers happening here. Talking of which:-

1. You tell people you’re a writer, they suddenly need a pen for something, and you cannot find one on you for love or money. Cue one embarrassed writer!

2. Your printer cartridge always runs out halfway through the printing of the story or book you are desperate to get out to your publisher.

3. You know you have more printer cartridges, you remember ordering them, but you filed them somewhere safe and now cannot remember where that place is!

4. You have a power cut just as you are getting to the end of your story and you forgot to back up so you lose what you’ve just written and have to start again from where you HAD last backed up. You discover you have words in your vocabulary you make a mental note NOT to use in front of the vicar when they next call in.

Guess which of these have happened to me!

Contributions to the Murphy’s Law List for Writers very welcome!

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

What is your favourite way to start a story? I must admit I don’t have one single way. And so much depends on whether I’m writing flash fiction or a standard length short story.

I am very fond of being right inside my main character’s head from the start. I like to think of this as hitting the ground running.

I also like to start with a brief sentence or two scene setting. Using a time as part of this can be handy as if the opening line says it is 4 am in mid-summer, you’ve got an immediate image of light levels, whether it is likely to be warm or not and so on. Setting place names can be great too. Mid-summer in the UK is vastly different to mid-summer in Australia, say.

I always look for the words that give me the strongest images whichever way I start though. It saves on word count and has the greater impact on your reader.

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

I sometimes use the opening line in a short story competition to inspire my flash fiction. (Sometimes I write up the short story and enter the competition!).

It can be an interesting challenge to see what you can do with an opening line meant to generate a 1500-words short story and see if you can make it work for a tale of under 1000 words (and in my case usually around the 100-words mark).

I must admit I much prefer opening lines competitions to those where you have to finish with a certain line. I think there is more freedom in taking an opening line and running with it rather than being told where you have to stop!

What competitions do you prefer?

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

The challenge of writing a complete story in the shortest number of words is not a new one but it does make you increase your vocabulary. (As a flash fiction writer, you will always be on the lookout for those words that can convey stronger meanings than others or can convey more than one meaning. Saves on the word count (!) and the rightly chosen words will give your story a more powerful impact).

Does that mean you’ll never write longer fiction again? Not a bit of it but working to a tight word count helps develop your editing skills and that is always useful, regardless of what you write.

Goodreads Author Programme – Blog

I have too many favourite characters to name them individually, as I expect is the case with most of us, but I do like particular types.

My overall favourite is the unexpected hero. Think Bilbo and Frodo Baggins! I admit being on the short side myself, I probably was always going to favour the idea of a hobbit as a hero!

I also love those characters who suffer injustice but win through in the end. That covers everything from Cinderella to the Prisoner of Azkaban to The Man In the Iron Mask.

I don’t have a problem with talking animals in stories as long as they make sense! Ideally, I prefer it when the animals know more of what is going on in the story than the hero does. (Hello, Puss in Boots!).

Characters have got to be appropriate to the fictional world in which they’re set so hobbits could only be in a fantasy world. Mind, if I had to live anywhere in fiction, I can think of far worse places than The Shire. (Mordor, for one!).

So what are your favourite character types and why?

 

Fairytales with Bite – Appreciating What You Do

My Chandler’s Ford Today post this week looks at why creativity is good for you and it was inspired by my wondering whether when you’ve been creating, say, stories for some time, do you still appreciate what you do as much as perhaps you should?

I think it is easy to take the joy of creating anything for granted and I hope this post encourages all of us to take a fresh look at what we do creatively and almost, if you like, fall in love with it all over again.

I also think it is a good thing for writers to be open to trying different forms of writing.  It flexes your writing muscles, you may well discover a form you become addicted to (in my case, I found flash fiction or maybe it was a case of flash fiction finding me!), and you get to find out what you really want to write.

It also means when successes come your way, no matter how large or small, you appreciate those more too and that can never be a bad thing.  One way of appreciating what you do is read your work out.  If you are gripped by the tale, others will be too.  Images below were taken by me and are from the Bridge House celebration event.  The range of stories read out was great.  I took part too.

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Gill James reading from her January Stones collection. Image by Allison Symes

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Dawn Knox reading some of her flash fiction. Image by Allison Symes

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Margaret Bullyment read a wonderful justice story at the Bridge House event in December. Image by Allison Symes

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Robin Wrigley read a poignant, character driven story. Image by Allison Symes

Lovely having an appreciative audience, pic taken by Dawn Kentish Knox

I read three stories from From Light to Dark and Back Again. Many thanks to Dawn Kentish Knox for the picture!

This World and Others – Enjoying the Creative Process

My latest Chandler’s Ford Today post takes a look at why being creative is beneficial (and for science as well as the arts too).

I think it is vital to enjoy the creative process to get the most from it.  That doesn’t mean it won’t be difficult at times.  You will feel like swearing (and may do so!) when the words don’t seem to flow so easily as they usually do, but if, generally, you love what you do as you create your characters and stories, then you can know you’re on the right lines. That love will keep you going (along with support from other writers whether that’s online or in a good wriitng group) throughout those tougher times and the inevitable rejections we all collect as if they were going out of fashion.  The one great thing is I can’t think of any writer who hasn’t felt in need of that support at times.  You are definitely not the only one!

It is difficult to say what my favourite part of the creative process is but I do feel elated when I know I’ve got a character right.  I know then that what I get them to say or do is right for them, and their story will flow much more easily as I am writing from deep knowledge of who and what and why they are the characters they are. I also think that will come through in the writing itself and make for a better read for future readers.  I also feel elated when I’ve got a first draft down as I know I’ve got something to work with then (and it can only get better!  All first drafts need work, even Shakespeare’s would have done!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF BOOK LAUNCHES AND REALITY OF FAIRYTALES

A nice mix of posts tonight I think!

Facebook/Chandler’s Ford Today

I have to smile. I am being invited to add myself to the “Allison Symes” Team. Err… Facebook, I AM Allison Symes and I AM the team. Me and… well that’s it! Oh well, perhaps this is something I need to aspire to – to have people, other than me, to add on to the said team? This could take some time…

Meanwhile, my latest Chandler’s Ford Today post shares my thoughts on why book launches are important to an author and Anne Wan’s report on her most recent one at Waterstones in Southampton. I suspect most writers, published or not, will identify with this but comments would be welcome via the CFT comments box.

Anne writes the children’s series Secrets of the Snow Globe and has just launched her second book, I had hoped to get to Anne’s launch but couldn’t in the end so this is a bit of a strange post in that I’m sharing a launch I didn’t go to! Anne’s report only made me wish I HAD been able to go (which is a sign of a good launch if ever there was one).

Anne is on the left in the image with her illustrator, Dawn Larder, on the right. Dawn came back from Spain to be at Anne’s launch. Now there’s commitment for you!

Image Credit:  All images in my CFT post tonight were kindly supplied by Anne Wan.

Shooting Star - Feature Image - Anne Wan Book Launch at Waterstones 2017

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

I’ve discovered, thanks to the smartphone, there is no such thing as dead time.

I had to take my car into the main dealer today and while I was waiting for the necessary works to be carried out, I was happily writing away on the said phone (I’m becoming used to the stylus now!) and have drafted another story for my follow-up book to FLTDBA.

I didn’t manage to complete the story but I am almost there on it and I know where I’m going with it. (It will be one of my longer flash pieces too). This is where technology comes into its own. I was also pleased to be able to email what I’d written back to myself for an instant back-up. So even time waiting for a garage fix can be put to good use!

Stories can be created and read on just about any modern device - image via Pixabay

Stories can be created on almost any device.  Image via Pixabay

Goodreads Blog

I talk about the joys of non-fiction this week.

Much as I love reading a wide range of fiction, I must admit it has been my tastes in non-fiction that have expanded in recent years.I am reading more history now than before and loving it. Ironically perhaps, reading more straight history, so to speak, has made me appreciate historical fiction more.

I am reading more history now than before and loving it. Ironically perhaps, reading more straight history, so to speak, has made me appreciate historical fiction more.I think it makes it easier to see or guess at the depth of research a historical fiction author has to do to be able to set the scenes of their “world” properly and to carry their readers with them. Get one historical detail wrong and that whole world could crash.

I think it makes it easier to see or guess at the depth of research a historical fiction author has to do to be able to set the scenes of their “world” properly and to carry their readers with them. Get one historical detail wrong and that whole world could crash.This is the big advantage of fiction, of course. You can and do totally make it up! But set a story in a known historical setting or with known historical people, then the details must be authentic.

This is the big advantage of fiction, of course. You can and do totally make it up! But set a story in a known historical setting or with known historical people, then the details must be authentic.

I like the fact that non-fiction has been, in recent years, using more of the techniques in fiction to catch readers’ imaginations. Non-fiction should never be a deadly dull list of dates and facts.

Good non-fiction opens up the world it is written about and makes it real to the reader. This is very similar to a fiction writer portraying characters the ready can really identify with. Catching the imagination is vital whatever genre you write in then.

Personal history can often be found in things like old exercise books, which in turn reveal things about political history and how much people knew at the time. Image via Pixabay.

Personal history can often be found in things like old exercise books, which in turn reveal things about political history and how much people knew at the time. Image via Pixabay.

Fairytales with Bite

I look at the reality behind fairytales for this week’s post.

Can there be reality behind fairytales?  I think so.

Writers are always advised to write about what you know (which can be difficult for authors of sci-fi, horror and fantasy in particular when you stop and think about it!  We are inventing new worlds. How can we possibly “know” something that does not exist except on our pages?  I suppose the what we know here is knowing in good enough detail the world we’ve created and inventing characters readers can identify with.  Knowledge of human nature is crucial here).

But there is reality in fairytales.  Not just of character types.  Whatever world you write about, characteristics do not change much.  There will always be those who lust for power, the oppressed, those who fight back, those who go on seemingly impossible quests because they have to save something/someone and this is the only way to do it and so on.  (Great stories come from the last category alone, think The Lord of the Rings to name but one).

When I think of a realistic fairytale, my mind nearly always turns to Hans Christen Andersen’s The Little Match Girl.  Definitely not one of his cheerier tales but, without giving too much away, to be able to write this as well as he did, he had to know something of poverty (which he did) and I strongly suspect he actually saw real match girls which inspired this tale.  To me this story is a barely disguised report on something he saw and his underlying jibe at people being allowed to suffer like this girl did is as hardhitting now as it would have been when he first wrote the tale.

Often with fairytales it is the message behind them that is the realistic bit.  I think this is why fairytales have always resonated with people and always will.

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There can be reality behind fairytales. Image via Pixabay (and image used as part of book trailer for From Light to Dark and Back Again)

 

This World and Others

I talk about being well prepared for this week’s post (and I was!).

The importance of good preparation is something that comes up in my Chandler’s Ford Today post tonight where I talk about book launches and share a report from a recent one by children’s author, Anne Wan.

Does this mean you should never write “off the cuff”?  Funnily enough, no.

I have brainstorming sessions every so often which I find incredibly useful for producing potential ideas for future stories and blog posts.  There is no planning or preparation for this whatsoever.

This is unlike everything else I write though. I do sketch out a structure for the articles I write. I have my beginning, middle and end in mind before I start writing.

I outline my stories (sometimes in lots of detail, others with “broad brush strokes” and yes I’ve done this for my flash fiction work too!).

I find this kind of preparation, whether it is for fiction or non-fiction, helps me produce more work, not less. I think it helps me write more efficiently when it comes to producing the actual piece.  This blog post, for instance, I knew I would share something of how I work as a “peg” to hang the rest the piece from.  And that to me seems a good place to end this other than to say comments on how you work, what preparation you find useful etc would be most welcome.

Have a good writing week!

 

Writing first, editing later but both needed - image via Pixabay

Writing first and editing later but good preparation makes an enormous difference to your progress on either.  Being prepared with a good beverage is ALWAYS a good idea!  Image via Pixabay.

 

Book Reviews – From Light to Dark and Back Again

May I take this chance to say a very big thanks to all who’ve reviewed my book so far in either paperback or Kindle format.  Whether it’s a one-line or a one paragraph review, they are all much appreciated! The link takes you to the Amazon page showing both formats.  I am also pleased I now have my copies of The Best of Cafelit 6 where I have a flash story but I’ll share more on this on my next post.  This week has been busy but enjoyable, writing wise.

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WHAT FASCINATES ME ABOUT GENRE FICTION

What I Find Fascinating about Genre Fiction

What I find fascinating about the different genres in fiction are the different ways in which they appeal to different people.

Why is crime always such a big seller? People want to see justice done, are fascinated by what makes others turn to crime, have become a fan of the detective or whoever is the hero of the novel they’re reading and wants to read the latest adventure and also to solve the puzzle that the crime story sets. (Of course, most readers have more than one reason for loving a certain type of story. I know I do).

As for historical fiction, for me, the big appeal is looking at viewpoints you might not have thought about before and also to work out what could have happened in situations where there is no definite conclusion. (What actually happened to the Princes in the Tower is the obvious one here. Were they killed? Were they smuggled out of the country? Why was Henry VII so worried about Perkin Warbeck? You can have lots of fun writing books that try to answer questions like that. You don’t need to be right even. What you do need to be is accurate with the proven history and make a good case for the solution you are coming up with).

So what do you like to read and why? (I love to read outside my normal genre for writing in, which is healthy, I think).

Writer at work. Image via Pixabay.

Writer at work. Image via Pixabay.

Chandler’s Ford Today

My comments above tie in nicely with this week’s Chandler’s Ford Today post where I interview Gill James about her historical fiction, The House on Schellberg Street.  More details tomorrow.

Personal history can often be found in things like old exercise books, which in turn reveal things about political history and how much people knew at the time.  Image via Pixabay.

Personal history can often be found in things like old exercise books, which in turn reveal things about political history and how much people knew at the time. Image via Pixabay.

From Light to Dark and Back Again – Reviews

Many thanks to all who have left reviews for From Light to Dark and Back Again (Kindle or paperback versions). One example is below but all are much appreciated.

Feedback, negative or positive, is vital for any writer. We learn from mistakes. We learn we can’t please all of the people all of the time! It is also confirmation you are reaching out to readers (hopefully in a good way).

What you can glean from reviews is the general consensus, which can be incredibly useful in thinking about who your Ideal Reader is likely to be, which in turn helps you to write more effectively for that mythical creation.

I wrote a piece a while ago about book reviews (and why they matter) on Chandler’s Ford Today.  I share the link here.  See what you think.  The great thing with a review is it doesn’t have to be long but does give at least one clear reason as to why you liked something or didn’t.  Help an author – review them!

 

“This is a quirky collection of flash fiction: from malevolent fairies to gritty contemporary dramas and bite-size funny stories. I like the way Allison is playful with words and gives a fresh slant to traditional tales. A very enjoyable read.”

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The wonderful world of stories... Image via Pixabay.

FAIRYTALE CHARACTER TRAITS

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In A to Z of Character Creation Part 4, I cover the letters I, J and K.  I look at whether your characters have imagination, can they think on their feet or do they need to stop and plan everything out.  (The latter type always have contingency plans too – and OCD is not unknown to them either!).   For J, I look at justice.  Do your characters care about it with a passion or only when the lack of justice directly affects them?  For K, I look at Kudos and ask if your characters have any!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Fairytale Character Traits is one of those posts where I could have gone on at some legnth.  I limited this post to three items and looked at how villains are always bad tempered and impatient (this usually leads to their downfall) and why it is vital your heroic characters always treat people decently.  Powerful wizards etc have a habit of disguising themselves as much older people to test your characters so your characters should be ready to pass that test!  I also look at there being a clear cut good and bad guy – the fairytales always seem to cry out for this – but that doesn’t mean your good guy is squeaky clean.  People should also be able to see where the villain comes from,  and even sympathize, while at the same time still root for the hero to win.

FACEBOOK – GENERAL

I look at writing in the first and third persons for flash and short stories tonight.

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FACEBOOK – FROM LIGHT TO DARK AND BACK AGAIN

I discuss reviews tonight and thank all those who’ve reviewed my book so more.  More reviews always welcome incidentally!  I also talk a little on why they matter and that I use reviews myself to gauge opinion on a wide variety of things including books.  They really do help.

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…. and welcome reviews!  (Along with every other author on the planet but reviews, even one liners, really do help.  Support your local writer, review them!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIVING IN A MAGICAL WORLD PART 1

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Welcome to the start of a new mini-series from me – Living in a Magical WorldPart I looks at a wide variety of pointers including the advisability (or otherwise) of showing off, where to buy magical equipment and to always beware of mysterious old ladies turning up, offering you bright red, shiny apples and the like.  For the visitor to the magical world, this information could be a life saver!  More tomorrow…

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

A longer post than normal from me to make up for being absent the last day or so!  Why I Write and What I love and loathe about it, again, is one of my titles that sums up the post.  What do you love and loathe about writing?  Comments welcome…

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY/FACEBOOK PAGE – GENERAL

My latest Chandler’s Ford Today post is based on a writing exercise I was set at Swanwick Summer Writers’ School last year.  Advice to my 20-Year-Old Self shares what I would tell my younger self if I could.  The first thing I thought of was to lighten up!  What would you tell your younger self?

FACEBOOK PAGE – FROM LIGHT TO DARK AND BACK AGAIN

I’ve shared a couple of posts on here tonight.  One shares my thoughts on reviews.  See what you think.

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In a second post, I share what I most like about writing stories.

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Just a note to say the Kindle version of the book is currently at 99p but the price will be going up soon.  About 50 stories for under £1 – what a bargain!  AND you can have a free taster too as one of my 100 word stories in the book appears in the book trailer.

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A very proud moment, one all writers of fiction dream of - holding the first copy of your own book. Image by Adrian Symes.

LAUNCHING YOUR DREAM!

CYBERLAUNCH NEWS:  FROM LIGHT TO DARK AND BACK AGAIN/FACEBOOK PAGE

On 1st April 2017, a long held dream of mine came true.  Chapeltown Books and Cafelit (with me as co-host) launched From Light to Dark and Back Again online.  The event was huge fun and I must say a big thank you to my lovely publishers and to all who came and supported the event.  I shared writing tips, how I got into writing flash fiction at all, and I loved the virtual food and drink aspect to this.  (It’s just as well pixels don’t contain calories!).   I share here the link to the book’s page on Fairytales With Bite where I share interview links and other information, which I hope you enjoy.

What I do know is persistence, learning how to improve your work (by submitting it, getting feedback and reacting to that in the right way), as well as being open to publishing possibilities you might not have initially considered are all key.  I learned a lot from today’s event and hope to write a future Chandler’s Ford Today post about it.  But today was lovely and I am looking forward to sending out the prizes to the winners of my quiz and raffle.  That really is one of the loveliest things about the writing life:  getting to do things like this.  The launch was special for another reason too:  it marked my first ever full day spent as a professional writer!  I usually only get to do this when I go to conferences and so on.  Aside from becoming periodically annoyed when my internet connection slowed down for no obvious reason, the launch went perfectly.

Can I also add, on behalf of all writers, please write reviews, good, bad or indifferent ones but above all honest ones, for Amazon, Goodreads, writing blogs etc?  It really does help. Many thanks.

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In When Fairytales Come True, naturally I talk about my launch (my big news for ages!) but I also go on to discuss the importance of persistence, having beta readers have a look at your work and my thoughts on so often hearing the advice not to give up when all that was coming through the door were rejections.  Hope you find my thoughts here of use.  It is easy to think that publishing success won’t ever come to you but that can only happen if you stop writing or refuse to improve on your work where it needs it.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

In Cyberlaunch:  From Light to Dark and Back Again by Allison Symes, well no prizes for guessing the topic of conversation BUT I take the chance to publicly thank my publishers and to put the word out for the small independent presses in general.  They do increase the opportunities for writers to get their work out there and improve the variety of what is available in the book market.  But they need support and that is where we come in – as readers and buyers of books.

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Books make wonderful gifts. Image via Pixabay.

THE WAY FORWARD

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

The Way Forward looks at how our characters should know what their way forward is, even if they keep being frustrated in trying to achieve it by circumstances or other characters.  They need to keep finding their way forward.  It’s easy for a writer sometimes to feel a bit overwhelmed by the choices we can make for our characters which will turn the whole story.  And as for marketing work, there are so many options available, it can be difficult to find our personal way forward.  But our characters should know and be driven by the need to achieve it.  Are yours?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

I list three of my top thoughts in Favourite Things about WritingI deliberately limited this as it would have been too easy to write all night on this topic!  I love writing as it takes you out of yourself (really useful in times of stress), encourages reading (never a bad thing) and there is a strong sense of community in the writing world generally.  See what you think.  Comments as to what your top three favourite things about writing would be are very welcome.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

My post this time is Part 1 of an interview with local writer, Martin Kyrle, who along with photographer Michael Roberts, has produced Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway, a fascinating account of their experiences on an amazing railway journey.  (Amazing not always in a good way either!).  More tomorrow….

FACEBOOK PAGE

Glad to report there appear to be no issues tonight.  My author page is back up.  What happened yesterday when it vanished remains a mystery!  Tonight I am glad to share links to two wonderful reviews of From Light to Dark and Back Again by my Swanwick Summer School writing friends, Jennifer Wilson and Valerie Penny.

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Cyberlaunch Image

Would be delighted to have your company for all or part of my cyberlaunch for my debut flash fiction collection.  The launch is hosted by my publishers (Chapeltown Books are linked to both Bridge House Publishing and Cafelit.  Do visit their websites if you would be interested in submitting work to them).

 

 

 

One thing that has been true throughout history is the need for a good edit! Image via Pixabay

WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE…

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

When Push Comes to Shove looks at how your characters would act when under real pressure and why they would do so.  Are they driven by cowardice, heroism etc?  What would effectively come out from their subconscious when they are driven by fear etc?  Do your characters show signs of changes in their behaviour as their stress levels rise?  And, as writers, what do we do when push comes to shove?  What will we do to get our work out there?  Are we prepared for rewrite after rewrite to get it right?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Getting the Job Done opens with one of the best openings I’ve written I think.  See what you think, however!  I talk in the post about ways and means of achieving things.  I also talk about all writers having to fight the procrastination monster and to get on and get our work out there.

BOOK NEWS – FROM LIGHT TO DARK AND BACK AGAIN

Am delighted to share news reviews for my flash fiction collection are coming in for both the paperback and the Kindle version.  Many thanks to the reviewers.  Also the cyber launch will be on 1st April 2017 between 10 am and 6 pm UK time but all welcome.  There will be giveaways…! 

(In other news, I hope to produce my own monthly newsletter soon and once I’ve sorted things out will put on this site a sign up form.  I plan to share in this newsletter advance news and share extracts from work in progress (hopefully for the next flash fiction collection!) and things like some of my notes from my flash fiction workshop for those who sign up.

FACEBOOK NEWS

I talk about reviews tonight, as a result of having more reviews in for From Light to Dark and Back Again.  I talk about some of the difficulties of writing reviews (you want to say enough to make people want to know more but not give too much away for one thing).  I also share how I go about this when I write reviews for Chandler’s Ford Today.

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Well, what IS your story? Image via Pixabay.

How do you review stories without giving too much away?  I share some thoughts on my Facebook Author page. Image via Pixabay.

 

 

 

My debut flash fiction collection from Chapeltown Books

FAIRYTALE PROVERBS

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In Fairytale Proverbs I share what the magical world could have as some of its sensible sayings.  This includes “never cross a witch” (if you want to live) to “talking animals may well make more sense than you do” amongst others.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Life Lessons is my more serious post tonight in that I look at what lessons you characters have learned in their fictional life and how do these shape the way they act now.  I also ask about those characters who seemingly never do learn from their errors and wonder what it does take to bring them to their senses.  Also, experience should shape how a character acts and reacts.  Do yours react differently to the way they once might have done because they do know better now?

BOOK NEWS

Am delighted to share the links here to some wonderful reviews for From Light to Dark and Back Again in both paperback and Kindle formats.

I’ve also created a specific page within my Fairytales with Bite website for the book, which I hope to copy across to This World and Others before too long. I share all relevant links here.

Am also pleased to say the book is now on Writing Magazine’s Subscriber Showcase spot.

FACEBOOK PAGE

I’ve booked my two “big” writing events for this year – Winchester Writers’ Festival in June and Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in August – and am looking forward to them both.  I discuss in my post tonight a little about what I get from events like this.

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The wonderful world of stories... Image via Pixabay.

The wonderful world of stories… Image via Pixabay.