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.
Hope you had a good weekend, the last before Christmas. Have not finished my preparations for Christmas but am getting there!
Facebook – General
Hope you have had a good Tuesday. Am enjoying listening to the carol concerts on Classic FM as I write. Soothing and I can join in with the carols – win-win as I love a good sing. (Of course whether anyone else appreciates me having a good sing is a completely different matter!).
I’ll be taking a couple of days off over Christmas but there will be another blog round up on Christmas Eve. And my Chandler’s Ford Today post on Friday will be sharing some festive flash fiction. I will probably “pop up” over the period between Christmas and New Year but I don’t anticipate “normal service” being resumed until after 1st January. Whatever you do for Christmas, I hope it proves to be a blessed time for you.
I did manage to get a story submitted for the Writing Magazine Grand Flash Prize. There is still time to enter that one if you’re interested – deadline is 31st December.
There will be a Chandler’s Ford Today post on New Year’s Eve where I will be talking about Out with the Old?
I will take the chance to say a big thank you now to those authors I’ve interviewed for CFT over the last year. I very much hope there will be further interviews to come in 2022.
A big thanks for all the lovely comments coming in on All In the Blend, my latest story on Friday Flash Fiction. Much appreciated (and it gives me another excuse to have another read of the wonderful collection of tales on there so win-win!). It is good to be back writing the 100-worders regularly again.
What do I enjoy most? Usually on my draft, I end up at anything between 150 and 200 words initially. What I love is the honing and pruning to get the story to 100 words without losing anything of value. That is where the challenge lies and I find it to be great fun.
Hope you have had a good Sunday. Finally got my Christmas cake iced. Am very late on it this year but it looks good and I shall look forward to having some next Saturday!
Will be slowly winding down as we head towards Christmas but I will be sharing a festive flash fiction post on Chandler’s Ford Today on Christmas Eve. As well as including the link to listen again to the Three Minute Santas flash fiction special hosted by Hannah Kate yesterday, I will also share another story and talk about the delights of writing festive pieces. Hope it will prove to be a very positive note to go into Christmas with!
I plan to do my usual blog round-ups on Tuesday and Friday this week but that will be about it for a few days. Am looking forward to my usual Christmas story intake of favourite films and books too.
My next author newsletter will go out at some point on 1st January though I cannot promise it will be particularly early!
Delighted to share the first of two posts here tonight. It was a pleasure to have a festive flash piece on Three Minute Santas hosted by Hannah Kate on North Manchester FM. Wonderful to listen to the collection of stories on here. Great start to the 7 day countdown to Christmas! Link below is to the listen again service and the show is divided into two halves – first hour and second hour. I’m on during the first hour with my tale The Night Before Christmas.
I look at Book Products for my post on Authors Electric this month. I look at what I like here and what I loathe. I also share what I would like to see on the market including a gizmo for ensuring I never lose a notebook or pen again! Now that would be a best seller!
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
I like writing across the genres with my flash tales. It’s great fun and I see no reason to restrict myself here. The one restriction that counts for anything here is the 1000 word count limit for any individual flash story.
Given flash has to be character led, I may as well set my characters wherever and whenever I want and see what they come up with. This is where my love of reading over the years comes in as naturally that plays a major part in the kinds of story I love to read (and thus to go on and write myself as you write from the heart).
With my historical flash pieces, the one “conceit” I allow is in getting my characters to speak and think in a style of English we will understand. They are communicating their tales to us and it is a question of ensuring we understand them.
I also think using old English is a little like using accents and dialects in storytelling. You want a little of it to give a “flavour” of the era, perhaps, but not so much it “over-balances” the entire story. Nor do you want to make the story difficult to read (and Old English is difficult to read so again it makes sense to limit it!).
For my flash tales where my word count is restricted, every word has to work hard to justify its place to be in the story at all and, again, gives me a reason for not using old style language. It would, I feel, get in the way.
It’s Monday. It has been a long day. It’s story time then! Hope you enjoy my poignant festive tale, Getting By.
I’ve always sided with character in the character -v- plot debate as I’ve mentioned here before, but flash fiction writing has made that call even easier to make. Why?
Simply because I haven’t got the word count room to give lots of lovely description and intricate plot points. I have got to focus on what my character thinks says, and does – and I absolutely love doing that!
But this is precisely why I need to know my character well enough first and why I find a simple template invaluable in getting to know that character. Think of it as interviewing your character. You do want your character to “say” I do like this, I don’t like that because…
The interesting bit here will be in the because as it will be the reason given which will show you even more aspects to your character. I’ve found that makes it easier to write them and their stories up as a result.
It was a joy to be on the Hannah Kate show again today with my story The Night Before Christmas. I love the idea of a Three Minute Santas festive flash fiction special show. Flash works really well when read out and this show proves that.
The collection of stories is varied and each of them conjures up its own little world. I loved listening to it and I am all for things like this which promote flash and show what it can do and be. Perhaps flash comes into its own at this time of year when everyone is busy and reading might take a bit of a back seat for a while.
Well, you can still read/listen to flash! Hope you enjoy the stories on here.
Goodreads Author Blog – Books as Presents
I don’t know how many books are given as presents at Christmas but it must run into millions. Hardbacks, paperbacks, audio books, ebooks – a fabulous celebration of the written word, fictional and factual. I love that aspect. Yes, I’ve got books on my wish list this year – I always do – no surprises there.
I still have an annual (The Friendship Book which is still going strong after many decades and published by that marvellous publisher, D.C. Thomson of Dundee). I wonder how many kids got into reading thanks to having an annual every Christmas. Certainly they’re a great way to encourage reading.
Comics and comic books can serve the same purpose. Flash fiction, my genre, can do so too because these can tempt the reluctant reader in – you don’t have to read a brick of a novel (a) all at once and (b) as your way into reading. You cam start smaller and build up or read the brick a bit at a time.
The important thing is to read and I hope whatever book presents you receive this year, you have a fabulous time reading them!
Authors Electric: Book Products by Allison Symes https://t.co/mgFk0vhUjD My latest AE post looks at different book products, what I like, what I dislike etc. pic.twitter.com/oFZd8n8Vv0— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) December 18, 2021
liked Allison Symes's blog post: Books as Presents https://t.co/9aYeFTqUFE via @goodreads I discuss books as presents for Goodreads this week and the value of things like annuals for encouraging reading. Hope you enjoy. pic.twitter.com/raZV2Hobac— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) December 18, 2021
It’s Monday. It has been a long day. It’s story time then! Hope you enjoy my poignant festive tale, Getting By.https://t.co/wfonA35JlI— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) December 20, 2021