Making the Most of a Zoom Workshop

Image Credits:-
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. Hope you have had a good week. Mine has been very busy but am looking forward to being interviewed over the weekend via Skype. That will be fun. More to come on the results of that next week I hope.


Facebook – General and Chandler’s Ford Today

It’s Friday once again and time for my Chandler’s Ford Today post. This week I’m looking at Making the Most of a Zoom Workshop. I discuss the importance of preparation, rehearsing your material, and focus. I also look at mixing up your material (in terms of having text, pictures, other items so it is not one huge block of text if you’re using things like PowerPoint). Hope you find the post useful.

Making the Most of a Zoom Workshop

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I’ll be talking about Making the Most of a Zoom Workshop for Chandler’s Ford Today tomorrow. Link up then. See above.

Do I find it useful having a day of the week to stick to for my posts here? Oh yes. I can plan my writing week around it, which is useful. It also helps with my focus as I get my CFT post done and then work everything else around that.

Lovely to see everyone at the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group on Zoom last night. We were talking about the long and the short with regard to flash fiction. Lovely time had by all.

And the other lovely thing about Zoom? It’s a great word to get out in Scrabble if you can! I’ve only managed it once!

Chandler's Ford Today post reminder picture(1)

Hope you’ve had a good day. Now I’ve mentioned before I like to know my characters well enough to write their stories up. What matters here is working out what you need to know. This will vary from writer to writer. Some will need to know what a character looks like. I don’t.

I do need to know their traits (and from that I will often work out physical description though I must admit for a lot of my tales this aspect doesn’t matter much at all, I focus on attitude and action). I often ask my characters a few pertinent questions. You could also name some of the things they like/dislike and work out why they feel this way about these things. That is a great way to often get to the bottom of what makes someone tick.

May be an image of text that says "9.. Understanding what makes US tick is crucial for understanding what makes your characters tick."

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

It’s great to be back on Friday Flash Fiction with my tale Buzzing Around. This one has a sting in its tale, aptly.
Screenshot 2023-02-24 at 09-24-27 Buzzing Around by Allison Symes

When it comes to competitions (flash and short story ones), I like the open theme ones but my preference is for a set theme. Why? I find a set theme gets my brain whirring as to the different possibilities I could do with that theme. I also like to rise to the challenge of writing to that theme. What I do like the set theme to be is open to interpretation though.

I’ve just set a theme for the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group (and before you ask it is Things You Miss – have fun with this, I intend to!). I like a theme which I could take in different directions and yet still meet its requirements. The challenge there is to come up with something which stands out (which is why it is a good idea to write down ideas, at least six of them, before you pick one to write up. It will be the ones which are further down on your list which are likely to be unique).

May be an image of text that says "Jot down ideas based on a theme. Jot down several and discount the first two or three. Those will be the 'obvious" ideas."
I write my story first and then worry about the word count as a general rule. When I know I’m writing to a specific count for a specific market, I will often write my closing line first and then work backwards to get to the start. I also know now roughly what 100 words is going to look like on page or screen so I then focus on what I really have to get across to my reader for this tale.

May be an image of outdoors and text that says "Storytelling shows us so much about ourselves good and bad. It is also so therapeutic."

Fairytales with Bite – Calendars

I know I’d be lost without my calendar/diary. But do your characters take the same view? Does your fairy godmother book in her clients or does she turn up “on the fly”, so to speak? (I’m certain she did the latter for Cinderella – that poor kid had suffered for years before said fairy godmother deigned to turn up).

If your characters do plan their appointments, do they do this on the basis of magical urgency? I’ve often wondered what Cinder’s fairy godmother was getting up to before she did arrive – I suspect there are stories there!

How does your magical setting base its calendar – on a system similar to our own? If not, how do they organise their time structures – do they have days, weeks, months etc?

Also, can anyone book an appointment with a magical being in your setting? Or can only certain people qualify and what would be the criteria here?


This World and Others – Special Appointments

Special appointments could be a great honour. Equally they could be a sign your character is in real trouble. Who would make the special appointments and why? If you’re about to be summoned to see your world’s most powerful magical being, this may not be good news. Who could be on the receiving end of that and how have they ended up here? Could be comic potential here too.

But even the most powerful magical being will have a weakness somewhere – could they end up having a “special appointment” with someone who knows what this is and can exploit it?

Now here in the UK manufacturers can have a “By Royal Appointment” status otherwise known as the Royal Warrant. In your fictional world, is there an equivalent to that?

What special appointments would your characters welcome and which would they dread? Working that out can show you great insights as to what your characters are made of and where that comes from. All useful for characterisation.


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Screenshot 2023-02-24 at 21-11-57 Reader Hub Book Brush


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