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. Very busy one for me. Not sorry the weekend is almost here as I share this. Looking forward to visiting a local pantomime and winding down on Sunday, I hope.
Facebook – General and Chandler’s Ford Today
Delighted to share Classic Stories, my post for Chandler’s Ford Today this week. I look at what I think makes a story qualify as being a classic and share some of my favourites. I also take a peek at inspirational stories (which so often go on to become classics) and what we can learn from classic tales. Hope you enjoy and do share some of your classics in the comments box.
Looking forward to sharing Classic Stories, my latest post for Chandler’s Ford Today. Link to go up tomorrow. Heading off to the local panto on Saturday – oh yes I am! Will review in due course for CFT. Looking forward to seeing what The Chameleon Theatre Group “do” with Pinocchio – I do know it will be a lot of fun!
When you’re thinking of characters for your stories, where do you start? I often look at major traits as they are a great way in to find out what you need to know. If someone is honest, they can also be tactless (just how honest is honest?!). And that just names one example. Also you can use traits like this to set up characters who have the exact opposite trait and really set the fireworks going here as the two characters will inevitably clash.
Don’t forget my author newsletter goes out on the first of the month so do head over to my landing page at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com if you would like to sign up. And a big welcome to those who have joined up since last time.
Hope you have had a good day. I was chatting earlier today about favourite characters (of my own and those of other authors) and I picked one of each. It was hard to pick just one. I love a whole range of characters in literature and so much depends on what I feel like reading. If I’m in the mood for a crime novel, one of my favourite characters will be in one of those books somewhere! If I’m up for humorous fantasy, as I so often am, well it’s Sam Vimes from the much missed Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series all the way here. So how would you make a selection here?
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Pleased to be back on Friday Flash Fiction with my latest tale, Why Now? Find out why my character, Bella, really dislikes government inspections. Hope you enjoy.
On a separate note, I did enjoy receiving the latest delivery of my two flash fiction collections today – From Light to Dark and Back Again and Tripping the Flash Fantastic – to replenish my stocks. Always lovely opening parcels like that!
Had a lovely time at the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction group last night (25th January 2023) on Zoom. Got chatting about favourites – tips, word counts etc and also at some of the downsides of favourites. I deliberately mix up the random generators I use for example so I am not just confined to using a couple of them. Also stretching myself by trying something new here has helped me find stories I would never have written otherwise and I like that too.
One of the lovely things about flash fiction is I get to invent characters all the time. Sometimes I use a character in more than one flash tale and that’s fine too. But I have always loved inventing my own people and given flash has to be character led, (no room for convoluted plots etc), I get to create lots of different people (and other beings) and put them in interesting situations, sometimes funny, sometimes anything but. It is a joyous thing to do and yet another reason to heartily recommend giving flash fiction writing a go.
Fairytales With Bite – Themes from the Pantomimes
I will be going to see my local amateur theatre’s production of Pinocchio soon and this led to my thinking about the themes behind so many of the pantomimes, which in turn often come from the classic fairytales.
Pinocchio – theme of acceptance.
The Ugly Duckling – also has the theme of acceptance but I would add in a second theme of not judging someone by their looks.
Beauty and the Beast – Love conquers all, don’t judge by appearances and, for the Beast, this is particularly true given he was cursed by an old woman he insulted, not realising she was a powerful magical being. Third theme here: don’t misjudge older characters!
Cinderella – Love conquers all/right will be done eventually (though I would still be cross with the fairy godmother for turning up so late if I was Cinders. She could’ve done with help much earlier on in the story!).
Aladdin – Theme of rough diamond winning through, also of not letting setbacks get in the way.
Puss in Boots – Cats are smarter than you think!
This World and Others – Entertainment
Often going to see a pantomime is someone’s first experience of live theatre and that’s a great thing as it encourages going again to see other pantomimes before going on to try other forms of theatrical entertainment. I’ve found National Theatre Live a great way to discover Shakespeare but my early experiences of theatre were the pantomimes.
In your fictional setting, which forms of entertainment exist? Is the government here a big believer in the “bread and circuses” policy adopted by the Romans who thought, as long as people had those things, they wouldn’t cause trouble? Does it work in your setting?
How long have these entertainments been on offer and have they developed from something even further back in time for your world? Are there forms of entertainment which would not be tolerated in any circumstances? Are there forms of prescribed entertainment your characters have to go to, regardless of their own feelings in the matter? Are there underground/fringe entertainments?
Now I am very glad that things like bear baiting no longer exist in my part of the world but this was part of my country’s history for a very long while. So how does your fictional setting decide which entertainment should not happen any more and what are the driving forces behind this?
Do your characters make their living in the entertainment industry?> Is this well regarded or not and how do your characters feel about it? There are story ideas here!
Why Now? by Allison Symes – Friday Flash Fiction https://t.co/PHIhHfSoxY Pleased to be back on Friday Flash Fiction with my latest tale, Why Now? Find out why my character, Bella, really dislikes government inspections. Hope you enjoy. pic.twitter.com/jVyz8STX91— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) January 27, 2023
Classic Stories https://t.co/S1NRXEWCd6 Pleased to share Classic Stories, my CFT post. I look at what makes a story qualify as a classic and share some favourites. I take a peek at inspirational stories (which often become classics) and what we can learn from classic tales.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) January 27, 2023
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