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.
Getting colder again where I am but there are signs of spring about. I’ve seen my first daffodil out and even a very early crocus. My snowdrops have put in an appearance too. How would your characters think of emerging from spring in their lives? When something happens which uplifts them? Coming out of winter is cheering but you can take this metaphorically for fiction too.
Facebook – General
Pleased to say I am putting in an appearance on Gill James’ blog today where I talk about my contribution to Evergreen, the most recent anthology from Bridge House Publishing. Hope you enjoy it and many thanks, Gill, for inviting me on to your blog.
Am busy preparing a story for a competition. Hope to have that submitted soon. I will also be having a catch up interview soon too – more details nearer the time.
I write for a number of monthly blogs (and have a ball doing so too!) so pretty much with all of them, the moment I’ve put one to “bed” so to speak, I’m away drafting my piece for the following month. It gives me time to get something down, and then come back to it as I need to, and still have plenty of time for editing and submitting the blogs. It works for me!
I sometimes use the random question generators to trigger ideas for potential pieces here too – they can work for non-fiction too. When I have my brainstorming sessions for ideas for titles, blog posts etc, I am jotting down themes to explore. I then come back to these every so often and write up the ones I like most.
Many thanks for the comments coming in on The Milk, my latest story on Friday Flash Fiction. This is one of those tales I would put in the “wry smile of recognition” category as I suspect this has happened to most of us in our time. Hope you enjoy it. This one also definitely falls in the category of “write what you know”!
Hope you have had a good day. I’ll be chatting to YA author Richard Hardie, for Chandler’s Ford Today this coming week. Link up on Friday. Richard is also behind Authors Reach Limited. I hope to chat to other writers from that stable later in the year. Watch this space, as they say!
With the boot on the other foot so to speak, I’ve recently sent back my own answers to some excellent questions sent to me by Val Penny. More details on that nearer the time I am due to be on her website. It is always an interesting experience being both sides of the questions!
And don’t forget you can outline characters effectively by asking them a few questions too. Work out what you think you need to know. Interviewing your own creations is a good way to find out more about them. I’ve found by working out what I need to know I can then write my characters’ stories up convincingly precisely because I now know what they are and what they could be capable of doing when push comes to shove.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Delighted to say the February issue of Mom’s Favorite Reads is now available FREE to download on Amazon. See link to my Author Central page. Do check the magazine out – it is a wonderful read.
It’s Monday. It’s dark. It’s slowly getting lighter in the evenings – hooray – but for the moment it is still dark. It helps if you like spiders for my latest on YouTube – As Good As.
I sometimes write historically based flash fiction where I either take a character I’m interested in and have their flash story told from their point of view. I do this for Elizabeth of York in Not Knowing from Tripping the Flash Fantastic.
Sometimes I take an event and base my story around that, focusing on just one aspect to it, given I won’t have the word count room for anything else. Both approaches work and you could also write a story based on the viewpoint of someone connected to the historical character or event (a servant’s viewpoint for example).
It’s an interesting form to write in and I hope to do more of this. History is a wide field after all (and don’t forget there are other aspects to it such as scientific history so explore!). What does matter though is being true to the character and what is known.
If you’re going down the reasonable supposition route (as I have occasionally), there should still be plenty of historical fact around to show this is reasonable supposition based on what is known. If you’re going to change history in your fiction, you do have to make it clear from the outset this is alternative history, a “what if” kind of story, otherwise readers will feel cheated and that will switch them off.
Another thing flash fiction writing teaches you pretty early on is how to hit the ground running. You do have go straight into the action (even if that is revealing a thought in your character’s head). What it must be is intriguing enough so the reader will want to find out what happens. Now that’s the core factor for all fiction but it is even more crucial for flash. No time to waste. Straight in there. Job done.
Flash also teaches you how to end a story. You can’t witter on. The story has to end with some sort of “bang”. And that’s a good thing.
I keep in mind my Ideal Reader here. I always think how does this line serve the story? If it doesn’t, it’s out. I’m thinking of the impact I want my tale to have on my Ideal Reader as well.
It’s all about the focus!
Goodreads Author Blog – Light Fiction
What would you say light fiction was? It’s definitely nothing to do with the weight of the book, though I would advise against dropping the three volume paperback of The Lord of the Rings on your foot (to say nothing of the hardback!).
Light fiction isn’t necessarily anything to do with genre either. I have read cosy crime which I would consider to be “light” fiction because it has amused me, entertained me, but doesn’t pretend to send a great message out to the world at large.
I love reading books “just” for entertainment (though it is my experience the writers of said works have worked very hard to get to this point. If something looks effortless, it means someone somewhere has put in years of work to get to that point).
Jane Austen is rightly considered a classic author. The messages in her book are sbutle but she delivers them through entertaining stories. I don’t want a heavy, serious read. I read to unwind or to learn something and even there, non-fiction doesn’t have to be “heavy going” either. The best books here read like novels too and, for me, are far more likely to have readers keep turning the pages to find out more.
Being aware of your writing weaknesses is a good thing. One of my mine is writing conversational ping-pong! Great fun to do but unless it moves the story on, no dialogue (or anything else) should be in there. At least I know to look out for it. pic.twitter.com/FtenoxSZaB— ACW (@ACW1971) February 4, 2023
liked Allison Symes's blog post: Light Fiction https://t.co/aXqZtxKaPz via @goodreads I discuss what makes for light fiction for Goodreads this week.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 4, 2023
Think about what your character weaknesses are. How can these be exploited by others in your stories? How can your characters either overcome or manage these to try to avoid that exploitation? pic.twitter.com/YKcfmnbcCP— ACW (@ACW1971) February 5, 2023
Writers are often urged to play to their strengths but for our characters, we do need to know what they can be capable of – good or bad. This is why knowing character weaknesses as well as their strengths is important. A well rounded character has both. pic.twitter.com/FoKg0QR8X4— ACW (@ACW1971) February 6, 2023
It’s Monday. It’s dark. It’s slowly getting lighter in the evenings – hooray – but for the moment it is still dark. It helps if you like spiders for my latest on YouTube – As Good As.https://t.co/Q4Mz41smIk— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 6, 2023
Delighted to say the February issue of Mom’s Favorite Reads is now available FREE to download on Amazon. See link to my Author Central page below. Do check the magazine out – it is a wonderful read.https://t.co/TTiRp40EEI— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 7, 2023
Pleased to say I am putting in an appearance on @GillJames blog today where I talk about my contribution to Evergreen, the most recent anthology from Bridge House Publishing. Hope you enjoy it and many thanks, Gill, for inviting me on to your blog. https://t.co/tQBwzmYkpb— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 7, 2023
ALLISON SYMES – BOOK BRUSH READER HUB
MOM’S FAVORITE READS LINK – CHECK OUT THE MAGAZINE INCLUDING MY FLASH FICTION COLUMN HERE –