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 few days. Really nice to be into spring/early summer weather now. Lady has loved it. Not too hot either. Putting finishing touches to my author newsletter, which will be out on Thursday, 1st June. I do enjoy compiling these. I try to make my newsletter something I would like to receive if someone else had written it. I try to take the same view with my stories and blogs too. It means I’m keeping the reader in mind, always.
Facebook – General
Another glorious day. Lady got to show off in front of her Hungarian Vizler “mum” . Well, Lady treats heras a mum-like figure and always shows off in front of her! Quite sweet to see.
Posting early as out tonight but don’t forget my author newsletter is due out again on Thursday. If you would like news, tips, useful links etc (and especially around flash fiction), do sign up at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com
A big hello to those who signed up since last time and just as big a hello for those who have been with me for longer.
Delighted that Bridge House Publishing will be having a celebration event at the end of the year. Am planning on going. These events are always great fun and it is lovely to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Also looking forward to The Writers’ Summer School, Swanwick in August. I hope we get glorious weather for that. Am not expecting it for the BHP event given it is in December!
I’m back on More Than Writers, the blog spot of the Association of Christian Writers. I talk about Planning this time (and it does kind of tie in with my Chandler’s Ford Today post on outlining which I’ll share on Friday). Meantime, I hope you enjoy the MTW post and do decide if I need to be apologetic to Shakespeare or not!
I’ll be discussing To Outline or Not to Outline for Chandler’s Ford Today and will be looking at the advantages of doing so, plus acknowledging the disadvantages. I also share some thoughts on my approach to outlining and what I’ve found works for me. Link up on Friday.
I’ll be back on the More than Writers blog tomorrow (see above) and sending out my next author newsletter on Thursday. Can’t believe we’re almost at June.
Writing Tip: when you’ve read a book you love, why not jot down a couple of thoughts as to what especially gripped you about it? Almost certainly there will be pointers here you can then apply to your own writing. Oh and don’t forget about leaving a review in the usual places for the author, it all helps!
Hope you have had a good day. More glorious weather here. Lady has spent a lot time in the garden so I doubt we’ll see the deer back tonight. Lady’s scent will be everywhere!
Don’t forget if you want to go in for The Bridport Prize you’ve only got a couple of days left in which to do so – deadline is 31st May. There is a flash fiction category. Good luck if you are entering that or other writing competitions.
Writing for competitions does help you get used to writing to a deadline and a story of mine which didn’t get placed I’ve gone on to rework and have published elsewhere. Nothing is wasted. I’ve also found writing for competitions helps you develop the skill of looking at your story objectively during the editing process.
During that process, I ask myself what would the judge make of this? Are my characters making as much of an impact as I think they are? A break away – a decent one of at least a week – means you can come back to your work with fresh eyes. You’re more likely to spot weaknesses in the story doing that. If you think why did I write that, I could’ve expressed it much better, don’t despair. You’ve spotted what needs to be fixed.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Can research come into flash fiction given its brevity? Yes, it can and does.
If I’m writing a historical piece, I need to know what could be expected to be found in the setting, the level of education my character is likely to have, and so on. None of that appears in the story itself but it does mean I will portray the character accurately.
I do “allow” my characters to speak in relatively modern English as reading old English, even in small quantities, can be taxing. The idea here is we as readers have been given a way to understand them but everything my character comes up with is plausible for who they are and their times. That is the important bit.
An example of this is Not Knowing from Tripping the Flash Fantastic where Elizabeth of York shares her feelings about her future now Bosworth has happened. All of it is reasonable especially her realisation she has to focus on “now,” the now being 1485, just after the defeat of Richard III.
Many thanks for the comments coming in on Purple Haze, my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction. Do check it out here if you’ve missed it. (No teddy bears were harmed in the making of this story – now you have got to check it out, right?!).
Bonus Post – 29th May
Nearly forgot to do it – oops! I blame the Bank Holiday sunny weather getting to my brain but nonetheless it IS Monday, It is time for another story. Hope you enjoy my latest on YouTube – Reap What You Sew.
Hope you have had a good day. Am looking forward to taking part in a book fair near me in July. Great way to spread the word about flash fiction locally!
I often start my flash tales by working out the character I want to write about and which traits they have which have intrigued me enough to want to write their story up. I aim to justify every word I put in my fiction but I also want the characters to show me they’re worthy of being written up. I have to be intrigued by them first.
For me, character is the great driver here. A strong character can make all the difference to how successful a plot is. And when I think back to my favourite books and stories, it is nearly always the characters I remember so it pays to get them right.
With both of my collections, I wanted to mix up the mood and the genre of the stories in them. I wanted humorous, poignant, crime, fantasy etc. I love reading anthologies and collections and appreciate a good mix. I think a mixture adds to the strength of the book. Makes them perfect for dipping into as well. I also wanted characters in a good range of situations and that would have to mean those couldn’t always be funny or tragic ones either.
I also find after writing, say, a couple of funny pieces, I want a change of mood in which to write. But once I’ve written some sad or serious ones, I want to switch right back to writing the lighter stories again. Mind you, mixing up like this keeps me on my toes and that’s never a bad thing.
Goodreads Author Blog – Do You Change Your Favourite Book List?
I suspect you may well have a favourite book list. I do. But do you ever change what is on it?
I do so every now and then but it is mainly to add things to it! The nice thing about favourites is nobody has the right to specify you can only have so many. Even if they did, I’d ignore them!
What is nice is trying to keep a balance on my list of funny books, crime books, fiction, and non-fiction, and it is always a joy to discover a new favourite. Doesn’t mean you cherish the old favourites any the less either.
What is nice is having favourites to pick in the first place.
Of course if you read ebooks as well, you could have two favourite book lists – one for the Kindle as well as your print versions!
AMAZON AUTHOR CENTRAL – ALLISON SYMES
liked Allison Symes's blog post: Do You Change Your Favourite Book List? https://t.co/94sBZVnkyS via @goodreads Well, do you? I do sometimes. Find out how and why here. pic.twitter.com/jT1c4lGhn2— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) May 27, 2023
Many thanks for the comments coming in on Purple Haze, my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction. Do check it out here if you’ve missed it. (No teddy bears were harmed in the making of this story – now you have got to check it out, right?!).https://t.co/YDDWaEJncx pic.twitter.com/nS8ZDBJrkw— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) May 29, 2023
More than Writers: Planning by Allison Symes https://t.co/PNpj6Kid2l I talk about Planning for MTW (and it ties in with my Chandler’s Ford Today post on outlining which I’ll share on Friday). I hope you enjoy the post and decide if I need to be apologetic to Shakespeare or not! pic.twitter.com/fyUmiauPiX— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) May 29, 2023
Nearly forgot to do this – oops! I blame the Bank Holiday sunny weather getting to my brain but nonetheless it IS Monday, It is time for another story. Hope you enjoy my latest on YouTube – Reap What You Sew.https://t.co/Oso1h0TD6k— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) May 29, 2023