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.
Think my title for this post is a cracker – it’s not your usual combo! Hope you’ve had a good weekend and early start to this week. My weekend took in all the fun and chaos of pantomime which was great. Oh yes, it was!
(For those who don’t know the pantomime tradition the “oh yes, he is” and the “oh no, he isn’t” etc etc is a staple ingredient of ALL pantomimes, which are always based on the classic fairytales. This gives me another reason to love them. It is one of the few times an audience is expected to shout at the actors on the stage and where it is welcomed!).
Facebook – General
Hope you have had a good day. Am delighted to say the February edition of Mom’s Favorite Reads is now out, with new editor in chief, Wendy H Jones at the helm. Now this year is the Year of the Rabbit so you may wonder how I could have written my flash fiction column and set a challenge around that. If you want to find out, turn to page 66 – see the link below – and do check out the rest of the magazine. It is a fabulous, free read – what’s not to like?
Had a wonderful time at Pinocchio, the pantomime staged by The Chameleon Theatre Group over the last week or so. I’ll be reviewing this for Chandler’s Ford Today later this week. All great fun!
Don’t forget my author newsletter is due out again on Wednesday. If you’d like to sign up do head over to my landing page at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com
Hope to have news of a potential interview soon. Looking forward to that.
Writing Tip: An outline doesn’t have to be chapter and verse. Often, especially with a flash piece, a couple of lines as to character, trait, situation is enough. Example below.
Character: Older lady.
Situation: Faces something where she has to ask for help, though she really doesn’t want to do so.
That is enough to give me the “bare bones” of a potential story. I will then have fun filling in the gaps but it is a great way to start a potential tale and the lovely thing with this approach is when you have the odd couple of minutes, it still gives you time to jot something like this down for working on later.
It’s my turn on the More than Writers blog, the Association of Christian Writers blog spot. This time I talk about Keeping Going, an apt topic for what can seem like the longest month of the year! (Sometimes you have to laugh at your own typos – when I first typed the last sentence, it came out as longest moth of the year!).
Hope you find the post useful and encouraging.
Am off to see Pinocchio as performed by our wonderful local amateur drama company, The Chameleon Theatre Group, later tonight so am posting early. Review to follow on Chandler’s Ford Today in due course. Later, there will be more fabulous author interviews to come as well.
Many of the fairytales make for wonderful pantomimes of course and I think one reason is that the themes of these appeal to a wide age range. Pinocchio is about acceptance. Most of us will identify with the need for that. Even at a very young age, you do even if you can’t articulate it. And that is a massive factor in why fairytales will always be timeless.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Many thanks for the views in already on Character Missing In Action, my latest YouTube video. Also thanks for the views in on Bigger and Better, my video from last week. Now my author newsletter is out again tomorrow and I do include all the links to my Youtube and Friday Flash Fiction tales as part of this. I also share news, tips, writing advice etc. If you’d like to sign up do head over to my landing page at https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com for more.
It’s Monday. The evenings are slowly getting lighter in my part of the world – hooray! There are signs of spring emerging. Still time for a story here and this one, I think will particularly appeal to the writers. Hope you enjoy Character Missing In Action.
Slowly getting warmer out there and it is nice to have a bit more daylight each day. I was listening to an interesting snippet on Classic FM where talk turned briefly to missing jigsaw pieces and how only one missing piece can spoil the whole thing.
Well, the same is true for story writing and the missing “bits” show up even more sharply in flash fiction with its maximum word count of 1000 words. So what do I mean by “bits” here? Simple!
1. You must have an intriguing character. I define intriguing here as being where a reader must read to find out what happens to said character. Your reader can’t look away until they reach the end.
2. You must have a proper beginning, middle, and end. Flash fiction isn’t truncated prose. Something has to happen. Something has to be resolved. There has to be a turning point roughly in the middle.
3. The ending must be satisfactory given the nature of the character and the storyline. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a happy ending.
Now I’ve talked before about being inspired by overhearing bits of conversation. That’s exactly what has happened for me today with this post. I never thought I’d be inspired by a Classic FM presenter to trigger today’s Facebook post but there you go!
Hope you have had a good day. Glad to say my order for my flash fiction collections arrived yesterday – very prompt. Always love opening parcels like that! Also nice to have to top up on stocks…
Have revamped my business card a bit and ordered in some other bits I hope I will put to good use at later book events.
I like all kinds of story collections as you might expect. They are a great way to try out works by authors new to you and I am pleased to recommend the Bridgetown Cafe Bookshop as a place to start hunting out some fab collections to try.
Goodreads Author Blog – Book Deliveries
I recently took stock of a delivery of copies of my two flash fiction collections. Always a joy to top up on stocks and to open parcels like that. I love book deliveries, also for when I am buying in other authors’ works. Those parcels are joy to open too!
I’ve never envied Santa for his sleigh round. There will be a lot of books on there – and they’re heavy. Maybe that explains the need for millions of mince pies!
I do, of course, visit book shops (not as often as I’d like. Mind you, this may be a good thing to (a) help my bank balance and (b) you might need a crow bar to get me out of the shop).
But however you get your books, the important thing is to enjoy them. I like to read widely in and out of my genre (including non-fiction) as that helps me inspire with my own writing. How?
Simply in that an odd line here or there will spark off an idea for a situation I could put my characters into and then have fun working out how they get out of it again, assuming they do. Also the odd fact can spark ideas for a character.
And the best reason of all to enjoy books? Simply because reading is fun.
More than Writers: Keeping Going by Allison Symes https://t.co/8WGNmDlesN Keeping Going is an apt topic for what can seem like the longest month of the year! (Sometimes you must laugh at your typos. When I first typed the last sentence, it came out as longest moth of the year!). pic.twitter.com/qfJ0Ox34dr— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) January 29, 2023
It’s Monday. The evenings are slowly getting lighter where I am- hooray! There are signs of spring emerging. Still time for a story here and this one, I think will particularly appeal to the writers. Hope you enjoy Character Missing In Action.https://t.co/YucdApcc6I— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) January 30, 2023
Delighted to say February's edition of Mom’s Favorite Reads is now out, with new editor in chief, @WendyHJones, at the helm. This is the Year of the Rabbit. You may wonder how I could write my flash column and set a challenge on that. Find out here!https://t.co/3l4psO2v68 pic.twitter.com/5UxXPAxTE2— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) January 31, 2023