Special Note: Before you ask, I haven’t chosen the post’s title using a random generator, honestly! These are all things which have either occurred in my writing life so far this week or are going to before the next post comes out on Friday. Yes, an interesting week! Mind you, if there is a prize for unusual blog post titles, I think this one is in with a shout…
All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes. See above for the kind of week I’m having so far!
Facebook – General
I’m looking forward to chatting again with author Ruth Leigh whose The Continued Times of Isabella M Smugge came out on 22nd October. In this week’s Chandler’s Ford Today post, Ruth and I will be looking at marketing and the characters Ruth loves and loathes amongst other topics. Link up on Friday.
And talking of marketing, may I say a huge thanks for the views on my latest YouTube story, The Zebra Who Lost Its Stripes. It clearly struck a chord!
This story started life as a title idea which came from the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group meeting I ran last week. I’ve mentioned before about brainstorming titles for writing up into stories later. It means when you have longer at your desk you’ve got something to work on immediately. I do practice what I preach here!
Weather far better today than yesterday but it wasn’t a difficult bar to cross! Lady got to see her best mates today, the lovely Ridgeback and Vizler, so all three dogs well pleased with that.
The Ridgeback’s owner and I were given a bunch of roses on the regular walk back by someone who has these donated as part of a charity collection but this time they had far too many flowers to be able to use so were giving bunches away to people who were walking down their street! We met someone else coming the other way who was also carrying a lovely bunch of roses and who, like us, was smiling broadly at the thought of them!
There is a flash fiction tale in there somewhere, I swear! Talking of which, I chose two of the titles I came up with from last week’s ACW Flash Fiction Group session and written the stories up. I’ll be sharing one of these over on my book page shortly as it is my new YouTube tale. Good fun to do.
And I will be setting the challenge soon for the December issue of Mom’s Favorite Reads. Meanwhile, why not check out the latest fab issue? See link below.
That storm overnight/earlier this morning was quite something. Am so grateful Lady isn’t frightened of thunder and lightning. (She gets annoyed by the louder fireworks rather than becomes frightened of them – again am thankful for that). Week ahead is looking a bit grim – not just weather wise, unfortunately.
I must admit I find writing both a joy to do and therapeutic. There is just something about putting yourself in your character’s shoes and working out how they would act/react that takes me out of myself for a while – and especially with the news being so grim, I find that incredibly helpful.
Many thanks also for the comments coming in on Hope, my latest on Friday Flash Fiction. If you missed it, see the link.
Hope today has been okay. Got soaked in two minutes rushing to bring washing in earlier. Hello, autumn, my old friend!
It was fantastic chatting to Ruth Leigh on Chandler’s Ford Today yesterday. Part 2 of her interview will be up next week and we’ll be looking at marketing as part of that. Link up on Friday.
I’m off to The Chameleon Theatre Group next week as well to see their latest production – Sherlock Holmes and The Mystery at Mallen Hall. Sounds fun. Will review in due course. Am looking forward to meeting up with Janet Williams, my lovely CFT editor for this too. Seems like ages since the last “CFT works outing”!
Did I get any ideas from the ACW Flash Fiction Group meeting on Wednesday? Yes and not yet. I’ve got some ideas for titles I’d like to work up into stories and hope to do that soon. Am pressing on with my third book collection as I am nearly there with that and I do want to get that submitted this autumn. And, yes, these things always do take longer than you initially think!
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
I mentioned over on my main author page tonight I was delighted to see such a great response to my The Zebra Who Lost Its Stripes story. Am glad you enjoyed it. Brainstorming title ideas for writing up later pays off!
I usually put up a new video on my YouTube channel once a week, unless away or ill, and I got into doing this as I wanted another way to share flash stories.
The idea of doing something visual with them appealed and hence I went to YouTube. I use Book Brush to help me create the videos. All good fun and of course it forms part of my overall marketing as well. New subscribers are always welcome to my channel and you can find this at the link below.
Short videos are easier to share and of course flash is a great form to link into that.
My latest YouTube flash tale comes from a title I came up with for the Association of Christian Writers’ Flash Fiction Group meeting last week. Hope you enjoy The Zebra Who Lost Its Stripes. Given this has had an amazing reaction (see screenshot above, I was pleasantly stunned!), I make no apology for sharing it twice here! Am so glad it went down well. This is probably the nearest to a children’s story I get.
I was talking about titles with the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group on Wednesday. What you want is something that lures your reader in – to give them an intriguing premise they have to read the story to find out what happens. I will often brainstorm title ideas when I have small pockets of time and I want to write something.
The joy of this is it gives me something to look through and work up into stories later on when I have more time. I will also brainstorm titles for use for non-fiction topics for my blog on Chandler’s Ford Today, my spots on Authors Electric, More than Writers, and Mom’s Favorite Reads.
Titles are your first advert in many ways and I find I have to have one to get myself started on a piece, fiction or otherwise. It can change – and often does given when I’m drafting something other ideas for titles often pop up. I just make a note of these and compare them with my original thought and then go with the one I like best. Sometimes it does mean sticking with the original but at least I then know it is the best one to use for that piece.
For my flash pieces, I’m looking for a strong central character to “carry” the plot. In some ways here writing can be a bit like acting. You need the right cast to make it work. This is why I need to know my character really well to make sure they’re up to the work!
I interview my characters. I look for traits and what can come from those (including the flip side to them, there always is a flip side). I also like to know something of their tastes (knowing what their sense of humour is can give good indications of their character type funnily enough. Do they like quirky humour? Are they a bit strait-laced etc?).
Often outlining a character throws up ideas for the stories they would work well in so this, for me, is another reason to outline.
Goodreads Author Blog – The ABC of Books Part 1 – A to M
A = Annuals, often treasured for years. Which was your favourite?
B = Back catalogues – I often don’t pick the first book by an author to read so if I like the book I did read, I have a lot of fun catching up with the others!
C = Characters – where would any book be without them and again name your favourites. I have loads.
D = Dialogue in books mirrors real life speech but can’t ape it exactly as there’d be far too many ahs, ums, stutters etc – not easy and boring to read!
E = Entertainment and enrichment – what good books always do whether they’re fiction or non-fiction.
F = Flash fiction – my genre – fun and stretches across genres too as I’ve written crime flash, ghost flash etc.
G = Great writers of the past still inspire today though I am thankful I don’t need to be as descriptive as Dickens had to be for his readers who could not travel to see the places he wrote about (or have the benefit of film/TV to see them).
H = History – fiction and non- fiction – a wonderful category and can inspire all sorts of fictional works.
I = Intellect and Imagination – reading widely doses so much for both of these.
J = Justice – a major factor in the popularity of crime fiction as justice is usually seen to be done here.
K = Kindle – ebooks have transformed reading by giving us another format. It has also given more writers a voice too.
L = Life – in all its forms and several alien ones – can be found across the whole spectrum of book categories.
M = Mysteries – as well as the obvious crime section, there is the paranormal mystery book, the non-fiction books trying to lift the lid on mysteries and so on.
Part 2 next week but I do know books should be celebrated!
Do you find it easier or harder to write now the days are getting shorter, light wise? I write mainly in the evening and I welcome the autumn and winter months here as they help me focus more. Too easy to be distracted by the attractions of a nice summer evening! pic.twitter.com/hPbQvAc4jm— ACW (@ACW1971) October 22, 2022
If I’m going to comfort read at any time of year, it’s now. There is something lovely about this as the nights draw in and we all know writers have to read, yes? My go-tos here are Wodehouse and Pratchett. I go for the laughs! Any thoughts on what is on your comfort reading list? pic.twitter.com/QvKTUmYi9K— ACW (@ACW1971) October 23, 2022
liked Allison Symes's blog post: The ABC of Books – Part 1 – A to M https://t.co/GUxmhfuDNi via @goodreads Hope you enjoy this. I share my thoughts on A to M this week in my celebration of books for Goodreads. Part 2 next week. pic.twitter.com/8ngV4diXb2— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) October 22, 2022
The main change to my writing routine at this time of year is having a hot drink on the go rather than a chilled one. We rightly focus on ensuring desks and chairs are comfortable, good for our posture etc., but I like a decent hot chocolate being for my comfort as I write. pic.twitter.com/NPJQxJVKDm— ACW (@ACW1971) October 24, 2022
My latest YouTube flash tale comes from a title I came up with for the Association of Christian Writers’ Flash Fiction Group meeting last week. Hope you enjoy The Zebra Who Lost Its Stripes. https://t.co/Vgn9jH25so— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) October 24, 2022