Image Credit: All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated.
Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Images of me signing copies of Tripping the Flash Fantastic taken by Adrian Symes.
Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today
It’s time for a trip down Memory Lane with my Chandler’s Ford Today post this week.
I look at board and card games. Which were your favourites? Were there any you loathed? I share a few thoughts on why I think playing games like this are good for you and not just at Christmas and holiday time.
No surprises here when I say I’ve always been fond of the word games! But I have added to my vocabulary since playing Scrabble and games like it and for a writer, when is that ever a bad thing? Now I just need to find a way of working the word “Xi” into a story of mine!!
Thrilled at another wonderful review for Tripping The Flash Fantastic. Many thanks to all who have reviewed so far.
I know it means so much to writers to have feedback like this and it helps more than might at first appear. So if you’re thinking of writing a review for a book you’ve loved, please do!
Moving on, so to speak, I hope those of us with pets are managing to find ways of helping them cope with what is, for them, a stressful time with regard to fireworks etc. Am currently listening to Classic FM Pet Sounds and enjoying it. Lady is curled up on the sofa and is at least relaxed which is probably the best to hope for.
I appreciate this year is going to be worse as there are no organised displays etc but I must admit I do wish there would be a switchover to using silent fireworks. All the colours, all the fun, none of the noise that is so distressing to animals. Win-win. The sooner they are used by everyone the better.
Trip down Memory Lane for my Chandler’s Ford Today this week. I’ll be talking about board and card games. Naturally I have a fondness for the word based board games! More on Friday.
Many thanks for the great response to my new story on Facebook flagging up my Youtube channel.
Am making good progress on my non-fiction project and looking forward to getting back on with tonight’s stint on that shortly.
Am also preparing some fab interviews to come on Chandler’s Ford Today for later this month so plenty going on. Looking forward to sharing these later in the month.
Also looking forward to taking part in the #BrechinBookFest later in November and will be writing about that for CFT just ahead of the event.
And don’t forget it you would like a signed copy of From Light to Dark and Back Again and/or Tripping the Flash Fantastic, do just DM me and we’ll take things from there.
Reviews, as ever, would always be most welcome. They help authors a lot and don’t need to be long. (Am so glad Lady can’t give a review. She looks distinctly unimpressed below!).
From Light to Dark and Back Again
Do you have any favourite story themes? Mine fall into the following categories:-
1. Underdog winning through.
2. Injustice rectified. (Very close links to 1 usually).
3. Hidden pasts, usually magical, and kept hidden because the secret keeper has moved to another world, usually this one.
4. People trying to use magic for their own ends and failing miserably. (Lots of scope for humour here).
5. Character studies (I love the poignant ones which can show you another way of looking at things. Some of my historical flash tales cross with this category).
And the nice thing with all of the above is there is so much scope with each and every one. Different characters handle situations in their own way.
For one character, a humorous story would be their best vehicle. For another, it would be a “straight” tale, possibly tragic.
What I do know is the mood of the story has to reflect something of my character’s personality and attitudes, otherwise it won’t ring true.
I often work out what the most important thing is about the character I’m about to put in a story and then why that matters. There is the story in a nutshell.
Sometimes I work out what the character’s major trait is and how that affects them and the world around them. There is many a good story to be written using that route.
I do have a lot of fun with feisty characters here. They land themselves and others right in it and that is such fun to write and to read. I also think you can get a sense of when the writer has had fun creating their stories. Something of that comes through.
The reason formulaic writing can get a bad press is it comes through that the writer is bored with sticking to the same old, same old. Even in linked flash fiction stories, or series novels, the characters have to engage the readers each and every time.
That means the writer has to love writing about them to be able to keep that up. Therefore, there has to be something very special about their lead to generate that. What is the something special about your main character? Why do you write for them?
I sometimes know the closing line for a flash fiction story right at the outset. I draft something that I know will be the perfect finish to a tale and then work backwards from there to get to the beginning of the story. It is also a great way of mixing up my approaches to story writing.
I find that keeps things fresh and interesting for me and hope it will do so for a reader too.
In The Magician in Tripping the Flash Fantastic, I knew what the closing line would be immediately. (I can’t say what it is without giving the story away!). Punchlines can work well here too. It’s then a question of finding the appropriate start to your story so that punchline is justified.
However I approach writing the story, my overall aim is to have a story that “flows well” so a reader will be taken along for what I hope will be an enjoyable but brief ride!
Fairytales with Bite – Who Controls The Magic?
Interesting question this one, I think. If your story is set in a magical world, is everyone magical? Does everyone have the same abilities? Is there room to improve on your skills here? Is there anyone who has more magic than anyone else and what do they do with the “extra”?
Is there magical infighting and how does that manifest itself? If a species with the gift of invisibility resents another species who can fly, how could they use their gift to try to either gain the ability to fly themselves or to stop the others from doing so?
Wherever there is any kind of power, there will always be those who resent the ones wielding it so you can reflect that in your stories too. It is all about control when all is said and done, so who does the controlling?
How do they maintain their position? Do they use fear or do they reward those who work for them well so people are happy to go along with it?
This World and Others – Etiquette and Expectations
Have you given thought to etiquette and expectations in your fictional world? Are there any?!
Any kind of society, including a fictional one, has to have some sort of system by which it works. Where you have a system, you will often have a class system.
What is expected by those who run your created world of those they rule over. What do the “subjects”expect of their rulers? Do either of them deliver?!
Do standards here match or mirror those of here on Earth?
There should be some kind of laws your society runs on, including a criminal law so people know what will happen if they fall foul of what is expected from them. How would this manifest itself in the world you’ve invented? Is their idea of what is criminal the same as ours or different?
Do the various species in your fictional world have varying standards of etiquette? Are there any common grounds between them? If one species thinks burping is the highest compliment known, how do they get on with another species who considers it rude? What would unite them?
Plenty of food for thought there!
Thrilled at another lovely review for Tripping The Flash Fantastic. Many thanks, everyone, who has reviewed so far. If you are thinking of reviewing a book you've loved, please, please DO. Doesn't have to be a long review. Helps more than you know. Thanks! pic.twitter.com/fQS2hFiRiL— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) November 5, 2020