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.
Brrr… it has turned very cold again where I am with temperatures plummeting well below zero. Dog is wondering why Mum has speeded up the walking a bit! There are some signs of spring though. Have seen first catkins out.
Facebook – General
Now I’m looking forward to sharing a great interview with June Webber on Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday, but there is another use for interview questions, which fiction writers may well find useful. I’ve mentioned before I like to know my characters and will often interview them. Why not take an interview question you come across and get your character to answer it?
One of my favourites to ask my interviewees to name their three favourite authors and briefly say why they’ve chosen them. Now that gives insight into my interviewees’ taste in books but also at what influences their writing.
For your characters, go on to think a bit more about why they’ve chosen what they have. What do these choices say about them?
Are you surprised by their choices and, if so, work out what that is, as the more you know your characters, the easier you will find it to write their stories up with conviction. When I read a story, I want to be convinced the author knows their character inside out. I think something of that does come across in the way the story is told.
Brrr… the cold snap is back. Lady did get to play with her best buddy, the lovely Rhodesian Ridgeback, today but we mere human owners kept our girls running so we kept moving too! Am so thankful writing is an indoors job!
Next couple of Saturdays will be busy. I’m off to London for my workshop this week and the following week I’m off to the local panto, Pinocchio, as performed by The Chameleon Theatre Group. I expect lots of laughs from the latter – review to follow for Chandler’s Ford Today in due course. (It was nice when I was booking my ticket here they ask you where you found out about the show and Chandler’s Ford Today was listed as an option. That did make me smile and naturally I did tick that option!).
Every so often something nice and unexpected comes along. I was swimming recently, and having a much needed breather, had a chat with the lifeguard as it was quiet. I’d had a long swim (100 lengths – I impressed myself), having swam for about about two hours.
Anyway, they wanted to know who I worked for given I was effectively having a two hour lunch break. I mentioned I was a writer and they were impressed with that. They were even more impressed when I mentioned having books out! Naturally I got to put the word out about what I write too and explain a little about what flash fiction is – I can but hope for a sale here! Mind you, they’ll have to wait for me to be out of the pool before I sign any books for them!
Looking forward to sharing a lovely interview with friend and fellow Swanwicker, June Webber, for Chandler’s Ford Today, later on this coming week. June is a great example of it never being too late to be published so I hope people will find her story encouraging. I know I do!
Don’t forget I send out an author newsletter on the first of the month. If you’d like to sign up for tips, news, story links etc., head over to (my landing page at) https://allisonsymescollectedworks.com
Am hoping to have broadcast news again soon – keep your fingers crossed! Will share when I can.
Hope you’ve had a good day. Weather grotty again here. Many thanks for the wonderful responses to my acrostic story, Friends, which appeared on Friday Flash Fiction yesterday. Link here if you missed it first go.Looking forward to running my flash fiction workshop next Saturday for an ACW affiliated group. These are always good fun and it is great to be out and about again.
I remember being very nervous when I first went to a writers’ event. Think I was having a bad case of Imposter Syndrome at the time but am so glad it went as I ended up meeting the person who was to go on to become my publisher at it. And when I realised networking means talking about writing and listening to fellow authors who share your love of writing also talking about the same topic and as a result you have an instant conversation going, the fears went.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Flash fiction writing has helped me lose all fear of editing and has also made me stop and work out just what is it about this character that makes me feel I’ve got to write their story up. (All characters should make you feel something). It also makes me work out well just what is the story and focus on that alone. Two excellent reasons to give it a go – and I’ve found it has helped me with the other writing I do – short stories and blogging.
I don’t know about today being Blue Monday. I do know it’s Very Cold Monday where I am. I also know it’s time for a story. Hope you enjoy my latest on YouTube – Why Am I Here? Even a “deep” question can lead to story ideas!
I deliberately mix up the random generators I use for triggering story ideas. It’s fun to have a variety of ways into which I can get into a story. Also I don’t want to be relying on just one or two anyway. Well, you ever know what kind of writing exercises you’ll be set at a workshop so it helps to know you can produce a story to prompts produced in different ways so you are ready for all of that.
Having said that, the ideas I hope to write up for submission this week come from odd turns of phrase I’ve either come across or used in my own Facebook posts recently and I had the old light bulb moment and thought I could produce a story here. So be open to having a number of ways in which you trigger ideas. It does pay.
Sometimes good themes will occur to me as I am writing something else so I note the ideas down and then go on to write some flash fiction to those themes later. This is the Murphy’s Law of Writing in full flow here. It doesn’t matter what you write but an idea for something else will crop up as you’re trying to get to grips with what you’re trying to complete. Best to go with the flow then and have a way or ways to jot down those ideas.
I know not to rely on my memory here. Why is it you can always remember the hundreds of things you have to do around the home etc but can’t recall the one great idea that occurred to you at an inconvenient time? And I suspect there could be a flash fiction story in a character discovering the truth of this for themselves! (Have just followed my own advice and noted this down for another time!).
Goodreads Author Blog – Book Recommendations
Where do you get book recommendations from? Yes, I get some from Goodreads, but I would say my main source for these is from fellow authors. And there is, to my mind, nothing better than going to a book/writing event and having a good look at what is on offer at the book table. I nearly always come back with purchases!
I do look at reviews on Amazon and the like but am not necessarily swayed by them. Having said that, if there are lots of bad reviews, and the reviewers are pretty much saying the same thing, then I will sit up and take notice. Likewise, if good reviews are saying similar things, I will take note. (I like to see the reasons why someone likes a book so if there is a comment about the characterisation, I will take immediate notice given characters for me are the driving force behind what makes a story work or fail).
liked Allison Symes's blog post: Book Recommendations https://t.co/ATunYvtPmw via @goodreads I look at where I get my book recommendations from in my post for Goodreads this week. pic.twitter.com/0ejIhMK2oY— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) January 14, 2023
I don’t know about today being Blue Monday. I do know it’s Very Cold Monday where I am. I also know it’s time for a story. Hope you enjoy my latest on YouTube – Why Am I Here? Even a “deep” question can lead to story ideas! https://t.co/HZXqiDlO33— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) January 16, 2023
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