All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Some images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos.
Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing.
Hope you have had a good week. Wonderful autumn weather in the UK this week. Lady and I have loved it.
Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today
Delighted to share my Chandler’s Ford Today post on Anniversaries. I look at why these are important, I share some of my favourite writing ones, and how it matters to take time out to recall where you were and where you are now. Sometimes it is only by looking back, you realise you have made progress.
And, of course, it is important to remember so many vital people and events in our lives, past and present. I also discuss bucket lists. Hope you enjoy the post.
Pleased to share a link to the September issue of Mom’s Favorite Reads which takes you to my last article here which was about frames in flash fiction. Hope you enjoy it and find it useful.
It is one of the ironies of flash that limiting things (the word count) encourages creativity. You learn to make the most of what you do have to work with and this encourages lateral thinking. That comes in useful for whatever you write. And you learn to write with precision and to ask yourself do I really need this in the story? If in doubt, the answer to that is no and out the section comes!
Another gorgeous day out in the park with Lady. She got to play with two of her pals yesterday and played with one of them again today. What was nice was the two dogs were resting side by side for a bit and I just got my phone out to take a nice snap and, yes sure enough, Lady’s pal decided that was the right time to get up and move away!
Am leading an online flash fiction group tonight. Looking forward to that. It’s always good fun.
Will be later than usual with posts at the weekend due to family events but those should be good fun too! (And Lady adores said events. Let’s just say I don’t have to clear up anything from the ground).
My CFT post this week will be on Anniversaries. Do you note any of your writing ones? I have noted a few of mine and it is important I think to remind yourself this was where you were and this is where you are now because it is easy to think you’re getting nowhere when actually you’ve achieved more than you think. Anyway post up on Friday.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Story time at the end of a working week – what’s not to like about that? Hope you enjoy my An Undesirable Property, now up on #FridayFlashFiction.
I’ll be looking at Anniversaries in my Chandler’s Ford Today post this week (link up tomorrow) (See further up for link) and naturally I include some writing ones. Two that had to go in were when From Light to Dark and Back Again and Tripping the Flash Fantastic came out.
Wonderful moments and not something I anticipated when I started submitting work for publication. (My eyes had been and still are on the short story market – flash fiction was not something I had heard of but I’ve made up for that in the intervening years, I think!).
It was a delight to have such a wonderfully interactive flash fiction writing group session last night (on Zoom naturally) with fellow members of the Association of Christian Writers. We talked prompts and picture ones in particular. It may seem odd to use pictures to help you produce something that is text-based but they can make for useful ways “into” writing a story. And I like to mix up how I approach writing a story because that encourages me to think differently and to develop lateral thinking.
I like titles to encourage readers to ask questions. For example, my Time for Some Peace in Tripping the Flash Fantastic -well the questions there would be “who wants the peace?” and “do they get the peace they crave?”. As long as the title provokes interest and curiosity in the reader, it is doing its job.
I’ve mentioned before I have to have a title to start with but my end story doesn’t always retain the title I came up with initially. Often a better idea for a title will crop up while I’m drafting or editing and fine, I’ll go with that instead. Place holders are absolutely fine (and I find them invaluable). Only the Ten Commandments were set in stone after all!
It’s a question of working out, I think, what you need in the way of “scaffolding” to help you get on and write that story. I need a title and to know who my character is and why I want to write them up. I don’t need to know everything but just enough to get me started. Then once started on my draft the creativity can really kick in. And it does.
Fairytales with Bite – Where Magic Is Possible, What Isn’t?
Good question, yes? It is worth thinking about because if your characters can use magic to solve any and every problem they face, where is the drama in that? Where is the conflict with other characters (or even where is the inner conflict they would face in trying to work out how to deal with a problem?).
So it pays to have limits then. Does magic physically and/or mentally tired a character so they have to limit their use of it? What would happen if a magical character became ill? Would they still be able to do what they usually would with their magic? Or does it backfire?
If your created world is a magical one, is there any room for what we would see as science? How would your world react to logical solutions to issues rather than just using the old magic wand to deal with problems? Would magic automatically exclude science or could the two co-exist? Could science mean that characters would use magic to deal with those issues science could not?
And I think there would have to be some situations magic could not change. For example, your characters would not want to live in a world where the geography and/or some other physical aspect to nature could be changed by magic. It would lead to an unstable environment to say the least. Talking of the laws of nature…
This World and Others – Laws of Nature
What laws of nature apply to your created world? Is your world subject to gravity, say? How do the species survive in terms of food, reproduction etc?
Could anything disrupt or destroy the usual laws of nature or rewrite them even? Who would have that capacity and what reasons would they have for doing it? (There are easier ways to get power, say, than trying to rewrite how your world works as a physical entity!).
Is the natural world in your fiction anything like what we have here? What is better? What is worse?
A lot of the information you jot down as you answer questions like that may well not make it into the story but it is important you know enough about your world to be able to write about it convincingly. So figure out what you think you need to know to make this work. (It will pay off. This kind of planning out can save a lot of rewriting later on).
I sometimes tweet on the Association of Christian Writers Twitter feed, usually on topics helpful to writers. I was on duty this week and I am glad to share those tweets here.
I’m one of life’s planners so saying I outline before writing my stories up isn’t that much of a surprise. I’ve found a basic outline means I don’t veer off topic and saves a lot of time on editing later because of that alone. So worth doing, I think. pic.twitter.com/XPJvbVemfI— ACW (@ACW1971) September 22, 2021
An outline can be as detailed (or not) as you choose. I need to know what my character’s major trait is and what could come from that. If they’re brave, does that make them careless? Are they needlessly reckless? pic.twitter.com/AlRDbCdnmE— ACW (@ACW1971) September 23, 2021
It is a question I think of outlining what you think you’re going to need to know. What is the most important thing about your characters you need to know so you can write them up convincingly? pic.twitter.com/Ef08ky5n5L— ACW (@ACW1971) September 24, 2021
Anniversaries https://t.co/9ScXE4kl2Y Delighted to share my CFT post on Anniversaries. I look at why these are important, share some favourite writing ones, and how it matters to take time out to recall where you were and where you are now. I also discuss bucket lists.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) September 24, 2021
An Undesirable Property by Allison Symes – Friday Flash Fiction https://t.co/Cb6XyNKqGz Story time at the end of a working week – what’s not to like about that? Hope you enjoy my An Undesirable Property, now up on #FridayFlashFiction. pic.twitter.com/9nYyfSrA6b— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) September 24, 2021