All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes.
Recovered from Storms Dudley, Eunice, and Franklyn. Don’t like the way we’re getting through the alphabet so quickly for storms! Hope all is well with you. One lovely thing about writing is you generally stay in the warm and dry to do it – have really appreciated that these last few days!
Facebook – General
Busy day again today though Lady had a lovely surprise when her best buddie, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, came to to play. It is quite something seeing the pair of them have the “zoomies”. You stand well back and enjoy the show basically!
Looking forward to sharing my Chandler’s Ford Today post on Friday. I’ll be talking about Geography in Fiction. It may not have a starring role in many stories but it does play a crucial role and can inspire story ideas. For one thing your characters do have to live somewhere!
And I don’t know about you but I like to have a picture in my mind of the setting in any story I read. It helps make the story more real to me, a kind of if this place existed for real it would be exactly like this.
And, as with so much else in flash fiction, you can imply setting simply by who your character is or by what it is they call their day job. After all, magical characters have to have a magical environment to come from, even if they don’t stay there.
Hope you have had a good Monday. Very hectic here – and still gusty out there. Hope things are settling down where you are.
I’ve used the topic of the moon for my Friday Flash Fiction story this week and for my YouTube video which I’ll share over on my book page shortly. See link further down. Good fun to do and I’ve always liked the idea of getting more than one story out of a basic premise and taking those two tales in very different directions. Outside prompts for writing are useful, whether you get them from random generators, books of prompts and so on.
Talking of the latter, I will draw your attention to Prompts 2020, Prompts 2021 and Prompts 2022. Is it me or is there a theme developing there?! Anyway, the books were compiled by #GillJames and many of the Bridge House Publishing/CafeLit/Chapeltown Books stable contributed to them, including yours truly.
I’ve used some of the prompts myself for CafeLit submissions and I do think prompts encourage you to “up your game” writing wise. I love the challenge of responding to the challenge with something that works and fulfils the criteria.
Let’s stretch those creative writing muscles then!
Not a great weekend weather wise – keep safe. (My crocuses were just beginning to make an appearance – I fear they’ve probably been battered!).
In more positive news, I have submitted two stories today and have already heard one of them will be appearing on CafeLit next Sunday. Looking forward to sharing the link then. Members of the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group who were at our Zoom meeting last Wednesday will remember the lovely #AnnmarieMiles set a ten minutes free writing exercise based on a name I came up with thanks to a random name generator.
It is the story I drafted for this exercise which will be appearing on CafeLit so am pleased about that. More later in the week. I’m not likely to hear about the other story for a while (and that is more usual I have to say for story submissions).
Hope you have had a good day. Things settling down here in Hampshire after Storm Eunice yesterday. Tree debris all over the place, a few fence panels down etc – got off lightly I would say and am grateful.
Writing wise, I’ll be looking at Geography in Fiction for my post for Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday. Hope by the end of the weekend to submit a couple of stories and catch up with some blogging I need to get on with (though I do have a good deadline on all of these. Where possible, once I’ve posted a blog somewhere, I am writing the next one for the same site, but it isn’t always possible to do that. So then as soon as I can I have a major blogging session where I play catch up. Those “spare” blogs come in very useful during particularly busy times. It is always worth having something spare in the “bank” whether it is a blog post or a story you can edit and submit).
If anyone knows of a way to stretch writing time, I’d be glad to hear it though! (Oh and while I don’t use any of the “switch off social media sites for so long” apps, I do just ignore social media until I’ve got my writing done).
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Flash can be a nice vehicle for short character studies. My piece, due on CafeLit on Sunday, is of this ilk and it was great fun to write. But of course for this kind of thing you need a strong character voice. I have to get to know my character a bit. When I was drafting this tale, I knew that I wanted my character to have hidden depths to them and they were not all they appeared to be. Knowing that was enough to get me started and away I went!
So when thinking of this kind of story, consider why you want to write about your character. What is special about them that readers have to know? What tale does the character have to share with us? It doesn’t have to be overly dramatic but something has to stand out about your character it is obvious to the reader why you absolutely had to write their story down.
Many thanks for the response to my Storm acrostic flash piece yesterday. And it’s story time again now with my latest YouTube video called Decision by Moonlight. Hope you enjoy it.
I was chatting about acrostic flash fiction yesterday so I thought I’d share one for this post. Hope you enjoy it.
S = Shocking weather, isn’t it, and such a lot of it too!
T= Terrible winds and torrential rain; I’ve given up on my umbrella.
O = Orange with black dots on it; yes, the one you called an eyesore.
R = Romance isn’t dead but you have put it on the critical list; you know I loved that brolly from my old Nan.
M = Money’s not the problem; I don’t want a new boring brolly from you, but I will say I didn’t fancy becoming the next Mary Poppins!
Allison Symes – 20th February 2022
I was chatting about acrostic flash fiction as part of the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction Group meeting the other night. They are fun to do but I have found the following tips useful.
1. Pick one reasonable length word OR a couple of small ones. I’ve used words like Guarantee and phrases like Talk The Talk.
2. Keep the story short – acrostics work best this way, especially as they are meant to be visualised. You want your chosen word to be fully visible to readers no matter what device they’re using to read your tale.
3. Once you’ve picked the word or mini phrase you want to use, give yourself plenty of time to work out ideas to come from them. Think about the character who will “serve” the acrostic story.
For Guarantee, my first thought was of a salesman trying to make a difficult sale to an awkward customer and of course one thing a salesman like that would offer would be a “cast iron” guarantee. (Of course whether it is or not is another matter!).
It will save you time in the long run if you work out different possibilities first and then go with the one you like best. It also means some prep work here means you have got a logical way to make your story work from the start.
4. Where possible, I have one sentence following the starting letter of the acrostic. Where not possible, I link with semi-colons, dashes, or whatever is the most appropriate piece of punctuation to use. It can vary. Where even that is not possible, I write two short sentences per line then hit return and go with the next letter of the acrostic but I do keep my tales to one line = one letter of the acrostic as much as possible.
Goodreads Author Blog – Why Stories Matter
The problem with a post like this one is keeping it short! Where do you start on this one?
Well, stories matter for me because I can escape into other worlds for a little while. I’ve always loved that aspect. I also love following what the characters do and say and figuring out whether or not I would do and say as they have in the books and stories I read.
Stories can take me to places I cannot get to physically either because right now I can’t commit to the length of time to say, going to New Zealand would take (and that is on my list of things to do) or because they’re invented worlds and unless someone invents a portal which takes you to fictional places, I’m not getting to go there! Mind you, it could be argued the book is the portal here!
Stories can convey important truths without preaching and I find the theme of a story is far easier to remember. And I love the way stories come in different formats – books, film, audio etc. There is something to suit everyone here. Stories can pass down tradition and build communities and show you truths about yourself/the human condition.
Last but definitely not least, they are entertaining.
Let’s hear it for the stories!
liked Allison Symes's blog post: Why Stories Matter https://t.co/L1rzhpwzr7 via @goodreads Well, where do you start with a topic like this one? Be reassured – I have kept it short! Honest! I share why stories matter to me. Hope you enjoy. pic.twitter.com/YWaxOWuAqG— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 19, 2022
It’s story time again now with my latest YouTube video called Decision by Moonlight. Hope you enjoy it.https://t.co/Y8c4Jv2CAd— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 21, 2022