Facebook – General

My Chandler’s Ford Today post this week will be an overview of the recent Hiltingbury Extravaganza. It was my first experience of being “behind” a stall too and I’m glad to say all the writers at the HE sold books and spread the word about creative writing, the Hampshire Writers’ Society and so on. More details tomorrow.

What is the important thing about writing? That it encourages reading, I think. Reading widely and well, whether it is non-fiction or fiction, encourages the development of a wider vocabulary and can help develop empathy (as you root for specific characters), It also sets the imagination free to explore worlds you would never visit (especially if you read sci-fi or fantasy!), or to explore ideas new to you.

And there’s always the joy of trying to work out who the killer in a crime novel is long before getting to the end of the said book! I can sometimes guess this correctly, other times the author keeps me on the hop, and occasionally I name the killer but fail to spot the real motive behind the crime. Reading crime novels can be like puzzle solving.

So whatever you read I hope you enjoy it and find more books to relish. I always feel sad when people say they don’t have time to read. That tells me someone is not taking time out to feed their minds with literature. It also tells me they are missing out on a great deal too!


More of the books

At the Hiltingbury Extravaganza.  Image by Allison Symes.  (The weather certainly wasn’t extravagant!)


The writers' book stand

The books here range from my flash fiction to YA fantasy/time travel and short story collections.  Image by Allison Symes


Barbara hard at work spreading the word about books and ours especially

And romantic comedy is represented here.  Image by Allison Symes


Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

Do I find it easier to write the funny or darker flash fiction tales?

Difficult to tell as both humorous and more sombre writing come naturally to me but if I have the character in my head and a rough idea of where I want to finish the story, then away I go.

Also, a lot depends on mood. On a day when nothing seems to go right, it can be more of an effort to write anything remotely funny! On days like that though if I want to write about an irritated character, that comes very easily indeed. I don’t even have to put myself in the character’s head for that one!

Writing can sometimes be likened to method acting when you are trying to work out motivations. Being irritated yourself and then writing about an irritated character, well there’s no pretending required. You know something of what would lead that character to feeling uppity so can write with ease about it. I’ve found it’s one of the few good things about being edgy – if you need to write edgy, it will be easy and it can get a lot of that edginess out of your system writing it out of yourself and into a character instead!

The downside? Writing about a real monster of a character and people wondering what inspired you to write that! (Don’t tell them or come out with a really good story like Mary Shelley did and blame it on a dream!). Happy writing!



Dark or funny stories?  Which are easiest to write?  Image via Pixabay


One of the best ways to escape is with a good book. Image via Pixabay.


Why Read? was the obvous follow up post to write following Why Write? the other night!  (Though the thought of NOT reading is alien to me!).


Well, I did it!  In A to Z of Character Creation Part 9, I tackle the last three letters – X, Y and Z!  X=X-rated (in terms of causing trouble), Y = Young (how does your world treat them? and Z = Zest (zest for life.  Where does your character get this attitude from?).


Why Read looks at various reasons why you should read.  To read for pleasure is my top reason but to read for education, to find out more about the world is absolutely fine and your characters could read for those reasons too.


There’ll be few writers who won’t sympathize with my post tonight.  Is there any one who has NOT sent off a piece of work and then spotted errors in it afterwards?!


I look ahead to going to the Swanwick Summer Writers’ School. My flash fiction piece, George Changes HIs Mind, started life as a draft piece at the school last year and ended up in From Light to Dark and Back Again.  Would like to complete draft of follow up book while away.

A typical writing conference room. Image via Pixabay.

A typical writing conference room. Image via Pixabay.

The Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire.

The Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire.  Image taken by me.