All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Photos of The Hayes, Swanwick, were taken by me, Allison Symes.
Hope you have had a good week. Mine started with a petulant goose but has ended without one (it has literally waddled off) much to Lady’s relief. Best of all, my copies of The Best of CafeLit 11 arrived. Always lovely to open something like that.
Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today
Pleased to share a lighthearted post for Chandler’s Ford Today this week. I‘m looking at Quizzes and Word Games, favourite things of many a writer, including yours truly. I have a soft spot for Scrabble in particular.
What are your favourite word games? Do share your thoughts on the CFT comments page.
Next week I am interviewing the lovely crime writer, Val Penny and looking forward to sharing that.
And the goose continues to keep away so Lady is well pleased. From her viewpoint, an odd week has ended well, especially as she got to play with her best buddy, the Rhodesian Ridgeback this morning.!).
One thing I never tire of… drum roll, please… is opening up my new arrival of books! Pleased to say my copies of The Best of CafeLit 11 arrived today. I was especially pleased as I wasn’t expecting these until next week so that was nice.
Nice and quiet here without the hissing goose.
My Chandler’s Ford Today post this week is a fun one on Quizzes and Word Games. Apt for writers. Link up tomorrow. See above.
Has playing word games helped my vocabulary? Oh yes. Especially playing Scrabble. Have any of the words I’ve learned made it into a flash fiction story or blog post from me yet? No. Give it time!
In breaking news… NO goose turned up today. I have a much happier dog! A much happier me come to that. I haven’t checked what my broom feels about it but it too has had a quieter, less eventful day.
Now that goose was clearly a bit out of place so how about a writing prompt to come from this?
Have your character out of place. There has to be a good reason for it. Show how they got into that state and how they got out of it again. Good potential for funny or sad pieces here I think. I may well have a go at this myself later on in the week. Will keep you posted. Have fun with it.
Characters have to have good reasons for their actions, even if they’re the only ones who think so. Your readers should be able to see where your characters come from but they don’t have to agree. I often disagree with my characters but that’s fine. I know where they’re coming from. I just don’t want to be there with them! And if they get poetic justice, as often happens in my stories, I relish writing every word of it!
The writing life can be great fun at times… I’m just glad there isn’t a Character Protection From Their Own Authors Society. I can think of several of mine who would want severe words with me.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Pleased to share my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction which is Age Is Just a Number. A huge thank you for the comments coming in on this one already. I suspect I may have hit a nerve or something here.
Hope you have had a good day. My copies of The Best of CafeLit 11 arrived, the goose has gone, and I’m settling down to an evening of what I love most – writing – so it’s been a good day here.
Looking forward to going to the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in just over a week’s time. Will be so wonderful catching up with friends and being immersed in the world of writing full time for a week.
I’m running a one hour course there on Editing – Both Sides of the Fence and taking part in Lift Up Your Pens (early morning writing) and Lift Up Your Hearts (the latter is a short Christian devotional). Naturally I shall be waving the flag for flash fiction as well.
There is something about being with other writers that encourages and inspires. I am glad Zoom helps here too and it is also a great medium for sharing the joys of the mini stories.
Now a couple of years back a writing exercise I did at Swanwick as part of a course ended up becoming a published story online (CafeLit). I wouldn’t mind that happening again!
Hope Wednesday has passed off well. No hissing goose here today so Lady and I think the day has gone well!
Writing Prompt for you: What is the one thing what would make your character think a day has gone well and why? Think that could make a nice piece of flash fiction, say 300 to 500 words. Good luck.
I also followed my own advice here. The prompt idea came about as a result of my preparing this blog post so I jotted it down immediately and realised there would be a story prompt here. So something to add to this blog post too!
Fairytales With Bite – The Purpose of Fairytales
I love stories that “just” entertain. To me, there’s nothing “just” about it though I do wish some would not look down on genre fiction and indeed fairytales for doing that. They’re doing their job!
Fairytales do serve another purpose – they serve as warnings about behaviour affecting outcome. There are consequences for rotten behaviour in fairytales. The baddies generally do not get away with it.
Fairytales also show there can be poetic justice (and sometimes rough justice). They warn against arrogance. Also to not look down on the poor. And given so often in fairytales, the Rule of Three crops up, the important points are emphasized to ensure they stick in the memory. That was vital when most could not read or write.
Fairytales can be enjoyed by most ages and are usually the way into stories as a whole for children. They were for me. I still have my Reader’s Digest collection of fairytales, a huge two volume set of books with beautiful illustrations.
They’re a great way of getting a message across without being preachy. Readers/listeners pick up the message from the story. From a writing viewpoint, they show characters in action and how to get a story across without the tale itself necessarily being a long one. Lots to learn from that, especially if you go into flash fiction with its restricted word count, as I have done.
This World and Others – Characters Seeking a Purpose
All characters in any story should have a purpose to justify them being included but of course they themselves may need to find out what their purpose is as the tale progresses. Do other characters enlighten them? Do they find clues? Do circumstances force them to find out what their purpose is?
Most heroes in stories don’t set out to be a hero – they are pushed into it – it is a do it and survive or not as the case may be! When faced with that kind of choice, you’re going to get on and be a hero, aren’t you?
How do your characters react when they find out what their purpose is? Do they handle it well or badly? Not everyone would take well to suddenly discovering they’re a royal, a wizard, a fairy godmother or what have you.
Do the characters go on to accept their purpose or do they reject it and try to get their life back to “normal” (or what they thought of as normal anyway)? Even if they accept their purpose, what do those closest to them make of it? What further complications could that put in your lead character’s way?
Characters seeking a purpose may find the one they end up with is definitely not one they would have chosen! What does this do for them/to them? Do they find they’re better as people because of it? Can resentment from friends and family erode that purpose, even lead to the lead character failing?
A story can be about a purpose that does not work out and the consequences of that failure (though it would be difficult to have an upbeat ending here).
Age Is Just A Number, by Allison Symes – Friday Flash Fiction https://t.co/t9c6tiYfqi— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) August 5, 2022
Pleased to share my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction – Age Is Just a Number. A huge thank you for the comments coming in on this already. I may have hit a nerve or something here! pic.twitter.com/kcrjOs5V6A
Quizzes and Word Games https://t.co/oIeYkYyygB Pleased to share a lighthearted CFT post. I‘m looking at Quizzes and Word Games, favourites of many a writer, including yours truly. I adore Scrabble. What are your favourite word games? Share your thoughts in the CFT comments box.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) August 5, 2022