One of my favourite book images. They really are magical. Transportation into other worlds and around this one in a few hundred pages. Brilliant! Image via Pixabay.

WHEN A CHARACTER KNOWS THEY’RE IN TROUBLE

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

When a Character knows they’re in trouble is another of my “sum it all up in the title” posts! A short, sharp list of points for a character to ponder – do you agree with what I’ve come up with?  Can you add to the list?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Reviewing Characters is another sum it up title!  I appear to be on a roll with these tonight!  But it occurred to me it would be no bad thing for writers to review their characters every so often.  Are the characters still coming across the way you want them to do so?  If not is this because they’ve developed and do you need to change your story to handle that development correctly?  Characters should change and develop of course, it’s the classic sign they “live” (and as a result so does the story), but a check to see the character is still “up to the job” is no bad thing I feel.

FACEBOOK PAGE

I was really pleased Andy Murray won in Vienna.  I discuss my thoughts on that and the creative arts in my FB page tonight.  A strange mix?  I don’t think so.  Sports people can be creative in how they play after all (AM is a great example of that.  Some of his shots take my breath away in a “how the hell did he do that” kind of way).  I also love the fact that there are so many forms of creative arts, so much so there is bound to be at least one to suit most people!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F811856708917310&width=500

When I'm not at my desk, I'm likely to be in the swimming pool or walking the dog (never both at the same time!). Image via Pixabay.

When I’m not at my desk, I’m likely to be in the swimming pool or walking the dog (never both at the same time!). Image via Pixabay.

Advertisements

REVIEW BY VALERIE PENNY: Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks — Allison Symes: Collected Works

Can’t recommend this review by Valerie Penny highly enough.  A great example of how a book review should be written. Originally posted on Valerie Penny’s Book Reviews: Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks was recently book of the month in my book group. It is a book often studied for exams. It is an epic love story set against the First World War, a modern classic that was adapted for film in 2012 with which I…

via Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks — Allison Symes: Collected Works

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Wonderful review by Valerie Penny. Heard SF at Winchester Writers’ Festival a couple of years ago when he gave a wonderful opening speech.

Val Penny's Book Reviews

sebastian-faukesBirdsong by Sebastian Faulks was recently book of the month in my book group. It is a book often studied for exams. It is an epic love story set against the First World War, a modern classic that was adapted for film in 2012 with which I was already familiar. However, a book group can never go far wrong with a novel by Sebastian Faulks. Another of his novels after P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves and the Wedding Bells at https://bookreviewstoday.info/2013/12/29/jeeves-and-the-wedding-bells-by-sebastian-faulks/. Sebastian Charles Faulks CBE is a British novelist, journalist and broadcaster. He is best known for his historical novels set in France including The Girl at the Lion d’Or and Charlotte Gray. He was born aon 20 April, 1953. He was educated at Emanuel College, Cambridge, England and Wellington College, Berkshire. Birdsong is another of his novels set in France.

Stephen Wraysford  marches to the front on the day before the Somme Offensive.He leads his…

View original post 726 more words

Looking into the past... Image via Pixabay

WHAT FAIRYTALE CHARACTERS MOST CARE ABOUT

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

What Fairytale Characters most care about is about….  well I do love titles that sum a blog post up.  See if you agree with what I’ve come up with here.  Can you add to my list?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Provoking a Reaction discusses what I think makes a successful story or even blog post.  It has to provoke a reaction in the reader.  Your characters  have got to care about the outcome of the story.  Your readers have to care about the outcome for the characters or the overall outcome for a non-fiction piece.

FACEBOOK PAGE

I went to see Arthur Miller’s All My Sons tonight so briefly discuss that (plan to review at a later date).  I also share my dislike of fireworks – I own a dog and see the distress the wretched things cause though a calming diffuser seems to have positive effects.  I’m also feeling a little virtuous as I tidied up my writing desk a bit (never a favourite task).

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F811018969001084&width=500

Fairies are not twee creatures... tonight I ask what do fairytale characters most care about. Image via Pixabay

Fairies are not twee creatures… tonight I ask what do fairytale characters most care about. Image via Pixabay

 

 

 

FICTIONAL TEACHING, ADVICE AND INTERVIEWS

Both of my website posts tonight were inspired by my Chandler’s Ford Today interview post with Barbara Large, the second part of which went up on site tonight.  Link below.

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

I look at fictional interviews in tonight’s post and these can be a great way of revealing more about characters (both interviewer and interviewee) as long as the interview serves the story and moves it onwards to its conclusion.

Some of my previous posts on my websites have discussed interviewing your own characters and that can be a useful technique to find out more what makes them tick.  But whether the interview is actually in the story or you are using one to help flesh out your portrayal of a character, it should convey significant information, which is crucial to your story in some way.

This is because you may well find out something about the character that you had not originally envisioned but the interview brings out.  Find out where that takes you, it could be fun (!), indeed I think it should be fun (!!), and it should add depth to your character portrayal if nothing else.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Teaching and Advice looks at the role of teachers, advisors/mentors in the role of fiction.  What experience do they have?  How does it help the one they are advising?  Are the teachers and advisors generally respected or not (and why is this the case)?  Plenty of story ideas to be found here I think!

FACEBOOK PAGE

I share details of my Chandler’s Ford Today post, which is part 2 of my interview with Barbara Large.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F810170759085905&width=500

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

Part 2 of my interview with Barbara Large is now on site and, as ever, Barbara shares a wealth of advice for writers of all backgrounds.  It was a great joy to meet up with her again and I can’t overestimate how much she has supported writers of fiction (all genres) and non-fiction over the years.  It was lovely to talk to her and thank you, Barbara, for sparing your very precious time for the interview.

The Writing Life with Barbara Large is a two part interview and now available via Chandler's Ford Today, Image via Pixabay.

The Writing Life with Barbara Large is a two part interview and now available via Chandler’s Ford Today, Image via Pixabay.

 

Says it all really and ties in with my post tonight for This World and Others. Image via Pixabay.

FAIRYTALE NEWS HEADLINES

FAIRYTALE NEWS HEADLINES

Fairytale News Headlines takes a whimsical, humorous look at what stories would grab the magical media’s attention.  There is also suggestions as to what periodicals might take which item.  It’s not good news for the big, bad wolf here though.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

The Other Side of Writing explores why all writers who want to develop well must read well, in and out of their genre and ideally including non-fiction too.  Why?  Because ideas spark all over the place, so the wider you read, the wider you are casting your metaphorical net.  That can only be a good thing for your writing.

FACEBOOK PAGE.

I discuss the importance of “taking in” stories in different formats for my post here today.  The great thing about writing is, because most accept to write well you need to read well, you get two hobbies for the price of one here!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F809496802486634&width=500

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

Part 2 of my interview with Barbara Large will be up on site tomorrow.  Barbara shares her thoughts on what she’d like her creative writing classes to achieve and shares numerous hints and tips for all writers.   Links up tomorrow.

The ultimate book circle perhaps? Image via Pixabay.

The ultimate book circle perhaps? Image via Pixabay.

 

 

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

HAPPY EVER AFTER AND THE REAL YOU

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Happy Ever After? discusses the classic fairytale ending (in most cases) versus the modern tendency to have a “happy for now” scenario.  I’m not that keen on the latter, though I can understand it and I share my thoughts as to why here.  What do you think?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

The Real “You” looks at our tendency to cover up those less impressive aspects of ourselves, especially when we are trying to impress someone. Our characters should be doing this too and in this post I ask who are they trying to impress, what are they covering up and do other characters see through it all?

FACEBOOK PAGE

I look at a writing exercise I tried at Swanwick where I had to give advice to my 20 year old self.  Tonight’s FB page discusses that.  And yes I did tell myself to lighten up!  I remember being very intense at that age.  I also tell myself to start writing sooner…  oh I wish I had!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F808677699235211&width=500

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

Just a quick reminder that part 2 of my interview with the wonderful Barbara Large, MBE, founder of what is now known as the Winchester Writers’ Festival, will be appearing this coming Friday.

What world will you enter when you next read a good story? Image via Pixabay.

What world will you enter when you next read a good story? Image via Pixabay.

 

Come sunrise the fairies (and fairytale witches) must vanish. Image via Pixabay.

OFFENDING A FAIRYTALE WITCH

I love writing a  mixture of funny posts and those that share writing tips/thoughts about writing, hence tonight’s billings!

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Offending a Fairytale Witch is full of hints and tips for anyone brave or insane enough to give this a go.  It’s not something I’d do but then I like (a) living and (b) going to bed the same shape and species with which I began the day.  Call me fussy and all that but we all have our lines we won’t cross and this is one of mine.  Still the great thing is even if you’re not brave or insane enough to offend a fairytale witch, like me you can always enjoy reading about what you could do but for health and safety reasons have wisely chosen not to indulge in!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Turning from the ridiculous to what I hope is the more sensible (and maybe sublime?), What is a Good Story shares what I think makes for a truly gripping tale.  Do you agree with my findings?  Can you add to them?  I’ve deliberated not named any specific stories but the principles of my list apply across all genres and word counts.

FACEBOOK PAGE

Today was lovely in that I sent back the proofs for my short story, Helping Out, which will be appearing in Bridge House Publishing’s annual anthology soon.  This year’s anthology is called Baubles and I am looking forward to going to the launch event in London in December.  It will be a joint launch with Cafelit and I am thrilled I have a flash fiction piece, Telling the Time, in their compilation, The Best of Cafelit 5.  It has been a good year for my short stories and I very much hope to build on this in 2017.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F808045025965145&width=500

A way into the magical realm, perhaps? Image via Pixabay.

A way into the magical realm, perhaps? Image via Pixabay.

The perfect way to unwind. Image via Pixabay.

Career Prospects for a Fairytale Witch

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Career Prospects for a Fairytale Witch is full of advice for those interested in pursuing this path.  Of course a lot depends on whether you are happy to accept always being the bad guy, knowing  you are likely to die before your time and often horribly, and that you’ll never be able to trust any dwarf ever again (especially if there are seven of them confronting you).  However if this is not a problem, this post shares what you could do (and even shares some hints as to what you could do to increase your chances of living longer too).

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Firstly may I apologise on this one.  I’ve actually named the piece Writing Tips I Continue to Find Helpful but you will see the link says What Writers would do well to Remember.  The latter was the original title I’d chosen but I wasn’t happy with it so changed it.  I don’t know why but the change of title has not been picked by the website so is still showing the old one.  I’ve not had this as an issue before and if it happens again (hopefully not), I’ll query Weebly over it.  Having said that, the post does contain writing tips I continue to find helpful and hope you find them helpful too.

FACEBOOK PAGE

Tonight I share last night’s This World and Others post about Why It Is Not a Good Idea to Annoy a Writer.  I love writing (and reading) humorous lists and hope this one amuses you!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F807371429365838&width=500

Magical lands. Image via Pixabay.

Magical lands. Image via Pixabay.

 

 

Story Shuffle Project: Choosing what to read. Image supplied by Eastleigh Borough Council.

EXPECTATIONS OF A FAIRY GODMOTHER

I’ve written lists tonight for both of my website posts.  I do love a good list!

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Expectations of a Fairy Godmother lists ten things an experienced fairy godmother should expect during the course of her career.  If you can think of any to add, I’d welcome comments!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Why Annoying a Writer is Not a Good Idea gives 10 reasons why this is so.  Again, if you can think of others, I’d be glad to get your comments!  This post was inspired by a Facebook photo doing the rounds earlier this evening.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

I’ve written a quick update post tonight on the Story Shuffle Project.  This project is a great way of encouraging local school children to create their own stories and use their local libraries.

The idea is they write a story which, for this project, will be based on the tales of Sir Bevis of Hampton, Southampton’s legendary hero – think James Bond on tapestries basically!).  The stories are then digitised and put into the Shuffle app.

The children are given a code and have to visit their local library to use this code to unlock their own stories and gain access to a wealth of other books and stories.  From a writer’s viewpoint there is nothing not to like about this – creative writing and library use, wow!

I do hope all who use this project have a great deal of fun with it.  Tonight’s update shares further images sent into CFT about this.  I think the app looks great.  See what you think!  (And I hope ideas like this spread – great use of technology, stories, history, animation etc).

FACEBOOK PAGE

I share news of my CFT update and must thank Eastleigh Borough Council for supplying the images.  They support the Story Shuffle Project because of its role in encouraging creative writing and reading.  I must also thank my lovely editor for re-arranging the feature image.  She is very creative on this sort of thing!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FAllison.Symes.FairytaleLady%2Fposts%2F806716466098001&width=500

Story Shuffle Project: Code Setter. Image supplied by Eastleigh Borough Council.

Story Shuffle Project: Code Setter. Image supplied by Eastleigh Borough Council.