NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR A FAIRYTALE WITCH

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

New Year’s Resolutions for a Fairytale Witch lists 10 resolutions I think your average fairytale witch would come up with.  Probably got little chance of succeeding in any of them given your average fairy/fairy godmother will also seek to improve their magical and flying skills at any and every opportunity.  Still, even a fairytale witch can dream…

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

I look at Honours in tonight’s post.  This follows the release on the news today of the Queen’s New Years Honours List (and I am so pleased about Andy Murray’s knighthood and Gordon Reid’s MBE.  Love tennis!).  How does the honour system work in your fictional world, assuming you have one?  Who is honoured?  Who does the “honouring”?  Are the honours open to all or just an elite few? What happens to those who rebel against the system here?

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

2016 has been my best year, writing-wise, but, in many ways, it has been a ghastly year.  So I hope 2017 is a lot better.  I finish my CFT posts for the year with a lighthearted look at (and share of) some Seasonal Limericks and Flash Fiction.  Hope  you enjoy them.

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I share my CFT post and wonder just what George Orwell, were he still with us, would have to say on Brexit and Trump.  Quite a bit I should think…

My last CFT post of the year.  Image via Pixabay.

My last CFT post of the year. Image via Pixabay.

 

 

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PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Past, Present and Future reflects on this time of year when most of us look back at the last 12 months, relish the present (still enjoying the Christmas break hopefully) and anticipating the future.  I ask how your characters do this.  What end of year event do they have which would encourage a time of reflection?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Coping with Sadness takes a look at sadness in fiction (I think Tolkein got this spot on with Frodo after the seemingly happy ending in The Lord of the Rings.  The book does not end with the fate of the ring being finalised).  It strikes me that the tendency is to go from tragedy (see Shakespeare on this, Hamlet especially) to showing sadness as a passing emotion which doesn’t really impact on the character or the reader.  What do you think?  I also share some thoughts which should trigger story ideas.

MORE THAN WRITERS – ACW BLOG

For my fellow members of the Association of Christian Writers, my post, Making an Impression, is now up on the More than Writers blog.  I discuss “flash moments” and the role of the innkeeper in the Nativity.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

The post appearing later will be my annual one of limericks and flash fiction pieces as a more lighthearted post to finish the year with.

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As well as sharing my CFT news, I discuss what I think makes for an ideal heroine.  I thought of this as Princess Leia (played by the late Carrie Fisher) was my idea of  a true heroic princess.  I hated heroines who just screamed and did nothing to help themselves.  More in the post.

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Many of us won’t be sorry to say goodbye to this year.  Image via Pixabay.

 

 

 

 

Do your characters know in which direction they're going? (Border collie is optional!). Image via Pixabay.

A FAIRY’S CHRISTMAS WISH LIST

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Have you ever wondered if a fairy is allowed to send in their own wishes to Santa (working on the assumption they are definitely not permitted to grant their own)?  Wonder no more!  A Fairy’s Christmas Wish List shares what I think would be on such a list.  And I even include a wish a lazy fairy would ask for too.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

I discuss Christmas Customs in tonight’s post.  I share a few of mine but ask what your fictional characters would do in way of celebrating a festival that was important to them/their society?  Does your fictional world observe other civilisations, including ours, and what does it make of our customs and festivals?

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This is a “hello, I’m back” kind of post and I share news of how Mabel, my border collie, is doing after she was so ill.  I also hope everyone had lots of lovely books for Christmas!

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LIKES AND DISLIKES

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As well as sharing the link to tonight’s Chandler’s Ford Today post, in Likes and Dislikes I look at how these can be used to create a good back story for your characters.  Why a character likes or dislikes something can also be revealing.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

In Expectations, I look at how even relatively minor expectations can again show a lot about your characters, especially when expectations are disappointed.  Just how does your character react and why?

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

I write a piece annually looking at various aspects of Christmas.  What I Like (and Dislike) about Christmas is this year’s offering.  And one thing I really dislike is tinny music being played in my local shopping centre, let’s have something decent, please!

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As well as sharing the link to my CFT post tonight, I discuss one of my favourite things about Christmas Day.

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

FAIRYTALE WISH LISTS

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In Fairytale Wish Lists I discuss how creating a wish list for your characters can be a great way of discovering what they are really like.  What do they want most in life?  What does this say about them?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

One thing I love about the Christmas carols is many of them are stories in song.  I’ve always been fond of these.  On your fictional world, would music be used to convey a story?  If so, who would write these?  What songs would everyone know and what would these commemorate?  I look into this in Stories in Song.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

Coming up will be my look into what I like and dislike about Christmas.

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More on Mabel’s progress and I share some Christmas cracker jokes!

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Books make wonderful gifts. Image via Pixabay.

Stories can be told in song as well on the pages of a book. Image via Pixabay.

 

Images from the magical world... Image via Pixabay

ONE LINE FAIRYTALES

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

One Line Fairytales is my variant on the Ernest Hemingway six words short story exercise.  I share three ideas, all of which could be written up as flash fiction or standard length short stories.  May well give them a go myself at some point!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

What a Good Book Can Do lists ten benefits of reading a good book (and that doesn’t include the sheer pleasure gained from a marvellous read).  Can you add to my list?

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I discuss some of what I’ve been listening to, my favourite “in the run up to Christmas” reads and continue to update on Mabel’s progress.  I also talk about my writing (a brief look back at progress over the year and hopes for the future) and my reading (what I have done, what I would like to do etc).

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A truly beautiful library but do the books in it meet my criteria for what makes a good story. I would hope so! Image via Pixabay.

A truly beautiful library but do the books in it meet my criteria for what makes a good story. I would hope so! Image via Pixabay.

This statue reminds me of myself when I was a lot younger. Okay I wasn't made of stone (I'm still not!) but I did always have my head in a book. (And do so as often as I can now!). Image via Pixabay.

HOW TO TELL YOU’VE BECOME ADDICTED TO WRITING

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Further Fairytale Classified Adverts gives some For Sale and Wanted adverts that might be found in a fairy realm newspaper.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

How To Tell You’ve Become Addicted to Writing gives ten warning symptoms! Which are you guilty of or is it a case of all ten?  I have listed some of my vices…

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This is mainly a follow-up thank you post to all who wrote much appreciated words of support and encouragement regarding my Mabel’s illness.  I’m glad to say my border collie, while still weak, is making good progress at home.

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The lovely Mabel. Image taken by me! So much happier when there are no fireworks about - and that goes for Mabel too.

The lovely Mabel. Image taken by me!  Making good progress after being really ill at the weekend…

 

Says it all really. Image via Pixabay.

THE ROLE OF ANIMALS IN FAIRYTALES

Both of tonight’s posts on my websites are inspired by a dramatic weekend with my border collie, Mabel, which I write about in more detail on my Facebook page.

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

The Role of Animals in Fairytales looks at how I like the way animals are generally depicted in fiction, especially fairytales.  For example, Puss in Boots is a fully rounded character in his own right and is clearly far more intelligent than his human master.  Watership Down, for me, is the classic example of wonderfully drawn animal characters.  And I like non-human characters in my stories, as long as they are not twee, are shown with motivations and reasons for those motivations, the same way human characters would be portrayed.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

What Your Characters Care About the Most came about as I reflected on what (and whom!) I care about most. Naturally, what I care about (and whom!) makes me the person I am and this should be true for our fictional creations as well.

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Tonight’s post is all about my border collie, Mabel, after a dramatic weekend with her.  And I end it with a plea not to buy puppies from puppy farms EVER (just look at all the reports on the cruelty involved to the breeding mothers for one thing) and equally not to buy puppies at Christmas at all.  A dog needs your time and commitment and Christmas is not the right time to make that kind of decision.  So definitely a post for the animal lovers tonight.

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This picture was taken by me as I was walking my border collie, the lovely (but sometimes noisy) Mabel. I used the image in a Hidden Hampshire piece for Chandler's Ford Today. Probably my best photo ever of a sunset.

This picture was taken by me as I was walking my border collie, the lovely (but sometimes noisy) Mabel. Mabel has not been at all well this weekend but has shown great determination and grit and is slowly recovering.  Keep fighting, Mabel.

 

 

 

 

 

SMASHING STORY STARTS

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Smashing Story Starts shares what I look for at the start of a story.  This includes intriguing opening lines to what I like to know by the end of the first paragraph.  I must admit I like to hit the ground running with my stories and get directly into the characters’ heads.  I like to flesh out more details later in the story.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

My Top 5 Reading Tips is a follow-on from yesterday’s post when I shared my top 5 writing tips.  I look at reading here from a writer’s viewpoint and discuss, amongst other things, the need to read widely and well.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

Great to see good Facebook feedback on my article with Richard Hardie on his YA publication news.  Many thanks, all.

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I discuss Christmas literature – the Nativity, the carols, the films, the spoofs…!

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And there was I thinking my milkman had a big round...!  Image via Pixabay

And there was I thinking my milkman had a big round…! Image via Pixabay

 

 

 

 

There's still a place for writing directly to paper. Image via Pixabay

WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

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When Enough is Enough shares my thoughts on working out when a piece of work is actually finished!  I’ve learned how to be more concise over time (which is why I can now write flash fiction!).  And working out what to say and then stopping at the point without tipping over into waffling and repetition takes some time to get right.  Well, it did for me anyway!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

My Top 5 Writing Tips does exactly what the title suggests.  I look at editing on paper and share a useful tip for writing competitions amongst other ideas.  Hope you find this useful.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

My post this week is Local Author News: Richard Hardie.  Richard writes excellent YA fantasy novels in the Temporal Detective Agency series.  Richard shares his latest publication news including the great coup P&G Wells of Winchester, a renowned independent bookshop, are now stocking Leap of Faith and Trouble With Swords.  It is nice to write a post which shares what a local author is up to and promotes an independent bookshop.  Just a shame there’s so few of them left now.

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Again I share news of my CFT post.

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Leap of Faith, Richard's first novel.  Image kindly supplied by Richard Hardie.

Leap of Faith, Richard’s first novel. Image kindly supplied by Richard Hardie.