KEEPING IT REAL – DIALOGUE

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In Keeping It Real – Dialogue I discuss the need to cut out “real speech”!  A contradiction?  Not really.  In life, we pause, we hesitate, we stumble over our words at times – none of that should appear in your characters’ dialogues.  The idea is that the speech we read is smooth, helps move the story on and there is nothing in it to slow things down.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Lines to Inspire Fear in Your Characters gives some fun examples of things no character would ever want to hear!  For example, just to name two I’ve listed:-

 

  • What kind of harm could possibly come from a stick with a star at the end of it?

  • Yes, you will have to walk for miles, the food will be awful but you are still going on that quest.

 

I then discuss looking at what your characters really fear and make them face it.  If you want to increase the tension in your story, that would definitely do it!

MORE THAN WRITERS BLOG – ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN WRITERS

My Association of Christian Writers’ piece for the month is called Telling It How It Is.  I share my love of the Psalms for their honesty and passion.  If ever there was a book where writers poured out their souls, this is it!

BONUS CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY POST

I will share the main post tomorrow, hopefully, but there is a bonus one up on site tonight.  The extra post is called What is a Cyber Launch?  This is for those new to the idea and came out of a discussion I had at a new local writing group. 

FACEBOOK PAGE

Really ties in with my ACW and CFT bonus posts tonight.

CYBER LAUNCH NEWS

I discuss my writing routines, give some writing prompts and look at why we write.

https://www.facebook.com/events/685324028308037/permalink/692279470945826/

 

FLTDBA ACW Bookshop Image

Glad to say From Light to Dark and Back Again is on the ACW Bookshop – screen shot by me.

 

 

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MORE MAGICAL WORLD MISSIVES

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In a follow-up post to Postcards from the Magical World, More Magical World Missives shares further brief correspondence from fairytale characters.  (Previously undiscovered brief correspondence naturally).  Tonight’s missives come from Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty and Six of the Seven Dwarves!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Are Things Where You Still Left Them discusses whether your characters are prone to losing things.  Are your characters well organised or do they leave their belongings all over the place?! What habits (including losing things) aggravate your characters the most?

FACEBOOK PAGE

A busy night on the cyber launch front, more in a moment, so I thought I would write something that was a complete contrast on FB tonight.  And in full:-

You can tell it is is spring in Britain – it is still cold! I keep getting told off by a robin whenever I go into the garden so suspect there may be a nest nearby. It comes to something when I’m whinged at on my own back lawn!

Mabel, bless her, takes no notice of the birds and they ignore her too. I’ve seen blackbirds step aside and carry on digging up worms as Mabel, in her younger years, went off in hot pursuit of a grey squirrel. It was as if the birds knew… (they probably weren’t sorry about the squirrel being seen off the premises in no uncertain terms either!).

CYBERLAUNCH NEWS

Tonight I discuss why I have three websites and summarise them, including this one.  It can be surprising where the writing journey takes you and I never anticipated this but I love writing for all of my sites and I hope something of that shows through.

https://www.facebook.com/events/685324028308037/?active_tab=discussion

A very proud moment, one all writers of fiction dream of - holding the first copy of your own book. Image by Adrian Symes.

Notebooks old and new - image via Pixabay. Ideas have to be jotted down somewhere!

ONCE UPON A TIME… AND OTHER OPENINGS

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In Once Upon A Time…and Other Openings I discuss what I think makes for a great opening to a story or even an article and why I feel once upon a time isn’t strong enough.  I look at starting a piece with dialogue that intrigues, a character that you simply must know more about or a fantastic situation that, again, your reader will want to explore.  The writer’s job is to keep the reader, reading!

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

I love writing prompts and have used Ernest Hemingway’s six words short story exercise to trigger them in the past.  In Writing Prompts, I share five different scenarios.  Have fun!

FACEBOOK PAGE

I thought I’d share the whole post here as it discusses what books you turn to when life is getting you down etc.  I look for escapism.  What do you choose?  Comments welcome!

What books do you turn to if, say, things are not going well with life in general? For me, I have to read for escapism and the funnier the work the better.

I can see the point of “realistic” fiction which shows life as it is lived, but there is nothing wrong with a book or a story being purely for entertainment.

I suspect this is why genre fiction can still be looked down on. Genre fiction does tend to focus on an entertaining, gripping read and quite rightly too.

Old-fashioned as I am, I like ALL books to entertain, even if, as with non-fiction, you go on to learn something as well.

CYBER LAUNCH NEWS

I am posting regularly on this now and tonight I share some of my early work from Cafelit (including a story which will make you think twice about ever annoying a duck!).  I also share one of my posts from Chandler’s Ford Today where I discuss what flash fiction is and I discuss how I came to write flash fiction at all.

 

The old fashioned notebook and pen still have major roles to play in interviewing - image via Pixabay

Despite technology, the old notebook and pen still have their uses.  Image via Pixabay.

 

 

 

 

Well, what IS your story? Image via Pixabay.

QUIZZES AND QUESTIONS

CYBERLAUNCH NEWS

Just to confirm my launch will be on Saturday 1st April from 10 am to 6 pm UK time.  All welcome!  I have started posting items to the event page including, tonight, a poll asking how writers began writing.  What was the spur?  Comments welcome (as well as joining in with the poll itself).  I will be posting something on the page every night as a kind of warm up to the main event on Saturday.

See the link at https://www.facebook.com/events/685324028308037/?active_tab=discussion

Cyberlaunch Image

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Linking in with the cyberlaunch poll, in Quizzes and Questions I ask what educational standards your characters would have.  What kind of questions would they be expected to be able to answer?  Who would host quizzes in your fictional world’s equivalent of the media?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Again trying in with launch, in News of Events, how would your characters promote events (and what would they be promoting?). What counts as news for your characters?

FACEBOOK PAGE

I talk about one of the nice aspects of writing and reproduce the post in full here.

One of the nicest things about writing is how therapeutic it can be when life is going belly side up, so to speak.

Your fictional setting and characters literally take you out of yourself and get you to think about something much more positive. So do I understand writing as therapy? Definitely.

Most of the time I write because (a) I love doing so, (b) I can’t imagine NOT doing so, (c) for entertainment and (d) for publication.

But during those times when life seems to be on the darker side, writing comes into its own. I’m all for the arts in general being used in therapy and I wonder if it was used more often like that, how much would be saved in other NHS costs? Quite a bit I think.

Link to post and page:

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Says it all really. Image via Pixabay.

Says it all really. Image via Pixabay. And am glad to say my poorly border collie, Mabel, has very much been showing this spirit.

I write fairytales with bite as flash fiction and short stories in particular. Image via Pixabay.

POSTCARDS FROM THE MAGICAL WORLD

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In Postcards from the Magical World, I imagine three characters – The Big Bad Wolf, Cinderella and the Ugly Duckling – have taken time out of their busy schedules to write a postcard.  Hope to share more tomorrow.  Good fun to write these.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

In Memorable Characters, I look at what makes a character stick in the mind. Brave characters always appeal as do those who defy the odds, even for foolish reasons.  (You read on to see if they get away with it basically).  What would you list as making a character memorable?  I list five different characteristics that I think would make a character stand out but there are others.  Comments welcome!

FACEBOOK PAGE

I talk about images tonight.  I love images created in stories but that can also include songs which have stories in them. I share one of my favourite tracks which is on You Tube – The Creature from the Black Lagoon by Dave Edmunds too as that is very imaginative.

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The wonderful world of stories... Image via Pixabay.

The wonderful world of stories… Image via Pixabay.

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

LINES THAT WILL LEAD TO TROUBLE

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Lines that Will Lead to Trouble shares five instances of things you or a character visiting a magical world would definitely not want to hear.  Examples include wondering what the ring with the strange writing on it will do and whether the friendly looking old lady in the pointed hat will give directions.  (Yes, to her oven, best avoid).  Can you add to the list?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

What Not to Give a Writer is a post inspired by a present I received this week as I’d had my birthday on the Wednesday.  I received gifts I definitely did want, including a writer’s kit – all good things but it led me to wonder about what a writer would not want.  I’ve included not wanting a lecture from someone who claims they’d write if only they had the time.  Committed writers make the time even if it is only a small amount each day.

FACEBOOK PAGE

Short post tonight so have reproduced it in full here…

Must admit though I will like the lighter evenings, I don’t like the clock change business. I wish they’d pick one time and stick to it. I always feel a bit jet-lagged for a few days after the change.

Good to see family and friends today. Looking forward to cyber launch next weekend.

Not much reading achieved this week, hope to make up for that a bit tomorrow.

 

CYBER LAUNCH NEWS

Don’t forget.  The cyber launch for From Light to Dark and Back Again is next Saturday, 1st April between 10 am and 6 pm.  All welcome to drop by! 

https://www.facebook.com/events/685324028308037/

Cyberlaunch Image

 

 

 

GOING BACKWARDS – AND THE WONDERFUL WAYS OF AWKWARD CHARACTERS

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

Going Backwards is a follow-up post to my one of yesterday which talked about the way forward.  It is possible for characters, instead of developing and moving on, to go backward.  Is it because they can’t handle the pressures?  Are they retreating to give themselves time to work out what to do about the situation they find themselves in? Does their wish to “go backward” for a while help them or make the problem worse?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

I think I may have come up with my favourite post title tonight.  The Wonderful Ways of the Awkward Character (I admit it doesn’t trip off the tongue easily, though!) looks at why characters can be awkward and why are brilliant for writers.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY/FACEBOOK PAGE

My latest Chandler’s Ford Today post is part 1 of my interview with Martin Kyrle, former Liberal Democrat councillor and now published author. His book Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway describes a fantastic journey taken by him with friend and photographer, Michael Roberts, across Russia, Mongolia and into China.

One thing I love about non-fiction writing is how it is increasingly using storytelling techniques to entertain (as well as give you the facts and figures of whatever subject you are reading about). Martin’s book is a very good example of this and would appeal to lovers of travel books, railways and funny stories!

Martin and I discuss the book and I give a summary of the contents. The photos in the book are stunning. The book is written as a travel diary and is very easy to read. It sheds light on a part of the world which is still wilderness (especially Mongolia).

Martin also shares why he wrote the book. The second part of the interview next week will include a summary of Kyrle’s Laws (including the wonderfully named Law of the Public Bog!) and what Martin would have done differently had he known then what he knows now.

 

Photo2860

My latest CFT post gives a review of the book and shares part 1 of the interview with its author, Martin Kyrle.  This photo was taken by me though all images in the book itself are taken by Michael Roberts (and are simply stunning!).

 

Books make wonderful gifts. Image via Pixabay.

THE WAY FORWARD

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

The Way Forward looks at how our characters should know what their way forward is, even if they keep being frustrated in trying to achieve it by circumstances or other characters.  They need to keep finding their way forward.  It’s easy for a writer sometimes to feel a bit overwhelmed by the choices we can make for our characters which will turn the whole story.  And as for marketing work, there are so many options available, it can be difficult to find our personal way forward.  But our characters should know and be driven by the need to achieve it.  Are yours?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

I list three of my top thoughts in Favourite Things about WritingI deliberately limited this as it would have been too easy to write all night on this topic!  I love writing as it takes you out of yourself (really useful in times of stress), encourages reading (never a bad thing) and there is a strong sense of community in the writing world generally.  See what you think.  Comments as to what your top three favourite things about writing would be are very welcome.

CHANDLER’S FORD TODAY

My post this time is Part 1 of an interview with local writer, Martin Kyrle, who along with photographer Michael Roberts, has produced Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway, a fascinating account of their experiences on an amazing railway journey.  (Amazing not always in a good way either!).  More tomorrow….

FACEBOOK PAGE

Glad to report there appear to be no issues tonight.  My author page is back up.  What happened yesterday when it vanished remains a mystery!  Tonight I am glad to share links to two wonderful reviews of From Light to Dark and Back Again by my Swanwick Summer School writing friends, Jennifer Wilson and Valerie Penny.

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Cyberlaunch Image

Would be delighted to have your company for all or part of my cyberlaunch for my debut flash fiction collection.  The launch is hosted by my publishers (Chapeltown Books are linked to both Bridge House Publishing and Cafelit.  Do visit their websites if you would be interested in submitting work to them).

 

 

 

The magic of stories. Image via Pixabay

DISCOVERING COURAGE

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In Discovering Courage I discuss the fact it takes crisis events to being the best (usually) out of people and this should be true for your characters as well.  I also ask if your characters ever surprise you with what they prove to be capable of.

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Avoidable Alliteration is a short, fun post which shows alliteration best avoided if you ever visit a magical world.  After all you would not want to be OO (obliterated by ogre) or the victim of a WW (wizard wheeze), would you?

BOOK NEWS

I hope to share tomorrow two wonderful reviews of From Light to Dark and Back Again.  I also plan to share Chapeltown’s invite to my cyberlaunch.

FACEBOOK PAGE

You know how sometimes you think the world is out to get you?  Well, in my case, it appears to be the virtual world.  I am glad to say Weebly put right a problem I was facing recently.  Well now it is the turn of Facebook to do the same!  My author page has issues which I need them to resolve (I can’t post to it, the box which tells you to write something is not there, nor are any of my posts yet if I view it as a visitor, I can see everything and post to it!  Screwy or what?!).

Murphy’s Law has struck again.  The moment I typed the above paragraph, I thought I would go back to FB and see what the latest is.  My page is back!  (So thanks, Facebook, but I still have no idea why it vanished, am worried it may happen again, and I really wish you had a Live Chat function so I could get help directly.  With Facebook, you are rather dependent on them responding to your plea for help – and you have no real idea if they will – and even if they do, when it will be!).

I had written a brief post on my main page but think it will be best if I just start again tomorrow as far as FB is concerned.  But hopefully I will be able to share launch and review news amongst other things.

Social Media Tree. Image via Pixabay.

Social Media Tree. Image via Pixabay.

 

 

Books are the gateway to other worlds - image via Pixabay

BIRTHDAYS IN FAIRYTALES

FAIRYTALES WITH BITE

In Birthdays in Fairytales I look at how birthdays can be a pivotal event in the classic tales.  I also ask how your characters celebrate their birthdays.  Also are there official birthdays commemorated by people (whether they want to or not!)?

THIS WORLD AND OTHERS

Chatty Characters looks at how dialogue can reveal so much about a character in not just what they say but how they say it.  Dialogue can also be used to vary pace and the alert reader can pick up on whether your characters are hiding things.  I love writing dialogue but must admit I have to watch this.  I could happily set up character conversations that go on and on and on….  It all has to be relevant to the story, though!

FACEBOOK PAGE

I was sorry to hear of the death of Colin Dexter, the creator of Inspector Morse.  I heard Colin Dexter speak at the Winchester Writers’ Festival and he held everyone spellbound.  I go on to talk about some of my favourite detectives.

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The world of the imagination should play a role in your stories. I can't imagine any world without some form of the arts. Image via Pixabay.

Many of my favourite books take me into the detective’s world.  Image via Pixabay.