Lots happening tonight!
Facebook – General and Chandler’s Ford Today
I shared details of my latest Chandler’s Ford Today post earlier in the day about last weekend’s Book Fair. Going to share it again as my lovely editor has turned the galleries of photos into slideshows (which look fab. Many thanks, Janet).
I take a look at, not at only the event itself, but why I think the Book Fair helped writers (and is of wider benefit to a community that no longer has an independent bookshop). I also love the fact that when writers work together, great things can happen and the Fair was a great example of that.
Image Credit: The photos in the slideshow are a mixture of those taken by me and my lovely Chandler’s Ford Today editor, Janet Williams, who started the site alone and has developed it into a popular online magazine. Slideshow right at the end of this blog post.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
I love the way stories can come in so many different formats – literally everything from flash fiction to epic novels. This aspect was very well represented at the Chandler’s Ford Book Fair last weekend.
Then there are the formats of “transmission” – everything from the book itself to the audiobook to the play and film scripts. A good story is adaptable to more than one medium and can be appreciated and loved in more than one medium too. I have a soft spot for radio (and one thing on my To Do list is to try to write something for radio that makes it on to the air).
As well as “straight” stories, so to speak, there are the well-done spoofs, which are a sheer joy to read or watch. Last weekend was a busy one with the Book Fair in the morning and my going to see the Chameleon Theatre Group’s production of Murdered to Death by Peter Gordon in the evening.
I’ll be writing about that for next week’s CFT post but just wanted to say now that the story world, regardless of genre, truly is a fantastic one. The fact it can send itself up via farces/spoofs as well just adds to my love of stories overall.
Fairytales With Bite – Developments
There have been developments in my writing career which I thought I’d take the chance to share now. I also hope to look at how I’ve changed the ways in which I develop my characters.
Firstly, I’m now part of the Goodreads Author Programme. I am blogging on here once a week but am also open to questions on its Q&A section. So if there is anything book/story/writing related you would like to ask, please head on over and send me some questions!
Secondly, Goodreads have author/book widgets for those writers on their programme, meaning you can link to reviews of my book, From Light to Dark and Back Again. Also listed on Goodreads is Alternative Renditions, an anthology by Bridge House Publishing, where the first thing I ever had appear in print, A Helping Hand, was published. I think it is quite a nice symmetry to have my first book and my first published story listed in this way. (What is also nice for me is my late mum, who so encouraged my love of books, got to see my first published story. My dad, who I lost earlier this year, got to see my first published book).
Thirdly, I am now taking part in more book related events and loving each and every one of them. The latest was a local Book Fair and my Chandler’s Ford Today post this week is a report on this. There are plenty of pictures so it does give a good “flavour” of the event. All good fun and I very much hope there will be more Fairs like this. I hope to have more news of further events later on in the year.
As for character development, increasingly I am looking at what impact I want my characters to have on my readers. This is, I think, essential for flash fiction with its tight word count. The stories have to be character led so I am looking more closely at my characters’ motivations and what they are prepared to do to achieve their wishes! I am also looking at how I want my characters to make the reader feel. Those two things together, I’ve found, are giving me a clearer picture of my characters in my head before I actually write them and are helping with the writing of the stories immensely.
This World and Others – Making Progress
All writers should, obviously, seek to make progress with what they do but I would add that the progress should be what you are happy with. Writers work at different paces so therefore progress has to differ. Besides, nobody can guarantee publication or an instant best seller but you can work towards the first (and hope for the second, we all do!).
Also with the second, most of us would recognise that book sales are not necessarily the most reliable indicator of a book’s quality (am not going to name titles here, but I’d be surprised if you couldn’t think of some titles where you wonder how that got published at all! Again, we all do). I think most of us would recognise then that you need to put your work out there, do what you can with regard to marketing (this will vary from writer to writer), and that sales build up over time (usually).
What I’ve sought to do since seriously trying to write for publication is to make steady progress year on year. Some years that has been just to have more work online. Now I do have a book out, From Light to Dark and Back Again, my aim has been to promote it as much as I can and carry on writing the follow up to it. I’ve recognised that book marketing is an ongoing thing. Even when I have book 2, book 26 or what have you out there, I will always be referring to my back list etc. So to a certain extent marketing for any one book doesn’t really stop. Therefore it makes no sense to put myself under unnecessary time pressure.
On my Fairytales with Bite site tonight, I’ve written about Developments (both mine and in how I write characters now, as opposed to when I first started writing) and I share that link here. I am now on the Goodreads Author Programme and talk about that in this post and welcome writing related questions on the Q&A spot it has so please do go and have a look and come back to me! I’ve shared on there the Goodreads widget leading to my book reviews, below I share the widget showing my books. What is nice here is you see both my first published book and the anthology, Alternative Renditions, where my first published story appeared, A Helping Hand.
As for progress for 2018, I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions but I do over the Christmas break, think about what I’d like to see what happen – and then do what I can to achieve it. At the end of the year, if I’ve achieved it all, brilliant. If I’ve achieved some (and especially if opportunities have opened up where I didn’t expect and I’ve rightly followed those), equally brilliant. If I’ve achieved “just” some, then that’s fine too. Onwards and upwards!
Image below is just a screen shot but if you follow the links above via Goodreads you will come to my author page with all relevant information on it.