Facebook – General
What do you find is the most frustrating thing about writing?
That lovely moment when you think you’ve got a corker of an idea but you go to write it down and it suddenly evaporates?
Being interrupted when you’ve got going nicely and you know you will have to come back later and find you can’t quite get into your rhythm again?
All of them, I hear you cry! I know. It is difficult to choose from this particular shortlist.
Rejections – I take some comfort from the fact EVERY writer has them, it really isn’t just you or me for that matter. But hopefully you can learn and improve on what you do with each one. Also just because a piece is rejected somewhere, it doesn’t mean it can’t be accepted elsewhere. So keep trying, keep going!
Ideas Disappearing – it happens. Write down what you can. Then think laterally. I sometimes use a spider diagram. Sometimes I get the idea I had initially back, other times I think of something better. Win, win there either way!
Interruptions – On the plus side, whoever you are prepared to drop your writing for must be pretty important to you so treasure them! I carve out blocks of time for my writing and, unless there is a dire emergency, I stick to those. I’ve found it helps to be consistent with this. It also helps to show loved ones what I’ve produced in this time, publication credits when I get them etc so they can see the point of what I’m doing that way. It helps lessen the risk of any “non urgent” interruptions!
Love that clock. Pexels image.
Great characters will engross you. You will lose time reading their stories. Image via Pixabay.
Time flies when reading or writing. Image via Pixabay
Writing is rewriting. Image via Pixabay.
There was always something magical about having a blank page to write to. Image via Pixabay.
So much history here, so many stories here. Image via Pexels.
What every writer needs. Image via Pexels.
Books are the keys to knowledge. Image via Pixabay
One of the highlights of my writing year is rapidly approaching – the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. Brochure arrived yesterday.
I think I know what courses I’m going to be doing – I went through the programme when it was put up on the website (I know, I know, girly swot!). Having said that, the brochure gives me the perfect chance to change my mind again and then again and then… well you get the picture!
Looking forward to catching up with old friends and making new ones! Pictures below taken by me – The Hayes is a stunning place to be.
A lovely place to reflect during Swanwick. Image by Allison Symes
Let the words flow! Image via Pixabay.
Part of the lawns at Swanwick. Image by Allison Symes.
The Hayes Conference Centre, home of the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. Image by Allison Symes
Diary keeping as I recall it but I skipped the gingham! Image via Pixabay
Part of the glorious gardens at the Hayes. Image by Allison Symes
The lakes at The Hayes. Image by Allison Symes
Glad to say I made sales at the Book Fair. Image by Allison Symes
How can you tell when a story idea really is something you should run with?
When the idea haunts you, basically.
When you start writing the idea down and more ideas flood in as you do so.
I’ve only had a couple of ideas where, on outlining, I found I couldn’t expand them further to create a story. All that promise and nothing… bah humbug!
So does it pay to outline? Definitely. Can save a lot of time.
As for outlining flash fiction, I keep this brief, aptly. Character is X, major trait is Y, how is latter going to help or hinder X?
I often find that a flash story can go in a couple of different directions and then it is down to what mood I want to go for. A humorous story is when X’s major trait hinders, causes trouble etc – there is a lot of comic potential there.
A more sombre story shows the major trait hindering X but they are not necessarily aware of it. What X sees as persistence, all those around them see as stubborness and X being an awkward so and so.
But a good idea gives you that potential to go in different directions.
Looking forward to seeing the latest production by local theatre group, The Chameleons, tomorrow night. Will be writing more about it for CFT later but my lovely editor, Janet Williams, is also going so I think I can classify this as the nearest thing CFT has to a “works’ outing”!
My CFT post this week will be looking at what to look for in a good review/critique. I also share some tips – link to go up on Friday.
The local wildflower meadow I wrote about for last week’s CFT post is still going strong I’m glad to say. This is totally unlike the grass in the park, our lawn, and most of our plants. I’ve also noticed the trees have started to shed leaves. Really wouldn’t mind some rain now… and talking of the weather, it has been mad here today. It was hotter at 8 am than it was at lunchtime and hotter still at about 5/6 pm!
This is not in my genre at all but I guess there is room for climate change fiction!! (And practically all of it will be based on facts…).
Signing books for a friend. Image by Adrian Symes
The precursor to blogging – journal keeping, Image via Pixabay.
A huge but lovely library. Image via Pexels
The wonderful world of stories. Image via Pixabay
What writing triggers will help you create your new worlds? Image via Pixabay
The art of the flash (fiction). Image via Pixabay
Some very strange creatures are in books. Image via Pixabay
Beautiful pens. Pexels image.
What stories will come from this pen? Pexels image.
Books have their own sense of time and space. Image via Pixabay.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
I don’t set out to write fiction with a “purpose” other than hopefully to be entertaining. I’m all for books that can educate, open readers’ eyes to new worlds etc etc. but there is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to write stories which make people smile/laugh/scream as appropriate and be for sheer entertainment only.
I’ve never understood why some can look down on genre fiction due to its easy accessibility to readers. You want people to read, yes? Fine, let them get on with that. Maybe people will move on to “more worthy” books later when they are ready but if not, they will still be reading, which is always a good thing.
(And writing to entertain can be easier said than done anyway! Now back to the writing… oh and the first one you have to entertain IS you. If you don’t like it, why should anyone else?}
Flash – for light or dark fiction! Image via Pixabay
Flash fiction, by its nature, has to take one look at a situation to be a story but you can get quite a bit into that “one look”. Image via Pixabay.
Fiction should show you new ways of looking at the world. Image via Pixabay.
Local authors’ books, including mine, on sale at our railway station
Fantasy may look at other worlds but often reflects on our own. Time is different too. Music can interpret worlds too. Think of classic film scores like that for The Lord of the Rings. Image via Pixabay.
Connections to what you read and what you write. What are yours? Image via Pixabay.
Whenever and whatever you read, enjoy. Image via Pixabay.
Let the writing flow and if music can help it along even better! Image via Pixabay
Preparing a talk or a flash fiction story perhaps. Image via Pixabay.
Just what is your story then? Image via Pixabay
When is the right time to start a new flash fiction book? Directly after you’ve finished the last one and sent it off to the publisher!
Am making good progress on my third collection. Am planning to make even more progress on it while I’m at Swanwick. I also plan to revisit my unpublished novel (as I would like to change the status on that one!!).
So plenty to do and no chance of getting bored – good, bring in on, say I!
Reaching out for writing ideas. Image via Pixabay.
Wonderful books. Image via Pexels
The road should not be an easy one for your hero/heroine. Image via Pixabay
You can’t beat notebooks for jotting down ideas. Image via Pixabay.
Pressing on towards the light. Image via Pixabay
Historical records can be an invaluable source of inspiration. Image via Pixabay,
The classic start to a fairytale. Image via Pixabay.
Love this image! Image via Pixabay
What a beautiful home for books. Image via Pixabay
Use what you know of our world and your imagination to create something really special. Image via Pixabay
Fake news and roundabouts that are too small make it into my CFT post. Image via Pixabay.
Not arguing with this! Image via Pixabay
No room for gobbledygook here. Image via Pixabay.
Should you be able to guess the ending of a story, regardless of length?
I must admit one of the joys of reading for me is to try to work out where the story will head. It is great when I’m right. It is even better when I’m not! I like a really good story twist that takes me by surprise yet when I go back through the tale find that the clues to it were there all along.
When I write my twist endings, I nearly always reject the first idea that comes to me. Why? Because inevitably the first idea that occurs is the same one that will occur to most other people too! There is no fun to be had in guessing the ending there!
I do write that first idea down though, despite knowing I inevitably won’t use it. Why? I’ve found the very act of writing it down helps generate other, better, stronger ideas. I find it easier to come up with something when paper and ink are involved somewhere in the process rather than just think it all up. I suppose in a way in drafting ideas like that I am kind of giving myself permission to “play about” with the thoughts that have occurred to me. Whatever the deep down reason, all I know is that it works!
Lovely place to browse. Image via Pixabay.
Whenever and whatever you read, enjoy. Image via Pixabay.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Hopefully the Book Fair will encourage even more reading! Image via Pexels
Beautiful pens. Pexels image.
Doesn’t look comfortable to me. Pexels image.
Is it Time for a Change for the dragon in my story on Cafelit? Image via Pixabay
Smartphones can be an asset to writing. Pexels image.
Let your writing sparkle. Image via Pexels.
In flash fiction you don’t have room for many characters but you can “infer” some to compensate for that. I do this by revealing what my lead character thinks of X even if X never makes it into the story itself. This also reveals my lead character’s attitude to X and can show how likely it is my lead gets on with others (or not. I can think of quite a few of my “people” I wouldn’t get on with but the great thing is I don’t have to like them to write about them!!).
Another way of showing another character yet without them taking up precious word count room is to have the story written as a letter, diary etc. I use the letter format in my You Never Know where my lead character’s attitude to who they’re writing to is all too apparent! It is also clear they are irked by the attitude of the unseen character.
I love being able to imply things with stories like this. I’ve never been that keen on stories where the author spells everything out. I like putting two and two together for myself and if the writer can send me up a false trail, well done them!
Open a book, open a gateway into another world. Image via Pixabay.
Fairytale magic can go awry – characters lose powers or become power obsessed. Neither is a pretty sight. Image via Pixabay.
Fairies are not twee creatures… Image via Pixabay
Where will your writing take you? Forward into the future or backwards in time? Image via Pixabay.
Your stories should take us on a journey. Image via Pixabay.
Looking into the past… Image via Pixabay
Imagine the wealth of fairytales and other stories in here. Image via Pixabay.
What fictional world have you created? What ways and rules have you set for your characters? Image via Pixabay.
Never give up, work hard, be disciplined… all valuable traits for success, whether you’re a tennis player, a writer or a character in a story! Image via Pixabay.
There must be some truly fantastic fiction here. Image via Pixabay.
Goodreads Author Programme – Blog – Book Covers
I think everyone does judge a book by its cover. How else can you do so? You need something to draw you in initially and that is the cover’s job.
I like a cover to be appropriate for whatever it is I’m reading and, ironically for a writer, I want the picture to do most of the work.
I’ve sometimes given opinions on book covers before the books concerned are published and the ones with lots of text merely look cluttered. Far from giving me more to read on the cover, too much text here switches me off.
Where I do want the text is on the back for the blurb. Have you ever read a book, enticed by the blurb and cover, but the story fails to deliver on its promise? I think most of us have and you just feel let down. (All writers beware here!)
The great thing here though is that despite the cover and blurb being really important, it is STILL the story that matters most of all. And what we are all after is a story that entertains, educates, keeps us gripped to the final page and so on.