What would you say were mankind’s top ten accomplishments? I’m not sticking to a specific field, nor are these in any particular order.
There will rightly be many tributes to the late Barbara Large, who founded what is now known as the Winchester Writers’ Festival. She will be much missed by many writers, including me.
Barbara’s gift was the knack of knowing how to encourage writers. As for her drive in getting the Winchester Writers’ Conference (as it was first known) up and running and then keeping it going for so many years, that was simply incredible. The Winchester Writers’ Festival is one of the most renowned writing conferences and it is all thanks to Barbara’s drive and vision. In my view, it is her finest legacy but what exactly does that mean?
What are your favourite types of fictional characters? Mine include:-
1. The deserving hero/heroine. (This is one reason why I love fairytales, they’re full of these!).
2. Those who ensure justice is meted out to those meriting it but in the right way. Sam Vimes, Terry Pratchett’s wonderful creation in Discworld, is a great example of this kind of character.
3. Characters who develop over several books so you can see their progress (or lack of it). Vimes, again, is a classic example. Over a few books he goes from a drunk to a hero and there is much more to his development than that but I would happily urge you to check the Vimes novels out. (Good place to start is Men at Arms where Vimes really begins to get into his stride).
[Read more…] about Character Types – and Why It Matters to Get Them Right
Do you like adaptations of your favourite stories? I guess the answer to that is “yes, if it works” and then it is up to us to decide whether it does or not.
Famously The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock is an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s short story of the same name so it isn’t just about novels being “translated” to a different media. [Read more…] about Adaptations
Why is the weather always a topic of conversation in Britain? I think this is due to:-
1. We have such a variety of weather (and often in the space of one day), it simply has to be talked about. I’ve experienced a wide range of weather in the space of an hour especially when I’ve been in Scotland. They’re hardy souls there for a reason! [Read more…] about The Weather and Its Uses in Fiction
I’ve talked about my writing journey before but how about the reading one? Do you remember which book you first read by yourself or the one that was always read to you as a child because it was your favourite?
I can’t remember what was the first book I read myself though it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a picture book. Once you pick up a few words, going through a picture book to find those words for yourself because you can now read them, is special. This is yet another reason why a well produced picture book is important in a child’s reading development. They build confidence in reading and with that comes the wish to read other things. A child that lacks confidence in reading will be reluctant to try something they don’t already know. [Read more…] about Reading Journeys
It is a pleasure to welcome back Anne Wan to Chandler’s Ford Today and also to welcome her illustrator for her latest book, Manners Fit for the Queen, Sally Goodden. [Read more…] about Picture Books and Other Hooks: Interview with Sally Goodden and Anne Wan
Image Credit: Stuart Wineberg, Lionel Elliott, and the Chameleons.
If there were ever such a thing as a Chandler’s Ford Today “works outing”, it is when Janet and I go to the latest production by the Chameleon Theatre Group. This time it was to enjoy the classic fairytale, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
[Read more…] about All the Fun of The Panto: Ali Baba and The Chameleons
THE QUEEN, CHANDLER’S FORD LIBRARY, ANNE WAN, AND SALLY GOODDEN
What do the above have in common?
They will be appearing in Chandler’s Ford Library on Saturday, 2nd February 2019 between 10.30 am and 12 noon.
Hang on… let’s revise that a moment. [Read more…] about BOOK EVENT NEWS: Anne Wan / Sally Goodden – Chandler’s Ford Library
The origin of stories is an interesting one in itself – oral was king long before print became a reality. It had to be given the lack of literacy as we know it now but what I find great is that the oral tradition is still hugely important and will remain so. This to me implies a consistent flow of stories over the centuries and long may that continue. The world of stories should not remain static (otherwise it will stagnate and what stagnates dies). [Read more…] about The Story of Stories – Ali Baba
Right now is the height of the pantomime season and I’m looking forward to seeing The Chameleons’ production of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves soon. It should be great fun (as Robin Hood was before). One common element to pantomimes is the use of magic. It comes in somewhere to make the character change directions or to rescue them from what seems an inescapable problem.
So let’s pretend the fairy godmother has turned up for us and, being the kindly soul she is, offered us three wishes. What would you go for? Firstly, the ground rules (you knew there would be some, bureaucracy gets everywhere!). [Read more…] about Three Wishes
Over the years, you pick up many useful writing tips and then you need to work out which are the most useful to you. Following on from an earlier CFT post of mine about writing tips, I thought I’d take a look in greater depth at why I use the tips that I do.
In general, I don’t look at those tips for playwrights, given that’s not my specialism, but one that is aimed at them (read your work out loud) is good advice regardless of what type of fiction you write. It also works well for non-fiction given it can help you pick up on whether your prose flows as well as you thought. So how do you deduce which writing tips are the most useful? [Read more…] about Tried and Tested Writing Tips
Some of my post-Christmas traditions include riding on the Watercress Line, having a day trip to Dorset and walking along West Bay beach, enjoying a New Forest walk, and catching up with members of the family who live a little further away. Have ticked those all off for this year and a good time was had by all.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year celebration. Many best wishes for 2019 from us all at CFT! [Read more…] about Winter Traditions
It may be me becoming more cynical but isn’t every year described as a “momentous year” somewhere in the media? Certainly you’ll hear a lot of that phrase in the next few days!
It is true 2018 has had its moments but it will be overshadowed by 2019 and whatever happens with Brexit. And that is as political as I want to get! [Read more…] about Year End Review 2018 – Allison Symes
One of the things I love about this time of year is that it is a wonderful time for stories. The weather’s cold and grim, it can be getting dark by 3.30 pm (which I find depressing), there’s not much on TV, so what could be better than keeping cosy and warm while reading a good book?
Naturally the publishers try to tap into this. It is with very good reason the Christmas book market is a major “pay day” for publishers and long may that continue. Book sales now should help fund the discovery of other writers and fabulous books later. [Read more…] about Christmas Stories – Allison Symes
On 1st December, it was my great joy to travel to London once again to meet up with fellow Bridge House Publishing/Cafelit/Chapeltown Books authors at the annual celebration event. On the way up by train, I enjoyed my usual routine of writing stories on my phone app and getting quite a bit of work done by the time I got into Waterloo. [Read more…] about Celebrations, Crackers, Chapeltown, and Cafelit – London 2018
There are many ways to raise money for charity and often people will do something extraordinary like bungee jumping or having a parachute jump etc (though it is not a good idea to try the pair of these at the same time!). All kudos to those who are brave enough to have a go but this kind of thing is definitely not for me.
The idea of writing a book for charity is much more up my street and this is what Barbara Large, MBE, has done recently. Barbara was the founder of the Winchester Writers’ Festival (formerly the Winchester Writing Conference), which is one of the major writing conferences in the country. Barbara has also run creative writing classes, including at the Dovetail Centre. [Read more…] about Scrumptious Cooking, Charity, and Barbara Large
My favourite versions of it (and there have been many produced over the years) are The Muppet Christmas Carol (Michael Caine playing Scrooge) and the version starring Patrick Stewart. It is a question of getting Scrooge’s hardness of heart right without it spilling over into melodrama, something both knights of the realm did fantastically well. [Read more…] about A Christmas Carol – The MDG Players – Review by Allison Symes
I love autumn, as I’ve mentioned before, but must admit I do dislike the earlier and longer nights.
I like lighter evenings. They make it easier to spot my black collie, Lady, for one thing. At the moment we have to put one of the click on lights on her collar from early evening so she lights up the world like a little fairy light! She isn’t impressed by this but it does make her easier to spot. Walking around Hiltingbury at this time of year, you get to spot a few of these lights and the full on illuminated coloured collars. There are some well lit up dogs around here! [Read more…] about The Light Fantastic
I don’t know about you but time management is one of those things I always seek to get better at, given there is plenty I’d like to do (especially in writing) but there are still only 24 hours in any one day!
I like my lists, my calendar has plenty of notes scribbled all over it, and by the end of the week, I’ve usually achieved a reasonable amount of what I set out to do. I’ve learned to carve up bigger tasks (like editing my novel) into smaller chunks and accept there are simply some tasks that can’t be done all at once, no matter how much I’d like to do so! [Read more…] about Time Management and Time Travel