Ask the Author: Allison Symes

“Why write flash fiction?” Allison Symes

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Allison Symes Being able to escape into different worlds, all of which I've created! Also reading a finished story and finding it moves me, frightens me, or makes me laugh the way it is meant to do. That is very satisfying. It's a sign to me the story is ready to go "out there".
Allison Symes I owe my love of reading to my late mother, who taught me to read before I started school. I can't remember a time when I didn't have my nose in a book! So the seed was sown there but I didn't start writing seriously until I reached a milestone birthday and gave birth to my son. I think the two big life events made me realize if I am going to write, now is the time to get on and do it!
Allison Symes My follow-up collection to From Light to Dark and Back Again. I always have blog posts on the go too.
Allison Symes Read widely and include non-fiction. Ideas come from all sorts of places so the more you read, the bigger the net you will cast when it comes to fishing for said ideas. Be open to trying new forms of writing too. I didn't start off by writing flash fiction so to discover it (and then be published in it) has come as a nice surprise. Always assume your first draft is a rubbish one but don't worry about it. See it as where you start to get to the heart of the story. (All first drafts are rubbish, regardless of the writer, because you've got your idea down. It then needs honing. I know I can't write and edit at the same time. I have to treat them as two tasks).
Allison Symes Inventing your own characters and worlds and then having other people tell you they love your stories. That really is special.
Allison Symes I don't suffer from this. I write non-fiction blog posts as well as flash fiction and find if I am stuck on a story, if I then go and write an article, I have no problems writing that article. I usually then find ideas for resolving the flash fiction issue occur when I am writing said article! This used to annoy me. Now I just have a notebook handy and jot down the thoughts as they occur and I can then return to them when I am ready. It happens the other way round too. So maybe I just need distraction therapy when I am writing!
Allison Symes I responded to a challenge on Cafelit to write 100-word tales. I wanted to see if I could do it and quickly became addicted to the form. Then Chapeltown Books were looking for single author collections and I realised I had written enough flash fiction pieces to submit a volume to them. I love to write light-hearted pieces which raise a smile or a laugh to full on darker tales, which may make you shudder!

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