Writing Joys by Allison Symes

What do you like most about writing? What aspect of writing gives you the most joy? 

I’ve always loved inventing characters. For my flash fiction, this is almost continuous. Generally it is one character per story and I’m writing a fair number of stories in a year! 

What do you enjoy most about writing? Pixabay

Some stories I hope will make it into my next collection. Others I will submit to places like CafeLit or Paragraph Planet

Still others I will put aside and consider for competitions such as the ones that crop up in Writing Magazine. Their 500 and 750 word story competitions may not officially be designated as flash competitions but it is what they are! So I like, as much as possible, to have something ready I could polish and submit for things like that. 

Inventing characters is one of my great writing joys. Pixabay

I also use flash fiction for some of my Facebook posts if I want to illustrate a point I want to make about writing. 

So generating a lot of stories, and the characters to “star” in them is a major part of my fictional work but I love that so this is fine. The secret to real success is to love what you do. (It’s even better if you can get someone to pay you to do what you love but, hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that!). 

Notebook and pen or PC? How do you jot your ideas down? Pixabay

My next favourite thing is when I know I have successfully got inside the head of my characters so I know what they’re going to say and how they’ll say it. I also know the kind of things they would never say. (That matters. In my longer stories, where I do have more than one character, this helps me differentiate between my creations effectively - and will have the same effect on a reader). 

You should see your fictional world through your characters' eyes. Pixabay image.

After the sheer relief of getting a first draft down, my next writing joy is the first edit. Yes, really! Why? Because I know, though there is still work to be done on the piece, just doing that first edit and cutting out my wasted words, repetitions etc, means the story has already improved. And that I find encouraging. A bit of encouragement goes a long way in this business! 

Inventing what your characters say is also huge fun. Pixabay image.

It’s important to remind ourselves what it is we love about writing. We all know the downsides. Those days when the words just won’t come as easily as we would like, there's yet another rejection in our inbox and so on, but we should remember the joys. 

I like to think a writer’s enjoyment of their work does subconsciously come through in their work. I’ve read many a piece and thought yes, the writer loved doing this. I don’t know what it is. All I know is I have picked up on something. 

This is what I want for my characters! Pixabay image

What I want to do is convey that same something to those who read my stories so they get the same impression about my work! 

Now there’s a challenge for us all! 

Pictures can make great story prompts. What could you invent for this? Pixabay



  1. Thanks for all the inspiring tips for a new writer like me. I like the idea of doing competitions for short pieces, and I didn't know about 'Writing Magazine'. Will investigate and maybe have a go! Are you on 'Medium' Allison?

  2. Interesting, useful and thoughtful as always. Thank you

    1. Many thanks, Wendy. It is vital to love what you write. It helps keep you going.

  3. It's true, sometimes you can pick up what the writer felt when they wrote - and to see joy leaping off the page is a wonderful thing.

    1. Indeed. I "see" it in every Wodehouse and Pratchett I read!

  4. I love it when I find myself giggling as if I'm in on the jokes with an author... that shows me they have had fun too. I don't write fiction usually, but what I love about writing is how it lets me see all my thoughts and make sense of them as they are translated into words - writing then also lets me solve problems and order my mind and clear out the junk. It is so useful that I love it!


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