Story Snippets and Sneaky Peeks
This week on the blog, I thought I’d talk more about the story snippets I’ve been sharing recently on social media. In particular, I thought I’d give some sneaky peeks into a bit more context about the character and what’s going on in the scene. Hopefully without any spoilers!. First, though, I’ll tell you how to make one, in case any writers fancy giving it a go!
Story snippets – how to make one
I’ve found making story snippets a relatively simple process. It only takes a while because I’m a perfectionist and I like to tweak the wording. Firstly you’ll need to decide what to choose to have in the snippet. On Twitter there are various tags (like #vss365 and #flexvss) which give you word prompts.
Then it’s up to you – you can either pick a few sentences you’ve already written, maybe tweaking them a bit to include the words in the prompt. Or, you can write something brand new, totally different to your projects, to make into your snippets. If you’ve never written before, it could also be a fun challenge to think of a couple of lines. You might catch the writing bug as a result!
Many writers (in fact most from what I’ve seen) post these snippets directly to social media. This is a great and simple way to share your snippets. However, I also like combining them with an image that hopefully goes with the scene and makes the text more evocative.
So, my next step is to go on a copyright image free website, usually like Pixabay or Pexels. I find an image that matches the scene, download it onto my phone. Then I edit the image to the text on top. This is the part that can take me a while, because I like to play around with the word structure and the different text options. Finally, don’t forget to check for typos! When you’re happy with it, you can share it however you like.
So without any further ado, here are the snippets I’ve been making recently and a sneaky peek into the context.
Remembering hare stew
All of my snippets are from the point of view of Imogen, one of my two narrators. The other narrator is Daniel, the main character of my first three books.
Prior to this scene, Imogen has been having some troubling bad dreams. She’s at a turbulent point in her life and as such, she half-dreams, half begins to remember a traumatic event in her early childhood. The events themselves happen in my 3rd historical fiction novel, currently in process of publication.
However, when we come to this scene, Imogen remembers something different. It’s a memory of being safe and warm in a cave. Her father tells her a story while hare stew is being prepared. It’s a bit of a turning point for Imogen – not that her nightmares go away completely, but she remember something hopeful and comforting.
Sunshine after battle
The next of my story snippets takes place roughly about a third of the way into my 4th historical fiction novel. Imogen is a Celtic princess and she has just left her first ever battlefield. She’s struck by the gentle beauty of the woods she finds herself in – but finds it disturbing, almost haunting, compared with the battle she has just left.
At the moment, these are actually the first lines of my novel. It starts with Imogen getting in some archery practice.
As a sneak peek, Imogen isn’t actually using her bow. She’s using the bow of a friend to keep the memory of her alive. She just replaces it when the battle horn sounds to ay there’s an enemy at the gate – a battle is never too far away in the world of my books.
If remembering hare stew came near the end of Imogen’s turbulent journey (roughly taking place in the second act of my novel) then this snippet happens right at the start of that time. Imogen – and some of the other characters, including Daniel, my other narrator – have just discovered something about Imogen’s past.
Here, Imogen struggles to deal with this recent revelation, as well as how other people might now view her. She takes her frustration out on a tree before trying to think of what to do next.
Longing for home
Here Imogen is halfway through her journey to East Anglia. The area of East Anglia used to be marshland and water-logged, so I imagine there was a lot of dampness. It’s also an especially flat area of England. It probably couldn’t be more different to Imogen’s home of Rheged, equivalent to modern day Cumbria/the Lake District.
My husband and I used to live in Lancaster and the Lakes were round the corner (in fact we went their on our honeymoon). It was fun trying to envisioning this landscape and its true natural beauty.
So there’s some more context of what’s going on in the story behind this snippets. I recommend making one – it’s a great way of doing some mini editing and sharing you words in a new way!
If you like the snippets I’ve shared, you might like my first historical fiction novel, The Boy from the Snow. Head here for ways to check it out. Why not start Daniel’s journey today? If you sign up to my newsletter, I include a free preview with every edition, as well as a free preview of my fantasy novel Lottie’s Locket when you subscribe.
Thanks and hope you enjoyed this blog post – head here if you’d like to check out my other posts! You can also hit the icons below to drop a comment or follow me on social media. I’d love to connect with you 🙂
Till next time,