- Characters I love or love to loathe. They've got to be memorable.
- Situations which are critical for the characters. They've got to strive for something important.
- A setting I would love to visit! (Anyone fancy a trip to The Shire in The Lord of the Rings? Mordor, I'd be happy to miss!).
- Great pace. Absolutely no boring bits!
- It's a story I'd be happy to re-read at any time and enjoy it all over again.
- Humour, where apt for the story and the characters. I have a very soft spot for irony.
- Tragedy, when necessary as it often is, not to be overdone. (I think tragedy has much more of an impact when it does not become melodrama).
- Snappy dialogue.
- Catchphrases I can remember - and enjoy doing so.
- The story shows me something of the human condition which I'd either not considered before or reaffirms something. Funny stories can do this surprisingly well.
I suspect there won't be any great surprises here but each one should be a challenge to all of us to ensure we keep doing these!
I'm Allison Symes and I write novels, short stories as well as some scripts and poems. I love setting my work in my magical world, the Fairy Kingdom, and my favourite character is Eileen, who believes hypocrisy is something that happens to other people without caring that statement is hypocritical in itself! Eileen is huge fun to write for and about.