That’s a nice little hobby you have there… Hmmm

Now I’m returning to writing, and to blogging, I thought good place to start in my new run of blogging was to attempt to explore both what storytelling is, and what it means to me, or why I do it. However, as it turns out, that’s actually much harder than it sounds. So I present to you the inconclusive answer, in time I will revisit this subject with a bit more self awareness.

In this entry in going to discuss why I write, there’ll be a disproportionate amount of randomness, segues, grandstanding, self depreciation and no doubt you’ll see the words “I don’t care what you/they/anyone thinks”,  but don’t worry it’ll only be after seeking your praise.

The post will be in three parts :

  1. What is writing/storytelling to me?
  2. What do I get out of it?
  3. What do I enjoy most?

Let’s begin

1. What is storytelling to me?

Storytelling is the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, often with improvisationtheatrics, or embellishment. 

Wikipedia: Storytelling

It’s simple right? Storytelling is the act and at of sharing anecdotal or fictional stories. Writing is the act of committing words to a static medium. 

But who wants a clinical description? No, to me storytelling it’s about exploring, experiencing, and growing these fictional worlds floating round my mind, and then finding a way to convey them to an audience. 

In truth, I’m not great at that last part, that’s a confidence thing though, when I do set out to write fiction or most things, I do so with an audience in mind and intent to share it when them. 

2. What do I get out of it?

One last thing about what storytelling is, is that it’s about is potential, because a great piece of writing can change the world, whether it’s big or small, whether it’s an actual effect on the real world or simply how someone experiences it – writing can do that, and everything written has with in it that potential. 

Don’t believe me? Tolkien has touched the world for millions of people, he don’t just write he created while universes, with interconnected narratives, has spawned a genre, and an industry, made some people incredibly rich, and sent others to barreling through nerdvana.

Jane Austen who didn’t just define the modern romance, but how through relatable characters and comic twists, but also how social commentary could be highlighted in accessible ways. 

I could go on, but we’ll get way off topic, but definitely look out for a future post about how writers can and have changed the world in some fashion. 

That potential is exciting to me when I write for two reasons, firstly that I may have an idea that could reach people on the level my favourite authors have, and secondly that they a story I’m writing may change me, from learning new things like how a fusion generator works to how I approach the challenges in my life. The latter is nearly always true, the former continues to be an ambition I aspire to.

3. What do I enjoy most? 

The challenge. I’m not going to pretend to be good at storytelling, I struggle for originality, I struggle for the technical things like grammar and structure, and I struggle for confidence in what I write… and that is what makes it fun. The more I write, the better I get and one day I’ll overcome the things I struggle with.

I love challenges, that’s why I like to play pool and snooker, I’m terrible at them, but those moments where I overcome my own weaknesses there is a glory – more so when there are others to offer praise, so here I am sharing my thoughts and my stories in a blog, in the hopes others will see something of merit., and say “well done”, or “thank you”.

Writing Playlist Summer 2013

Well this is awkward, I wanted to post about my new writing playlist. In the past, I used Spotify and it wasn’t too bad export the list to make it postable, (words not the music itself – though sharing that on Spotify was easy too if someone had Spotify). Now I’ve switched to Amazon Cloud Player – all my tracks stored within easy reach of my phone and my laptop without the chaos of thousands of MP3’s loitering, in many cases with duplicates of duplicates.

However, Amazon don’t make it particularly easy to export the text of a playlist – so to show you mine it has to be a cut and paste job via Excel – took two copies and pastes to get the whole thing out. This is how dedicated I am to sharing.

This is actually my longest list thus far, and it’s just under half what it started off as. However I’m happy with it.

Music is, and always has been important to my writing process, for three reasons:

  1. It gaves me pacing and rhythm
  2. It focuses the mind, and it can distract the mind from over focusing
  3. It’s inspirational

For me to add it to a writing playlist it usually has to conform to three out of these four criteria:

  1. It requires no effort to ignore
  2. It doesn’t jar with the worlds I’m trying to create
  3. It fits with world’s I’m trying to create
  4. It eggs me on, exercise music for the brain

Of course there are always exceptions, and it’s entirely subjective, which it’s my list, and probably in it’s entirety only works for me. However, I share to compare and discuss, so feel free to comment with any suggestions.

My playist for Writing, Summer 2013

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 55: A Rose Between Two Thorns

This is the 55th a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

A Rose Between Two Thorns, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 25th January 2012

Word count: 724

Theme: science, experiment, patience, right way, slow way, pioneer

The story:

“You need to go faster Paul, a lot faster,” a tinny voice said over the sub space comm output.

“I can’t,” Paul the pilot started to say while struggling to hold the ship on course against all the laws of physics it seems.

“Invert the port side thrusters, they’ll give you a bit more,” the tinny voice instructed.

“If I do that, forty percent of my active control will go,” Paul shouted back, barely holding the ship on the right course.

“Trust me, invert now, it’ll work out,” the tinny voice said.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 54: The Killing Ghosts

This is the 54th a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Killing Ghosts, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 24th January 2012

Word count: 697

Theme: alien invasion, resistance, war, survival, humanity, myth, legend

The story:

I got so scared, I felt I was alone facing things that shouldn’t even exist, never mind being in a relatively unimportant city in England. Whether they should be there or not, it was irrelevant.

The day had been going so well, I had a date that night, my job was going well, everything in life was grand. A few months earlier I’d Peru much had nothing to lose, but the day they came, I lost everything important, except my life.

It was mid-September when astronomers first saw the objects in the night sky, they were a wonder, unexplainable, mysterious globes of compressed liquid. Of course we didn’t just assume they were peaceful – though we didn’t even know about brains then. When it was obvious that they were on a collision course with the Blue Planet the US military took control of all efforts in regard. to the strange phenomena. They’re best efforts didn’t even cause the globes of liquid to waver, they kept coming.

Still life went on, the world split into three types of people. First off the were your traditional end of world types, (most figured them for loons, including me at first), then there were eager and excitable scientist types, lastly there was everyone else who couldn’t conceptualise what was happening, it was just this thing in the news. Sure it was the topic of many conversations but we didn’t understand, and it was years away.

So it was quite a shock when the center of Leeds was rocked by an immense exclusion as a globe crashed right into it. I’m told this was only a small one, but I was within five miles of impact it never felt small. It was the advanced unit, there to probe and test how we’d react, the rest of their armada arrived a month later, with sporadic advanced drops in medium cities around the world in between.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 53: The Second Chance

This is the 53rd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Second Chance, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 23rd January 2012

Word count: 865

Theme: saviour, hero, sacrifice, ultimate ultimate sacrifice, religion, end of the world, saving grace, fate

The story:

“Okay, I’m sorry it has to be you,” the professor said, his voice echoing round the damp dark cave, illuminated by only a couple of battery powered lanterns. Eric thought the Professor looked gaunt, these past few weeks had been tough on the whole group, but the Professor had seen his hopes and dreams smashed too.

“I volunteered, I know what I’m doing. I knew this quest of yours would be dangerous, and I volunteered anyway. Just make sure the people outside, know it was my honour to have been with them on this, and make sure the world knows how close it came,” Eric said nobly. “Well if I pull this off anyway.”

“You have my word,” the Professor said sombrely. “Right do you want me to go through this again?” he asked gesturing to the three inch cables protruding from the wall.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 51: Bait and Switch

This is the 51st a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Bleeding Heart, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 21st January 2012

Word count: 950

Theme: lost cause, grief, road less travelled, determination, love, serendipity

The story:

I was hoping, almost beyond hope, that my luck would change.

I was having the most crap of weeks, and it was hard to see how it could get worse, which is a silly thing to think. I should also point out that I had no idea how it could improve either. I’m not sure if I was an optimist, or a pessimist, I guess it’s academic now.

I guess I should give you the rundown, here goes, in one week:

  • I got made redundant, (and told the company was folding so no redundancy payments)
  • Broke up with my girlfriend of three years, (she didn’t want to be tied to someone she needed to financially support, I kid you not, her genuine words)
  • My car died, (and it’s going to cost a grand to fix)
  • My favourite television show was cancelled, (okay by orders of magnitude this is minor, but it all adds to the pain)

The list goes on and on, every little thing seemed against me. Let me tell you, it sucked the proverbial donkey nut, and then some.

But hey, for once in my life, I didn’t take it lying down, I decided, actually made a decision, to pick myself and get out there. After two days wasting away in my flat of course.

My indulgence of repeats of my show, served as grieving for the show itself, but for the way my life had suddenly gone as well.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 50: The Bleeding Heart

This is the 50th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Bleeding Heart, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 20th January 2012

Word count: 999

Theme: hero, pariah, zombies, undead, soldiers, last stand, rescue

The story:

The doctor dragged the body inside the building, and the orderly slammed shut the door and barricaded it.

The doctor was on the floor checking for signs of life, and with none, he set about trying to return life to the body.

Thud!

Something hit the door.

Thud! Thud! Thud!

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