Friday May 23 2014
Hey folks 🙂
Lovely to see you here!
Sometime ago, I took part in the #FlashFriday twitter hashtag event. What would happen with this is that creative writers of all shapes and sizes would write short 1000 word stories and post them for the community to read and feedback on every Friday. Unfortunately, that hashtag has now been subsumed by pornographic imagery, taking the idea of ‘flash’ to a whole different interpretation.
So, I’ve decided to try and relaunch it – whether or not it gets traction is up to the community of course 🙂 so now, here below – I’ll add the first #FictionFriday story I’ve made in a while. It’s very loose at the moment, but if people like it, I might be able to push it in a more effective direction, possibly continuing into different parts – let me know your thoughts in the comments!
(I’m as rusty as an old nail, so don’t be too harsh!)
A new holographic technology, one that truly gave people an immersive experience was just about to hit production, but there is a lot of scepticism out there about this kind of technology.
“People want something different than television, but don’t feel a truly ‘immersive’ experience will do what it says on the tin. This WILL. Our product puts people right in the centre of the action, mentally and almost physically too. Technology has advanced to the stage where we can make truly photo-realistic visuals. So realistic, that we’ve found in our testing that sometimes people would not know they were in the world we created for them. Whilst this is a good thing, it doesn’t make for high brand confidence.”
Grant was addressing a small group of shareholders at the headquarters of Repli-world. “We need something to differentiate our worlds from the ‘real’ world. I’d suggest that maybe we could have white items in the world, something that glows brightly, or just stands out. Make it so that the user can touch them to return to the ‘real’ world.” Grant waited for a moment, “Or if there are other suggestions?”
The advert appeared sometime ago in the local newspaper, she didn’t read those usually, but for some reason this advert stood out on the page, it spoke to her.
“Wanted, hot new talent to define the biggest thing since television. We need new, fresh ideas to bring life to the stale grind of repeated story-lines. We want YOU to help, send us your project no later than one week of this date, and may the future smile warmly on you.”
It wasn’t like the usual adverts she saw, this one was different, it resonated with her. Perhaps, she thought, it was her break. The one she needed to get her writing, her voice out there.
With the project finally completed, after countless hours, takes, retakes, editing and re-editing, a victorious yell leapt from her mouth, “YES!!!!! I finally done it, yaay!”
she had nailed the audio just the way she wanted it, the perfect scene.
Now, all that was left was for her to set up the presentation and get it ready for submission, she was sure this would be it, this would be the key, her key to a prosperous future.
After everything had been done, Heidi didn’t know what to do next. She thought she would need to show it to her friends before she finally took courage enough to sent it in, it mattered to her, to get their reactions to the project.
Yet, she felt she couldn’t let the project go, she knew of course, she knew she had to, but, it was hers and had been hers alone for so long that she wondered if it was even suitable to send to the studio at all.
If it felt so important to her, would it be wise to give so much of her self-worth over to a corporation, with profits its main goal?
She really didn’t know, but then, she had started for a reason. She felt it was true to what she wanted her life to be.
It was a huge risk, she imagined, the biggest she had ever taken. Whether it was that sort of risk or not remained to be seen, but at least to her, it was the only thing in the world important to her at the time. What then, she pondered, if it was successful, what if it took off and people loved it, was she ready for the big-time? or worse, would people actually hate it? would that ruin her?
Again, she wasn’t sure. For too long, she had lived in the mire of self-doubt and uncertainty. But instead of giving up this time, she decided she was going to take the leap… The biggest step she’d ever taken in her life, was afoot…
Later on that night, Heidi arranged to meet her friend, Lucy after dinner. She always liked Lucy, Lucy always told her what she thought in all honesty – never sugar-coating what needed to be said. Although, Heidi for the most part still wondered if she was just trying to delay putting it out.
“It’s great!” Lucy expleted, “I cannot believe how real that feels to me, definitely, put that out – gawd you’d be a fool not to!”
“What? – You really liked it?”
“Yes, Really! it’s amazing! If they don’t want it, they’re not worth it. Trust me, get it out there babe.” Lucy was effusive, it really gave Heidi a huge confidence boost, she felt warm inside.
Later on in the evening, whilst walking home, Heidi reflected on her friends enthusiasm for her project, it wasn’t Like Lucy to be so enthusiastic for anything Heidi wrote, but she felt buoyed by it, so much so, that Heidi had put it in the envelope she’d made earlier and put it in the post-box.
The next day, Lucy could not get Heidi’s story out of her mind, she thought about it all through work and even into the evening. She still felt that sense of engagement she had when she first read it. “Wow,” she mused aloud, “Heidi really outdid herself on this one, I hope she’s successful.”
Upon arrival at the studios, the brightly coloured envelope caught Grant’s attention, it was interesting enough that he had to fish it out from the seemingly ever increasing mountain of brown and white that got larger with every day that passed.
After reviewing the story, Grant was engaged just as much as Lucy had been
“That HAS to go into our system, no two-ways about it! It’s exactly the sort of enchanted story-weaving we’ve been after.” Grant continued,
“This project will rock the world, make things better, might be a bit bumpy at the start, but we’ll make it work. We need it to work, the world counts on us to give them something unique. Something from the heart, that will stir the soul. Too much is rewritten and rehashed, that whatever meaning was present in the original text no longer applies. We need something relevant for the future, something that will make people wake up and think about the future and where they exist within it.”
Saturday May 17 2014
So, it’s no mystery I haven’t written anything here, or anywhere else for a while, and I’m beginning to realise that perhaps that’s not a good place to be. If nothing gets done, nothing will change. Procrastination in it’s purest form. So I’ll tell you a little bit about where I’ve found myself in the last couple of weeks.
Firstly, I wandered back onto Twitter after a long absence, just to see how things were going, and I stumbled upon a tweet by @Etherius, that’s Chris Lester of the Metamor City audio-books you might have heard of, if not, check the website out – he has some brilliant stories on there (check in the archives) at http://www.metamorcity.com . He tweeted that he had backed a kick-starter project called “Storium” (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stlhood/storium-the-online-storytelling-game) and I wanted to check it out.
I am very glad I did, because it may just be the catalyst I need to get my fingers tapping out some stories again! The kickstarter had been funded, but in it’s last hours with some stretch-goals in progress, and I backed it 🙂
Storium is an interactive storytelling game, which, as you might imagine is a game about interactive storytelling. The basic premise is a little bit like Roleplaying, just without the stereotyped notion of teenagers in a darkened room being isolated and insular. It opens up the idea on a worldwide and approachable scale.
In essence, it’s collaborative fictional writing, you have the ‘narrator’ or ‘GM’ if you prefer, who sets up a scene or an idea and describes within this scene a number of ‘challenges’ that the players can complete within the concepts of the scene and the character they wish to play. No dice or encyclopaedic knowledge is required, just you, your imagination and your keyboard – it’s that simple 🙂
Think something along the lines of, “You are in a darkened train car, it’s the middle of the night and cold outside…” within this scene there could be challenges like “Get out of there!” or “Switch the lights back on.” the beauty of this system though, is that you, the player chooses which challenge to accept, and what happens to meet it. The narrator doesn’t have control of this point in the story, they would have to ‘write around’ or adapt their story to suit what the players wanted to happen later on in the story. What you would end up with is an interesting story made up by many minds with many twists and traps on the way.
I guess it would work like a writing from a prompts book or something similar and, if you ask me, it’s gold-dust for budding creative writers out there 🙂
If you are interested, do check them out, there’s more detail on the systems used on their website. https://www.storium.com or read a bit about the project on the kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stlhood/storium-the-online-storytelling-game
Until next time!