Friday, April 9, 2010

Story Telling: A Primitive Act Preserved In Modern Technology

It's late Friday night. I've been writing and researching like mad it seems. Because of this I'm having a little bit of a writer's block at the moment.

I think I'm going to just use some spontaneity in writing this blog entry. However, shouldn't that be a part of every writer's work (one of a few exceptions, however, would be technical writing)? Sure, writing in the formal sense, such as the writing of a novel or an article especially if these two or their likes are to be published, have to have some sort of a restraint on them. But the very energy--the movement and rhythm of the writing--especially in fiction and poetry should be that of spontaneity and therefore natural flow. Yet, even to communicate the natural flow, at least on paper (or computer screen), the writing's got to be refined and therefore revised to clarify that energetic flow.

Going back to my use of spontaneity . . . I've been syncing podcasts of old radio shows and an author's science fiction/horror audiobook novel (who I had the pleasure to meet at San Jose's BayCon a couple years ago) and have been listening to them at work. I work in a state office and so I do a lot of filing of documents that can get very repetitive and so when it get's repetitive it can make you feel like falling asleep to the point where you feel you have to stand up from your chair and slap yourself awake! So I solved that problem by buying myself an iPod at the beginning of the year. Most people listen to music on their iPods, and so do I. But since I don't get all the time I would like to read, I'll listen to my podcasted radio dramas and the audio book novel a chapter at a time.

Does this substitute for reading? Yes and no. Yes, it does substitute for reading when you are in a position where you can not read a book. I, for example, at work cannot possible file documents and make out file folders for the documents while reading a book of Ray Bradbury short stories or any book for that matter. However, I can do the second best thing which is listening to stories, whether they be fiction or nonfiction. And as I listen to these stories I'm visualising what is going on between the characters and the setting they are in. This is a main characteristic of reading as well--visualizing. The difference is obvious: with one you are using your eyes, with the other you are using your ears. But with both you are using your head and so you are forced to imagine the appearance of the action and setting. People were forced to do this before television came out and so their radios sat in the living/family room where now a TV probably sits, maybe even a computer or maybe even both since the technology to connect one's computer operating system with their television has been out for a while.

Since the audio podcast forces a person to use their imagination when listening to a story, as high of technology as it is for our time, it is using two very primitive but very significant elements--the element of speaking and the element of listening. Before the written word came out, people told stories orally and listened to them. And it was this kind of story telling that eventually led to the preserving of these spoken stories on a medium that you could mark some symbols on and keep the "speech" of those stories for as long as the meduim, whether it was paper or stone or whatever, held up and so before it could decay or crumble.

In the early half of the previous century, radio carried on this preservation of speech along with the live conveyance of it. Now podcasting does the same. And the stories of the oral story teller of ancient times have been living on in new technologically.

I don't really have much of an ending for this blog entry. If I sound like I'm rambling it's probably because I am. I just want to make sure you all get your Friday night blog entry from yours truly like I said you would to one of Sylvanopolis Society's coordinators. Hopefully this will shed some light on where our story telling is going and how both the temporal spoken as well as the permanently written word is going. It's going to new technology, particularly the desktop through Internet, the iPod and now the ebook (which I personally don't bother with because it takes out the true reading experience from me). Yet, it is still forcing us to think much more than most television does. However, those of us nerds, like myself, who like the full good "o'l fashion" experience of reading a tangible book that holds a specific work of writing by a specific author or a group of authors (such as in an anthology), will keep the printed word alive. The printed word may be in the minority, but now that's what brings diversity and excitement to life doesn't it? If a person doesn't like it, they can go on listening to their iPod, or even their radio or, if they're really that addicted to mass consumer technology, their TV. But I'd rather have the best of both worlds, electronic media and print media, as long as they both make you use your head and not merely drink yourself wasted from electronic visions.

Well, it's way after the witching hour (as us horror/dark fantasy writers like to say) and so I'm crash'in to my "coffin".

Good night, and until next week . . . !



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