It recently dawned on me (at 43) that one way or another, I’ve been writing most of my life and may as well become better at it.

I've been getting to grips with short storytelling over the past year. Most of my tales have benefited from the critiques of 'Writers Forum' competition judges whose sound advice, I've even implemented here and there. Eventually, I hope to adopt a more literary style of storytelling which would allow for all sorts of clever-clever themes, imagery, similes and suchlike ...

Meanwhile, I'm more interested in the shape of story itself. Or rather its strength: as received through just about any form of entertainment (apart from rugby commentary of course - the dark side of life in Wales!).

My favourite authors are George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, George Orwell and Noel Coward. I particularly like their letters and generally admire their work for its lucidity: a quality which I’m striving towards in my short stories. I’m also keen on the style of newspaper columnists who usually seek to be understood and keep me from retreating too far away from the 21st century!

As should Wattpad – although it's easy to spend too much time around here rather than focus on ways of improving one's craft and appreciating the work of ... well, proper authors (9 times out of 10) let's face it! 

And yet how enjoyable, it surely is, to overlook the shameless typos of a texted tale which seizes the storytelling moment; than to indulge so many a published author peddling the same sorry dross, year after year.

And so with that plainly jaundiced and none-too-novel rant, I now present to you my own selection of disparate tales (of woe, mainly) laced with humour (here and there) which may prove enriching in some worthy way ... my lovely trickle of readers!

Till next time or other,


Artistic Dabblings: www.jmartdab.blogspot.com

(Profile pic: www.deardenstudio.co.uk)
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Reading Lists

17 Published Works

Featured work.

The Ascendant

Social data: 3.2K reads. 101 votes. 36 comments.

Description: How one man schemed his way through corporate culture of the '00s. It's not what you know, it's what they think you know ...

Other Works by dandydilettante.
'Tagged ~ you're It!'

'Tagged ~ you're It!'

492 28 122

The gist: someone lands you in it by requesting 20 (preferably unnerving) facts about yourself to get ba...

The Clairvoyant Atheist

The Clairvoyant Atheist

468 9 24

Is Mike in the grips of hallucination, or haunted by 'Gerald' ~ an 18th century fop? It's not an easy o...

Blackadder lll v Beau Brummell

Blackadder lll v Beau Brummell

591 47 49

As the 1790s reach a raucous end, one young idler invents celebrity culture. Beau Brummell is seriously...

'Who's your fat friend?' - the impudent humour of Beau Brummell

'Who's your fat friend?' - the impudent humour of Beau Brummell

592 9 13

A look at the sayings which saw George Bryan Brummell's status soar as a Regency wit. As well as some of...

'The dandy does not aspire to wealth as an object in itself; an open bank credit could suit him just as well; he leaves that squalid passion to vulgar mortals. Contrary to what a lot of thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of his mind. Thus, in his eyes, enamoured as he is above all of distinction, perfection in dress consists of absolute simplicity, which is, indeed, the best way of being distinguished.'

'The Dandy' from Charles Baudelaire's compilation of essays 'The Painter of Modern Life' published in 1863

An enduring treatise on the whole curious carry-on.

'There is still this notion that if people want to work, they should, even if nobody needs it.'

Well I'm more or less economically illiterate, so it's interesting to receive an understanding of this issue from within the creative camp (instead of from the usual number-crunchers).

It reminds me of some statistic about students doing 90% of their annual cleaning-up during revision week. The type of chumps who wish to waste themselves on industrial or commercial drudgery, all day long, seem to be in a similarly evasive state: financial pressures aside or even overcome; menial nonsense simply gets them out of the house; away from dreaded books and other cultural or creative possibilities. 

Perhaps being surrounded by 'useless busywork' once prompted you to describe having to work at all as 'an insult and an injury' ~ which I often recall and relate to as a maxim to embrace with gratitude before confronting weekday antics, or worse.

@FromtheBar Maybe some sort of formal 'stamp of recognition' but even then 'traditional publication' is the most obvious outlet (for certain stuff and types of author) which has been debunked on our forums too many times to look up to in itself any more ...

And so the search for satisfaction goes on ... as perhaps it always should really.

(2nd bit)

just to disregard the Internet era (as delusive) and consider our current audience akin to fringe comic collectors of the 1960's & 70s.

It may be more than satisfying to 'hang-out' here and display a scrapbook of hardly-read works but what I suspect most of us aspire to is *but one* splash of widespread appreciation; and sometimes 'words' seem unduly anachronistic ... whereas 'success' appears increasingly dependent on interplay with other mediums: however instant and unsustainable 'fame' may have become these days.

@FromtheBar I'll be returning to this exchange (and exploring others in the series) whenever possible; a straightforward reading seems to defy the process of learning let alone responding; given the depth and insight of ~ oh enough of that ... I'm sure most of the ?uestions crowd have grown pretty praiseproof over the years and prefer focus on the points themselves!

So first seemingly 'standout' matter: 

 'Some ideas are too complex to be communicated visually, for starters ... Words are the most crucial point of input for us.'

I'd begun to forget the power that we (as writers) are really capable of exerting lately.

Even within the fictional sphere there are no budget constraints upon setting a scene; no collaborative complaints about visual exuberance from directors/illustrators/animators or other creatives. We can easily start to forget the potency of word-dependent storytelling (or word deployment through other forms of conveying messages) as issues of crafting arise and obsess.

Perhaps such 'forgetfulness' is useful in order to consider other evolving mediums but it's still easy to overlook an acquired level of proficiency ... to tire and aspire towards new challenges (like rap-dissing the kid and getting buried alive lol @SeeThomasHowl)

I've often seen superior prose around here and instinctively retreated towards *story itself* - an absolute challenge in its own right.

If we gravitate mainly along the 'word route' then beautiful literary passages *could* consume our chances of wider success for all their demonstration of masterly composition on this *dare it be suggested* glorified ghetto. 

Any truly original tale devised in a typically obscure lifetime might risk becoming absorbed and only appreciated by connoisseurs of clusters of words while 'trashy' artforms (which eventually triumph in terms of creative stature) are overlooked and we wonder why our work remains near enough underground (cont.)