Category Archives: Project One: The craft of writing

Project 1 The Craft of writing.

Exercise 2 My list of Read, Written, Seen and Heard

  • WordPress blog – Written and Read
  • I do….until I don’t – Seen
  • Enchanted August – Read
  • List of words for Creative art degree – Written
  • The 7 basic plots by Christopher Booker – Read
  • Facebook – Read
  • i-News digital – Read
  • Coram Voice website – Read
  • Children’s Act 1989 sections 17 & 20 – Read
  • Chicago Med episode – Seen
  • Twitter – Read & Written
  • Instagram – Seen
  • Imagine FX magazine – Read
  • Corbin Nash – (not finished) – Seen
  • Creative Arts course-book – Read
  • Heard my family discuss their days.

My day contains a lot of stories, from my son recanting his latest misadventures on Overwatch through to the book I’m reading before bed. It’s an interesting mix of storytelling (my family’s days)  and people’s interpretations of the world around them (Facebook, Instagram, i-News, Twitter). 

The obvious things I would consider art would be Instagram, Imagine FX magazine, and the films/dramas I watched on the television. The creativity and imagination to create these shows the invention in the art. The script writing and universes created, even based on reality, are certainly an art form.

Is i-News an art? There is certainly more art in the news than truth, and it is because of this I have started to think of news-streams more as an invented creative article than a straight unbiased truth. Journalism seems to have lost its integrity and become more of a creative storytelling. 

My son describing his game, and gameplay, is definitely creative, and his whole body experience certainly makes it a performance art. My daughter’s flamboyant hand gestures whilst describing her vehicle maintenance workshops, although maybe not a conventional piece of performance art, it is certainly filled with creativity and theatre.

As I reread my definition of art in an earlier blog I’m intrigued by how I have stricter rules when it comes to the written word. Although I’ve said I believe it is up to the artist to guide us, I believe there is a greater craft requirement in creative writing. Something for me mull on.

I think it requires an understanding of language that is well crafted. It’s probably why I don’t believe a computer can produce a piece of creative writing. There needs to be a direction, a growth and a distinct representation of life, however removed from the human one. I love fantasy stories, and can devour a novel in a matter of days. However removed the characters and plots are from my normality, there is still a distinct intelligence and development behind the writing. It’s not random words on a page. They have meaning. 

Ah, back to the meaning behind the art. I think that sums it up aptly for me. There needs to be meaning.  Painting for the sake of it isn’t art. The same way words for the sake of writing isn’t art.

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Research Point

From The Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing

Hazel Smith’s Creative writing and New Media Essay

My initial reaction to the essay is one of remembrance. Having studied an HND Multimedia in 2001-2003, we were asked to create a digital new media book. Using Adobe Director (Macromedia when I was taught it) we were asked to create an interactive element for a children’s book. Incidentally also the piece that went missing at the college and was never marked. This caused me to have an incomplete course. It seems slightly ironic that I can draw on this experience 15 years later when I’m studying a different creative course.

As I read more I’m inspired myself about new media writing. I loved the ability to add sounds and animations into the page using Director. It was an exciting prospect 15 years ago. Hopefully, as ebook readers develop and become more like tablets, this will be more accessible. The ability to embed maps, songs, voices, or mini animations could be used to enhance a narrative, as long as it doesn’t distract from the original story. 

As a child of the 70’s and 80’s I remember adventure books, and was disappointed when they disappeared from the bookshelves. Although these type of reader-led adventures are making a comeback, it is exciting to see this narrative being taken into gaming. With the advent of Minecraft story mode, and Skyrim, it is fascinating to see the exploration of literature into gaming. 

The advancement of computing science and digital technologies has broadened the field of creative writing. However when the essay starts to explore computer software as writing and claiming it is authoring is a stretch too far from me. I do not believe that a computer can truly have intent, and although I would certainly call the software authoring creative writing, the output from the computer itself is nothing more than a representation of authorship.  I find it insulting to genuine authors who research their stories and spend hours putting their life and soul into their stories that I can not call an output generated by ones and zeros a piece of creative writing.

At what point do we draw a line with computing and robotic advancement? There is so little that humans can call unique to our species, I do not feel that a computer is able to generate something with genuine meaning. If it does not have meaning is it authored? This then brings me on to the discussion of writing as performance art. If it is already classified as a performance art does a piece involving words automatically also get classified as creative writing? Is it necessary? I do not think it does.

Project 1 Exercise 1

When you take a story from it’s source you’re taking it from a passive activity – listening, to an active one – reading. You also have to simplify the experience down to the story. Storytellers were known for their voices, emphasises, and elaborations. When you take the story and reduce it to ‘just’ the words, these subtleties become lost. In spite of that has the mass production of stories gained the creator a broader audience? It certainly allows for an income to be made from stories, that was previously restricted by the size of storytelling circles. It also allows for a readers own embellishments and imagination to fill in the gaps.

The biggest implication I can think of, when a story goes to print, is the editing process. The printing press owners would want to recoup the costs involved and this must have had a negative effect on the length of texts and stories. The power shifts from the story creator to the printing press owner. The control of how, and what, gets published gets moved to the publishers. This is a massive shift, creators lost content and meaning. Although larger numbers of books can be produced, the choice of what gets produced has shifted to the press owners, and publishing houses. If the content doesn’t meet their approval, it doesn’t get printed.