Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Lesson in Digital Creative Writing

We are now speaking to a number of authors and content creators about the digital opportunities and challenges that they now face. We are looking at how it is affecting them, their relationships, and the processes and activities right across the publishing value chain and life cycle from creation to public domain.

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing an author with a difference perspective, Kate Pullinger. We were drawn to Kate by the article she wrote in the Guardian last month, ‘Writers can learn a lot from the Hollywood strike. We deserve a better deal from digital publishing’. The article raised many valid points and clearly touched a spot, as it generated high number of comments.
We were interested in her digital experiences not so much from the commercial side but the writing itself. She has authored several novels, writes for radio, film and for digital media and currently teaches on the MA in Creative Writing and New Media at De Montfort University, Leicester. She was also the Research Fellow for TRACE online writing centre from 2002-3.

So Kate not only writes, but teaches writers and has importantly worked with new media. Kate clearly sees the glass half full and the opportunities for all in the New World, but she also recognises that the format often dictates the form. To put it another way, books are books and their size and structure are often fixed to fit the package not necessarily the content itself. Creating multi media works needs to support multi media at the beginning, during the development and at the end. It is not a case of writing the text and adding the ‘effects’ at the end.

We visited Kate’s impressive web site and her latest digital work , a multi media graphic novel in episodes. We will all have our own views on whether it works or doesn’t but the one thing it certainly provides is evidence that creativity is not confined to a live in a jacket. Just as MTV enhanced music and YouTube changed video, then digitisation has the potential to change the book.