Monthly Archives: October 2017

Week 5: Writing for Interaction

This week is focused on how to write for interaction, focusing on interactive narrative. The aim is to start to build on the relationship between duration, rhythm, and reading that we started considering last week when discussing writing and social media.

At the start of class, we’ll be workshopping your social media writing started last week, so be sure to spend time this week finishing them.


Assigned Reading

Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine by Melissa Ford (Read the start of the book that is available on Google books, particularly chapter 2). This will just give you some sense of the general terrain of interactive fiction.

Take some time to read and look at a few of these examples:

And start to familiarize yourself with Twine.

Additional Reading

Interactive Fiction Database

Laura Michet

Twine 2.0 Beginner’s Guide


  1. We’ll be workshopping your social media writing from last week, so be sure to finish them up.
  2. Create a piece of interactive writing using Twine.

Week 4: Writing for Social Media

This week we’ll focus on writing for social media platforms, both in fiction and non-fictional settings.


Assigned Reading

Theory / Criticism
Andersen, Tore Rye. 2017. “Staggered Transmissions.” Convergence 23 (1). SAGE Publications Ltd: 34–48. doi:10.1177/1354856516675256. [GET THIS FROM THE BATH SPA LIBRARY WEBSITE]

Crown, Sarah. 2012. “Twitter Is a Clunky Way of Delivering Fiction.” The Guardian, May 25.


Additional Reading

Segar, Emma. 2017. “Blog Fiction and Its Successors.” Convergence 23 (1). SAGE Publications Ltd: 20–33. doi:10.1177/1354856516678369.

A [S]creed for Digital Fiction by Alice Bell et. al.

The RIght Sort by David Mitchell

Jellybone by Kate Pullinger

Social media has turned Republican & Democratic Parties into host bodies for 3rd party candidates by Clay Shirky

Anselm Berrigan’s Twitter


Set up a (free) site

  • The blog is a medium
  • It can be any kind of site (blog, webpage, etc.)
  • It should fit with the writing you produce (eventually)
  • It should make clear what is going on (or not)

It should have (at least):

  • Theme
  • Title
  • About
  • Picture (look at Creative Commons or Wikimedia)

Post a link to your site in the discussion forum in Minerva

Activity for next week

Write a nice piece of social media content

Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or drama

Include some other media with it.

Target whatever platform you want. Make sure to attend to the affordances of the platform.

Can be in the platform itself or just drafted.

We’ll be workshopping these next week.

Be sure to think about
Timing / Temporality
Interactivity (the invitation)
Reading in the present vs the archive
Cognitive model of the platform
How to lead readers in from your blog / website

Week 3: Collaborative Writing

This week we’ll be discussing collaborative writing. As digital platforms make it possible to more easily collaborate on texts than ever before, being able to effectively collaborate on writing is an essential skill to develop and understand.

Assigned Readings

  1. “The Death of the Author” by Roland Barthes
  2. A report on A Million Penguins
  3. The Distributed Cognition Perspective on Human Interaction by Edwin Hutchins (read pages 375-380)

After you’ve done the reading, please post a response of about 200 words to Minerva in the “Week 2:Collaborative Writing” discussion forum”. (Select “Assessment” from the left column, then select “Week 2: Collaborative Writing” and create a new thread to post your response in.

For these informal responses, pick out a few key terms from the readings to discuss, challenge something said in the reading, or reflect on how you might think about approaching the form (in this case, collaborative writing) in your own writing.

Additional Readings

In Class Activities

  1. Using another student’s transmedia bible from last week, write a brief piece (for any media) that fits into the narrative world they have laid out.
  2. In groups, create a piece of writing in the tradition of flash fiction in a shared Google Doc. It can be a poem, a short story, nonfiction, but aim for around 400 words. Make it a nice, finished piece of writing.


Slides from this week.

Week 2: Transmedia/Extended Narrative/ARG

This week we will consider transmedia narratives. The objective is to get you thinking about how different media can be interleaved as part of either a fiction or non-fiction narrative. In addressing transmedia early in the module, you should start to think about how your final portfolios might make use of different media and the affordances that they offer.

Slides for this week.

Assigned Readings

The first two readings are available via the Bath Spa Library website.

  1. Abba, Tom. 2009. “Examining the Future of Transmedia Narrative.” Science Fiction Film and Television 2 (1): 59–76. (Read pages 59-62 for a good introduction to transmedia. You can read the whole thing if you’re interested in sci-fi or want more insight into alternate reality games.)
  2. Hancox, Donna. 2017. “From Subject to Collaborator.” Convergence 23 (1). SAGE Publications Ltd: 49–60. doi:10.1177/1354856516675252. (This is great in that it expands on how we think about transmedia to include non-fiction and other kinds of writing.)
  3. A History of Transmedia Entertainment, Derek Johnson. (This essay gives some extra insight into how transmedia can be understood, particularly as it relates to intellectual property and marketing.)

After you’ve done the reading, please post a response of about 200 words to Minerva in the “Week 2: Transmedia” discussion forum”. (Select “Assessment” from the left column, then select “Week 2: Transmedia” and create a new thread to post your response in.

For these informal responses, pick out a few key terms from the readings to discuss, challenge something said in the reading, or reflect on how you might think about approaching the form (in this case, transmedia) in your own writing.

Examples Discussed in Class

  1. The search for the zone
  2. Southern Reach Trilogy
  3. One Millionth Tower
  4. 18 Days in Egypt
  5. 2097: We Made Ourselves Over
  6. I love bees
  7. lonelygirl15

Additional Resources

  1. Transmedia 202: Further Reflections. Henry Jenkins.
  2. Transmedia. Baldur Bjarnason and Tom Abba.
  3. Jenkins, Henry, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. 2013. Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture. NYU press. (The book is available in the library).
  4. Spreadable Media Essays
  5. Norman, Don. 2013. The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition. Hachette UK.
  6. Jenkins, Henry. 2010. “Transmedia Storytelling and Entertainment: An Annotated Syllabus.” Continuum 24 (6). Routledge: 943–58. doi:10.1080/10304312.2010.510599.

In Class Activities

  1. In groups, pick one of the examples discussed and perform an analysis of the different ways media are used.
  2. Start to write a transmedia story bible / guide. We want to be able to use these next week to support in class activities about collaborative writing.

Here are a few things to be sure to include in your transmedia story bible/guide:

  • For fiction, include descriptions of characters, setting, circumstances
  • For non-fiction, include topics, facts, sources, strategies, aims
  • The core defining properties of the property.
  • A description of the intended audience(s).
  • Plans for at least three different media: video, social media, blogs, stand alone website, real life events, print, games, chatbots.
  • A discussion of plans for each media platform you are going to deploy.
  • An overall description for how you will seek to integrate the different media platforms to create a coherent world.
  • How do you invite audiences in (down the rabbit hole)?

Examples of pitch documents / story bibles are on Minerva.

We’ll be using these next week to share and work from in class, so be prepared to share them. The aim is to create a framework for a transmedia work which will allow another student to pick up your guide and then create a piece of writing that will fit into your world. Write in Google Docs, if possible.

Tools, Platforms, and Resources

This is just a list of some of the tools, resources, and platforms that might be helpful in the module. There are, of course, many more. We will discuss some of these tools in class, but it is up to you to choose the tools that are right for you and your projects.

College of Liberal Art Publishing Workshops

These are opportunities for learning how to use a variety of tools for digital publishing. We won’t be discussing many specific technologies in the module, so these workshops are an excellent opportunity for learning how to use a variety of tools for digital creation.


Bath Spa Writing Centre


Creative Commons Guidelines 

We’ll be following creative commons guidelines in the course.


Tools for Content Creation


Final Draft

Text Editing

MS Word/LibreOffice

Google Docs


Video Resources


Windows Movie Maker




Adobe InDesign

Image Editing

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Suite (access via uni macs) :

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Spark

Visual Studio Code (free) –

Interactive Fiction





One More Story Games:

HypeDyn – for creating “text-based interactive stories that adapt to reader choice” –

inklewriter –

Inform 7


TextAdventures (Quest)

Cloudnovel (Visual Novel browser-based creator)

Ren’py (Visual Novel engine)

Visual Novels

Cloud Novel:

Ren’py Creator:

Manga Studio ,

Multimodal Literature



Prezi (robust presentation software):



Garageband (mac standard):






Social Media Platforms









Creative Commons:

British Library (flikr):

Macaulay Library (nature media):

Looper man (audio resources):

Free images (stock photos):

New Old Stock:

Sound Bible

Vimeo (CC)






Week 1: What is Digital Writing?

This week will serve as an introduction to the course, provide a brief introduction to the field of electronic literature, and start a discussion about the way in which digital writing intersects with traditional writing and social practices around reading. Some key ideas that I want to keep in mind this week are reproducibility, imitation, expression, and the reasons for creating works of literature. The task this week is to start thinking about what kind of project you would like develop for your final project.

Module Handbook.

Slides from this week.

Assigned Readings

  1. Electronic Literature: What is it? by N. Katherine Hayles. This provides an overview of the field of electronic literature.
  2. The Electronic Literature Collection 1. Take some time to look at several of the works in the collection. The note of any problems you encounter in experiencing these works.

By looking specifically at “electronic literautre,” the aim is to be able to identify some of the opportunities and challenges offered by digital writing in general.

In Class Activities

  1. Perform “digital audit” about current digital writing practices and aims for the module.
  2. Start “blue sky” thinking about final projects.

Additional Reading / Viewing

Electronic Literature Course from EdX

Acid Free Bits by Nick Montfort and Noah Wardrip-Fruin

The Future of Storytelling Vimeo: this is a conference in NY; they have posted a series of very interesting videos about the future of storytelling on their Vimeo page: 

Inanimate Alice

Margaret Atwood: A State of Wonder – Future of Storytelling: animated video talk

Karen by Blast Theory

Jellybone  by Kate Pullinger

Pry by Samantha Gorman and Danny Cannizzaro

Even More

What is e-lit? –

Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1 –

Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 2 –

ELMCIP Anthology of European Electronic Literature –

I ♥ E-Poetry –

I ♥ E-Poetry Games –

Drablr: Streaming Drabbles 100 words at a time –

A History of the Drabble –

How to Write a Drabble –

The Hangup – by Mary Flanagan & Nick Montfort –

Lede – by Nick Montfort –

jason.nelson’ –

P.o.E.M.M series (Poems for Excitable Mobile Media) by Jason Edward Lewis & Bruno Nadeau –

Blackbar – by Neven Mrgan & James Moore –

ELMCIP Electronic Literature Knowledge Base –

The New Media Reader – edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin & Nick Montfort, MIT Press, 2003

Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary – by N. Katherine Hayles, University of Notre Dame Press, 2008