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.

Examples

Additional Reading

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

Activity

Set up a (free) WordPress.com 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

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.

www.colapublishingworkshops.com

 

Bath Spa Writing Centre

https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/library/writing-and-learning-centre

 

Creative Commons Guidelines 

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

http://creativecommons.org/

 

Tools for Content Creation

Screenwriting

Final Draft

Text Editing

MS Word/LibreOffice

Google Docs

Pages

Video Resources

iMovie

Windows Movie Maker

Youtube

Publishing

Pressbooks

Adobe InDesign

Image Editing

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Suite (access via uni macs) : http://www.adobe.com/

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Spark https://spark.adobe.com/

Visual Studio Code (free) – code.visualstudio.com

Interactive Fiction

Twine: http://twinery.org/

Undum: http://undum.com/

Quest: http://textadventures.co.uk/quest

Korsakow: http://korsakow.org

One More Story Games: https://onemorestorygames.com/

HypeDyn – for creating “text-based interactive stories that adapt to reader choice” – www.narrativeandplay.org/hypedyn

inklewriter – www.inklestudios.com/inklewriter

Inform 7

StoryStylus

TextAdventures (Quest)

Cloudnovel (Visual Novel browser-based creator)

Ren’py (Visual Novel engine)

Visual Novels

Cloud Novel: http://cloudnovel.net/

Ren’py Creator: https://www.renpy.org/

Manga Studio

http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/ ,

https://www.pixton.com/

Multimodal Literature

Racontr: https://racontr.com/

Klynt: http://www.klynt.net/

Prezi (robust presentation software): https://prezi.com

Slides.com

Audio

Audacity: http://www.audacityteam.org/

Garageband (mac standard): http://www.apple.com/mac/garageband/

soundcloud:https://soundcloud.com/

Podbean: https://www.podbean.com/

Podomatic: https://www.podomatic.com/login

iTunes

 

Social Media Platforms

WordPress

Blogger

Tumblr

Twitter

Instagram

Snapchat

 

Assets

Creative Commons: https://creativecommons.org/

British Library (flikr): https://www.flickr.com/people/britishlibrary/

Macaulay Library (nature media): http://macaulaylibrary.org/

Looper man (audio resources): http://www.looperman.com/

Free images (stock photos): http://www.freeimages.com/image/movie-music

New Old Stock: http://nos.twnsnd.co/

Sound Bible

Freesound.org

Vimeo (CC)

FreeSFX.co.uk

Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

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? – eliterature.org/what-is-e-lit

Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1 – collection.eliterature.org/1

Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 2 – collection.eliterature.org/2

ELMCIP Anthology of European Electronic Literature – anthology.elmcip.net

I ♥ E-Poetry – iloveepoetry.com

I ♥ E-Poetry Games – iloveepoetry.com/?p=10359

Drablr: Streaming Drabbles 100 words at a time – drablr.com

A History of the Drabble – drablr.com/history-of-the-drabble

How to Write a Drabble – drablr.com/how-to-write-a-drabble

The Hangup – by Mary Flanagan & Nick Montfort – nickm.com/poems/the_hangup.html

Lede – by Nick Montfort – nickm.com/poems/lede.html

jason.nelson’s.digital.poetry.interfaces – heliozoa.com

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

Blackbar – by Neven Mrgan & James Moore – mrgan.com/blackbar/press

ELMCIP Electronic Literature Knowledge Base – elmcip.net/knowledgebase

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

 

Week 10: Roleplaying Games

Our final class will centre around the participatory storyworld we have been developing over the course of the module. For the first half hour, we will premier the B.O.R.S. web series. After this we will briefly discuss the rules of the game and go through a few roleplaying exercises.

At 17:00 we will move over to G23-24 to run our analog game. Students are encouraged to furnish their characters with costuming (strictly no weapons allowed unless larp-safe). The game will last an hour and a half. For the final part of the class, we will hold a post larp-debrief, looking at the game mechanics, storytelling and structure of the exercise.

CLASS WIKI: Victorian Bath

Exercises

Bartle Type Quiz with Class Code

B.O.R.S. Web Series Premiere We will watch the completed series in order.
Roleplaying Exercises Gather in your arranged factions and get to know your characters.
Victorian Bath LRP Game playthrough run by the game design team.
Further Reading

Analog Game Studies.Org
Analog Game Studies Vol.1 Download
Leaving Mundania Blog and books Leaving Mundania: The Transformative World of Live
Action Roleplaying Games and Pocket Guide to American Freeform by Lizzie Stark
Nordiclarp.org
Roleplaying: A Narrative Experience and a Mindset by Satu Helio

Week 9: Interactive Fiction

Digital Writing pioneer Professor Kate Pullinger will be with us for the first part of the class to talk about how the field has developed over the last ten years by focusing on one of her earliest digital works, Inanimate Alice, and one of her most recent, Jellybone for Oolipo.

In the second half of the class, we will look at Interactive Fiction, discuss the form and work through a Twine 2 tutorial together, learning some of the design basics of the medium.

Exercises
Twine Tutorial: 2 Doors Kayt will lead the class through a twine tutorial that will cover links, media, and some variables.
Shared World Exercise #4 Create a Twine set in our Shared World in which the player encounters at least one existing character and/or supernatural entity.
Reading/ Viewing

Inanimate Alice
Flight Paths
Oolipo

Twine Games

The Domovoi
My father’s long long legs
Depression Quest (cw: mental illness)
Queers in Love at the End of the World (cw: language, sexuality)
With Those we Love Alive (cw: violence, mature themes)
You Will Select a Decision
Creatures Such as We

Interactive Fiction Reading

Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine by Melissa Ford
A Game Design Vocabulary by Anna Anthropy and Naomi Clark
Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form by Anna Anthropy

Links

Twine

Twine 2 Guide

Twine Hosting Sites

Philome.la
Interactive Fiction Database
Adventure Cow
Textadventures

For larger projects, consider a web host service.

Other Interactive Fiction Engines

Inform 7
Undum
Inklewriter
StoryStylus
TextAdventures (Quest)
Cloudnovel (Visual Novel browser-based creator)
Ren’py (Visual Novel engine)

Creative Commons and Royalty Free Media Sites (continued)

Sound Bible
Freesound.org
Vimeo (CC)
FreeSFX.co.uk

Other
New Media Prize Information

Bartle Type Quiz (Includes group code)

Week 8: Scripted! Webseries (continued), Web Comics and Podcasts

For the first part of the class, we will continue working on the web tv series we began last week. Note that we will premiere these episodes at the beginning of the final class.

The second half of the class will focus on writing for sequential art: comics, graphic novels and web comics. We will discuss the characteristics and qualities of graphic storytelling, the genres, and the scriptwriting approaches. Additionally, we will look at how web comics may differ from analogue comics. If we have time, we will also discuss podcasts and audiodramas.

Exercises
B.O.R.S. Web Series Continued: We will be creating a web series as a class, with small groups writing and filming the episodes.
Comic Exercise 1 Reverse engineer a comic script from an existing page.
Comic Exercise 2 Write a short comic script and use free comic-making software online to develop the script as a comic.

Work Discussed: Web Comics – Some People, Hyperbole and a Half, Dinosaur Comics, Romantically Apocalyptic, Spera, xkcd, Hark! A Vagrant, Hobo Lobo of Hamelin.

Online Comic-creation Software: http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/ , https://www.pixton.com/

Required Reading: Some People Link: http://lukepearson.com/Comics/Some-People

Additional Reading: Alan Moore’s Writing for Comics, Scott McCloud series (Making, Understanding and Reinventing Comics), Comics and Sequential Art & Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative (Will Eisner).

Note: I will include a link to the full Prezi in Minerva, as well as some examples of comic book scripts/blue prints in Minerva “resources”.

Links from Lucy English’s presentation on Video Poetry:

The Man with a Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z97Pa0ICpn8
An article about the above in The Guardian  https://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jul/30/man-with-a-movie-camera-review

The Night Mail by W.H. Auden and John Greirson  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmciuKsBOi0
More about The Night Mail  http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/530415/

The Book of Hours by Lucy English  http://thebookofhours.org/
More on The Book of Hours on Movingpoems.com  http://discussion.movingpoems.com/2016/10/update-on-the-book-of-hours-project-more-collaborators-sought/

Week 7: Video Poetry and Web Series

Poet Lucy English will be joining us for the first part of the class, discussing her work in video poetry. After this, we will have our reverse classroom in Web television series, with each student sharing the research they conducted into their chosen series. For the remainder of the class, we will work on our class-wide B.O.R.S. web series.

Note: For those looking for more information, I will send out a Web Series Prezi via Minerva.

Reading / Viewing

See Web Series list on Gdocs
Byte-Sized Television by Ross Brown
Web Series: How to Make and Market Them by Dan Williams

Exercises
B.O.R.S. Web Series We will create a web series as a class, with small groups writing and filming the episodes. First, we will conduct a preliminary writers’ room en masse and then break off into smaller groups to write individual episodes. The content will be based on the B.O.R.S. organisation introduced last week.

 

Week 6: Participatory Culture and Derivative Works

This week we’ll expand our exploration of Storyworlds and Transmediality into Participatory Culture and Derivative Works. How do fans contribute to storyworlds? What are the different kinds of derived works and who defines them? How does the law treat transformative and derivative works? We look at the relationship between creators and those who participate in their worlds.

Exercises
Fanfiction Exercise With a partner, choose a fandom. Each of you write a fanfiction drabble based on that work. Afterwards, discuss the pieces – how the source material is used, variations in interpretation, etc…
Collaborative Novella Exercise Using the elements given, the class will collaborate on a novella set in the Shared World.
Shared World Exercise 4: Create a place in our Alt version of Victorian Bath, write it up for the wiki, and plot it on the shared map.
Webseries Assignment Sign up for a webseries. Further instructions to be given in class.
Selected Works

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Storyworld
L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Gregory Maguire’s Wicked
Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles
Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton and Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton
Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series and E.L James 50 Shades
+More

Readings / Viewings

Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture (Jenkins free pdf)
Hamilton is Fanfic, and its Critics are Totally Missing the Point
Jill Bearup – Virgil was a Homer Fanboy: History of Fanfiction Part 1 (YouTube)
Jill Bearup – Feel the Berne (Convention): History of Fanfiction Part 2 (YouTube)
Clay Shirky: Cognitive Surplus (Ted Talk)