Category Archives: CS5042-20 2016

Creative Writing & Digital Media, module CS5042-20
Course Tutor: Kayt Lackie

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


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
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.

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

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



Twine 2 Guide

Twine Hosting Sites
Interactive Fiction Database
Adventure Cow

For larger projects, consider a web host service.

Other Interactive Fiction Engines

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

Creative Commons and Royalty Free Media Sites (continued)

Sound Bible
Vimeo (CC)

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.

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: ,

Required Reading: Some People Link:

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
An article about the above in The Guardian

The Night Mail by W.H. Auden and John Greirson
More about The Night Mail

The Book of Hours by Lucy English
More on The Book of Hours on

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

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.

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

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)

Week 5: Mediated Reality

This week we take on mediated realities: virtual reality, augmented reality and alternate reality gaming. We’ll expand our study of storyworlds by looking at virtual worlds. And we’ll consider how we might superimpose media on reality, or infuse and support mundane reality with inspiring narrative.

Reading/Experiencing List

Pokemon Go!
Karen (Blast Theory)
Zombies, Run!
World of Warcraft
Second Life
Perplex City
I Love Bees

Augmented Reality: Extraordinary Things: Use objects to convey a story in pieces.
Alternate Reality Exercise: Expand on AR and develop a simple Alternate Reality game.
Shared World Exercise 3: Create a precious/magic item and write a story for it in the wiki.
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.

Week 4: Transmedia, Storyworlds & Expanded Universes

This week is dedicated to worlds that grow beyond the borders of one book or movie. These storyworlds provide storytelling experiences in which exploration can be as important, and enjoyable, as following the main plot thread. We talk expanded universes and spreadable media.

In this class, we’ll discuss convergence, participatory culture, intertextuality and the challenges that arise from this type of storytelling. Students will continue to expand their shared fictional universe, both contributing to the wiki and extending their worldbuilding beyond its borders.

Note: Links to slides, prezis, and exercises can be found on Minerva.

Additional Viewing

Henry Jenkins Convergence Keynote

Select Storyworlds

Marvel Extended Universe: Marvel Comics – Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Middle Earth: Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, etc. – J.R.R. Tolkien
Oz: Wizard of Oz series – L. Frank Baum
Star Wars Universe: Film series, novels, tv shows, games – George Lucas

Transmedia Novels/ Novels with Transmedia Elements

Landing Gear and Flight Paths by Kate Pullinger
Nearlyology  by Chris Meade
Endgame Series
Cathy’s Book by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman
Mirrorworld by Cornelia Funke

Links to Software and Resources 1 (ongoing)

Interactive Fiction

One More Story Games:

Visual Novels

Cloud Novel:
Ren’py Creator:

Multimodal Literature

Prezi (robust presentation software):
Adobe Suite (access via uni macs) :


Garageband (mac standard):


Creative Commons:
British Library (flikr):
Macaulay Library (nature media):
Looper man (audio resources):
Free images (stock photos):
New Old Stock:

Week 3: Social Media Fiction


This week we look at how we might harness the powers of social media platforms to tell our stories. The brunt of this investigation will be done via the Social Media Fiction Analysis form, which can be found on Minerva. We will also begin developing our shared world on our class wiki.


Shared World Exercise: With a partner, develop one aspect of our shared world. This may be the political climate, the supernatural elements, the criminal underworld, etc…
Social Media Fiction Analysis Each small group will choose one social media platform to analyse and will present their findings to the class.
Timed Twitter Stories Exercises in writing 140 character stories.


Week 2: Multimodal Narratives


This class will introduce multimodal fiction in both print and digital forms and will focus on the relationship between the written word and other modes. Beginning with a brief historical overview of multimodal novels, this class will look at the use of design, illumination, type, maps, icons, music, illustrations, paratext, gesture/interactivity, and other elements.

Typeface Exercise Analyse the typeface provided and write a character sketch inspired by that typeface.
Altered Work Create an altered poem or flash fiction in Photoshop from assets provided. The psd files can be found on Minerva.
Work Discussed

Le Roman de Fauvel, Tree of Codes (Jonathan Safran Foer), S (Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams), The Unfortunates (B.S. Johnson), A Humument (Tom Philips), Une Semaine de Bonte (Max Ernst), The Raw Shark Texts (Steven Hall), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon), House of Leaves (Mark Danielewski), Nat Tate (William Boyd), Heidegger Stairwell (Kayt Burgess) . Digital: 80 Days (inkle), The Silent History (Sudden Oak), Inanimate Alice (Kate Pullinger), The Kills (Richard House), TOC: A New Media Novel (Steven Tomasula), Pry (Tender Claws), Arcadia (Iain Pears), McSweeney’s and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Tools Used: MS Word/Open Office, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign.

Required Reading: I’m Comic Sans, Asshole. Link: (cw: profanity)

Additional Reading: Multimodality, Cognition and Experimental Literature (Alison Gibbons), The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature (Joe Bray, Alison Gibbons and Brian McHale), How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (N. Katherine Hayles).

CS5042-20 Creative Writing & Digital Media 2016

Introduction to Creative Writing & Digital Media


In this class, Professor Naomi Alderman and module lecturer Kayt Lackie will introduce the field of digital writing. We will explore the ways we communicate using digital platforms and students will self-reflect using the Digital Audit document. Students will then engage in a blue sky thinking exercise ending in a pitch session.

Note: Module handbook can be found on Minerva.

Dec-18 Portfolio
Jan-11 Reflective Essay
Module Schedule
Oct-04 Introduction to Digital Writing
Oct-11 Multimodal Narratives
Oct-18 Social Media Fiction
Oct-25 Transmedia, Storyworlds & Expanded Universes
Nov-01 ARGs, VRG, Location-based Apps
Nov-08 Derivative Works: Remix, Fanfiction + Adaptation
Nov-15 Scripted! Webvideo
Nov-22 Spripted 2! Podcasts, Audiodramas, Webcomics
Nov-29 Interactive Narratives
Dec-06 Videogames
Dec-13 Tutorials (sign up. Include office hours)