Part 1: Research- Hazel Smiths Essay ‘Creative Writing and New Media’

Considering the implications of the digital revolution for creative writing:

  • As the screen replaces the page as a form through which we read, we are also encountering creative writing in a more visual form
  • Smith describes the animation of writing so that it becomes a ‘kinetic’ experience for the viewer – we can interact on a new level with a piece of writing.
  • The use of algorithmic constraints is expanded – from the rules of rhyme in poetry to rules set by computer generated algorithms, suddenly creative writing has the ability to evolve itself, it can by the right input continue to grow and change.
  • Concept of authorship has been challenged – now that ‘anyone’ with no formal background or education in creative writing can write a blog, or publish a story on-line. There’s some debate about whether this is good – it gives room for a wider range of voices from a diversity of backgrounds to be heard. But it also might impact the quality of writing which we read and perhaps therefore the level of general understanding/use of language.
  • Challenges separation between Artist& Author – Artists now have more technology to use to generate and manipulate text, coined ‘Multimedia artists’ – do these supplant writers?
  • Is it becoming less about the writing and more about the experience? As things like augmented reality seem to be taking off, does this draw attention away from or closer to the quality of the writing? I think sometimes it can detract, we become a little overloaded with visual stimulation.

Interesting further links/research

Augmented Reality:

I looked into one piece of work in the augmented reality field called:

Between page and screen

It’s fascinating as something which exists in several formats or places, but not fully in any. There is a physical book with QR codes which you can be read by using the webcam of your computer, which in turn then allows you to see animated projections of poetry. The subject of the ‘book’ itself also deals with fragmentation through the theme of two lovers trying to define the limits and extents of their relationship. I’m not sure how much I would enjoy reading it though as it feels quite disjointed!

Youtube channel – Future of Story telling:


I’ve included a link above to series of video’s about the ‘future of storytelling’ – these video’s include different viewpoints on the affect of technology on storytelling. They discuss Augmented Reality, the capturing of stories within Game-play and many more subjects. For me watching these video’s is exciting, I see a glimpse into a world where the limits of our imagination and the concept of reality being expanded. But I also feel a little overwhelmed by the pace of change, technology seems to move so rapidly, it can feels hard to keep up!

I found I needed to read the essay a number of times before I felt able to consider the implications of the digital revolution for creative writing. In the process however I did find that creating a little illustration of what ‘new media’ was helpful (see feature image at top of post).





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