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About this book

These are exciting times for creative writing. In a digital age, the ability to move between types of writing and technologies - often at speed - is increasingly essential for writers. Yet, such flexibility can be difficult to achieve, and, how to develop it remains a pressing challenge. The Multimodal Writer combines theory, practitioner case studies and insightful writing exercises to support writers tackling the challenges and embracing the opportunities that come with new media technologies. Including interviews with a selection of internationally acclaimed authors, such as Simon Armitage, Robert Coover and Rhianna Pratchett, this book equips writers with the tools to not just survive but, rather, thrive in an era characterised by fast-paced change.

With its focus on writing across genres, modes and media, this book is ideal for students of Creative Writing, Professional Writing, Media Writing and Journalism.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Abstract
How do you come to feel at home in such a shifting mix? Even a seemingly comprehensive set of new technological skills could soon be obsolete. Creative flexibility is key. The aim here is to enable development of such creative flexibility. This book presents a model of creativity designed to provide a writer with the means of building writerly resilience and embracing the wealth of new and emerging writing and publishing opportunities.
Josie Barnard

2. 1 Twenty-first century writing and publishing: a wider context

Abstract
Writing and publishing have arrived at a new juncture. We can expect the unexpected on a regular basis. Novice writers who start publishing on fanfiction sites might attract the interest of mainstream publishers and become bestsellers overnight, with oft-cited examples of writers who have made such stratospheric leaps including E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey [2011]) and Anna Todd (After [2014]). Rupi Kaur – one of ‘a burgeoning group of young ‘– gained a huge fanbase on Instagram and went on to sell 1.4 million copies of her first book, Milk and Honey (2015) while still in her early twenties. Established writers have direct access via the Internet to existing and new readers worldwide. On Twitter, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King have 190,000, 1.2 million, 1.9 million and 5.1 million followers respectively. Authors with traditional portfolios can embed more experimental work simply by making it available online. To accompany the publication of his book The Last London for example, Iain Sinclair released extracts from his collaborative sound and music CD on Soundcloud via his website. Online additions like these can be actioned with a few clicks of a computer mouse. Media technologies mean that a novelist could have uploaded, published and begun promoting via social media a new eBook – and made sales - within a matter of hours, or even minutes.
Josie Barnard

3. 2 Negotiating the Starting Block: auto-practitioner study

Abstract
It is simply not possible to stay permanently up to date with all relevant technological developments, there will always be something new. To negotiate the demands that come (thick and fast) in a 21st century characterised by a high turnover of new media technologies, a writer can ‘remediate’ his or her own practice: i.e., instead of rejecting experiences of ‘old’ media as redundant, writers can productively mobilise prior creative experiences and transfer skills gained previously into new digital multimedia and networked environments.That is, as new
Josie Barnard

4. 3 Paradigmatic aspects: author interviews

Abstract
Each writer’s experience of moving between different kinds of writing and technologies is, of course, unique. In 1680s England, Aphra Behn moved into the then risqué new genre of long form prose simply because there was no money in writing plays anymore. Two centuries later, Mark Twain leapt at the opportunity to use the ‘new contraption called a “type-machine”’, (i.e., a typewriter), proudly claiming that he was ‘the first person in the world to apply the type-machine to literature’ Some writers hate such changes, others love them. Yet, within that vast range of responses to the experience of moving between genres and tools, are there patterns that can be observed? Are there particular approaches that can make the experience of moving between types of writing and technologies more effective and enjoyable?
Josie Barnard

5. 4 Creative writing and multimodality: assembling a toolkit, component parts

Abstract
This chapter presents a model of creativity designed to enable development of a personalised multimodal writing practice that will optimise creative flexibility and productivity in a fast-paced twenty-first century writing and publishing landscape. The model is for use by practitioners, students and teachers of Creative Writing.
Josie Barnard

6. 5 Developing a multimodal writing practice: assignments

Abstact
The assignments are for use by students of creative writing and practitioners. They can also be used by tutors of creative writing in a classroom setting. Every assignment featured is tried and tested and designed to be taken straight into an individual’s practice or the classroom without too much preparation, if any. In keeping with the structure of the book, the assignments have been arranged with the intention that, if followed from first to last, they will help build – in an optimally beneficial order – skills that support the development of a robust multimodal writing practice. Alternatively, the assignments can be dipped in and out of.
Josie Barnard

7. Conclusion

Abstarct
This volume has considered how the fast-paced technological change that characterises the 21 century writing and publishing landscape impacts writers, and it has presented a model of creativity designed to help writers develop the creative flexibility and resilience necessary to embrace the wealth of existing and emerging opportunities. In this final chapter, I review the context that makes such a model necessary, sum up the main accomplishments of The Multimodal Writer and consider areas for future research.
Josie Barnard
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