Surrey Reads and Writes - Craig Spence


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Social Media for Creative Writers

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  • Speculative Fiction Visit site and read a paragraph or two. Note that you can do a reading anywhere with your story posted online and a cell phone in hand.
  • Speculative Fiction Visit site and read a paragraph or two. Note that you can do a reading anywhere with your story posted online and a cell phone in hand.
  • Nowhere in my brief resume does it say I am an expert at web site development or the use of WordPress. I am one of the millions of people who use wordpress without being a web master. That’s the beauty of this platform. You can learn it on your own, which means it can find thousands of applications tailored to individual needs and preferences.
  • Surrey Reads and Writes - Craig Spence

    1. 1. If youTwitter will they come?February 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 1
    2. 2. Does Twitter live up to its claims?Or are we that flock of little birds lifting agigantic whale out of the ocean? Beforeevery tweet I should ask myself:• What do I really care about as a writer?• What’s fast?• What’s easy?February 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 2
    3. 3. What do I really care about?As a writer I care about creating stories that come to life in theminds of readers. Can Social Media help me do that, or am I What’s he on aboutwasting time on Twitter, Facebook and WordPress? now?To answer that question I have to consider:• My goals and needs as a writer.• How tweeting, posting and blogging further those goals.• How much time I have to invest making Social Media work.To understand my take on Social Media I have to talk about myexploration of Dynamic Creative Writing. So let’s drop in on myWIP, The Cosmic Chicken…February 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 3
    4. 4. Dynamic Creative Writing WordPress and Social Media as a platforms for a literary Work in Progress Craig Spence WriterFebruary 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 4
    5. 5. What is Dynamic Creative Writing?In September, 2011 I posted the first episode to The Cosmic Chicken website, launching what has become for me an experiment in DynamicCreative Writing.This next few slides will talk about:• What the term Dynamic Creative Writing means.• Why WordPress makes a superb Dynamic Creative Writingenvironment.• How Social Media tie in to the Dynamic Creative process.• Who might want to engage in Dynamic Creative Writing.The Cosmic Chicken is located at Although I waspleased to acquire the domain name, I wasn’t really surprised to discoverno-one else had claimed it!February 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 5
    6. 6. A little bit about me…Published Author My last board• Josh & the Magic Vial (2006, Thistledown Press) meeting ever!• Einstein Dog (2009, Thistledown Press) YEEHAW!• Three novels in progressSupporter of Arts & Letters• Langley Arts Council Board Member• Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria member• Federation of BC Writers Past PresidentRetired Journalist & Communications Manager• Community Newspaper Journalist (1981- 1996)• School District Communications Manager (1996 – 2012)• Full time writer from January 2012 on…February 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 6
    7. 7. A Dynamic Writing vignette… Imagine yourself in a department store display What Craig window on a busy downtown street. You are sitting means to say is: at your desk clattering away feverishly on the next “Involving episode of your work in progress. Your computer audience while a work is still in console is wired to a second screen that shows progress.” passers-by your every keystroke. A big sign welcomes them to text, email or phone if they want to comment or make suggestions. Someone taps on the window. You look up… That’s Dynamic Creative Writing. Original art by Diana DurrandFebruary 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 8
    8. 8. Why get Dynamic? Perhaps what Craig really means is he justCREATIVE WRITING AS EVENT didn’t knowWe live in a networked, collaborative world. where to begin.Dynamic Creative Writing derives authenticity byopening itself to the chatter of the network. Thenovel evolves in its audience’s mind as a work-in-progress, allowing readers to influenceoutcomes. The act of writing-as-event challengesthe author to become a guide through real timestory-telling toward an uncertain conclusionalong undefined pathways. So when’s this guy gonnastart his twittertalk? Flickr, MJM Photographie, Melissa MFebruary 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 9
    9. 9. OK, let’s get practical… OK. Maybe he did know where to begin, butWHY WRITE DYNAMICALLY? does he know• Build audience as a novel is written. how to finish.• Make the outcomes of your story relevant.• Extend context by including ‘outtakes’.• Build a process of self-evolution and growth.• Develop momentum.• Incorporate graphic and media elements.• Provide links to supplementary resources.• Position WIP for alternative modes of publication.• Achieve global reach.• Build creative relationships. Flickr, MJM Photographie, Melissa MFebruary 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 10
    10. 10. Ins and Outs of Dynamic Writing…I really appreciate that my WordPressworkspace is just another web page on myopen pages bar. The walls to the writer’sroom have become transparent. InformationFlows in and out. Blogging, Twitter andFacebook are part of that dynamic in-outdialogue.February 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 12
    11. 11. WHAT’SThe Blog… NEXT!Blogs tend to an episodic, sequential style of Flickr imagewriting. They also tend to a plot oriented NightFall404structure. Not every novelist can work within Richard Hopkinsthose constraints.However, the blog’s timeline makes it effectivefor dynamic creative writing. Readers canfollow characters and events, with the currentepisode always at the top of the stack.The blog has evolved as a medium for theexchange as much as the presentation ofideas, which will encourage audienceparticipation in the emerging story.February 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 13
    12. 12. Comments… The comment function of the blog works two Comment? I’ll give ways for the dynamic creative writer. Readers you a comment: Just interacting with the work in progress can post write the damned their ideas for the writer and others to see. book and forget about The author can also respond to readers ideas. all this palaver. Cosmic Chicken indeed! As important is the potential for the author to post his own ideas by initiating comment threads. This makes the process of revision overlap with the process of creation. It also makes the author’s revision notes public and open to comment. Original art by Diana DurrandFebruary 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 14
    13. 13. Original art by Diana Durrand Lovely, I’mMedia imports… sure, but is it art, dear?A great novel doesn’t need photographs orillustrations, just as great paintings don’trequire a whole lot of words.That said, the judicious use of graphics cancue readers, giving them visual elements tobuild a scene around. WordPress’s Mediafunctions make it easy to place images andvideo clips into a story.The Cosmic Chicken was inspired by the art ofmy partner Diana Durrand, and the maincharacter in the story echoes my ownfascination with portraits of Gallus Domesticus– the domestic chicken.February 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 16
    14. 14. Menus…A thoughtfully developed menu to a web-based work of dynamic creative fiction invitesreaders to explore beyond the storyline of thenovel. It can even become a standingreference for readers who want to gainperspectives into a published work that wouldotherwise remain part of the back story.The Cosmic Chicken has navigation links to a‘Glossary’; a page that describes ‘The Cast’;and a page about ‘Places’ in the novel.Readers can also learn about the author. Theinterested reader can access layers ofinformation that are outside the book proper. Flickr image by Mary Margret, Double-MFebruary 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 18
    15. 15. OK, let’s get into the twittering bushTweeting is a quick way ofbeaming new episodes andthoughts about my story tofollowers. In try to include:• A link to topics or episodes•Hashtag references• Photographs• A catchy, relevant tweet It’s about time! Is that it? Isn’t there more to say?February 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 19
    16. 16. And let’s take up some Facetime Facebook is another venue for dialoguing with audience as my work is in progress. I try to: • Invoke or provoke dialogue • Respond to comments • Refer to current episodes • Broaden the conversation Hey! Why did you have to bring those guys into the picture?February 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 20
    17. 17. Thanks for listening &participatingIs Dynamic Creative Writing a method thatmight be used by others? Or is it a one-offexperiment that will result in a single work ofspeculative fiction?If Dynamic Creative Writing does become auseful mode,are blogs, tweets and posts thebest ways for engaging audience, or is there abetter context? Wikis for example?I don’t know at this point. But my experience sofar makes me think I will be writing more novelsusing WordPress and Social Media as mycreative media. Flickr image by o5comFebruary 25, 2012 Surrey Reads & Writes 21