How We Become Who We Are

How We Become Who We Are is my doctorate novel about the stories we tell that make us who we are online and the gaps between our real and virtual lives.

Is this myself, or are we merely fictions – David Shields reality hunger

From How We Become

‘Frankie knew the internet was a slippery thing. She knew how easy it was to get caught up. So many diversions, distractions, lies, fantasies, desires in one place. If it’s not selling you something it’s telling you something, making something, faking something. Sapping life out of the new, squeezing the value out of everything. Frankie had too often had enough. But as she watched the stats of her youtube channel pass 1 million subscribers she ascended from the merely ordinary to somewhat remarkable. It was a good feeling. A feeling she felt she deserved. For the first time in her life Frankie had assets. Assets that, if she played her hand right, could fundamentally change her life.’

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Week 9: The End of Books…

This week we will be looking at Writing About You Work in preparation for your critical commentary essay assessment element and Multi-Modal Story telling, Digital and E-Literature. With regard to the former you are required to submit a 1000 word essay critically reflecting on your creative writing practice [your responses to 4 out of the 5 experimental modals of creative writing presented on the course]. You should identify the key strategies presented with each model and how you have adapted and interpreted these for your own work. You should reflect on and assess your work according to the works’ achievements in adhering to and/or developing the original author’s strategy, using references and demonstrating the depth of your understanding of the methods and context of the work through close textual analysis, self reflection and critical comment [don’t forget to reference the Everyday Life Theory we covered too].

Multi-Modal Story telling, Digital and E-Literature

Digital literature is a term is used in a number of ways. It can mean anything that finds itself presented in computational form; it is the preferred term for any new writing that is generated and designed to be read digitally – in North America the term E-literature is favoured for this type of work. Basically both terms refer – in their purest sense – to work that is ‘digital born’ representing both a strategy and form of new writing that sets out to make use of the non-linear narrative capabilities of digital language. Veering away from the constraints of singular, linear cause and effects narrative relationships to more complex, network neonarratives. The latter can be said to represent the a paradigm shift in the way we understand the world and seek to make sense of it through stories. [An amusing and interesting aside – http://youtu.be/nJmGrNdJ5Gw]

Here’s an article from the NEW YORK TIMES  that provides a good introduction to e-literature. It is published in 1992 – so practically ancient history – but very interesting both for its description of what this ‘new’ art form is and could be – but also as a historical object.

http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/09/27/specials/coover-end.html

The form began with hypertext

“”Hypertext” is not a system but a generic term, coined a quarter of a century ago by a computer populist named Ted Nelson to describe the writing done in the nonlinear or nonsequential space made possible by the computer. Moreover, unlike print text, hypertext provides multiple paths between text segments, now often called “lexias” in a borrowing from the pre-hypertextual but prescient Roland Barthes. With its webs of linked lexias, its networks of alternate routes (as opposed to print’s fixed unidirectional page-turning) hypertext presents a radically divergent technology, interactive and polyvocal, favoring a plurality of discourses over definitive utterance and freeing the reader from domination by the author. Hypertext reader and writer are said to become co-learners or co-writers, as it were, fellow-travelers in the mapping and remapping of textual (and visual, kinetic and aural) components, not all of which are provided by what used to be called the author.” Extract from above article in NY Times.

Early Hypertext fiction used a writing environment called Storyspace – which you can have a look at here

http://www.eastgate.com/storyspace/index.html

A significant trend in more recent work in this field explore the narrative possibilities that exists in the convergence between new multimedia and writing. Exploring exciting new storying possibilities as sound, image and text combine to make new story worlds that reflect our own increasingly complex, multi-connected lives.

See

http://pinepoint.nfb.ca/

and

http://www.inanimatealice.com/about.html

and

http://www.chrisjoseph.org/

On Chris Joseph’s site I recommend tube lines [first left on grid] and i wake at eight [near the bottom far left] – lots of other great work on their too.

It is clear to see how the experimental and new writing writing strategies we have studied on the course lead us here…

‘Positional Vertigo’ launch – much fun!

Thank you to all at Askance for a great night on tuesday and a great publication. So impressed by the quality of the book and the writing. Great to hear some of the short stories read by the other authors.  My Story ‘Carried Away ‘ is subtitled Love, Loss and Tequila. It was Awarded Runner Up Prize in the Askance 2012 Short Story Competition. The story won a small cash prize and will feature in an anthology called Positional Vertigo. More details are on the websiteProceeds of the sale of the anthology will go to support ACT a charity that offer patient support to two main hospitals in Cambridge – Addenbrookes & The Rosie.

 

I am delighted to have won this prize and that my first print fiction publication is about a subject and a place very close to my heart. Over the years I have had many reasons to use Addebrookes and The Rosie and know how hard times of illness can be for individuals and families. When you are dependent on others for support and uncertain of your future you place yourself in the hands of well meaning strangers and say a little prayer. Charities such as ACT play a vital role in providing real support for patients and help them come to terms with the seismic changes – temporary or long term – that ill health bring to their lives.

 

Carried Away is a story loosely based on my own experience of miscarriage. Not so much the tequila – although I’m sure wine played a role somewhere – but more the palpable, visceral sense of grief that comes with losing a wanted child at any stage of pregnancy and the difficulties of marking that loss for someone you loved and that you knew in your imagination but never met.”

You can buy your own copy and support new writers and ACT here: Buy ‘Positional Vertigo’ Truly It’s really rather good! Enjoy! E- book coming out in January 2013.

Why Not Enter The Twitter Fiction Festival?

Twitter are launching the first Twitter fiction festival November 28th. WHy not try your hand at some twitter fiction. Learning to write engaging stories concisely and with impact is a skill every fiction writer could do well in flexing. Think of it as your time in the writing gym, shortreps that will build the necessary writing muscle and craft for tackling any of those bigger projects you have promised to do one day. Oh and you stand a very good chance of completing these

the wired article here adds some interesting comments of how this kind of fiction might well reshape our ideas of what fiction it and how we read it. it also has a bunch more links that are all really interesting.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/10/twitter-fiction-festival/

Nearly Networked

I have changed the name of this blog to reflect a broader self remit.  AI wills this blog will be used for posting materials relating to two new modules I’m teaching this coming academic year which I’m very excited about – The Networked Image and Creative Writing. More coming soon.

Book 2.0 – Available Now as Free Download

It’s taken a while but finally here is: Intellect’s peer-reviewed journal Book 2.0 where my paper on my novel User is published.

‘Sarah Gibson Yates looks at how online and offline worlds intersect through the development of User, a creative writing work-in-progress that analyses how social media has turned the self into a creative work and a digital identity to be marketed. ‘

Be great to hear any thoughts, comments…

http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/weblog/view-Post,id=51520/

Narrating The Self in Film, Fiction and [other] Transliteral Media

An informal presentation of past film work and current research at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge Campus as part of

‘In this level 3 Creative Practice seminar session Sarah will put some of her past film work in to context and present some of her current research.

Sarah Gibson Yates is a writer and filmmaker interested in how we read, write, interpret and interact with representations of Self in a variety of media. She has made both fiction and non-fiction films in a variety of contexts including galleries, museums, festivals and schools, taught filmmaking to students of all ages and engaged the public in range of community and professional film art practices. More recently Sarah has been exploring the way social technologies are changing the way we present ourselves online through social networking, and in particular the notion of profile making as a form of ephemeral portraiture, and the personal, social and ethical consequences of indelible digital identities. She has written a novel exploring these ideas that has been funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council and developed through the new writing scheme Gold Dust with Sally Cline, and is undergoing final editing with her agent. Seed development funding was also awarded to explore some of these ideas through a publicly engaged workshop. Her paper on this creative research work in progress is shortly to be published by Intellect’s peer-reviewed journal Book 2.0.’