Category Archives: Project 1 – The Craft of Writing

Is it Art? - The Writing's on the Wall - Photo's taken at London History Museum



I have had a few days off work so perhaps the list is longer than usual but here goes:

  • Daily Mail Online
  • Chapter 1, Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing
  • 2 x Red Magazine
  • 2 x Hello Magazine
  • Messages from Siobhan/Alex/Paul/Carol
  • Wrote story on ‘Flat Tyre’
  • Wrote about Research in exercise for OCA on my blog
  • Had breakfast in a cafe with a friend
  • Listened to a self-help entrepreneur on you tube
  • Spoke to my sister on face time
  • Watched Eastenders
  • Read emails
  • Read Twitter messages
  • Looked at Instagram images
  • Read Facebook feed

The question asked is how many stories are contained within the list.  To be honest there was maybe 100 overall, only one that I had written.  There were news stories on the Daily Mail, true stories in Hello magazine and Red magazine.  My friend told me stories of her holiday, my daughters and sister had stories to tell.  Eastenders had various stories going on.  The twitter and Facebook had stories and of course the images of Instagram told their own stories.

How much of what you’ve read or written or seen or heard, would you consider to be ‘art’?

This is interesting, as up until I started this course I thought Art was paintings and drawings and sculptures.  The Contemporary Art Part 1 has opened my eyes to other forms of Art and now having started Part 2 I’m also seeing a different side to Creative Writing as an art form.  I’m still not sure yet but I’ve always seen Creative Writing as writing stories, poems, journalism, travel writing and blogging, I’ve never seen it as a form of ‘Art’.  Out of the list above, I suppose I think of the Instagram photos as art and the photos in the magazines as art, but that’s how I see it at the moment.

What makes writing Art?

When I’ve written all my stories and articles I’ve never thought of it as art but as creative writing.  In my mind writing would be Art if it’s displayed on the wall, or is part of a picture or signage.

How do you, personally, define a creative and artistic piece of writing.

I think something that is creative and artistic is something that makes me feel emotional, whether it be happy or sad, excited or fearful, it would be something that stands out and is unique.




Hazel Smith’s essay – ‘Creative Writing and New Media’ The Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing

This is a very interesting and thought provoking essay with lots of references to various writers and their creative writing ideas.  To me Creative Writing has always been writing stories, travel writing, journalism, poetry and blogging.  This essay gives creative writing a whole new meaning, back to the question ‘Is it Art’.  The types of computer games available have been written as stories with interactive problems to be solved such as Jon Ingold’s All Roads.   Dreamlife of Letters by Brian Kim is a video clip of a lot of letters coming together and disappearing, the letters are scattered rather than one after the other, some coming and going faster than others.  This would not be creative writing as I once thought it was.  This is new media creative writing.  Almost like contemporary  art, and the installations that used text in their artwork.  I found George Perec’s book ‘A Void’to be more along the likes of creative writing.  It is a book that has been written without the letter ‘e’.  It made me think how was that possible and that I found myself wanting to perhaps try to write a poem without the letter e, this I thought was interesting.

I managed to find a website that had The Reader’s Project by Daniel howe and John Cayley and I just didn’t get it at all and would need a lot more time to see what this is about.  It looks to me a very complicated way of reading, using mathematical procedures to be able to read the next word, I think!  Text generation I believe is what it is known as but again just seems too complicated and I don’t understand the concept.

I quite liked that ide of Brad Bouse and Amaranth Borsuk’s Between Page and Screen.  You almost think it’s like being a spy, you can’t read the book unless you have a computer as you have to hold the book to a screen and then the computer reads the shapes in the book and words are produced on-screen ‘augmented reality’.  Not sure what it’s use would be except as ‘art’ or for some kind of secret coded messages to be read.  I can see this as being creative writing.

From the various writers, inventors, creators – I did find a new way of looking at Creative Writing and realising that perhaps it isn’t as I first thought.  New Media is changing how we see things, the digital revolution has certainly added a whole new dimension to writing with the creations of blogs and websites, but also I hadn’t though of games being stories that need to be written, online puzzles, magazines and installations or art works incorporating text in galleries being classed as Creative Writing, it certainly opens up a new concept and new challenges for ‘the writer’.


Exercise 1

Take a moment to think about the wider implications of this textual revolution.

  • what happens to a story when you take it from its source, make it permanent in print and disseminate it to a wide audience?  The first printing press was created by Johannes Gutenberg, before that historically, it was only story telling, drawings on walls and slabs, scrolls and handwritten books.  All of which would have been to a small audience.  Once it was easier to print books, pamphlets and posters then it was easier to spread the word to a wider audience.  This meant the bible wasn’t just kept for the priests to have but it meant religion was able to grow, the same as politics, those who could read where able to learn more and teach more.  Books became more public.  In answer to the question, a story can be spread to a mass audience in a short space of time, it can educate people, or it can lie and spread gossip and scandel, it can provide historical  reference, rather than a story told verbally it’s a written account of an event.  It offers freedom of speech, which in turn can cause its own problems, but overall it gives choices, to learn from a story, to have enjoyment, excitement and choices of what to read.
  • Write a list of implications arising from the printing press.  For example, think about who has control/authority over the text, the meaning of the text, and the relationship between the source of the text and its recipient.  If we are talking in terms of a newspaper then according to, the reporter is the person to collect the information, the Managing Editior (there are sub Editors and Chief Sub Editors in some newspaper organisations), has the authority to edit the information or dismiss the information.  The final say is the Publisher (normally the owner).  In newspapers it is much more cutthroat, reporters want a story and sometimes do anything to get that story, sometimes changing facts to make it more ‘headline’ news.  Whereas magazine stories are much tamer and want a story to be relayed word for word and wouldn’t want to upset the person being interviewed.  Newspapers have a much wider audience, they are cheaper to buy, issued daily and are very competitive.  Books are different, they still might need an editor and publisher but with the internet, writers are able to do this themselves ie self publish although perhaps not to such a wider audience. If they were to go through an experienced publisher they would also receive advise on marketing and what should be changed in a book in order to meet the right audience, normally a close relationship between writer and publisher is established especially if the book is to be a best seller.



I have just read the introduction and also the recommended reading list and have decided to at least buy the Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4th Edition). 2015 Chris Baldick: Oxford Unitversity Press. (Kindle version on my ipad … downloaded a free kindle application … amazing!).  Also I will look for the Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing as I think that will be a great one to read.  In the meantime we are asked to do an exercise on Why do people read and why do people write?  Here are my answers.

Why do people read?

  • To be educated
  • To be entertained
  • To understand emotions, love, death, illnesses etc.
  • They enjoy reading
  • To explore different avenues
  • It is just in their nature to read, the feeling of having to read a book rather than watch tv

Why do people write?

  • It’s just a feeling the need to write, they feel they have to
  • They want to share their views on politics, love, religion, writing, children, relationships
  • To help people
  • To educate people
  • They love to write

It would appear some of the reasons are the same, in fact most of them.  I love to read and to write so I understand both of the answers.

It is also suggested to use a notebook for this part of the course, which isn’t surprising as it is about creative writing (creative reading?).  My daughters bought me a set of notebooks ready for my Degree, …. I have started the year 1 book in Part 1 and I will continue to use it for part 2  … the featured image is my Year 1 notebook, it’s already looking a little weather-beaten but it’s been thoroughly used and loved.