I used to have a dream of becoming a writer. Unfortunately, I gave it up because I cannot keep finishing a long piece of articles. Similarly, many friends also had the same dream as me. But the reasons for abandon were different, such as lacking vocabulary, no writing skills. Although I often try to write fiction, I find out that my inspiration and conception cannot support to form a complete story. This semester, I learned a 2-week course — Crafting Active Narratives with Digital Tools. It was a very interesting course and provided me with the opportunity to explore the creation of active narratives through an open-source tool, Twine. When I study twine, I realize that I can create short fiction without many skills.
If I will be a teacher, I will introduce Twine to my students. For me, I want students to become more aware of their feelings or get to know themselves better rather than being good at different writing techniques in my classroom that use this technology. When students use this technology to compose, I believe that they will realize plans cannot keep up with changes. They might overturn their outline even the ending that they almost finish; they might find what the type of subject matter that they like; they might have a brand new cognition of themselves (such as the “ego”, and the “superego”) through this composition process. According to R. Skains:
“After drafting both the analogue and digital versions of a chapter, I frequently found that the unique affordances of digital media had altered my mental model of the narrative so that the analogue draft no longer matched my refined goals for the piece. Found images, created images, alterations made in adapting the text, all reshaped the story I had originally planned” (Skains, 2017)
For those people who are not teachers but are interested in writing, I think that challenging a new mode of composition and obtain new knowledge and skills as much as possible might excite them. According to R. Skains:
“Both my goals for the text and my knowledge of the media had evolved, until I understood that the composition process for multimodal works must necessarily be multimodal, rather than progressing in a linear fashion as a prose-then-digital remediation. The task environment had changed — no longer was the rhetorical problem merely to shape a narrative, given a character and a particular conflict.” (Skains, 2017)
To be on the safe side, I use linear narrative basically. Sometimes, I envy some authors and scripters can use non-linear narrative technique to break the convention of linear narrative. It is a challenge because if I use it unsuccessfully, the story would be too “stream of consciousness” to understand. But when I use Twine to create a “stream of consciousness” fiction, I think it enhances my interest in writing. Success is not the most important thing that I should worry about.
Evansa, E., & Pob, J. (2007). A Break in the Transaction: Examining Students’ Responses to Digital Texts. Computers and Composition , 24, 56-73.
Skains, R. (2017, January 11). The Adaptive Process of Multimodal Composition: How Developing Tacit Knowledge of Digital Tools Affects Creative Writing. Computers and Composition, 43, 106-117.
Ford, M. (2016). The Nuts & Bolts: Getting Started with Twine. In Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine (pp. 5-11). Indianapolis, IN: QUE.