Saturday, April 2, 2011

Creative Writing

Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace
Hamlet on the Holodeck
If things in homeschooling, assuming we homeschool, go the way I plan, then my son's remedial writing will focus strongly on expository writing skills. Thinking far ahead, in ways I probably shouldn't, I think the follow-up would be dedicated creative writing. I took creative writing twice in High School and again in College, and I believe it strengthened my overall writing abilities tremendously. My son's reading interests are very close to mine back then, and I can explain to him the importance of having the skill of creative writing. It doesn't hurt that he's read some of my own fantasy stories and liked the style and thought it was good.

There's a direct benefit for my son's chosen vocation too. My son wants to be a game programmer/designer and eventually own his own computer(?) game company when he's older. His favorite types of games are role-playing games, and I think storytelling is the cornerstone of good role-playing games. So I'll explain this to him and emphasize the importance of developing his story-writing skills and what it will mean to his future in game development. He'll need skills in developing scenes, plot, settings, characters, descriptive language, visualizing, etc. This is the core skill to creating great games. I assume he will have a team, however large or small it is, and conveying the flavor, the scenery, the characters of the game world is exceptionally important.

So to this end, I've been collecting some creative writing resources. However, I'll be looking more into this while developing a plan for his "10th grade classes."

In addition to all my creative writing classes, I took an interesting college course titled "Digital Storytelling" which had 2 off-center books that I think my son might get value from. One is Hamlet on the Holodeck and the other is The Power of Personal Storytelling. Hamlet studies the idea of interactive fiction, potentially also covering role-playing games, but talks about collaborative storywriting, make-your-own adventures, text-games (like Zork and it's ancestors), and more, where The Power of Personal Storytelling creates fiction-like storytelling from one's own real-life experiences. I wouldn't base the curriculum the same way it was in my Digital Storytelling class; my class project was a hyperlinked story (called a "multiform story") where 4 characters & an omniscient narrator tell the same story from different viewpoints and is archived on one of my websites. The reader is invited to move either linearly through one person's point of view, or to switch between points of view at any time. The story index is here, and I never completed every chapter. I might invite my son to create some type of digital storytelling project if he were interested in it, but I want to use these resources to show him the possibilities of using storytelling techniques, especially ones that are unique to modern platforms, to create new types of stories. Who knows, maybe he'll come up with an entirely new genre of electronic games!

Related Posts: More on Writing Remedial Writing

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