The Adaptive Process of Multimodal Composition: How Developing Tacit Knowledge of Digital Tools Affects Creative Writing

Authors: Skains, L.

Journal: Computers and Composition

Volume: 43

Pages: 106-117


Many creative writers are turning to digital media and multimodal composition as an emerging genre of storytelling; many, however, do not have sufficient familiarity with digital tools to compose digital texts. Digital literacy is still an emerging area of pedagogy; online literacy and multimedia composition are becoming more prominent in classrooms, and deeper understanding of the effects of these tools on individual students and their work is crucial to development of teaching practice. Tacit knowledge of written narrative alone does not permit the creative writer to fully realize the narrative possibilities inherent in the multimodal form. This paper communicates the results of a practice-based research project, Færwhile, conducted expressly to examine the changes wrought in the creative writer’s process and understanding of narrative by shifting to a multimodal, digital composition process. In this paper, I analyze my creative works prior, during, and after development of explicit knowledge of digital fiction and digital composition tool, and discuss how internalizing this explicit knowledge alters the creative composition process. These conclusions, drawn from an in-depth experimentation for the express purposes of research, have implications not only for individual creative writers, but for students and teachers moving into multimodal forms of digital communication.

Source: Manual

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