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On the writing, reading and publishing of digital stories

By Daniela Petrelli and Hazel Wright


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe a study set up to investigate and map the landscape of digital writing today. A holistic perspective has been adopted involving writers, readers and publishers alike.\ud \ud Design/methodology/approach – The research uses a qualitative approach and combines interviews and direct observations. In in-depth interviews 13 participants (four writers, four publishers, three readers and two on-line readers) were questioned for their opinions on issues related to writing, publishing and reading digital fiction. The three readers were also observed while interacting, for the first time, with three digital stories.\ud \ud Findings – Results show that the area is still unsettled though much excitement surrounds experimentations and freedom of publishing online. Readers seem uneasy with the role of co-creators that writers want to assign them and prefer linear stories to more deconstructed ones. Writers like to experiment and combine multiple media and readers like to interact with multimedia stories; this seems to open interesting perspectives over interactive narrative. Publishers are not yet involved in digital writing and this is seen simultaneously as a blessing (unfiltering of innovative ideas) and a curse (lack of economical support, lack of quality selection). Despite disagreement and ambiguity all interviewees agree that digital fiction will come, likely prompted by new reading technology.\ud \ud Originality/value – This paper is the first attempt to understand the phenomena of digital writing taking into consideration the perspectives of writers, readers and publishers simultaneously and comparing their different views

Year: 2009
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