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Digital Creativity: a Practical Guide

Digital creative writing

A practical guide to getting digitally creative and using digital tools and technologies to explore work, ideas, and research.

Digital creative writing

Creative writing can encompass a range of writing, including fiction and non-fiction. We'll take a look at digital creativity tools that can help you write or give you new forms and media to write with and for.

What is creative writing?

Creative writing is a kind of writing that has a focus on artistic expression and creativity, more than other styles such as academic writing. There's no definitive rules about what makes something "creative" writing, but generally it can encompass prose fiction like novels and short stories, poetry, plays, scripts, and creative non-fiction (e.g. personal essays with a creative side).

Someone writing with a pen on paper

You can write creatively using a range of tools, digital and non-digital: pen and paper, Microsoft Word or Google Docs, voice recording, specific applications designed for writing particular formats like scripts or plays, and more.

Digital tools for writing

Depending on what kind of creative writing you are doing, different tools might be useful. Word processing tools like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Apple Pages are all ways of writing text quickly and easily, whereas specific tools for creative writing have features that might help with planning or layout. Lots of these specific tools are not free, however, so it is worth exploring whatever you want to use.

Tips for using word processing tools for creative writing

  • Use page breaks if you're moving to a new poem or chapter rather than hitting Enter (but sometimes you want to hit Enter for a reason).
  • Try out different options for layout and structure, like indenting the first line of paragraphs or having space between paragraphs, to make it easier to read long chunks of text.
  • Know how to export to different formats, like PDF (or a Word .docx file if using Google Docs or another word processing tool), to make it easier to share your work effectively.

Other tools you might use

There's a huge range of tools out there that can (or claim to) help you with creative writing, from providing a distraction free space to write to suggesting different wording. Think critically about these when trying them out (including the ones in the link below) and check if they are free and what they might do with any data you put into them (i.e. the words you write).

Digital creative writing slides

In this session, we explore the world of digital creative writing and then focus on four areas: random prompt generation, cut-out and erasure poetry, interactive narratives, and using AI generation. The slides have a range of prompts you can have a go at without needing to attend the session:

Full Digital creative writing slides on Google Slides