Now, I understand the fear, I really do. BUT. I can’t help feeling quite optimistic. I quite agree that it might be hard to make money from this writing lark once everything it instantly piratable and downloadable onto your phone. But, on the other hand, it has never been easy to make a decent living as a writer; it’s just a fact of life.
If we ignore the money thing, I can’t help thinking that the growth of different mediums is quite exciting. Like the invention of computer graphics must have been for artists working in paints. I can’t ever see myself loving mini-novels texted to my phone, Japanese-style. But I AM very interested to see how writers are using technology, specifically their websites, to expand the world of their stories. It draws out the lifespan of a book by providing a focus for your fans while you’re away scribbling the next instalment.
For example, Hilary McKay’s wonderful creation Rose Casson keeps a blog. And Mal Peet’s Paul Faustino has his very own website. And I was delighted to discover that one of the minor characters in Michael Grant’s Gone is re-telling the whole story again from a different perspective.
These websites are the DVD extras; places for fans to revel in the world of the books they have enjoyed. They are an exciting symbiosis of traditional books and the digital world. As soon as I get a bit of cash together, my own website will see the addition of a ‘deleted scenes’ page; maybe even an actor’s commentary...
Digitised words are nothing to be scared of – they’re still just words after all. As writers, we should feel, if not at home, then at least eager to explore our new neighbourhood.
Who have I missed out? Which writers do you know of who are using new technologies creatively?
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