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Care to join the digerati?
Canberra Times - Australasia; Dec 09, 2002
CREATIVE WEB WRITING. By Jane Dorner. A & C Black. 166pp. $29.95. Reviewer: John Lilley For the creative writer, the World Wide Web offers new meaning to the phrase 'play on words'.
In traditional publishing, such as you are reading right now, words are sentenced to life on a paper page.
On the Web, however, words are free to move dance, even. They can sing, blink, disappear, fade, explode, grow and change colour, if not meaning.
One of Jane Dorner's main aims in Creative Web Writing is to 'throw out sparks' to inspire the reader to explore the Web.
She does tease us with examples of what is being done on the Web but the book offers much more. Dotted with many signposts for the creative writer, it is a compact manual covering much ground and, given the raucous, chaotic nature of the Web, she does it, thank Heaven, in an orderly fashion. She moves efficiently through the material because, one can almost hear her saying, there is plenty to get through here, ladies and gentlemen.
There is concrete advice here for authors (would-be or otherwise), ranging from which fonts are web-friendly to how to assess and approach publishers.
In the latter example, an appendix lists some online publishers, their URLs (web addresses), what percentage commission they pay the author and their submission guidelines. They vary wildly, so it is obviously worth shopping around.
The ever-changing nature of the Web makes it an elusive and fast-moving target for anyone wishing to seize a successful business model.
No-one has yet found the killer e-book application, not even best-selling author Stephen King, and we probably won't until the day we can carry an affordable, book-sized device on to the beach and read a digital thriller on an easy-on-the-eye screen.
While the Bill Gateses of the world grapple with that technology, the Net trends continue. The latest toy for writers is the web log, or 'blog', a kind of personal journal for the world to read. Soon, however, another fad will take its place. Despite that, Dorner provides a good snapshot of the present state of the Web which should hold up for a little while yet. She may find herself, however, forced to revise the edition later.
There will be other books on this subject and they will probably be bigger and with grander titles and claims but, pound for pound, Dorner's will be hard to beat for those imaginative writers wishing to escape the paper trail and join the 'digerati'.