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The mindsweeper tales : a creative and critical approach to reinventing the medieval framed story-collection as a modern novel.

TL;DR: The Mindsweeper Tales as mentioned in this paper is based on Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, where an external narrative frames a collection of interpolated tales, and is used to represent the concerns of modern culture.
Abstract: A widely used narrative form in medieval literature is the framed story-collection, where an external narrative frames a collection of interpolated tales. This practice-based PhD in Creative Writing addresses the absence of the medieval framed story-collection structure in modern literature through creative practice and critical enquiry. The project is comprised of two parts: the creative artefact, for which I have written a novel of roughly 100,000 words, and the accompanying critical exegesis of 30,000 words. By considering Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales as a stylistic and structural model, I argue for the medieval framed story-collection structure’s continued relevance in contemporary fiction by demonstrating its potential for reinvention in the form of a modern novel. This thesis presents a methodological framework that can be practically applied to creative writing, consisting of six essential components to consider when modernising the medieval form: the frame, the tellers, the tales, dramatic interplay, stylistic variety, and themes. In my creative component, The Mindsweeper Tales, I demonstrate the application of these components by reinventing Chaucer’s pilgrimage in the form of a murder trial at the Old Bailey during the year 2030, in which the jurors become the narrators of the interpolated story collection. Further to this, I modernise Chaucer’s stylistic variety by engaging alternative narrative forms beyond traditional prose, such as Surrealist text collage and poetic interludes. Finally, I address the importance of socio-political themes in both Chaucer’s work and my own, demonstrating how the stylistic variety can be manipulated to represent the concerns of modern culture. This critical exegesis examines these Chaucerian elements alongside my creative piece to demonstrate how they have been reconceptualised in the form of a modern novel.
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Dissertation
05 Feb 2020
TL;DR: In this article, the authors describe the process of writing a science fiction TV series pilot screenplay that deals with the morally charged subject of human enhancement, and analyze the development of the writing process leading up to the final screenplay.
Abstract: This PhD dissertation is a “research-through-creation” project, which set out to explore and gain insights from the process of writing a science fiction TV series pilot screenplay, that deals with the morally charged subject of human enhancement.Science fiction is a very important genre in today's rapidly changing world, with its continuously advancing technology. Science fiction novels, movies and TV series play a major role in creating a social, moral and cultural discourse about how we, as humanity, can and should deal with current and future technologies and lead the way we evolve. Human enhancement is one of the major technologies which' potential evolvement could disrupt and change society and humanity in a significant way by offering humankind the possibility to transcend natural selection and control how it will develop. The science fiction writer is in a unique position in which he/she needs to mediate science, technology and their psychological, moral and social possibilities in the form of story and drama. When done so successfully, the science fiction writer's work can offer value by contributing to the social discourse. Researching this unique position, between science, social relevance and storytelling, is at the heart of this work. Its objective is to articulate insights and conceptualizations for the considerations, actions and creative decisions required to accomplish this kind of a challenge.To do so I have written two science fiction TV pilot screenplays, an earlier version and a later version. In parallel, I have studied the subject of human enhancement both for its scientific aspect and its philosophical and social aspect, and also studied about the theory and practice of science fiction writing, with an emphasis on stories that deal with human enhancement and current science fiction TV series. The two lines of work inter-related and complement each other.The study of human enhancement and science fiction took part in the progression of the writing from the initial screenplay to the final one, which is considered by me to be more satisfactory in achieving both a good representation of the social and moral issues of human enhancement, and in fulfilling the dramatic potential of the subject.This dissertation includes the screenplays and other creative materials, preceded by a critical essay which describes the study of human enhancement and science fiction, and analyzes the development of the writing process leading up to the final screenplay. The insights gained from the research highlight the importance of the science fiction writer's understanding of the technology he writes about (or the “novum” – the technological/scientific difference-maker); creating a story premise which as a derivative of the technology; exploring the different moral, psychological and social aspects of the chosen technology and translating those to story conflicts and character motivations; and making story-world decisions that best serve the thematic issues the writer wants to convey.

34 citations

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Dissertation
05 Feb 2020
TL;DR: In this article, the authors describe the process of writing a science fiction TV series pilot screenplay that deals with the morally charged subject of human enhancement, and analyze the development of the writing process leading up to the final screenplay.
Abstract: This PhD dissertation is a “research-through-creation” project, which set out to explore and gain insights from the process of writing a science fiction TV series pilot screenplay, that deals with the morally charged subject of human enhancement.Science fiction is a very important genre in today's rapidly changing world, with its continuously advancing technology. Science fiction novels, movies and TV series play a major role in creating a social, moral and cultural discourse about how we, as humanity, can and should deal with current and future technologies and lead the way we evolve. Human enhancement is one of the major technologies which' potential evolvement could disrupt and change society and humanity in a significant way by offering humankind the possibility to transcend natural selection and control how it will develop. The science fiction writer is in a unique position in which he/she needs to mediate science, technology and their psychological, moral and social possibilities in the form of story and drama. When done so successfully, the science fiction writer's work can offer value by contributing to the social discourse. Researching this unique position, between science, social relevance and storytelling, is at the heart of this work. Its objective is to articulate insights and conceptualizations for the considerations, actions and creative decisions required to accomplish this kind of a challenge.To do so I have written two science fiction TV pilot screenplays, an earlier version and a later version. In parallel, I have studied the subject of human enhancement both for its scientific aspect and its philosophical and social aspect, and also studied about the theory and practice of science fiction writing, with an emphasis on stories that deal with human enhancement and current science fiction TV series. The two lines of work inter-related and complement each other.The study of human enhancement and science fiction took part in the progression of the writing from the initial screenplay to the final one, which is considered by me to be more satisfactory in achieving both a good representation of the social and moral issues of human enhancement, and in fulfilling the dramatic potential of the subject.This dissertation includes the screenplays and other creative materials, preceded by a critical essay which describes the study of human enhancement and science fiction, and analyzes the development of the writing process leading up to the final screenplay. The insights gained from the research highlight the importance of the science fiction writer's understanding of the technology he writes about (or the “novum” – the technological/scientific difference-maker); creating a story premise which as a derivative of the technology; exploring the different moral, psychological and social aspects of the chosen technology and translating those to story conflicts and character motivations; and making story-world decisions that best serve the thematic issues the writer wants to convey.

34 citations