New Media has become our present and I‘m certain it will be essential in our future. That's why I wrote my own hypertext story.

Last year my course fascinated me with a way of writing called "Hypertext". I wasn't aware that I already knew this to some extent - and you do, too. Children's books sometimes use hypertext to make the stories more active for the reader.

So, let me explain how hypertext works: similar to hyperlinks, where a word or word-group leads to a different webpage or subpage, hypertext uses "links" to switch to another part of the story. "Why?", you might ask now. Because it adds interactivity to the reading process.

Actually, there are many possibilities in utilizing hypertext. Some use it, to confuse the reader to extract him from his usual reading habits. Others try to tell stories on the basis of parallel layers that the reader can randomly explore. After all, they always involve the reader experimenting and going on a quest inside of the story.

Iphones already enable users to read ebooks on a phone. Most hypertext still exists online, which makes it somewhat inaccessible for the general public, because they don't want to sit at the computer. What, if ebooks would make use of hypertexts in a way that would especially attract iphone (and alike) users. This way, while you are waiting at the train station, you could not just read a good story, but you could also construct the way you read it yourself.

In my own hypertext story, I tried to give the reader three pathways that are randomly interlinked throughout the progression. By using different colours, the reader can decide between the main branches of the story. In order to get the whole picture of the characters, though, the reader will have to revisit the scenes and explore different pathways. This will in a way bring more knowledge to the reader, but also provide him with various different outcomes. It really is up to you.

If you're curious now, visit this free Google Site and read my story.

It is called Joe on a New Wave. You access the story by clicking on the last sentence. Be aware, there are no obvious links, as it is supposed to be a close-to-real reading experience. Thinking about the links will help to define the story's output.

Other examples of hypertext:
http://deenalarsen.net/rain/
http://www.ryman-novel.com/
http://www.yorku.ca/caitlin/waves/

1 Comment:

  1. Nahno McLein said...
    This came from kelworthfiles
    Sunday, February 06, 2011 1:02:00 PM
    and deals with hypertext, so I put it here, too.

    I remember experimenting with hypertext writing back in the 1990s, actually.

    One attempt was my first stab at the 'Star Patrol' universe, where there was one main narrative line, but links within that would branch off to character service records, historical documentation, or optional flashback scenes.

    The other was an attempt to write my own 'choose your own story' type of game, where the reader plays the part of a main character and can influence the plot by participating in a few key choices - or by clicking on an image map to simulate 'random chance', because they don't know which parts of the icon will lead to a good outcome or a bad outcome.

    By the way, good luck on the A to Z challenge - I'll try to drop in to see how you're doing, and I'd love it if you take a look at my blog too!

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