Clara Fernandez-Vara

“…the primary source for serious hypertext” – Robert Coover, The New York Times Book Review

Tinderbox helps you visualize, analyze, and share your ideas. Download and try it.

Clara Fernandez-Vara

How I worked on Red Riding Hood:

1 Skeleton first: Twine makes it very easy to make a preliminary structure to navigate. It’s similar to how I write for games - after figuring out the outline of the story, I list the scenes I need and what they’re about. 
2 Expand on each lexia: writing the scenes themselves based on the skeleton, what actually happens and what people say. This is where I realized this was a really fun thing to write, because I started giving the characters a personality (something that is not in the original story) and imagining what the world of Little Red Riding Hood would be like. Fairy tales have these gaps we usually don’t notice, and I decided to fill them, one lexia at a time. Some of the lexias became quite long, because I was expanding on the world and characters. 
3 Second writing pass: as the characters came to life, they took the story to different places. For example, the whole thing with the grandma being eaten by the wolf and then being surgically removed was a bit ridiculous, so I started thinking about what would be more feasible to happen. 
4 Changed Twine story format (from Sugarcube to Harlowe): I was annoyed by the default formatting of Sugarcube and the side menu. Since I already know the format well, I used this as a chance to learn more of the nooks and crannies of the Harlowe format. Harlowe also has better support for formatting and incorporating different text effects, as well as a nicer default layout, so I wanted to use those in more depth. That’s why there’s a couple of sections that feel a bit gimmicky, because I was trying different features of the program.
5 Restructure: I’m not a fan of screenfuls of text, and one of my favourite aspects of hypertext stories is how clicking from a lexia to the next creates a rhythm. So I split some lexias, as well as made some of the expansions on the world into asides that readers can explore. I’m sacrificing some of what made writing this fun into something marginal, which I feel uncomfortable about as a game designer, but I believe that the more literary-inclined readers will probably seek those parts of the story about. 
6 Third Pass: in any creative work, there are passes at form and content, so this was another brief expansion of the content. In this pass I realized that the alternate versions of the story were more interesting than following the traditional story. So I expanded on what grandma’s cottage would be like, which took me to expanding a bit more on making the narrative more sensorial in general. I also included bits and details borrowed from the different versions of the tale - whenever I worked on this, I was listening to different versions of Sondheim’s Into The Woods. 
7 Visual formatting: I found a font that I liked, and I took another pass at the visual effects / changing colors / bullet points. This created a series of bugs where things don’t quite look like what I want. 
8 Fourth Pass: I was frustrated with the formatting bugs, so I decided to re-read, deal with typos and inconsistencies. I decided that the grandma can point out the inconsistencies of the story much more openly, and be the voice of reason. I loved hearing her voice in my head. 
9 Fighting bugs: still working on those.

Still To do: 

What works of the tool I was using (Twine 2)

What I’m missing

Try Tinderbox

for Mac OS X  ❧ More download options.

Buy Tinderbox

Tinderbox for you, for your team, or your enterprise. Plus upgrades, The Tinderbox Way, and more. Order here.

Learn About Tinderbox

Getting Started

Tinderbox Screencasts

Tinderbox Cookbook

Tinderbox Forum

Multiuser Licenses

Using Tinderbox

Tinderbox At Work