Getting Started With Hypertext Narrative

“…the primary source for serious hypertext” – Robert Coover, The New York Times Book Review
Getting Started With Hypertext Narrative

Getting Started With Hypertext Narrative

Bound Galleys: The Friday Night Edition

These informal notes are an opinionated, rough-and-ready introduction to a generation of research and artistic exploration, and to both the traditional and the new link facilities in Storyspace 3. They explore the place of links in telling stories -- both fictional stories that entertain and illuminate, and stories that explain what’s happening in the world and how it got this way.

It has been clear for a generation that the future of serious writing lies on the screen – or on whatever display medium replaces today’s screens. It has been clear for almost as long that the hypertext link is the most important new punctuation since the invention of the comma in the late middle ages.

Still, we know remarkably little about writing hypertext. Recent developments in Web writing have frequently showcased bad and dishonest writing: sentimental memes reaching for pointless virality and deceptive headline clickbait are all too common.

I have been engaged in editing, describing, marketing, and in research on hypertext narrative from the earliest years. In Getting Started with Hypertext Narrative, I’ve tried to offer advice for writing stories with links. These are not rigid rules, and in any case rules about writing are always made to be broken.

Getting Started With Hypertext Narrative is a hands-on guide to thinking about hypertext narrative. It includes lots of suggestions for further reading and plenty of practical exercises to launch experiments or simply to amuse the curious author.

This Friday Night Edition is a very short print run of bound galleys. It’s got typos aplenty. It may lack some material that will find its way into the next edition. But each copy is signed, you’ll have our thanks, and here’s a chance to get started without delay.

ISBN: 1-884511-520X

Table of Contents

What We Need3
Getting Started7
Better Than Books17
Interacting With The Story35
Patterns of Hypertext71
Cycles and Dynamic Links81
Card Shark93
Hypertext and Dialogue111
Games and Beyond139
The Encyclopedic Impulse161
Lyrical Nature of Links177
Why Not?183
Seven Challenges For Writers193