February 9, 2005


In light of my post the other day about blogging and fiction, I've been wondering whether part of the problem with blogs (or the internet in general) as a fictional medium is the fact that everything you put online is completely continuous with everything else. That is, unlike a book or a short story or even a television program, content on the internet is so easily linkable from anywhere else that it's kind of difficult to bracket some content as fiction and other content as nonfiction. Related is the fact that as an author you have less control of how a reader approaches your work (not to mention less control of the work itself). Anyway it occurs to me that online literature that plays productively along this line between the fictional and the nonfictional (something like this, maybe?) might be much more interesting than (for instance) hypertexts.

barrett  {February 11, 2005}

There are some people playing with using wikis instead of blogs to trasform fiction. I can't Google up the example I saw the other day, but it uses a microwiki application to expand on a two line story and give background, character notes, and exposition that would be in the main text of the story otherwise, and compares it to the traditionally written version of the story. It was pretty neat. I think it will take a revolutionary writer to show us what can be done with the technology before it catches on - Or maybe one of those McSweeny's types.

paul  {February 11, 2005}

Interesting -- so this is mainly a collaborative experiment, I guess? My own sense is that the technology is less important than just finding a decent author who will take it seriously. But obviously finding a great guiding personality isn't going to be enough with a collaborative form.

barrett  {February 13, 2005}

Actually, it wasn't collaborative. It was one author, no editing allowed by readers. In a way the form was like hypertext, but instead of taking you out of the text, it supplemented the text with information you requested. It was much less disruptive to the flow of the story than the hypertext experiments I've seen.

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