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The Book

Full Circle

I’ll wait for the replies to come in from the Brunel devotees before declaring you’re all alive, but it did strike me I ought to post something at least resembling research content. Especially as this gets described as a research blog from time to time. So, here’s what I’ve been working on today:


This book sets out to demonstrate that, as has been achieved in pre-digital narrative forms; the novel, dramatic theatre, the short story, cinematic film; it is possible to manufacture a set of consistent grammatical devices by which to author successful interactive narratives.  The rich history of analogue narrative structures affords writers a host of devices, tricks and techniques to engage their reader and, more importantly, tell a satisfactory story.
The book proposes that the emergence of interactive narrative within new media has been constrained by a reliance on the grammar of analogue narrative storytelling; an inevitable, but nonetheless undesirable hangover from the rapid emergence of new technologies. What has been lost by writers’ reluctance to engage with the qualities inherent in the new media tools themselves has been nothing less than the means by which to compose interactive narrative and, in no small part, to surrender control of the story experience to the interactive reader. The book argues that in order to create interactive narrative, the formalities of Aristotelean structuralism have to be cast aside, and a new toolkit created.

The first part of the chapter outline for the book. Everyone wants one, apparently (a chapter outline that is, not a book, yet), so I’ve dug out the notes from my PhD and am spending a few days going through them and rearranging them into some sort of a coherent-as-general-readership-goes narrative. I’m struck by how far my thinking has moved since the first version of the paragraph above was written (by my reckoning, and by the file information, November 2005), and the degree to which things I’ve read (yep, another N Katherine Hayles reference) has influenced my position.

And here’s my desk:

Original handwritten notes and all. I knew I’d kept them for a reason.


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