Link to my story:
I enjoyed writing a story with Twine. For me it was exciting to write a story that didn’t follow a traditional, linear path. As a writer I thought it was important to give my readers more control over the story they were experiencing. By doing that, I further immersed the reader in the story, almost making them a part of it. That immersion is enjoyable for me as a reader, as I’m sure it is for many other readers. My story is definitely reminiscent of the old “choose your own adventure’ books, I did that because I enjoyed those a lot as a younger reader. It brings in the idea of choice, and that’s exciting because it allows you to go back and experience the story a different way multiple times. In my story for example, you have the option to go to different locations and respond to certain events in multiple ways. This brings in the reader and keeps them interested because it makes them curious about what option A will bring and what option B will bring. Although, this extra level of involvement for the reader comes at the author’s expense. My story has lots of text, although when someone reads through it, it’s rather short. That’s because the reader can only experience one small part of the bigger story at time. So as an author, I have to write significantly more to give the reader the illusion of a lengthy story with choices involved. Essentially I’m writing one story at the cost of three. Arguably though this is worth it because of the extra level of immersion it gives the reader. Nonetheless, that is a choice authors have to make when writing these types of stories over more linear alternatives. From some, the extra effort is probably worth it. For most though it’s probably much easier to just write a traditionally formatted story.
When it comes to choice though I did experiment with idea that some choices we make ultimately don’t matter. For example, all the choices in my story ultimately lead to the same outcome. This is because I describe that outcome as a fixed event, in the story that event is unpreventable and has to happen. Although, I give the reader the illusion that there’s a way to prevent that event. That illusion comes from giving the reader multiple paths to take, making them think that if they pick the right path, they will be given the most desirable outcome. That doesn’t happen because doing so though would contradict the idea of my story, and I do have epilogue at the end that explains this. Also, giving the reader the illusion that they can “win’ forces them to explore the story fully. This may seem kind of cynical, but in a more full version of my story I plan to give the readers some catharsis if the look around enough.
All in all, doing this assignment has really gotten me interested in electronic forms of literature. Before I had never really liked writing stories, but using a hypertext format like Twine allows me as a writer to give a story lots of depth, which really sparks my interest and creativity.