Project Researcher, Dr Isabelle van der Bom, provided an overview of what digital fiction is and how it has developed through the ages. Andy then introduced the ten participants to a variety of digital fiction works and software by giving an overview of his pieces, how they were developed, and by showing different software packages.
Participants were also introduced to Twine, an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. Twine allows writers to embed hyperlinks in their story, which means that readers will need to navigate through the text by clicking these hyperlinks. Twine can be downloaded (for free), or you can use the online version (remember to archive the story if you want to save it). To get going with Twine, all you need to know are a few very basic rules, such as how make links between passages, and you can create very elaborate stories. We certainly were amazed at the variety of ideas that our workshop participants had, and how they implemented these in Twine!
Andy and Judi had made a wonderful Twine story and database based on their own immersive narrative game WALLPAPER, which participants could use in their own story creation.
It was a real learning experience for us, and very interesting to find out that participants had come to the workshop for a whole variety of different reasons. Some people contemplated the meaning of digital fiction and how it altered the writer/reader/fiction relationship, others had a background in IT or design. Yet others had ideas about creating virtual memory maps for eldery residents in care homes or were just interested in trying something new.
We had a great time and we hope that our participants did too!