Announcement: The DHC is sponsoring a #Keywords (Chat on Digital Culture) Weds 3/1 at noon.

Literary Hypertexts and IFs

  • How do Hypertext's like Clark's 88 Constellations use links, readerly choice, and non-linear structure?
  • How do these structures change the reading experience?
  • What implications does hypertext as a form seem to have for the writer or the reader?


Group play - 15mins.
  • How does reading/playing an IF contrast with navigating a hypertext?
  • What are some of the opportunities it presents the "author?"

Twine Lab

Twine is an open source hypertext authoring tool that is frequently used for writing stories, but can also be used to produce games or even instructional texts. Advanced users can write Macros/conditional logic to emulate an IF . (But if you really want to make a Galatea like text, you want to learn about Inform7, which students have sometimes done. See Eliza Albert)

Twine Lab

Note that changes were made in Twine 2.0. O'Reilly has published a print/online book you can access for 10 days as a trial member.
Homework: Choose a topic/theme; begin to work on your Twine project. Read Marie-Laure Ryan's essay from A Companion to DH: 28. Multivariant Narratives and New Companion to DH: Electronic Literature As Digital Humanities, Scott Rettberg.


1. Twine Lab

Tutorial Screencasts.

Particular skills: Twine: Links | Format Text |Change Appearance | Add images | Adding HTML

Visual Style: Using CSS with TWINE
Simple example of a Twine following the CSS tutorial above.

Using "Conditionals" with Twine: This is an example I wrote to show variables and conditionals. For fun, I also uploaded it to Github to show you how it can be published:
https://profsherwood.github.io/twine/test.html Remember than you can download any Twine HTML file and open it via Twinery to explore how it was built.

Here is a simple overview of how this conditional logic in Twine can work.

CSS Hints from other students' Twine pieces

2. Multivariant Narratives, Marie-Laure Ryan


"The output of a hidden program, digital narrative is shaped not only by the general properties of its "material" medium (i.e., silicon chips), but also by the specific affordances of the system through which it is created and executed"

Salient properties of digital media/texts: algorithm-driven operation; Reactive and interactive nature; Performantial aspect; Multiple sensory and semiotic channel; Network capabilities; Volatile signs; & Modularity.

Hypertexts and IF take advantage of
  • Variable discourse
  • Variable point of view
  • Variable plot

"For digital texts to establish themselves within the cultural middle ground – the narratives of the educated but not professional public – they must do the opposite of what the twentieth-century novel achieved, and perhaps learn a lesson from computer games, without succumbing to their propensity for repetitive themes and stereotyped storylines: naturally spatial, these texts must reconquer the narrative temporality that fuels the reader's desire."

3. Multi-linear Text Project

Let's collaboratively develop the "rubric" for this next project.
Edit: Multi-linear Text Project
Models/examples from former students.

Homework: Read LDA “Literature ...Digital Master Medium” C8, pp. 175-197. Post a response to your blog (if you have not done so) discussing a significant claim or a question that is important to you from the Rettberg article Electronic Literature As Digital Humanities. Begin working on your Twine project.