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A brief primer on hypertext project 'The City and the Sea'.

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  • Will kind of illustrate this in the next few slides
  • Will kind of illustrate this in the next few slides. Multiple authors. First person thoughts in mid action
  • End of a scene early on. Sometimes it’s obvious what choice is, sometimes less so. This scene splits into two paths—pretty basic example. Could read through one; curious go back & read both. Never NEED to know both. But extra foreshadowing (ex, expand what it can do. Think this out: like in this case--) color coded. General end-scene straighthrough links. Note about memories.
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  • Sr write presentation

    1. 1. The City and the Sea A Brief Overview (hit F5!)
    2. 2. What is Hypertext?• Writing with undefined structure• Interactive to some degree• Examples: Wikipedia, Goosebumps Choose- Your-Own-Ending Books, Text-based Adventure games• Like a complex labyrinth: winding paths
    3. 3. This is Cool Because:• Readers are engaged on an extra level—allows for reader driven experience• Variety of content: central text can be prose, but link to: poems, pictures, videos, fake ‘encylopedia’ entries• Broader detail, more *variety* of detail, but most of it ‘optional’• Could read straight through central plot, or lose yourself exploring nuances and tangents• Can have “mirror plots”—same scenes written from different perspectives…more depth, follow favorite character, etc.
    4. 4. This is the end of a scene from early in TheCity and the Sea. Hover over the hyperlinksfor brief explanations, then try and clickthrough. The world split into pieces and blurred outside the window. A few minutes of pastoral nowhere; browning grass and crisp blue lakes, then abruptly cluttered forest. That gave way to rows of identical warehouses, utilitarian and drab. Occasionally Klavier saw people. He felt like a deity, or maybe just intrusive: peering into to all these worlds, lives, moments only to rush away just as quick. Somewhere in there was in image; something metaphorical, almost meaningful, the kind of creative fuel he could refine into the idea for a new song if he put enough though into it. But the motion of the train, the metronome click-chug-clack, the blurred scenery; it made for a potent sedative when you tossed four hours of sleep the night before into the mix. The woman in the next seat said something pointed, and Klavier drifted off to sleep. He awoke abruptly, frequently, finally gave up and stared out his window at the thickening twilight. The woman had fallen asleep: this meant no more squawking complaints, the trade-off being saural snores and a wayward elbow that kept jabbing into Klavier’s side. He put his headphones back on, loaded an evocative, somber song, and watched night push the sun past the horizon. At some point he fell back asleep and dreamed.
    5. 5. This is what the first page of ‘TheCity and the Sea’ looks like: youpick your character, click, and startreading. Go ahead and try out allthree—they link to short selectionsfrom each intial scene. A struggling musician feels called to the sea and sets off on a journey. A woman without a name wakes up in a nowhere landscape. Somebody only half-real begins to cohere.
    6. 6. A short visual representing thepossible sceneflow from part of ‘TheCity and the Sea’—think of it as ahypertext cross-section.
    7. 7. (After this is just the physical location of thestuff you hyperlinked to earlier, so hooray:you’re done. Thanks for checking out.)
    8. 8. On a schoolbus, age 16, caveman hair and an outfit that tries to argue grunge isn’t dead.Klavier’s cranking something crunchy and furious on a dollar-store CD player. “Hey,” says the kid next to him, some dweeby jackass with Grandpa glasses. “Hey.” Klavier can hear him—cheap headphones—but pretends he doesn’t. “HEY.” The kid jabs Klavier in the shoulder. “Could you turn it down?” Klavier pauses the music. He musters the most withering glare he can. Then he shakes hishead and presses play. “Hey hey.” The poke is back, jabbing into Klavier like the beak of some pernicious bird.“Listen man, please. At least change the song, I hate these guys…” Klavier pulls off a headphone. He makes his eyes flat and apathetic—something he’smastered the past few months. “Only CD I have.” “Here.” Poindexter rifles around in his backpack. He pulls out a thick CD case with a brokenzipper. “You can listen to one of mine, you can even borrow it, just please, I hate those guys, they’reso whiny.” Disaffected Klavier wants to shrug and press play again; musical Klavier is too insatiablycurious to pass this up. “Sure,” he says coolly. “I guess.” He flips through, ends up picking a some burned CD with ‘Dream mix” scrawled across it inslapdash handwriting. (“That’s a good one,” the nerdy kid advises nasally.) Klavier throw it in, presses play and: It’s like setting sail on an unknown ocean. Stepping into a pool on the first day of summer.Closing your eyes after hours of laying back and staring at the clouds. He ends up borrowing the kid’s entire CD collection, burning copies of all of it.
    9. 9. Klavier’s dream plays out something like this: It’s not even clear it’s a dream at first: he’s still on the train.Everything is silent and tombstone still. The light is sepulchral and evanescent.It smells like ancient brine from the bottom of the ocean and, if he inhalesdeeply enough, ash. All the seats are crooked, fluorescent, broken: littered withcoats, skulls, empty suitcases. In the seat across the aisle, a silhouette floats—not black, but a sort of puddle drab off-brown. Klavier stares, trying to willhimself awake.
    10. 10. The scene plays out something like this: On a train, so everything’s shaky and off-balance. The light is utilitarianand unflattering. It smells like dust from a dozen different cities and, if you inhaledeeper, pseudofloral cleaning solution. Everybody’s slumped and plugged-in: tophones, music, laptops, movies. A bold few stare out the window; maybe they’rethinking, because there’s nothing to look at, only so much night. Or maybethey’re just staring, trying to slip into some sort of meditative in-between modeof consciousness.
    11. 11. Later on, hard to remember that last day. Friday night DJ set meant Klavierwas roaring eardrums, gummy eyelids, sin-graph delirium and heavy limbs only barelypinned together into a person. Friday night DJ set meant: start with hedonistic fuck-it-all crowd pleaser, swap in some avant stuff, drift into autopilot while he slammed downcoffee and pills and whatever else, keep this up until somewhere outside the sunstarted to rise, the spell broke, reality woke up, everyone drifted away and Klavier wasleft reassembling himself into something coherent in the held-breath vacuumabandoned by the music. Friday night DJ set meant still awake at 6 am Saturday morning, fumblingwith thirty year old buttons and joysticks on the ancient arcade machine they kept bythe bar. Klaiver pumped in another quarter and narrowed his world to the screen,fluorescent and pixelated. Gua-gua-gua beeped his character, chasing ghosts. Köhlertwitched at the controls, caffeine quick. Gua-gua-gua. Time blinked. His head jerkedup. GAME OVER flashed loud and absolute on the screen. Shit. Must have nodded off. More tired than he thought. Onscreen his avatardevoured itself over and over, something to nothing, GAME OVER still superimposedover it all. Palm sweat slicked the buttons. One more game, then he’d stagger homeand go to bed. He reached in his pocket.
    12. 12. Finally. Looks like she’s waking up. Stretch, yawn, bleary shake of the head: everyday normal stuff you’d expect fromanybody. She sits up. She’s very pretty. Long black hair, and a dress that looks like it wasripped straight from the fabric of the cosmos (you might even look for stars the first timeyou see it). Between the hair and the dress being so dark it almost looks like she’s not reallythere, or at least not completely, just a face and arms floating in space. She’s on a shore. Or maybe you’d call it an island, because it wraps around in acircle. She’s sprawled in the middle of it. All around is—no, not the sea. There’s nothing atall. Nothing. Ink? No, ink wouldn’t be this lusterless. Empty space wouldn’t look this heavy.Darkness wouldn’t be so restless. There’s nothing, okay? It’s worth noting that the shore, island, whatever you want to call it—is more orless just as black, only difference is that it’s dead and motionless, while the stuff outthere—well, it doesn’t quite writhe but it at least makes a lazy pass at it. Stagnant gray lightsits in the air like a bad smell. She observes all of this with cautious first time wonder. What’s her name? Well. She doesn’t remember. Or maybe she doesn’t have one. Or maybe she did andshe lost it. Does it matter? What it boils down to is: she’s nameless.
    13. 13. He spent a lifetime walking down nameless streets in a nowhere city, himself afaceless nobody, an eternity of this dream until he woke hot and sweating and realized hewas Nemo. Everything changed after that. He’d always been aware of the world, in avague, impressionistic way. Once he realized he had a name, though, other things startedto stick: he started to remember. Today he woke like any other day: at the top of a dark, rolling hill, staring up atan empty black sky. He was in a bed, which didn’t always happen. A pile of clocks wasmounded disorderdly to one side; some ticking, some spinning, some sitting still forindeterminate stretches and then lurching drunkenly forward. A record spun soundlesslyon a wood-paneled gramophone. Portraits of finely dressed strangers were strewn toabout halfway down the hill. Farther along he could make out a dozen or so televisionswith cracked screens. This would all be gone by the time he went to sleep—the bed, the clocks, all ofit. Besides the landscape itself, everything here was temporary. Before, when he’d barelybeen here himself, before he had a name, this hadn’t bothered Nemo. Now, in his morespeculative moments, it made him wonder—where it came from, where it went. Perhapsmost importantly—why it went.