For my creative project, I used Twine to create hypertext fiction entitled Falling. The concept behind my project was this idea of tone, and how depending on the emphasis put on a word in speech can change the meaning or direction or situation as defined by the dialogue. I thought hypertext fiction would be an awesome way to showcase these possibilities and by clicking on the word you would like to emphasize, the reader establishes his own tone and changes the situation of the story.
The concept was developed based on how I often feel when I receive a text message. It’s pretty common for me to read a text message out loud in different ways to try to figure out the most likely way it was meant to be interpreted. This led me to think about scenarios when dialogue is read could branch off into different arguments or scenarios. Executing this idea was much more challenging than I anticipated, in that I had to really think of how saying the same thing can have different meaning. I also had to develop several different guys for the main character to react to, and have it be plausible that multiple guy characters could use the same words but sound entirely different. If I had more time, I definitely would’ve developed this project more because the concept is thought-provoking and entirely relevant to how we regularly experience communication.
The story itself is pretty simple. A couple is sitting in a diner, and the guy is telling the girl that he loves her. Whether this love is genuine or not is basically where the implied meaning takes off, and the dialogue is intentionally vague so the reader invests his/her own experiences to decide how you and this person got here, their history. The person the guy is speaking to is you, which serves to more directly connect the reader to the narrative as well as emphasize the importance of the reader’s interpretation. Since these things are being said directly to you, you want to interpret it to get the outcome you’d prefer whereas if you watched as your choices affected two strangers, it wouldn’t drive you as much to think about your perspective and where it could lead you.
Twine is really great and I became really comfortable using it. I know I can improve this project and there are a lot more opportunities to interweave the various possibilities together. Unfortunately, as this was my first time writing a sort of choose your own adventure and programming with Twine, I wasn’t able to fully develop my concept as much as I had in my head. I’m still really satisfied with what I came up with and think it’s valuable not merely because I know how to use Twine now, but more so because the intended idea is meaningful.
And just on a weird side note, I didn’t choose Comic Sans so much as it chose me. When I uploaded this to my dropbox, the font was a cursive style, and then when I opened it, I saw I’d been Comic Sans’d. Fitting, really, cause I’ve been a proponent of ban comic sans. I’ll let comic sans have this win.