Hypertext Fiction is a very cool, unique was of telling a story. With complete freedom, you can create interactive narratives, add music and explore different outcomes, depending on the reader. The reader is an active participant in hypertext, allowing the journey to be non-linear. This can add an interesting and surreal effect to a person’s reading of the text.
Whilst exploring the hypertext website in class, the question asked was ‘would this become a popular new genre?’
It could be possible as most ours lives are run by our addictions to the internet and digital devices. Perhaps this could be the necessary element to encourage reading, albeit in an unconventional way. Already apps are being created for existing literature to aid and improve your reading experience. With this being so successful, it is not far-fetched to assume this may become the norm with publishing.
There are multiple issues with hypertext as a format, especially if you are a fan of traditional reading. This method removes essential character development and distances the reader somewhat. It is hard to become emotionally attached to someone if the the narrative is chopped up into sections, as you decide which button to click on next. This is why I think this genre would be more suited to non-fiction. I found infinite space to be perfect for encyclopaedias of information, simply presented in a different way. In particular, the ’88 Constellations For Wittgenstein’ proves this. Here, there is a wealth of information, displayed on a map, with unlimited clicking – the text is even read to you. It also suits the non-linear themes of hypertext.
It forces us to see stories in a different way. For example I explored on piece of hypertext fiction where the Star Wars script was displayed on the screen one letter at a time. We are used to seeing the Star Wars films on the screen with actors giving us nuanced performances which tell us the story; with the reader focussing, it interesting as to whether they would interpret the story differently. Also, this particular piece had carriage-returns, typing sounds and a bell in the background. These sounds effects help us to understand process of typing the script.
The overlapping narratives and detours of hypertext ensure that the reader will always be intrigued but this does not guarantee their enjoyment.