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Passive

Falls Creek Lessons

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Yeah, I like the hyperlink thing, too. It's the first time I've seen something like that, and it's pretty cool to see the online medium being used to the advantage of a story, rather than just an alternative to print publishing. I'm liking the story so far, too - it may be because of the link system, but all the characters seem very well developed.

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blue here; I'm editing Falls Creek Lessons. I'll reply, since aussie_gw is on vacation. (lucky stiff)

Glad you guys are enjoying the story! There are more interesting developments coming in chapter 3, so stay tuned. -- It won't be ready until sometime after he gets back from vacation, though.

I've been pleased with aussie_gw's strong characters and plots, and the lack of stereotypes.

We are considering different ways to offer the links, since some readers have asked for a way to save or print the story and the linked portions too, without using up lots of paper.

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lol, it's cool, Passive. -- That's actually pretty close to one of the approaches we're trying. We're working on several options, to see which works best. -- Suggestions are welcome.

What we are trying to find is a good way that won't "spoil the story" by letting people read ahead, plus that will be easy on ppl who need to print/save and go, plus that will be simple for visitors who don't want fancy popups and such. -- Plus, it's an interesting challenge, from a geeky point of view. :mrgreen:

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I really loved this one - the hyperlinks are a brilliant way of getting inside the heads of the other characters while keeping the first-person perspective. (I must confess, I skimmed ahead and read all of the hyperlinks before the first chapter itself on the first run through. It made for a most unusual, but satisfying read.) The story is another fine outing by Graeme -- I have yet to meet a work of his I haven't enjoyed -- and I can't wait for the next instalment.

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I just wanted to apologise for the delay in getting chapter 3 out. Unfortunately outside influences have interfered with the schedule. I'm hoping it won't be too far away.

On the plus side, chapter 4 is well underway so hopefully you won't have to wait too long for that one.

Graeme

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Now that three chapters have been published, I'd like some opinions on whether the use of the links is just an interesting novelty, or something that could be used again in other stories.

I don't have any plans for another story like this at the moment, but if the technique is deemed successful, I wouldn't mind trying it again.

Graeme

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I'd like some opinions on whether the use of the links is just an interesting novelty, or something that could be used again in other stories.

Honestly, I'm leaning more toward novelty. Don't get me wrong, I like it, and were you to write another story using it, I'd read (and most likely enjoy) that one, too. For the most part, I'd say it would depend on the overall tone of the story. In a really dark story, I could see it becoming kind of a mood-breaker, or even a hindrance to the plot. As cool as knowing what every character is thinking can be, not knowing what they're thinking can be more powerful in that it lets you build suspense. Making your readers question the characters' motives along with the main character tends to keep things interesting, you know?

I liked chapter three, by the way. Good stuff.

And on a side note, this format works perfectly with FireFox's tabbed browsing.

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The editor is working on Chapter 4 in between Real Life stuff.

I think the other characters' viewpoints add to the story. I think it's how the links are presented that is hindering people's enjoyment, especially when people want to save or print it for reading offline, and we'll look at alternatives to that.

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I'd like some opinions on whether the use of the links is just an interesting novelty, or something that could be used again in other stories.

Honestly, I'm leaning more toward novelty. Don't get me wrong, I like it, and were you to write another story using it, I'd read (and most likely enjoy) that one, too. For the most part, I'd say it would depend on the overall tone of the story. In a really dark story, I could see it becoming kind of a mood-breaker, or even a hindrance to the plot. As cool as knowing what every character is thinking can be, not knowing what they're thinking can be more powerful in that it lets you build suspense. Making your readers question the characters' motives along with the main character tends to keep things interesting, you know?

I liked chapter three, by the way. Good stuff.

And on a side note, this format works perfectly with FireFox's tabbed browsing.

Thanks for the feedback!

I totally agree that the idea is not suited to all stories, but you can say that about most things. I had one person describe this as a "Mills & Boone" type story (romantic fiction, if you didn't catch the reference). In this type of story, you KNOW the way it's going to end (at least to a large degree, or unless the author is a bastard), and it's just how and when you get there that is unknown.

It would be totally unsuited for my other main story, New Brother because the focus on that story is the reactions and development of the narrator -- bringing other characters POV's into it would just be a distraction. Similarly with most mystery stories, and I'm sure there are a lot of other examples that people put up.

Where it IS suited is as an alternative to third-person omniscient. Instead of being able to view objectively what the various characters are thinking/perceiving, you can do this from the subjection pov of first person. This can introduce some subtle changes in the way the story is told.

I'm slightly leaning towards novelty, as you are, but I wouldn't mind seeing it move into "niche" category.

Graeme

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Just finished reading chapter four. I completely forgot that they were so close to leaving. I really like the way Rob is developing, and the stuff between Paul and Dan is really interesting - can't wait to see how that turns out.

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He's working on the next chapter and on a diiferent story, so there will be a little time before 7 appears. No word yet on whether Greg needs to sharpen his vampire slayer skills. Does Buffy ski? :twisted: Or Spike? Or Xander?

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Even if a vampire could get AIDS, vamps are near-immortal anyway, so it wouldn't bother them too much. Maybe it'd make them a bit more vulnerable to light-poisoning or garlic, though.

Practice safe siring; know your victims.

(Oh, and good work on this chapter, too.)

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Thanks, Passive!

The way it's looking at the moment, the story will go to ten chapters, though it may stretch to eleven. Some of the characters tend to keep talking way too long, and won't shut-up when I tell them to....

Graeme

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i just wanted to jump in here real quick with a comment about the embedded links in fcl. the debate over wether the links are just a novelty or actually a useful story telling tool is an interesting one. you should take a look at a now mostly-dead genre called "hypertext." this is a link to one of the shorter, "classic" works. hypertext was popular in the mid 90s, as the internet blossomed and opened up seemingly unlimited possibilities in story telling.

as a warning, the story i linked to, called Twelve Blue by Michael Joyce, is a non-linear story, it does not have any plot line nor does it necessarily make sense, but it does make extensive use of links. keep this in mind while reading.

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Hi plasticreality,

Thanks for that link. Hmm. It's funny what things reference to Blue, isn't it?

::::: A digression into geek mode :::::

Actually, I missed attending a guest lecture by Ted Nelson, one of the proponents of hypertext, back in college. There's a whole set of ideas dating back to the 60's and 70's that evolved into early parts of what became the internet. Heh, a lot of computer hardware and software nerds have had (are having) great ideas on how to make these boxes do magical things.

Hypertext really isn't dead. It was a large part of the inspiration for the hyperlinks in nearly every web page. So every time you read Falls Creek Lessons, you're reading a hypertext document.

By the way, the next version of the standards that browsers are (laughs) supposed to adhere to will include things that anybody who works with web page layout, or printed publications, or vector drawings, will be very excited about: true vector graphics, columns and flowing text boxes, and maybe web fonts. Parts of those are already available, parts aren't supported by browsers, and parts are still being argued over by the standards committees.

This will mean that anyone who designs for the web or for print, like the entire commercial graphic design and CAD communities will thank their lucky stars for. Yes, plasticreality, the work we do might get a tiny bit more streamlined for the web.

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i didn't necessarily mean that the spirit of hypertext is dead. but the traditional version, literarture with just text and perhaps still images, is not too popular any more. mostly, the new stuff all takes advantage of the great things that javascript and flash and perl etc. are. also, the non-linear element (which i happen to find very interesting) is not very prevalent any more. true, seeing into the characters minds gives you a little bit of the non-linearity. but it's not nearly as wonderfully random as Twelve Blue.

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My first idea for using the hyperlinks was to try to be non-linear, but I just couldn't get it to work. I don't know if that was because I was still thinking in a traditional story sense, where you had a plot that started at A, continued through B and D and eventually ended at E. That doesn't translate into a non-linear model.

Hmmmm, what would? (without thinking of something completely weird).

It would have to be almost a snap-shot of a single time/place. The reader could wander through the place, looking at different parts as their interest takes them. The next "chapter" would be another time/place. That was my original attempt at FCL -- the first time/place was the car trip up to Falls Creek. As I've said previously, it was a complete disaster....

Graeme

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graeme,

i think it would be great if you kept trying, it would be very interesting. did you take a look at the link i posted? it might give you a good idea of a pretty well-written, non-linear story. even though you don't get the plot line in an a, b, c... method, you definitely have a strong sense of the story after reading it for a bit. you probably could do this with fcl, by writing scenes of paul's attack, maybe some scenes of garret at home with his parents, dan interacting with the other towies before greg's arrival, etc. instead of describing them through dialouge and the "thought bubbles" (it's what i like to call your multi-point-of-view links).

dunno if you could do it at this point with fcl, since you've already written so much of it. but perhaps you could do it with a different story? you're certainly a good enough writer to pull it off.

-gaby

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