MIT 21W765/21L49

MIT 21L989(G)

Multi-sequential and Interactive Narrative: Theory and Practice

Spring 1998

Janet H. Murray

Project I Assignment

Each of the two story projects (Project I and Project II) should be 15-30 lexia in length with a combined total of at least 40 lexia.

Each will be created in a process that allows for maximum revision which will entail: discussing concept with the instructor in private conference, and presenting sample screens to the class for design review.

For March 5: Project Concept Statement

Hand in a one-page (or one-screen) description of the project. Include a statement (or sketch) of lexia design, navigation design, and appropriateness of story to multi-sequential presentation.

For March 10/12: Class Presentation of Preliminary Screens

Prepare at least 3 sample lexia (screen-chunked sections of text) that will demonstrate the basic screens design(s) for your Project. Although all the links do not have to be working, nor all the content in place, you should be able to describe how the navigation will work, and how you will define the boundaries of the story.

Since this is a large class, we will have to limit the time per project, so be prepared with a particular question to ask the group for advice about. All samples are due on March 10. The discussion will continue on March 12.

For March 17 / March 19: FINAL PROJECT I DUE

Hand in Revised, Complete Project I to course locker on March 17. We will devote both class meetings to reading and critiquing one another's projects. You may make some last revisions up until Thursday, March 19, when Final versions are due.

Tips and Grading Criteria for Multisequential Stories

The story should be 15-30 lexia. It can be an original story or an electronic presentation of an existing story.

The story may be modelled on one of the following forms (or come up with your own):

1. A journey or series of intersecting journeys
2. A visit to a simulated place
3. A dictionary or encyclopedia
4. A violence hub (see HOH p. 135-6)
5. A set of intersecting monologues or diaries
6. A dinner party in which you can move from the POV of one guest to another's

It should satisfy the following conditions:

1. The writing must be concise and immediately involving

2. The writing must be carefully proofread.

3. The story or fictional world must be complete in itself (although it can also be part of a larger whole).

4. There must be at least 3 distinct paths through the narrative web.

5. It is recommended that the story use 1 or more of the following devices:

6. Your design should indicate the interactor's location and the extent of the narrative in all appropriate places. (You may choose to be deceptive, but you must come up with an explicit design.)

7. If you do not show the full extent of the narrative within the story, include an index page so that I can tell that I have seen every lexia.

8. Every link should arouse the interactor's narrative curiousity and offer the occasion for the active creation of belief.

Handing In Stories On-Line

All stories must be handed in to the course locker by noon on March 17. You may make final changes up until Thursday March 19 at 3pm.

Put your story within its own directory and USE LOCAL ADDRESSING FOR YOUR LINKS. Give your directory a title that gives your name and brief story title, such as jhmurray_BronxStory. Make a TITLE PAGE for the story and label it index.html. Include a link to the course home page on your title page. Include a mailto: link with your email address.

If you do not wish to make your story available to the class or to the general readership of the www, please let me know. You always have the option of handing in a story that is seen only by the instructor.