48 Hour Hypertext

Hashtag: #48hHypertext 

Mark Bernstein:

I’d like to invite you (and your colleagues, friends and students) to join us in a new hypertext caper for Hypertext 2019.

The Challenge: create a complete hypertext narrative in 48 hours.

Why? We need more hypertexts, and we need to think more clearly about the challenges of writing hypertexts, of crafting better tools, and of teaching people to write hypertexts.  But we’re all busy, and many of us aren’t primarily fiction writers.

48 hours? Scott McCloud (keynote speaker, HT96)  initiated a similar challenge back in 1990, calling for the creation of a complete 24-page comics, with covers, in a single day.  It’s been a very useful experiment!

Two all nighters? You can use those 48 hours however you like.  And an hour a day for 6 weeks.  Or 2 workdays. However you want.

What are the other rules?

  • Any platform (or none)
  • Any genre
  • Any language (or none)
  • The work should take itself seriously
  • Any hardware requirements (or none: you can use cards if you want)
  • Standing start (no projects that have been in your desk drawer)

What rights do you need? We need sufficient rights to read the hypertext and share it with attendees and other participants. You can hold the copyright. We probably do need copyright to the position paper.

Must I attend the conference? No, but we’d love to have you come.  We might be able to find some financial support if you need it.  

What do you need now? An expression of interest, a working title, and a quick sketch of what you have in mind.  All this can change; it’s just a starting point.  I need this right away, please — within the week.

What do you need later? For a deadline this summer TBD, we need the story, and a short, informal discussion of one or more issues you encountered, or choices you made, in the course of writing it. Tell us what choice you made, what other choices were available, and what we might need to know to make that choice ourselves, or to teach it.  I’d like to have a panel session at Hof to explore these topics.  Examples drawn from my recent headaches include

  • Framing stories — especially when you don’t know where the reader will start
  • Choosing tense and point of view
  • Abstraction and immediacy
  • Is the reader a witness, a participant, or a protagonist?
  • May lexia end mid-sentence?

I’m not sure… I’d rather you propose a story and find yourself too busy,  than not to propose it at all.

Can I send this to other people? Yes, please.

I have questions: email bernstein@eastgate.com.  If you don’t hear from me within a working day, you’re in my spam bucket: ping me at @eastgate (Twitter)