with Frank Stankiewicz
Full Price: £150 for all or £30/session
Concession 1: £75 for all or £15/session
Concession 2: £50 for all or £10/session
Starts March 29th
Wednesdays 6-8pm (BST) via Zoom
What if your story could have multiple endings? What if the reader could choose what happens next? How would you write your story if you knew it’d disappear in thirty seconds? This spring workshop series will introduce writing practices that borrow from ludology, principles of play and video games. We will experiment with ways to make our writing interact with the reader, the environment, and itself.
The workshop draws inspiration from both digital and non-digital examples. We will look at non-linear interactive novels, paper books that push the boundaries of writing, and everything in between. The workshop requires zero technical knowledge or prior interest in video games.
To quote indie video game designer Anna Anthropy, this workshop is for Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You [Who] Are Taking Back an Art Form. It’s about finding ways to tell stories in unexpected ways, and about learning to be silly within your writing practice.
Open to all skill levels of writing, all experiences of technology, and writers and artists of any medium or genre.
March 29th: “You”
We will look at examples of digital and non-digital choose-your-own-adventure works and think about the reader’s agency. We will explore the possibilities and challenges of writing in second person, and experiment with branching narratives.
April 26th: Simulations
We will look at examples of generators and simulators, such as Apology Simulator (an interactive story where you choose which line appears next in an apology letter). We will find new ways to generate text by using existing online tools, word banks, or even our own chat logs and email threads.
May 31st: Getting Out
We will explore writing that pushes the boundaries of a white page and ventures out into the real world We will look at examples of text that interacts with the physical world around it: by asking the reader to draw something on their skin, by using digital apps that only trigger a story once the reader is physically in a certain location, etc.
June 21st: Time Constraints
Would you write differently if you knew your story would disappear in thirty seconds? How would you write if the story was delivered to the reader one sentence per day for a whole year? We will look at interactive stories that have used time constraints as storytelling tools. We will explore the possibilities of creating different emotional responses by borrowing a competitive, game-like element and inserting it into our writing practice.
July 19th: Tools
We will take a look at free and accessible online tools for creating digital interactive narratives. We will practise using them together by using texts created in earlier exercises.
Optional: if it feels like an exciting idea for the participants, at the end of the course I will put together an interactive online zine to showcase some of the pieces created during our workshop.