How can the word “dynamic” apply to meaning?
Perhaps we can create a context where we pre-visualize a setting – a site where the “interactive reading is to take place — and basing the rest upon a pre-history — namely, the user’s own back-story – he or she can assimilate new fiction as an ongoing narrative thread, as related to stops on the website terrain.
Think about it: we have the ability to create a setting for interactive storytelling, which can be entirely visualised, while preserving the author’s traditional role of imposing organizational flow upon the reader or user.
Interactivity, according to new media author Andrew Bonime, is “the property of any medium to respond dynamically to user control,” or any other form of input. The key word is dynamic, which will be defined here as “producing, or involving change or action.” Therefore, the category of writing known as interactive fiction could be described as a form of “unfinished” writing, where a series of prompts to the user (formerly known as a “reader”) must read and then initiate using a cursor or mouse movement, a change — whereby the written work will react to and produce a change — (whether desirable or not can be assessed at a later date) — in either the medium, the user, or preferably both.
There is a reasoning behind this, an effort to collect the writings of Eric Scott and to make them available for both visual and literal “quotation” in the Flash introduction of the Dayfornight.com site.
First, there is the desire to create as much impact as possible with the short attention span of the user, who might never visit any deeper into the site, and could therefore leave with an otherwise incomplete vision…after all, what exactly is Day For Night?
Second, the experiential nature of surfing dayfornight.com — traveling down deserted alleyways, taking the subway alone, entering an abandoned building converted into an upstairs gallery from somehwere along a dockfront — all of these lone events might be reduced, for the sake of simplicity, to a narrative which follows a series of mouse events…
And which might ultimately produce results, similar to the ones described in Chaos theory; known as the Butterfly Effect, where the user surfs, and a series of sideline events are also triggered in a text box above the screen: “Leo is a parasite”…”Emma calls in sick…”The driver loses control of his vehicle and hits a garbage can…” What the user initiates, or triggers, is an interactive storyline — sometimes with amusing, or tragic, consequences — by a series of transparent surfing maneuvers.
For anyone else, this list could be seen as a bibliography. In my particular case, it’s the master notebook from which I have regularly pulled texts, words, ideas, and stories before quoting or illustrating. This forms part of the Day For Night catalogue, which is not a legacy, but which is an unfolding process of quotation, where the source is as much a part of the design as the presentation itself.
A collection of works like these might be seen in parallel to the working methods of ToMaTo…ie Karl Hyde’s non-linear writing style, which stems from a series of notebooks accompanying him wherever he goes. In Hyde’s case, the writings invariably take the form of direct quotation, where he claims NOT to transform the writings any further, claiming they are neither stream-of-consciousness, nor “automatic.” One further note of importance is that the Tomato writings are set in the form of directives: personal anecdote, samplings from print media, overheard sentence fragments, television…whereas Day For Night texts are about representation and juxtaposition. Ideas, when loosely joined by a narrative, form greater ideas…the objective is to create a generative sitework, where the results from user-to-user are not only compelling and consistent, but also renewed and refreshed upon each visit.
The objective is to recognize themes from within the textworks, whether or not they were created as a series or as individual pieces — also, to unify them by a format which can fully exploit the nature of interactive fiction — namely, to demonstrate that all interactive writing is incomplete — and never to be considered wholly in isolation — rather, as subject to completion only by the experience of the end-user, who will witness the texts in a (partially) interactive context.