The Rebels Text: Progress Report

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For my term project, I am creating a hypertext website story about a novel I've already written or am in the process of writing. My goal is to bring my fiction to people (students and young adults) and keep them interested in the site enough to check back for updates and new chapters. I don't know yet how I would keep track of that though. I chose my most successful novel recently called Rebellion Run. Aside from the links on the main page, there are links within the chapters.

These links lead to:
  • Character Profiles
  • Descriptions of Rooms
  • People the Characters are based off
  • The next chapters
  • The previous chapters
  • And anything else that needs to be there
I realized, as I was working on it, I have all the problems of a story and a basic website. For a couple of hours, I worked on fixing my style sheet so, as of now, the website is not very pretty, but it is basic. I ran into some problems trying to change font, but it turned out I was off a letter in what I had named the stylesheet and what I linked the pages to.

I'd like to use a navigation bar across the top and add banners and colors down the side. I've been working on this, trying to figure it out, with some luck.

As for the story, there is the regular editing to do for grammar and etc. but there is also the editing for a hypertext fiction. This means I have to shorten the chapters by splitting them up, taking out useless information, and moving descriptions to other pages. I've already created several pages for "other" information and split up chapter one.

I wanted to pull from IA with pictures and audio, but I figure audio would be too hard. As of now, I already have a lot of design to put in it. Instead, I'll just do pictures of the settings and the people who inspired the characters first. We'll see how far I get with that before adding more detail.

In IA, I also liked how the interaction with the story was minimal and it kept of way of being linear. I'd like to do this with my story, but I want to add a little more for the users because I don't have the same moving graphics or audio. That is why I chose (what I think are) interesting informational links.

I also liked the abstracted-ness of The Body. I plan to use the anecdotes and personal touches the creator puts in there as inspiration for other pages on the Rebellion Run site. Perhaps sharing the inside jokes of me and my friends with the readers or information about the people the characters were spawned from. This site also uses images. But, at the same time, I do not want to make it as confusing as The University of the Yellow Wallpaper. I'll prevent this by keeping a concrete navigational system like Krug suggests in his usability book Don't Make Me Think.

If anyone is interested, I will upload it tonight.


Christina Celona said:

It looks like you and I are doing very similar projects--I'm also coding a piece of hypertext fiction based on a longer manuscript (though an incomplete ones, as my complete ones are not fit to be seen by human eyes). I want to make it as "user-friendly" as possible without losing the qualities that makes it hypertext fiction rather than a story spread out over a few pages.

I'm also going to be trying to take a few extra steps to make sure the readers don't get bored/frustrated/confused and leave. Feel free to steal anything I mention on my own blog if you think it will help you.

I like your idea of adding images to the story. While that's not something I will be doing (I'm a text-only kind of girl), I'm looking forward to seeing how yours turns out.

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