Come along and ride on a fantastic voyage!

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I cheated. But more details on that later...

"But this stuff may be even more frustrating for readers. What I'm getting at is that The Heist may be essentially unreadable. But that's your call."
-The Heist by Walter Sorrells


Thank you Mr. Sorrells! Thank you for acknowledging that you know your online hypertext novel may be found unreadable! I'm infinitely happy that the author understood and blatantly admitted in his introduction that this is, indeed, a confusing piece of writing.

I have many different ideas concerning this hypertext novel. So come along. Join us, Fantastic Voyagers. We're going on an adventure. A voyage, if you will. An emotional one. And it's going to be one heck of a ride.

Our first stop is at the very familiar emotion of Excitement. I'm sure you all can recognize this stop. I managed to begin here because the first viewing of Walter Sorrells page was vaguely reminiscent of the Choose Your Own Adventure books that I was quite addicted to. (Of course I didn't let anyone know of this addiction. I just fed off of my brother, who also had a love for the books. He checked them out of the library, and they always could, conveniently, be found in my room.) Imagine my joy at being "forced" to read a Choose Your Own Adventure book for homework!

Now imagine my joy being slowly whittled away. We find our next stop of the voyage at Confusion. A few pages of clicking in, I found myself entirely lost and confused. Where was all this heading? Where am I?

I soon found where I was at our next stop. Frustration. At this point, my initial joy has been completely smashed and thrown aside. I don't know who anyone is, why they're doing what they're doing, or how to figure it out. I'm beyond confused now. I've been at this story for an hour, and I don't feel any further along than when I started. I'm frustrated and I want to give up.

Please look out your left window and you will see our next point of interest, Realization. This is where my cheating comes in. There came a point in my story sifting that I realized the URLs for the links I was clicking on were not very different. In fact, the only difference was a number, the page number. So if I go back up to the address bar and change the number, it will take me to that page. So if I change the numbers in the URL in order and read the story that way...

Straight ahead you will surely recognize our next stop... Triumph! I found that by using my new method of reading the story, I was able to recognize characters and to understand the plot. I had completely defeated the purpose of the hypertext novel. I don't feel bad about it though because this way I didn't bash my computer screen with a golf ball.

Alright folks. We're nearing the end of our journey now. This is our last stop, Contemplation. After an hour and a half of sorting through the story (I didn't completely finish it), I feel like I learned a lot. The story itself was interesting. I didn't finish it now but I think I might like to. While the story was entertaining to read, the links were not fun to follow. Some led to dead ends. Others, to a page I had visited many times before. Thanks for the effort Mr. Sorrells, but I think I'll leave hypertext novels for other people to enjoy. Give me a paperback, a hardback if you're feeling generous, and I'll be more than satisfied.

I hope you enjoyed your ride with us and I hope you'll chose Fantastic Voyagers again for a fantastic voyage!


Or maybe you'd just like to get back to those who didn't force you on a voyage, as it were. So go on back to the others.

Fantastic Voyage is taken from a song by Lakeside. It's worth checking out... I think.

2 Comments

Alex, I've written a handout about the strategy of modifying the URL directly. One reason why I've asked everyone to learn about multiple folders and using the home page "index.html" is because it makes it easier for expert users to navigate your site by typing the URLs directly.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/e-text/url-hacking.htm

BTW, those are some funky pirates in that video.

Aja Hannah said:

First, I love how you set up your entry as a Fantasic Voyage and your idea of cheating. I was interested all the way through your entry. It reminded me of the Magic School Bus tours through the people's digestive system for some reason.

Anyway, I'm glad you found how the URLs are similar! I didn't look that hard so I didn't see it, but POW right in my face now. Maybe now if I read it I won't be so angry about it.

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