Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Vision of Things to Come?

In case you need something to captivate you this Saturday, I'm pointing you in the direction of a very cool on-line book experience.  Amazing graphics, strong writing, suspenseful plots, and eerie music.  Casey at Literary Rambles first introduced me to this link, and with all the discussion of e-books happening right now, I'm revisiting it as a vision of things to come.  It's called Inanimate Alice, and the first four episodes are free to view on-line.  And very cool.  The episodes get longer as you go, and the puzzles get more difficult.  I can imagine this sort of multimedia book becoming very popular once e-readers evolve.  The words are written by Kate Pullinger, who has done another digital work called Flight Paths.  The digital artist on both works?  Chris Joseph.  

What do you think?   Would you write something which could be transformed into this sort of interactive book experience?  Do you think this is one of the directions that books are moving in?  Do we need to adapt as writers?  (I think that writers are already adapting to the amount of self-promoting and internet presence that seems to be required these days.)  I think that thinking about the future of publishing scares me a little, but imagining writing an Inanimate Alice story isn't scary at all.  It's just cool. 


  1. Inanimate Alice is very cool. Thanks for letting me know about it. And I do think these types of interactive media are the way forward especially for folks that want to write for young people. Not that books won't still be the same. I think writing is writing and it will take what it takes to write a novel. But I believe the ways writer's reach audiences has to be dynamic, along their ideas and subject matter. I think that is the most important reason to stay current. To be in touch with the folks for whom we write.

  2. Ditto Tina Laurel Lee. This is going to grow and expand the ability to reach readers. That being said, writers should still concentrate on writing. The cool factor on anything visual won't hold anyone for very long without a good story thread.

    I also don't thing plain old books will go away, whether they are digital or print. I could see this being like the graphic novel phenomenon, where extremely successful mainstream books get picked up for this treatment in addition to the ones that are designed for this to be their initial release.

  3. I haven't seen it yet, but probably will later. Writing is writing. I think I'd enjoy the challenge of just about anything. Any kind of multi media book will encourage kids/adults who don't read to read. Kids/adults that are already reading will still read books but might explore other medias here and there.

  4. Tina--Good points. And I agree that writing has to stay dynamic, whether in a new multimedia form, or as words bound in old fashioned books. I loved your comment, "to be in touch with the folks for whom we write". Right on!

    Laurel--Interesting comparison between graphic novels and the multimedia books. That feels right to me, and reassuring.

    Laura--Good point about reluctant readers. I'm glad that there is a growing multimedia aspect to pull them into books. My son and I enjoyed doing the 39 clues online experience. Not that I would title my son a reluctant reader--but he likes what he likes!