WRIT 324: Writing Interactive Narrative

Next offered

Fall 2020 (online)

Calendar Description

A workshop/seminar in writing for digital media, hyper-literature, video games, interactive installations and experiences.

Course Description

This course introduces the history, terminology, sub-genres, technological media, creative opportunities and artistic challenges of writing interactive stories. The online class will include the following elements: 1) sample interactive narratives to read, play or view; 2) theoretical and practical readings and videos in the art and craft of writing interactive stories; 3) brief lectures by the instructor that add context, connect ideas, explain assignments, and offer suggestions on how to write and revise your own interactive stories; 4) online discussion forums to debate ideas and to workshop draft stories as a large group or smaller break-out groups.

This is a third-year Writing course, so you will be assessed on your ability to create polished, coherent, original prose narratives and critical reviews. This course also focuses on the design and production of interactive media, so you will be assessed on your ability to apply tools, concepts and techniques of different types of interactive media to produce effective and affecting narratives of original conception and artistic power. Lastly, the course demands participation and interaction via blog posts and online workshop discussions.

Course Goals

Upon completion of this third-year writing course, students should be able to:

  • understand the history, terminology and techniques of writing interactive stories in different media;
  • define and apply key terms in descriptive and critical nonfiction essays about the experience of interactive narratives;
  • use the open-source software tool Twine to create a hyperlinked branching narrative;
  • conceive, plan and complete an original creative project that explores the artistic potential of interactive storytelling.
  • compose a Design Document for creative project management purposes that explains the idea, workflow and execution of your final project.
Course Delivery (Fall 2020)

For Fall 2020, I will be teaching WRIT 324 as an all online course using CourseSpaces to host readings, post assignments, do short weekly blog reflections and participate in online class discussions. I will record and short post short lectures outlining various key topics and concepts on a week-by-week basis. Then we will use Zoom to conduct larger group discussions and analysis of specific essays and articles, as well as for short student presentations on assigned essays. Zoom breakout groups and CourseSpaces will also be used to conduct workshops to give and receive feedback on concepts for and drafts of your interactive writing assignments. The major assignments will be 1) a short critical reflection of a sample interactive story of your choosing; 2) a short Interactive story written using Twine: 3) a conceptual Design Document for a larger interactive project; 4) a longer interactive story (complete or opening chapter), which may include a CYOA book, an online branching story, a video game, an interactive drama or film, a RPG or board game with a strong narrative element, or any other story with a strong interactive component.