Restoration Saturday: Testing interactive storytelling with Benandanti’s Belle


“Restoration Saturdays” will include prior blog posts that are still relevant but recently lost to my own stupidity (i.e. not backing up my database). I know. I know.

Here it is: The concept cover for my interactive novelette project, “Benandanti’s Belle.” Looks lovely, doesn’t it? The credit goes to my two graphic designer friends that I’m working with on this fun, rewarding project.

I first talked about the project publicly in May 2012 when I joined my cohorts in crime from Adventures in SciFi Publishing on the AudioTim podcast.

In short, our li’l project team will be creating an electronic book that integrates photography and other multimedia. The overall goal is to see whether we can use these tools to complement the story without ruining the immersive quality – something I’m told can’t be done.

How’d we get started?
My two co-creators read some of my work and have wanted to collaborate for some time. When they read Benandanti’s Belle, a 10,000-or-so word story that melds Werewolves, Dutch holiday origins and 17th Century European slave trade; they demanded THIS be the story.

Having just read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — and seeing how coupling a reader’s imagination with interspersed photography could powerfully serve the story — I was easily sold on the idea myself.

I’ll track our progress here over the next several months, providing snippets of storyline or concept media as they come available. We’re targeting a launch for this holiday season on Apple’s iBooks platform. Other platforms will follow.

Can interactive stories succeed? And can they be as immersive as prose?
My time at the Campbell Conference certainly gave me new perspective on using interactive forms to tell story. One example given was the web stories of Slender Man, the video series of Marble Hornets as specific example.

While there are many works deriving from Slender Man, our project will resemble something more like The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (with less game-type interactivity and more prose).

So … What cool examples of interactive storytelling have you seen?


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