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Interactive fiction for writers (beginner)

A workshop exploring the world of interactive fiction and how you can make your very own interactive stories without learning to code or figuring out complex tools.

No previous skills required: if you’ve watched Bandersnatch or picked through a dog-eared Choose Your Own Adventure book and want to know a bit more about how it all works, this is the course for you!

Closed Hands is is a groundbreaking work of interactive fiction by PASSENGER, directed by Dan Hett. The game follows the deep intertwined stories of five people thrown together by their involvement in a fictional terror attack.

Join the game’s director and lead writer Dan Hett to explore both the tools and techniques used in Closed Hands, and how you can write and create interactive stories yourself.

Who is this for? 

This workshop session is specifically aimed at total beginners to either writing and/or interactive fiction. If you’re already a writer in some way, you may want to check the intermediate workshop.

Workshop structure 

The workshop is taking place online.

It is envisaged to be around three hours long, with a good break in the middle and time at the end for questions and discussion.

Broadly the workshop is in two halves:

The guided tour: we’ll go on a whistle-stop tour of some existing interactive fiction across literature and television and notable videogames, and look at the different flavours of IF that have powered these experiences. From here we’ll try and get under the skin of why IF can be so compelling for audiences. We’ll also take a peek at Closed Hands as a working example, with some discussion around why we chose to tell this story through interactive fiction and not something more linear.

A more practical guided exercise looking at how we can make our very own interactive stories without worrying too much about learning to code or figuring out complex tools. We’ll start with, believe it not, Powerpoint (or Google Slides will do just fine), and from there we’ll give Twine a try too.

Materials and next steps will be given to complement the learning on the course:

  • software links
  • notes from the tutorials
  • recommended reading/viewing