‘A writing and reading adventure in participatory fiction. Will you read and write the story with us?’

via Introducing Story Unbound — Story Unbound — Medium.

This is an interesting idea that I bookmarked a little while ago. The short story is that it’s a collaborative writing experiment using the Medium writing/publishing platform. It’s not something that I have the time or motivation to get involved with myself but I was intrigued to see how/where it was going.

Checking back in on it today I see there are a number of stories/beginnings that have been ‘unbound’ and put out there for others to ‘stitch’ into/onto.

Something I think is really neat is the way that ‘story maps’ are being created using Coggle. For example, a story map of ‘The Tests’ (as it stands today):


Unbind and stitch


How One Author Used Twitter To Write A Thrilling Choose Your Own Adventure Story

I really enjoyed participating in this. However, my vote often seemed to lead to a tie and I had to remind myself that that wasn’t something I needed to feel guilty about…

‘Although Berry wasn’t sure where the story was going (“that was kind of the point,” he said), what emerged was “Untine,” a tale about a talking owl and a labyrinthine forest, told in rich, earthy language.’

via How One Author Used Twitter To Write A Thrilling Choose Your Own Adventure Story.

Reflections on four decades

The Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne recently hosted an Alumni Symposium celebrating ‘Four Decades of Theatre Studies 1975-2015‘.

The main focus of the symposium was on Theatre Studies as it existed in and around the University of Melbourne specifically but, in doing so, it also considered Theatre Studies as an academic discipline more broadly.

In her introduction to the symposium Prof Rachel Fensham (Head, School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne) noted that the history being told was not always (or not only) linear but might instead be seen as a series of episodes.

Nonetheless, the Symposium program itself was presented as linear and included a series of panels each focused on a particular episode or moment in that history.

The panels:

  • 1975 From Comparative Drama to Theatre as a Practice
  • 1985 The Theory Moment
  • 1995 The Creative Arts
  • 2005 The Research Enterprise

I was an undergraduate student during the ‘Creative Arts’ moment when Theatre Studies was taught under the banner of the Victorian College of the Arts  on the University of Melbourne campus. Although many of the other alumni participating in the symposium had continued on with Honours and Higher Degrees by Research within the Creative Arts program (or what it later became), I had not. In addition, many were still based in and around Melbourne (or seemed to have been for some time after graduation) and I was not. What I was, I thought, was an informed outsider at this event. Or, less kindly perhaps, a failed insider.

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Quick turn-around competitions like this are such a great idea and Stranger With My Face is such a great festival (whether you’re into horror or not):

“The 48-Hour Tasploitation Challenge is a competition in which registered teams make a short film – including writing, shooting, editing and scoring – over a 48-hour period. The competition is open to both amateur and professionals, with prizes to be awarded recognising strengths from technical skills to storytelling to concept.”

via THE 48-HOUR TASPLOITATION CHALLENGE — strangerwithmyface.

“In the Tasmanian Gothic Short Script Challenge, you get 48 hours to write a horror script of 6 pages or less. The challenge is open to both male and female participants, and you can be located anywhere in the world to take part.”


Stranger With My Face

Did Season Two of True Detective frustrate us on purpose?

I’ve enjoyed Season Two of True Detective. I may be in the minority…. Articles like this (Wired) and this (Digital Spy) outline some of the mixed audience and critic reactions to the season.

One of the big criticisms has been that the ‘who’s who’ and ‘what’s what’ of the show has been difficult to follow. (A quick search for “True Detective Season Two explanation” will generate quite a few hits.)

However, as I was reading the criticism and reflecting on some of the season’s imagery I started to wonder if that confusion is exactly the point.

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The Unanswered Question

I was about a quarter of the way into The Peripheral (William Gibson 2014) when it hit me that there was a lot more going on than I had realised; in both the novel and the “world” of the novel.

Up to that point I’d noted a few nouns here and there that I didn’t recognise (and which the Kindle’s look-up features didn’t help me identify) but I’d been happy to let them remain loose. To assume, I suppose, that it was their “colour” and not their specific meaning that mattered. I’d had a similar moment reading The Seed Collectors (Scarlett Thomas 2015) recently where I’d enjoyed reading the flow and feel of the words (as narrated by a non-human character) rather than needing to lock-down their specific meaning.

But, at around the 1/4 point it became clear that what I needed to know (and what I could know) was going to expand. In a big way. It was unexpected and tremendously enjoyable and I’m not sure I recall feeling that exact thing while reading a novel before. I was already enjoying it and then it got so. much. better.

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