What is MultiTouch Fiction?

by Stephan J Harper

Stated simply, MultiTouch Fiction integrates multimedia content within the storyline and structure of a novel, novella or short story for the purpose of giving the reader a more expansive experience of the fictional world the author has imagined.

One popular, long-standing genre of storytelling that requires the integration of different media types serves as example. A children’s picture book combines short-form text and illustrations to create a synergy in which each element contributes it’s own ‘language’ and each element supports the other in the storytelling. In an ideal picture book, the sum is literally greater than the parts.

In MultiTouch Fiction, a deep synergy is created by integrating into the text various multimedia elements including illustrations, interactive galleries, animations, live-action video, audio and music and customized ‘mini-apps’ called Widgets. These elements of MultiTouch Fiction are innovations in storytelling, providing a palette of tools that allow the author to express a story in entirely new ways. Interactive Widgets, for instance, can contribute to a story in ways limited only by the author’s imagination. Widgets can include games and puzzles with challenges relating to the storyline but can also go much further. A MultiTouch Mystery, for example, might include a social networking widget customized to give readers around the world the ability to collaborate in groups. This immediacy can take the reader to new levels of engagement and allow an author to create a multi-structure plot line based on reader involvement. This is just one possibility; and in MultiTouch Fiction, the possibilities are endless.

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