iBooks Author and The Simple Experiment Every Writer Should Perform

by Stephan J Harper

In storytelling, a writer continually experiments with language, point-of-view, narrative voice and other modes of expression to bring together the story’s character, action and plot in a way that best conveys the writer’s intent. The outcome of these ‘experiments’ come to define an author’s career. Any writer who performs the following  experiment will see why the MultiTouch Fiction format is such a compelling new mode of expression for the storyteller.

Step 1: In iBooks Author, select the “Basic” template; click on the ‘Inspector” icon and fill in the Author and Title fields, then select File > Save. Copy-and-paste the text of the first chapter of your book into iBooks Author. Start reading: you are looking for places in the text where four separate story elements – action, dialogue, plot, and setting – suggest an illustration. One by one, imagine the subject and style of each illustration. Perform a search query using a few words you associate with the illustration. Select the “Images” category and look for a picture or illustration similar to what you imagined. Copy-and-paste the illustration into the text; resize it and move it about. Consider the illustration as a ‘placeholder’ for the ideal content you will create. Repeat this process for each of the four elements in your first chapter: action, dialogue, plot, setting. When you are done, click the “Preview” icon on the toolbar; this saves the book on your iPad and opens it with the “iBooks” app previously installed.

Step 2: Sit back, read and relax (a glass of wine falls within the parameters of this experiment). Consider the implications – and the possibilities – suggested by your modest effort. Review the different multimedia content types that iBooks Author has built into the program and ask yourself how, for example, music or an animation might be used in the storytelling. Visit Bookry.com where you will learn about other Widgets. Bookry’s growing library of free Widgets is just a peek at even more possibilities.

Step 3: Sit back, relax again and let your imagination run with all of it.

This straightforward, three-step experiment reveals how the MultiTouch format can be used in the art of storytelling and how iBooks Author facilitates this new mode of expression. The methods and aesthetic sensibilities whereby the various multimedia elements are created are, of course, much larger subjects for discussion and will be addressed in future commentary at MultiTouchFiction.com. But for now, you’re off to a great start. Build out your first chapter, experimenting with other multimedia content. Soon you will be thinking not just how you will use the MultiTouch format in a future project but that you will use it.

Or maybe that short story you wrote is perfect for the MultiTouch ‘treatment’  and the perfect MultiTouch ‘freebie’ for your loyal readers.

Next: In MultiTouch Fiction There’s No Such Thing as a Publisher