MultiTouch Fiction

Category: Writing

The Lesson We All Learned in Third Grade

We are going to take a quick, but necessary, detour.

MultiTouchFiction.com does not offer advice on the craft of writing. All the great writers throughout history, the ones who inspire your own efforts, have offered their insights. They all told you the same things. They told you that it took years to develop their craft and that they never stopped learning. Many have written, often in harrowing detail, how their own path to great writing first had to travel through an intimidating landscape: an openness where the writer stands naked and in submission before a scalpel that dissects, dismembers and examines – without mercy or benefit of anesthesia – the outpouring of the heart and soul. They told you this requires great courage and a commitment to your craft that few writers are ready – or willing – to make. But they said something else: they started out just like you. They knew there is greatness in each one of us and to depend on that truth with every sentence you hone, every page you agonize over.

However, these writers never faced the profoundly disturbing modern development every artist working today must conquer. The Internet offers wonderful opportunities for learning and connection and the advancement of knowledge for the entire human race. But the Internet has a dark side: mankind’s unleashed id spreading misunderstandings and falsehoods and calumny around the world in a millisecond – often stated in the vilest of language – and calling it opinion. When this trickles up we see the results: where anyone with a website can make a claim to knowledge and authority without possessing either. Where anyone can claim to be a qualified Art or Literary Critic without practicing the standards of excellence established over 400 years of scholarship whose origins can be traced as far back as Aristotle’s Poetics. Cultural anthropologists throughout academia are studying this phenomenon and the corrosive effect it is having on society,  as well as what it portends for the future of our civilization.

A pervasive darkness threatens. We must be on our guard. Art is an individual expression. The cynic despises your passion and your talent because he has no passion or talent of his own.

We all learned an important lesson in third grade. It wasn’t from a book or what the teacher said. It was a lesson we learned intuitively. As we grew older most of us simply forgot: the kid on the other side of the room calling you stupid for no good reason is simply not worth talking to. We knew intuitively it was nonsense. But as we grew older and we learned to value critical thinking in our walk through life, we tried to use reason and dialogue (and our innate good graces) to ask why someone was thoughtlessly trashing our work. We said “let’s talk about it” and we found that no matter how generous or solicitous we were, it was a total waste of time.

MultiTouch Fiction is an entirely new Art form. At this point in time no one is qualified to render an informed opinion on this Art. Apple itself is only recently aware that iBooks Author, originally created for textbooks and non-fiction, has ushered in a revolutionary genre of Literature. No one is an expert on how iBooks Author can be used to create MultiTouch Fiction. No one can say you need to use a certain feature in a certain way. These are artistic choices. There are no hard and fast rules. Hard and fast rules are the very opposite of creativity. iBooks Author is a sophisticated, feature-rich, multimedia-authoring platform that is so – how shall we put this? – ridiculously easy to use, that your creativity has free reign to explore an entirely new landscape in one of the most exciting developments in Literature.

The writer is an artist. Your goal is to create what Poe called, in another context, the “unity of effect” fundamental to all Art that elicits in the observer that experience when, in a single moment of truth, the beauty of Art presents itself. It could be the few lines of a sonnet or the tale of a Jazz Age bootlegger. It’s in that Stephen King story, too: for a week, you kept all the lights on at night when you discovered your neighbors’ dogs were meeting in secret to plot their revenge. Beauty is found in the most unlikeliest of places. Anyone who tells you otherwise, just remember it’s the kid in third grade all over again; and we’ve just been through all that.

You have work to do.

Next: Rules, Books & Why

iBooks Author and The Simple Experiment Every Writer Should Perform

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

An Invitation to Writers and Artists Everywhere

The most fundamental human desire of all is to understand our relationship to the universe. The more we investigate this mystery, the further the mystery deepens: we can never know why the mystery is there in the first place. The only certainty is that the desire to understand becomes stronger than ever. Art is the purest expression of that desire; and that desire is the sole reason Art exists. We find no example of a culture without Art. Throughout the centuries, Art has gone through one transformation after another, across all peoples and all cultures, expressed in divergent ways too numerous to count. Art is humanity’s whisper to the universe requesting clarification. It is an ancient request. This is why we take Art so seriously. This is why we create new Art.

Art has always been about the How, not the What. When great writers and artists bring their aesthetic sensibilities to MultiTouch Fiction, great works of Art will emerge. To believe otherwise is to deny history. To believe otherwise is to deny your own possibilities.

Next: How Did MultiTouch Fiction Become a New Genre of Literature?

What is MultiTouch Fiction?

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.

Next: An Invitation to Writers and Artists Everywhere

Mission Statement

MultiTouchFiction.com will present information, discussion, analyses and news concerning MultiTouch Fiction, a revolutionary new genre of literature that will accelerate the massive paradigm shift currently disrupting the publishing industry.

MultiTouchFiction.com will be a resource for writers, artists, as well as multimedia-content creatives exploring the potential of MultiTouch Fiction in their own work.

MultiTouchFiction.com will be a resource for analysts following  the latest news and developments in the publishing industry as they pertain to MultiTouch Fiction.

Lastly, MultiTouchFiction.com will be a resource for the general public by providing in-depth, critical analyses of new MultiTouch Fiction titles.

It shall be the policy of MultiTouchFiction.com never to promote or endorse the purchase of any product or service. Whenever a product or service is mentioned, it shall be for informational purposes only as they may relate to MultiTouch Fiction, the MultiTouch Fiction genre or the MultiTouch Fiction developments in the market. There is not now, or ever will be, a single reference to the MultiTouch Fiction work of the creator of this site. It’s all straight commentary: no ads, no selling, no BS.

Disclosure

MultiTouchFiction.com is wholly responsible for the views expressed herein. Apple’s iBooks Author and iPad products play the predominant role in shaping the MultiTouch Fiction marketspace and are mentioned in many of the discussions. No one at MultiTouchFiction.com owns stock in Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) or has ever been employed at Apple, Inc.

Apple,  iBooks, iBooks Author, iPad and iTunes Producer are trademarks of Apple, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Next: What is MultiTouch Fiction?

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