HYPERTEXT: Placement

October 12th, 2009 by susan

Ah, just edited my crowning achievement, the two-space, three-word hypertext story #93 Challenge and Response.

Not much you can do with three words, they’d been wrung out to their lightest, unwatered weight. But there was something specific to the hypertext medium that could be done: placement.

As a dialogue, and one with conflict as its main theme, it became obvious that placement of the two (hmmm, just realized that this would be interesting if I added more boxes repeating the dialogue to indicate other speakers getting in on the conversation/confrontation, perhaps specifying by color the unique individuals–actually, could go up to the hundreds in repetition as the argument escalates, but meanwhile…) speakers would enhance and ground the two speakers. So back I went into the css and made one space <div id=”left”> and the other <div id=”right”>. This little tweak actually puts the speakers on two different sides of the screen/argument visually. It also adds action via movement, though I personally might find it annoying. But then, arguments are expected to be.

While I say that this element of enhancement to story is specific to hypertext, it’s obviously used in film and graphics as well. I can think of comics, for example, where two characters at odds might be placed at either end of the panel, or in separate panels, reinforcing other indications of heated argument such as text, punctuation (!), a few squiggley lines off the tops of the characters’ heads as possibly fuming, facial expressions, and of course, words.

Now I’ll look deeper into editing those three words, or maybe adding a few more speakers to the soup.

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