Thursday, January 24th, 2008
The following screen shots illustrate a creative problem in hypertext having to do with the content of writing spaces, closure, and links. I’ve highlighted the second link in the space called Burdens. The link in question is “like you.” In the context of the writing space, “like you” implies a lot: association, metaphor, difference, tension and other relationships. Brimmer tells Death he doesn’t want to be like her in a context of the space. But what happens if a reader clicks on “like you” rather than “burden”?
Physically, if the choice is “like you,” then the subsequent space is Methods. (Whisper: none of the titles mean anything).
Logically, there should be three basic relationships given any semantic link. A relation between the content of Burdens and the link, Burdens and Methods, and the link and Methods. In the first condition, “like you” takes on a significance simply because it initiates choice thereby drawing attention to other links that may appear in the space. In the third condition, “like you” should relate to subsequent text in Methods.
As writer and editor, I’d suggest that the condition fails. The essence of Methods doesn’t really carry the link “like you” into its meaning enough to warrant the link choice. I think this is critical: some of the language in Burdens will have to be revised so that the correct link develops or some other existing text will have to supply the link.
I do like the “like me” . . . “like you” rhythm though, which, in my view, adds an element of complication to the link, closure, character issue writing game.