BOOTCAMP: Hypertextual fiction: writing with brackets and maps

Saturday 9. October 2021 at 10:00 - 13:00 CEST


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Explore this novel way to boost reader engagement in your texts at this virtual bootcamp covering hypertext fiction.

This gentle introduction to digital interactive textual form, by writer José Carlos Dias, is aimed at absolute beginners, so if you’ve never heard about this type of narrative, don’t worry. Just come and learn.

This bootcamp will:

introduce participants to interactive fiction where participants will untangle the concepts of parser fiction and hyperfiction, including some short historical notes up until the “Twine Revolution”.
Introduce participants to the Twine writing tool. This first block will cover the interface and uncover the magic of linking. You’ll write your very first hyperfiction piece and share it with others.
Discuss some important theoretical concepts that underpin hyperfiction and distinguish it from printed fiction: multilinearity, multimodality, narrator, and agency.
Examine the relationship between stories and maps in hyperfiction.
Write with Twine using some more advanced concepts such as cycling links, random elements, or timed events.

Bootcamp material

Participants will use the free, open-source tool Twine, created by Chris Klimas, available at
To take part, you’ll just need a computer (Windows or Mac) with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox installed. You don’t need a very powerful machine. Any laptop or desktop system bought in the last 10-15 years will do just fine. Using an IPAD or a smartphone is not recommended.

About the workshop leader

José loves words, computers, and stories. He was a fanatic of CYOA books in the 80s and learned English by playing a lot of text adventures in his ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64K (he remembers finishing only one of such adventures though). During the breaks of playing videogames, he managed to complete a double major in Portuguese and English literature and in language teaching from the University of the Algarve. In 2002, he packed his computer and books and went to Warsaw University, where he still teaches Portuguese language and literature to undergraduate Polish students. In 2016, he started his PhD research on interactive fiction and language teaching and hopes to finish it before it finishes him.
Apart from videogames, he enjoys writing interactive short stories and poems for children, playing the guitar, and preparing guacamole. He lives in Warsaw with his daughter, two degus, a PS3, a PS4PRO, a WII, a WIIU, a Macbook Air and a very capable PC. You can find him on Twitter @albuquezi or at [email protected]

This event is hosted on Zoom and coordinated by Writers Who Talk, a non-profit supporting creative writers in Luxembourg and abroad. Participation costs €10 for non-members and is free for members of the asbl. Participants will receive the Zoom link upon registration.


You don’t need to complete the recommend readings presented here to take part in the bootcamp, but they will help you understand what hyperfiction is, its distinctive traits and the craft of creating stories with links. They will be particularly useful for the second part. Even if you can’t read them all, try at least to read some of the shorter ones. I’ve added the average time of traversing a story (traversing = reading once an interactive story) between brackets.
I’ve also chosen works that have very different topics (depression, isolation, queer, slice of life), different tones (humorous, serious, whacky, funky) and are suited for different audiences: children and adults. Just link away.


Mature topics
Queers in love at the end of the world, by Anna Anthropy (traversal: 10 seconds)
16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds, by Abigail Corfman (traversal: 15-30 minutes)
Anhedonia, by Maddox Pratt (traversal: 7 minutes)
Howling dogs, by Porpentine Heartscape (traversal: 2 hours)*

  • unfortunately there is no way of saving your progress in this story, but as long as you don’t close your browser, you’ll stay on the same “page”.

Light topics
Interview with a Cat, by Anna Anthropy (traversal: 7 minutes)
Congee, by Becci (traversal: 10 minutes)

Writers Who Talk asbl