Will Interactive Reading Catch On?

Earlier, I wrote about the fascinating “We Tell Stories” project from Penguin books, a wide-ranging experiment in the overlap between traditional writing and the internet experience.

The first project to launch is called “The 21 Steps” by Charles Cumming and it is based on the classic “The 39 Steps.”

CoolHunter snagged an interview with Cumming:

“It was written very much in conjunction with the game designers, Six To Start. The process was collaborative from the word go. I would write a few short chapters and they would say: “Can you move the action outside?” or “Is it possible to build a visual clue into this section which will pay off later?” They also came up with the idea of having Rick run over the roof of Waverley Station because they knew that it would look good on the map. I’ve likened it to writing a screenplay, where producers and script editors and directors all have a say in the structure of a script. With novel writing you’re more or less left to your own devices.”

I think this is a very cool testing of the waters by Penguin and a great response to some of the doomsayers in the publishing world.


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