Stitch Bitch

Shelley Jackson’s fragmented writing style is very poetic in nature. Due to the conversational delivery, I found myself wondering how the experience would compare if I heard her read it aloud. Nonetheless, the reader gets a very good idea of her thought process and desired effect. I found the entire piece to be both gripping and frustrating. It left me disoriented and a little stressed out, but also intrigued. I think her focus is on the shift to nonlinear writing on the web and how a reader is in control of their own experience. They have the freedom to jump around and it is up to the writer to earn and keep their attention. It seems that Shelley’s objective in her writing style is to achieve that disjointed effect even though the reader is not interacting directly with the story.

“This is the old kind of interactive writing: writing so dense or so slippery that the mind must do a dance to keep a grip on it.”

My mind was definitely dancing but was terribly off beat and to no particular rhythm (similar to my real dancing). I think that is the whole point of this piece. I find the comparison to what Shelley calls the “old kind of interactive writing” to that of emerging interactive storytelling on the web very interesting. For traditionally written pieces, like “Stitch Bitch,” the author is in complete control of how fragmented the story is. But that control shifts to the reader when writing for the web. No matter what the author’s intent is, the reader has the ability to shape his or her own experience and deviate from the intended path. Whether that enhances or takes away from the author’s intent will vary. I think moving forward writers and web developers should recognize the shift and take full advantage of the nonlinear web experience.

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