After some pondering I've posted the first part of Nearlyology, the fiction piece I'm currently writing, onto a new site: in the hope it might attract some readers prepared to engage with the Intro and FIRST PART, amounting to about 20 pages of A4, and give me their comments.

To some extent I'm hoist by my own petard - as my granny used to say. Having spurned traditional formats and publishing routes, I have to decide for myself how where and when to present it and to whom. It's a story which includes songs and asks for some reader response, but for all that I see it growing into something akin to a novel, though I did also start work on a script version for performance. Anyway, I'm enjoying writing it and have had some very positive responses so far from people whose opinions I value highly.

I'm certainly not averse to being commissioned by a publisher or other producer to complete this piece to fit a defined format, but as a writer I love the freedom online to define my own boundaries and the ability to mix media at will. However, when I wrote my digital novella Lost Tim, the word count I realise now was dictated by the rules of the M.A. I was taking at the time, tutored by the amazing Kate Pullinger. Without academic strictures, how do I decide what shape it needs to be now? A workshop at the University of Edinburgh last week, on research being undertaken into digital manuals, got me thinking about how to devise a tool for designing and describing collaborative and multimedia fictions. Until we create that nifty gadget, what's to do? 

Well, perhaps I can ask you, dear Reader. 

I'm also seeing how it feels to write in public in this way, and reserve the right to take the site down again and work on it privately. I've always banged on about writers' freedom to take use which new keys they choose on the digital typewriter and not feel bullied into going further than they want. So it's an experiment - and the first lesson will be how few people are prepared to put time into concerted reading of unproven text online. I'd be delighted if you gave it a go, though, and went beyond the Intro to read the FIRST PART of the story itself.

Thanks in (realistic) anticipation!  


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