I was working with maps and images and texts, then I was looking for a way of producing unstructured or hybrid texts. I wanted something like a word processor that would let me play with the structure of writing, something that would offer a way of not just writing and structuring, but learning about, the writing of texts.
First I came to Twine, a free tool designed for making text games — and what is an experimental literary text but a text game. These texts are very simple web sites. The tool gives you a limited set of options to link parts of the text. I believe this leads to creativity.
Then I started using Echoes, an app designed for making geospatial maps. A geospatial map has a set of sounds linked to geographic locations. I realised this could be used as a different way of constructing texts.
I think the main pleasure and potential of these tools is to build a text, a document, in which the words themselves and the ‘pages’, the parts, the chapters, can move around, appear and disappear, link to other parts or random parts, loop, twist, shudder, change colour, size. In short, texts can contain an internal logic, a route that is different to any printed text. What you do with this is up to you, just as the twenty-six letters of the alphabet can be combined in billions of ways to make every text ever written.
These texts, call them stream of consciousness or concrete poetry or experimental novels, or hybrid texts, are not new in the world. But everything you produce will be.
I am going to be encouraging people to use tools to write literary texts.