Friday, March 3, 2017

Of a Thing Writ

The entry I did for today's post (for my Writing for Digital Media course) is a Moby Dick black-out poem.  The Steal Like An Artist Journal printed two pages from the classic novel with the request to black out words to make a poem.  I only ended up using the first page.  You can see it below.  (I've also typed it out at the bottom of this post.)

I used this prompt as inspiration for my idea for my next project in the class.  The project is an interactive narrative.  I'll be selecting a flash fiction piece or a passage from a longer story (or even a poem, perhaps) to use as my base.  To start, there will be a few words, phrases, or sentences toward the beginning of the base that'll be hyperlinked.  Clicking on the hyperlink will dissolve those words on the next screen, as well as change the text that follows, based upon the absence of those words.  That next page will also contain options for the second round of transformations.  The transformation process will repeat at least once more.

This project will require a good number of pages.  I believe I will be using HTML and basic CSS to make them.  Because of the time required to rewrite the text and determine where the hyperlinks should go, I'll probably limit myself to around 25 total pages, maybe a few more.  This idea takes the interactivity of a black-out poem and strips it of some of its freedom, but instead allows the player to look into the writing process, to see how decisions made in storytelling affect a story as one writes.  It should be interesting and entertaining as well as interactive.

Below is the poem from above, typed out for easier reading:

see a space
the light to spread
faster than
top-gallant sails
kept on 'tis but
the rush
pertinacious pursuit
into night, and through
no means
confidence great
observation of
circumstances, pretty
for a time
while out of sight

losing of a coast,
return again,
this pilot
of the cape
with the whale
gently daylight,
wake through the
darkness sagacious mind
of a thing writ in
water, a wake
steadfast Leviathan


  1. Ohmygod I love love love that blackout poetry! And that sounds super cool, but 25 pages? Jeez that's going to be some work. I've seen so many people do blackout poetry on Instagram and stuff and I always adore it, so wouldn't mind actually trying this out myself sometime.

    Little Moon Elephant

    1. Thanks! It's really not that bad. I ended up with 27 pages, but it only took a few hours. You should try it, yeah.