Writing and virtual reality

“Getting lost” in a work of fiction is a conventional expression that speaks to the immersive power of narrative. The reader (which here will include the viewer and the player) is so moved or transported by the drama, characters and unfolding terrain that she loses herself to the physical world and perhaps cannot hear the person directly in front of her. Another sense of getting lost in a text, described by Umberto Eco in Six Walks in the Fictional Woods, is a “digressing and lingering [that] helps to enclose readers with those time-woods from which they can escape only after the most strenuous efforts (and which they will want to get back into again)” (69). A degree of predictability (familiar narrative patterns and markers) is needed to follow a plot, but getting lost in a fiction also implies the distinct pleasure and suspense of traveling in unfamiliar territory. Getting lost, considered as a mostly positive reader experience, points to the desire for alterity, for immersion into the unknown. Marie-Laure Ryan writes in her revised edition of Narrative as Virtual Reality, that “immersion is the experience through which a fictional world acquires the presence of an autonomous, language-independent reality populated with live human beings.” (297) The paradox is that a reader, in order to find themselves “lost” in an immersive text, must be able to identify with a narrative world. Getting lost implies an oscillation between a space that is known, the reader’s growing familiarity with an emerging story world, and a space that is unknown as long as the story remains incomplete. A reader’s successful completion of a narrative text is a spatial and temporal understanding of its world and perhaps a virtual model of that world that can be retained in memory.

But what happens if the story remains incomplete for the reader? Read the full story HERE!


The Guardian presents a no-holes-barred interview with

Altered Carbon author :

One novel was called Ethics on the Precipice. “Really wanky title, isn’t it?” he asks. “No one wanted to touch it.” So he got the huff. “I’d had this really nice, cosseted, middle-class upbringing. I just assumed I’d wander out into the world and be discovered as a brilliant novelist. I went to Cambridge, which is not a place to be disabused of your privilege, and I was drifting around London in my 20s, thinking, ‘It’ll just happen.’”

 He went travelling “in a bit of a sulk”, dragging a typewriter with him. Then came a moment of clarity in a youth hostel in Mexico. “I had this crisis: ‘OK, what are you doing? Are you going to bum around or are you going to write?” He went home, “got a crummy job in London teaching, and just tried to get on with it”.

When people ask Morgan for tips about how to write, he has one he is fond of sharing: “Have your protagonist do something unacceptable early on. You need to step away from him, so he’s not an insert or a wank fantasy. You can take the hero ride, but you’ve got to distance yourself. This is not me, this is not you, this is a man you might enjoy being in some ways, but there’s always a price to be paid. He’s morally compromised, I guess.”

There is of course one more tip he could offer: never give up. This screen success has, after all, been a long time coming. “It’s just unbelievable,” he says. “They’re delivering lines to camera I wrote down in 1997 – more or less word for word.”

Read the full article HERE


Self-Published Book Awards

Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 26th annual self-published competition–the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors. #WritingContests

DEADLINE: April 2, 2018

Full Details HERE

LEXOPHILIA – Ya Gotta Love It

“Lexophile” describes those that have a love for words,

such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish“,

or “To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

An annual competition is held by the New York Times to see who can create the best original lexophile.

This year’s winning submission is posted at the very end.

  • No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
  • If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.
  • I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
  • Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?
  • When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
  • When chemists die, they barium.
  • I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
  • I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic. It’s syncing now.
  • England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool .
  • Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
  • This girl today said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club, but I’d swear I’ve never met herbivore
  • I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
  • A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
  • When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.
  • I got some batteries that were given out free of charge.
  • A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
  • A will is a dead giveaway.
  • With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
  • Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
  • Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
  • A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.
  • The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.
  • He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.
  • When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.
  • Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.
  • Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.