LITERATURE: The Life of Geronimo Sandoval – The Medium of Hypertext

Beyond story and beyond the provocation of ideas, there is the thought of the author’s choice of the medium of hypertext to present this novel.  I can say that it suits the story theme perfectly, as there are layers and backstory and a randomness of psychological realism that builds the character of Ham Sandoval wonderfully well.  But is hypertext the best way to go?

I’ve come to a point in the story where there are many directions (intersects) via links and while I’m sure I’ve followed my own tendencies to investigate and return (and this habit is really the choice that hypertext offers, rather than making a decision on going a particular way into a story, since that cannot be known until the link is indeed used and the connection is made), there are times when I believe I’ve circled the wagons around an idea and then end off in a new direction.

I’m curious as to how this would set up in a text book format.  There is backstory of course, flashbacks, character thoughts, use of dialogue to reveal or to foresee and build tension.  But with the first person pov that is used in this story it is all dependent upon Ham’s experience to bring us reliably into his head. 

There are many places–and I’m hitting them more and more as I move inward–that I recognize as being from Ham’s childhood. Often these come up seemingly out of the blue although they are cleverly tied to the state of mind of Ham or event that he is experiencing in the prior thread. It’s a nice way of reinforcement and insight, and it’s a very natural manner of thinking when you consider the way a mind works.  It’s that oh, yeah, that reminds me type of normal progression of thought.

There are also a load of text spaces that are Ham’s thoughts on very scientifically based theories of how the world works.  I don’t pretend to understand them but know that reading each carefully may bring me that much further into Ham’s head, with a bonus of having learned a bit more of what may be worth learning. 

I can see how hypertext works, where it works well, and where it may be one of the only methods to bring a story to its fullest and most complete telling.  As a wannabe writer, I’m fascinated by its opportunities as much as I am terrified of its power.

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