Beyond the Novelty: Creating Digital Fiction for Mainstream Audiences

Beyond Boundaries Conference
Bangor University
January 2009

Download PDF of presentation.


Over the course of my practice-led research, I will be writing/creating a digital novel, exploring the ways to appeal to a mainstream market. I will focus on the strength of the story in the novel, first writing a traditional print piece, then adapting it to a digital format. Some digital stories sacrifice the writing and story, instead relying on the novelty of the digital format to engage the reader. I feel that while this approach engages the reader’s intellect, as games do, it abandons the attempt to engage the reader’s emotions, which is a key component in creating a lasting story with impact. My adaptation, therefore, will include hypertext, film, audio, digital art & photography, and interactive components as an ‘enhancement’ of the print novel, similar to a DVD with extras. Readers will be able to ‘play’ with the text, writing their own scenes, rearranging others, adding art and photography to the novel’s landscape. Finally, they will be able to save the novel at the end in a format they can then experience again, should they choose to, like re-reading a favorite book. Alternatively, they may choose to start fresh again, to form a new experience of the digital novel, as many times as they wish.

Cite as: Skains, R. Lyle. 2009. “Beyond the Novelty: Creating Digital Fiction for Mainstream Audiences.” Conference presentation. In Beyond Boundaries, Bangor University, 22 Jan 2009. Bangor, Wales, UK.

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