VARIABLE NARRATIVE is a new literary gender. It can be defined as modelized crossmedia, interactive and massively cooperative fiction. A variable narrative is meant to be broadcast and edited on any and on all medias, whether they are electronic or not.
The Story of the 3 Spaces is the first variable narrative. Approximately two thousand people have already contributed to its writing and five hundred of their texts have been selected to join the fiction. The cooperative writing campaign will last untill 2014. It will progressively extend to different languages and countries. Each country will create an independant « sphere » that will obey the model of the narrative and add some local specificities. A common bilingual core (English and French) will incorporate the texts defined as the most important by each sphere.Cooperative creation offers an alternative to collaborative authoring : each author creates his/her text obeying the rules of the model. Thus, the fiction coherence is preserved and everyone is acknowledged.
On March 2008, The Story of the 3 Spaces is to be channeled to all medias in the most important commercial shopping centre of Paris, which is also an underground hub. It will construct a feeling of immersion which is a characteristic of virtuality. A way to question reality jam through literature and not through images. Within the space of a week, over one million people will be in direct contact with this immersive installation and a few thousands will actually play with it.
I will approach both question of cooperative writing and of reality jam through the specificity of variable fiction: modelization, through ethical questioning of the use of technologies and through my position of author-researcher in charge of a long term project, largely covered by the medias, and destined to become international.
- Carole Lipsyc, Université Paris 8 – Laboratoire Paragraphe, France
Full text (PDF) p. 309-310