Non-linear Writing in the Classroom

Twine is a tool for nonlinear storytelling – like the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books – that allows students to create narratives that explore conditional logic, web design, game building, and storytelling. Potential applications include historians writing alternate histories; team-based projects involving “storytellers” and “story designers”; creative renditions of “pseudo-code” for computer science students; and, of course, exploring interactive fiction by creating it. No coding knowledge required, but HTML and CSS can be used to style students’ stories. 

In this simulcast workshop — to be held on Friday, March 11, 2022 from 11:30am-1:00pm — we will create a short piece of interactive fiction as an introduction to the platform and an exploration of some of its features. Workshop participants will explore:

  • the basic settings for getting started in the Twine interface
  • Twine’s grid structure for designing non-linear writing
  • tricks for styling elements of your writing using markup, macros, and hooks
  • integrating media into your writing
  • saving, exporting, and sharing 

One can find many examples of interactive fiction made with Twine in the Interactive Fiction Database, though you may want to begin with “With Those We Love Alive” by Porpentine Charity Heartscape, which Dr. Stephanie Merkel (Department of English, OWU) uses as an introductory example in her teaching with Twine. Dr. Merkel will join us in the workshop to share her experiences teaching with Twine. You may also find yourself drawn into “Cactus Blue Motel” by Astrid Dalmady, “Animalia” by Ian Michael Waddell, or “Solarium” by Anya Johanna DeNiro. A project by a group of Dr. Merkel’s students – The Golden Journey” by Jerrod Ward, Katie Werner, and Annie Vitti – may also be of interest. 

The unique design of this virtual Ohio Five workshop presentation brings together participants on their local campuses for a “satellite” workshop experience. A local representative from each of the five colleges will host their colleagues in a convenient location on their own campus, orchestrate the communal viewing of the virtual workshop, and act as a resource in the room for any questions that arise. These local hosts will also be able to maintain all local protocols for safe gatherings. Participants may also register to attend virtually. 

If you are interested in participating in this workshop, virtually or in-person, please use this link (also pasted below) to register. Your Local Host will follow-up with details for your meeting.

Registration link: