Individual Work
100 Flash Fiction Hypertexts

100 Flash Fiction Hypertexts was written as part of the 100 days, 100 stories project. The stories, all quite short "flash" pieces (flash in terms of length, not platform), were written over the summer of 2009, one story per day for 100 days.

The stories range in tone and purpose, from the sombre family exploration in "Oak and Acorn" to the fanciful "Symptomonium," which follows several character threads of a man who swallows kryptonite. Some stories are based in the writer's daily experience--"The Mating Ritual of the Modern Man" offers a glimpse behind the screen of The Bachelor TV program, while "The Writer" is a metafictional glimpse into a writer's mind and out of his window.

Each story presents itself in a similar fashion: the reader begins with a simple screen of a solid color (which varies between stories), with the title frame in the middle of the screen in a complementary color scheme. Clicking on the title takes the reader through to the first lexia, and clicking colored hypertext links takes the reader to the next lexia, until reaching the final frame and the choice to return to the start of that story or to the table of contents. Returning to the start of the story allows the reader to experience new paths in the hypertext. With most of the stories, this repetition offers alternate storylines or further insight into the characters.

The short length of these stories, the simplicity of the paths, and the denotation of links already followed (visited hyperlinks change color) allow the stories to unfold in meaningful ways for the reader; the experience is not a confusing trip into a tangle of hyperlinks. Most paths move fairly linearly toward the ending lexia; the story gains depth and meaning through repeated readings as readers follow different paths and gain different insights. The length allows these readings to unfold quickly, and encourages the reader to repeat the experience without tiring her.

Significantly, for those interested in the process and practice of creating these stories, the author composed a blog entry for each hypertext story on the day it was written, briefly summarizing the piece's purpose, background, and her experience in composing it.