"Illuminated Hypertext Manuscript" Digital Novel

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merrak
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"Illuminated Hypertext Manuscript" Digital Novel

Postby merrak » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:30 am UTC

This is an illustrated novel ("illuminated hypertext manuscript") I've been working on. I thought some people here may like it, since it's all about math and language (not so much sarcasm, but I've been known to fib). It's really a series of four stories. The first is about a mathematician who is on a quest to prove the world doesn't exist.

{ Link to Image Below } { Link to Main Site }
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A little "comic" explaining the concept of an "illuminated hypertext manuscript":

{ Link to Image Below }
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merrak
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Re: "Illuminated Hypertext Manuscript" Digital Novel

Postby merrak » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:23 am UTC

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Chapter 19 posted.
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Kewangji
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Re: "Illuminated Hypertext Manuscript" Digital Novel

Postby Kewangji » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:57 am UTC

I stopped reading when I got to the point (page 3, chapter 1, a leaf something or other) where the cat's curiosity was peaked, rather than piqued. Not that that's a terrible mistake to make, and normally I don't care, but I was already unimpressed with the writing.
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merrak
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Re: "Illuminated Hypertext Manuscript" Digital Novel

Postby merrak » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:22 pm UTC

Kewangji wrote:I stopped reading when I got to the point (page 3, chapter 1, a leaf something or other) where the cat's curiosity was peaked, rather than piqued. Not that that's a terrible mistake to make, and normally I don't care, but I was already unimpressed with the writing.


Sorry to hear that, but thanks for the feedback.
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Mostlynormal
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Re: "Illuminated Hypertext Manuscript" Digital Novel

Postby Mostlynormal » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:03 am UTC

I for one, read through and loved it. I'm generally not a good judge on writing so I couldn't say one way or the other as far as that, but I enjoyed the story and the artwork is beautiful.

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poxic
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Re: "Illuminated Hypertext Manuscript" Digital Novel

Postby poxic » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:16 am UTC

I like the presentation -- the art is gorgeous. I would recommend sending the story (without art) to a professional editor, or a good and reliable amateur one. Your writing ability is very good, but the text itself needs some tightening. The usual advice in writing is "show don't tell". You have a fair amount of the opposite going on, which is disappointing when the plot and presentation are so promising.

Don't give up, please. Your work is creative and cool. Work with an editor on making the story more readily engaging for the reader*. This usually requires swallowing some ego, but the results are always worth it.

* I found my interest waning after the first chapter because of the volume of internal dialogue from the narrator, for example. Internal dialogue is very difficult to make interesting, especially since we all remember being (or are) teenagers when we wrote stories with 90% internal dialogue. :wink:
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merrak
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Re: "Illuminated Hypertext Manuscript" Digital Novel

Postby merrak » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:43 am UTC

Mostlynormal wrote:I for one, read through and loved it. I'm generally not a good judge on writing so I couldn't say one way or the other as far as that, but I enjoyed the story and the artwork is beautiful.


Thanks :) That is encouraging to hear.


poxic wrote:I like the presentation -- the art is gorgeous. I would recommend sending the story (without art) to a professional editor, or a good and reliable amateur one. Your writing ability is very good, but the text itself needs some tightening. The usual advice in writing is "show don't tell". You have a fair amount of the opposite going on, which is disappointing when the plot and presentation are so promising.

Don't give up, please. Your work is creative and cool. Work with an editor on making the story more readily engaging for the reader*. This usually requires swallowing some ego, but the results are always worth it.

* I found my interest waning after the first chapter because of the volume of internal dialogue from the narrator, for example. Internal dialogue is very difficult to make interesting, especially since we all remember being (or are) teenagers when we wrote stories with 90% internal dialogue. :wink:


This project has always been just a hobby of mine - started as something fun to do to keep myself sane during qualifying exams. I've never made a serious effort to publicize it. Lately I've been receiving quite a bit of advice, like yours, encouraging me to work with an editor on polishing the text. My wife is the county library system director, and she is connected with some of the local authors. She might be able to find a good freelance editor in the region.

The main issue is time. I teach full-time now, and during the regular semesters most of my time is devoted to my students. Of course, one reason I wanted to pursue a career in academia is that I would have a large block of the year available for personal interests. I can't spend all my time buried in mathematics ;)

I agree with your statements on internal dialogue. Perhaps I've just read the prologue so many times now I've become entirely unaware of what the text actually says - replaced instead with the pictures in my mind. I'll admit that the first book (starting on P 66) has received much more attention. The project is really a series of four novels. The prologue is intended to set the stage for all of them. Lately I've come to realize I really only need to set the stage for the first - then introduce the rest when the reader needs the information. Perhaps another revision is in order. Like I once heard - you don't write a novel - you write, re-write, re-write, re-write one.

Thanks for your feedback!
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