CORE 100 First Year Seminar: Non-Linear Storytelling

Xavier University, Spring 2019

Students play RISUS, a tabletop RPG, outside

Course Description: From Choose Your Own Adventure style books, to text adventures/interactive fiction, to visual novels, this seminar explores the art, methods, and history of non-linear storytelling. We will explore works where your choices have consequences and introduce the tools (Twine, Inform7, etc.) used to write your own.

Syllabus (.pdf)

I developed and taught this 16 week credit course that covers the following topics and activities:

  • Literary theory: What is a text, literature, story?
  • Academic research, both in the library and out
  • The history of non-linear stories, both print and electronic
  • Character, plot, and story development
  • Writing in second person
  • Using software
    • Twine
    • Inform7
    • Ren’py
  • Major projects
    • Research paper and presentation
    • Annotated bibliography
    • Complete non-linear story