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"Writerly" Texts - The reader as a producer of the text.

Applications of Hypertexts

            It is difficult to picture the dynamism of hypermedia without illustrations of its applications.  Murray, using examples in her article, mentioned four key structures which hypermedia can utilise to enhance that "writerly" experience for the readers.  Her writing focused mainly in the context of hyperfiction.


First Murray mentioned Spatial structure, whereby the author creates a psychological effect on the reader, giving him the control over a physical space.  In her example, A la rencontre de Philippe, the reader sees a map on the screen.  Then he is supposed to find an apartment, using this map.  Through interactivity, the reader takes a surrogate travel into the parisian apartment.  Pictures are used so that the reader can actually see where he is going.  It is possible to jump from room to room by clicking on arrows.  Readers can even manipulate certain objects in the room such as flipping the papers, using the answering machine or the phone.  The experience is virtual.


Second comes Temporal structure, here the reader using a footpath may be alerted of the presence of historical materials.  By merely clicking on those historical signs, the reader is transported back in time, and forth when clicked again.  In Philippe, the reader is given time to explore on his own, on top of the appointments that he has to take note of.  The system will remind him of his appointments and the time limit given for certain tasks to be accomplished.


Next, Murray wrote about the Story structure, which is of course, the essence of the entire hypertext.  The problem solving experience of the reader is fully reliant upon his choices.  As he goes through the story, choices are opened to him, and he chooses the path or makes the decision.  There is thus no single right solution for the tasks, and the reader will have many satisfying ways to end his story.  The reader is free to try out a number of things along the way, all of which should have interesting effects.


Finally in Textual structure, the key capability of hyperlink is illustrated.  The reader is able to toggle from text to video or animation, and back to text again, with much ease.  The linking can be done through keywords, phrases, and symbols.  Thus the text will be hyperlinked to materials such as glossary, video clips, audio notes, animation and so on.  The linking will by web-like and provides the reader with flexibility and mobility.