Wonderbox is doing something new, and encouraging a lot of creative experiments in design and publishing. This explainer gives an overview of all the categories of digital narrative available in the marketplace. For those that require a bit more explanation in depth, click through to deeper overviews.
If you are a creator and you don’t see a category here matching the work you want to publish, get in touch!
Alt-Worlds: Hyperfiction for the Resistance
Alt-Worlds isn’t so much a category in itself as it is a theme. Welcome to any genre, platform, or style, works in this category revolve around the theme of resistance: against the patriarchy, against fascism, against oppression, against brutality. All proceeds from sales in this category – for both creator and Wonderbox – go toward funding organisations to help in this fight. This includes Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, and the UN Refugees Fund. More…
Wondercosms: Cooperative Fiction
Wondercosms is one of the experimental categories here at Wonderbox. We’re calling it “co-operative fiction”: stories or storyworlds in any form, genre, or platform that include a foundation text, and build new stories across various media based on that foundation text (or storyworld “bible”). Have a look at the category for more info and how-tos, but we’ll give you a hint: you’ll find it similar to “original work” on AO3. More…
Hyperbooks: Branching Narratives in eBook Form
Hyperbooks are another experiment. eBooks have hypertext capabilities – so why not try the platform for hypertext fiction? It isn’t always as easy as it sounds; different eReaders and publishers have different restrictions on how eBooks are displayed. But we’re nothing if not game to try to do new things with digital platforms! More…
To be totally confused with hypertext and hyperbooks is hyperfiction. This is a broader category that could conceivably contain both of those (just as a square is a type of rectangle), a catch-all for digital works that incorporate links as well as other media and mechanisms, including visuals, gameplay, audio, animations, and more.
Interactive Fiction (a.k.a. Text Adventure Games)
Also known as text-adventure games and parser-games, interactive fiction is both the oldest and longest persisting form of born-digital literature! The IF world started with Will Crowther’s Colossal Cave Adventure, became commercially popular in the 1980s with Infocom games like Zork, and is now one of the most robust forms of digital fiction-slash-indie gaming around.
Twine games are specifically those made with the Twine platform. Depending on the game, these could be hypertexts, hyperfiction, or text adventure game, but the platform has become so well-known and so well-used that it often stands on its own. Use tags in this category to further refine what you’re looking for.
No one doesn’t know and use mobile apps, but publishing and selling digital fiction through the various app stores can be very difficult – better to list them as games or books? Standalone or part of a package? Discoverability is difficult in places that don’t have categories or searches for this type of narrative.
Kidlit: Interactive Stories for Kids
Kidlit crosses all kinds of platforms and genres, but it’s good to be able to find digital narratives that are specifically designed for kids. Use the tags system to further refine what you’re looking for in this category.