© Dana W. Paxson 2006

DESCENDING ROAD: A Literary Macramé

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Welcome to a woven knot of stories set in the fictional world of Tarnus.

I don’t know who you are or how you read, but you can do this in a lot of different ways. You can surf, you can wander, you can explore, or you can just read one scene after another in one story. That’s all up to you. Here’s how you choose what to do.

From here, if you just select “To Ferdinand" below, you get tossed right into the first scene of the main story of Descending Road. The guy who is talking to you sounds insane and raving, so take your time, relax, and sample his madness. It has a lot of clues to the whole world you’re entering.

Sooner or later you’ll run into a character who will tell you that he or she is writing this book. Don’t trust any of these people completely, any of all of them. You’ll have to decide who can get some of your trust. I’m not altogether responsible for them.

Each scene you read has the words “To Previous” at the top of the scene text, and the words “To Next” at the bottom. Choose “To Next”, and you move on to the next scene. Choose “To Previous”, and you go back to the last one you read before the current one. If you wonder what “To Previous” means on the first page, you can try it. Trying things is what you do here.

Each scene page has other marks on it. There’s a vertical wispy line at the left of the text and another at the right. Try them if you want to. If you keep selecting at left (or at right), you come back to the scene page – it’s a cycle.

Above the words “To Previous” you’ll see an icon that looks like tree branches. Choosing it shows you which story thread you’re reading, along with a sizable menu of other story scenes and the threads for each scene. Choose one of those threads, read the scene, and if you finish that scene and choose “To Next” from it, you end up at the scene you were on before you changed the story. Now you’ll just follow a different path out of your current scene.

If you want this menu to go away, just choose the words at the top that replaced the icon, and you’ll get the icon back again.

Below the words ‘To Next” it’s the same kind of thing, except that the story thread you’re on is named below the big menu. Choose it to toggle the menu on and off just as before. If you select a thread from the menu, it comes up as with its own next scene in the new thread.

The last part of the scene page is at the bottom icon. If you choose that one, an OPTIONS menu opens with a link back to this page (Story List), a link to a survey page, a link to the author’s page, a link that reads MAKE ELM MARK, a link that reads SURPRISE ME, and a link that reads PUZZLE ME. I’ll let you figure out what these do, except to tell you that the ELM MARK choice reposts the link to the current scene page in the browser bar at the top in a format you can save as a kind of bookmark. If you want to quit and return to the place you were reading, use MAKE ELM MARK, save the reposted link, and just paste it back into the browser bar when you want to pick up again where you left off, same scene, same story.

You make this menu go away by choosing OPTIONS, and the bottom icon comes back.

So here’s the link to the main story and the madman who is telling it:

If none of this makes much sense, or you don’t want to start with a madman, you can look down below, choose a story thread, and it will open.

Thread Starting Point Links