'are we there yet dad?' - on flicking and approaching finales

If there's one thing I do love about the physicality of books (ignoring for a moment typography, interesting folds and custom paper textures) it's the

In discussions with many people about this project, and specifically while they hold a book in their hand and we talk about their physical nature, they have all demonstrated the act of thumbing through a book to find their place as something they relish. 

I have to say personally that this is not one of my loves of books, i actually love the fact my tablet knows what page I was on because a) i always drop bookmarkers and b)my friends will no longer complain i've dog-eared books they've leant me (though I've yet to be lent a kindle book yet, that's another story)

If there's one thing I do love about the physicality of books (ignoring for a moment typography, interesting folds and custom paper textures) it's the knowledge of the approaching end. It has the ability to make a dreary chapter worth ploughing through, it can add tension to a story as I wonder how on earth it will resolve with such a slim remaining section, but it also allows for a surprising jolt ending when a number of blank pages have been added after the end of the book. 

This of course is not a quality only inherent in books, many of us get excited knowing that it is the final episode in a series of Homeland/Lost/Breaking Bad  et al.

In our project we're storing parts of a story in different physical locations, that you must travel to to read. So we're writing a story across a city, creating a geographic narrative of sorts and we instantly face the issue of conclusions, we know we want our story to have an ending, at the very least a resolution of sorts, but how we signify it's approach to the audience is a tough one. 

A traditional geographic journey has a built in conclusion, its destination. We usually have an idea of how far we will be travelling, and how long we expect it to take, and the anticipation of arrival is great (and often frustrating for younger travel compananions in cars).

So we have some options, (and some associated problems)

- we lay out the whole journey in advance, so people know it has an ending, and they know it is approaching

- as a physical journey the pacing of it can to some extent be defined by the traveller, if we want to retain authorship in this area we have to create some forms of restriction.

- our thoughts lead us to time restrictions, in a format similar to the episodic nature of television shows. We let people know how much content there is, and where/when to expect it, we just don't 'release' it until we feel ready. 

something we've also worked around is a co-dependancy between a physical book and our digital content (more info in another post), but the physical book will work as a form of guide/translator for the rest of the content, and this is our opportunity to lay out the path for the readers (we're sticking to the word 'readers' for our audience for the time being.

Right now we're sketching out ideas for timeline based representations of the entire 'book' we're making, so you know 'when' and 'where' sections are releases, but you also know when you are approaching the end, and hopefully this might encourage you to undertake bigger journeys (ploughing through the dreary chapters!)



book pages referenced have information/suggestion/map of location of dead drop.

space between lines is related to possibly -

- narrative separation of 'characters?

- physical separation of drops?

B -

draws on ideas of the physical geography more directly, though i look at it now and realise the dates are inverted if we are drawing people to the centre. .  but they work if we are spreading the story. pages work in similar fashion to A