Fun da mentals : Rhetorical Devices for Electronic Literature

Words and Meaning: A controversial glossary of terms

Note that these definitions are only my own, based on a couple of decades (has it been that long? Wow!). There have been papers, long arguments, facilitated discussions, and downright fisticuffs over the meaning of each of these terms. So use this again as a starting place.

Electronic literature: I am defining electronic literature as works that contain text and use some traditonal literary rhetorical devices but that also use electronic capabilities as rhetoric--so these can not be rendered the same way in a print format. Each section of the Elit 101covers one of these basic rhetorical devices used in electronic literature (navigation, links, paths through the work, random elements, space, images, sound, etc.)

Image: Anything visual on the screen. This can include movies, videos, animated gifs, etc. (Note, please do not use flashing images as these can cause epilepsy in some readers. Thank you.)

HTML: HyperText Markup Language. The marked up code needed for a browser to display a web page. For example, a browser would read <b>bold</b> as instructions to bold the text. See Tools.

Hypertext: Hyper is a prefix meaning excessive, above, or beyond, such as hyperactive, hyperstudio, or hypermiling. Thus, hypertext with something more than just text. This term is now usually reserved for electronic works that use a text node/link structure.

Link: A connection between one node and another. Users click on the link to get the next node. Links can be named in StorySpace.

Montage: Showing several elements on a screen at one time, or quickly cutting between different elements in motion.

Node: The electronic literature equivalent to a page. This is usually one screen, but it could be one movie or a subsection of a video.

Path: (Also called a node path). A way through an electronic literature piece. Paths are usually made by creating a link to one node, then to another, and so on. These paths can be named with the same name so that readers know they are on a path.

Rhetoric: Ways to use means of communication (e.g., language, image, and sound) effectively to convey a concept, emotion, motivation, etc.

Scheme: The entire look and feel of your piece--a systematic plan of color, font, layout, and navigation.

Sound: Anything audio from the computer. This can include background noises, voices, readings of the text, music, etc. (Note, please do not use sounds that can injure someone's ear in your writing. Thank you.)

StorySpace: A hypertext writing environment from Eastgate Systems. See Tools.

URL: Universal Resource Locator (a web address usually starting with http://)


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Fun da mentals: Links / Images / Sounds / Multiple voices / Node paths / Spatial placement/ Collage and layering / Fonts / Secrets / Random / Glossary / Tools / Teacher's Guide