This hypertext poem started out as an experiment to show my students you could make compelling content without knowing a lot of HTML. And then I got a little obsessed!
It’s a story of a fire dancer and a mask-maker and a star-gazer — you don’t necessarily meet all of them; it depends which path you take. There are multiple paths through the poem. You choose which stanza will be next based on the words that appeal to you. Sometimes she falls in love with the mask-maker; sometimes with the star-gazer. Sometimes it’s mutual; sometimes it’s unrequited. It’s all chance.
From watching people read it, I suggest you read it more than once, especially if the path you chose is only about five stanzas long. The best paths are around 10 stanzas long. You can also read my favourite paths, below.
- Minstrels and Mischief: hypertext version
- Minstrels and Mischief: love and romance version
- Minstrels and Mischief: jealousy and destruction version
Note, reading the linear paths does not mean you’ve seen all the stanzas. There are many different paths, not just these two. The last link in the linear versions takes you to the beginning of the hypertext version so you can explore.
If there’s a path you think needs work, I’d love to hear about it. Let me know which path you took and where it felt thin.