Weaving Stories with Coney’s Horas Perditam

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I recently participated in Horas Perditam, “an experiment in narrative play” presented by Annette Mees and John Gottschalk of Coney and Ken Eklund of Writerguy, and wrote an interactive fiction piece out of the material that resulted.

For Horas Perditam, ten people wandering around London (“Threaders”) were paired up with people around the globe (“Weavers”) to write and weave a story based on what the Soho-walkers were seeing and experiencing.

Our team was Brooke Barker, Becca Wadlinger, Minkette and myself, as Weavers in Portland, and Sam Howey Nunn as our Threader in London. As Sam wandered the twilight streets, we gathered on a sunny morning to eat pancakes and blueberries, and talk about our families and what it’s like when a child becomes a person separate from oneself.

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During the event, all of the Weavers posted to a group Tumblr. Although there was no obvious structure to the material at the time, there were some clearly similar images and themes floating to the top. I was very pleased recently to have an opportunity to explore how those themes connected, when we were asked to contribute an essay to an online magazine about the Horas Perditam experience.

I used Twine, the interactive story maker, to replicate the experience of both Weaving and Threading, and how others’ observations crossed over with our own conversations.

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Because I was working toward a deadline, over a holiday weekend when I couldn’t contact any of my team members, I kept it pretty simple. You can read the first draft here:

The Loom Becomes Our Voice

I’d love to add more—more about London and Portland, more mythology, more of the extremely personal side conversations we were having. Members of my team are also going to contribute new branches, and I’m excited to see what they come up with. If and when that happens, I’ll update the file (and this post) to reflect the new stuff.

As it is, I’m pretty pleased with it. It was very satisfying to be able to take all of that raw material and form something new—an appropriate exercise given the original task set to us. Many thanks to everyone who helped put it on, and who helped us to bring our ideas to life.

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