chelsea hanna cohen

The Directed Study is Finished!

Last week, I finished my EPUB3, interactive, choose-your-own-adventure version of A Scandal in Bohemia. Cool things I did include:

-Several choices throughout the story – which choices you make determine which ending you reach. I wrote new portions of the story to facilitate these choices. 

-The option to see how Holmes did it, where each choice that makes up the original text is highlighted as you go through the story. 

-A plain text version, if you just want to read it straight through. 

-An interactive cluepad at the end of many sections, which utilizes drag-and-drop jQuery. You’re presented with four possible clues and can drag each of them onto the cluepad. If the clue is true, it’ll stick. If not, it’ll bounce back. 

-The use of media queries for the cluepad so that it looks great on both iPads and iPhones in landscape and portrait. 

-An embedded font for handwritten notes

-It validates as EPUB3

I spent all semester working on this and am hoping to have it for sale on my website soon, as soon as I figure out pricing. I’ll be doing more specialized blog posts soon on the technical aspects (especially how I got drag-and-drop to work), so be on the lookout for those!

Leave a comment »

JQuery and Javascript

I’ve been attempting to teach myself JQuery and Javascript lately, for use in my directed study., and, although it’s different from anything I’ve done before, it’s very interesting. I’ve been using Codecademy.com’s online courses, and while I’m learning a lot, I sometimes have to do the exercises three or four times before I can fully grasp what it is I’m doing and what the proper way to do it is. 

It’s funny to reflect on this because, if you’d told me two years ago that I would be coming to this program and doing a project that involved Javascript by the end of it, I’d have thought you were crazy. How would that fit into a publishing program? And I wanted to be a fiction editor. Crazy to think how my career path has changed since then. 

1 Comment »

The content is finished!

Last week, I finished all of the content for my Sherlock Holmes Choose-Your-Own-Adventure project. There are 16 different ways to go through the story, with six different endings which range from solving the case to Sherlock being escorted away by the police. It’s based on A Scandal in Bohemia, so the decision to have one of the endings be solving this case was actually one I wrestled with since the central theme of A Scandal in Bohemia is that Holes is bested by Irene Adler. But in the end, I decided that this was my project and that I would allow the reader to solve the case – if they make the right decisions, of course. 

So now I get to start making it into an interactive ebook. Features I’m planning on including include a cluepad to help you solve the case, a map of major locations in the story, and an option once you finish to go back to the beginning and see how Holmes did it, which highlights the choices that lead to the actual story as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

I’m excited about where this is heading! Now I get to play and see what I can do. 

 

Leave a comment »

Choosing Your Own Adventure – Keeping It All Straight

As I get deeper into my Sherlock Holmes directed study, I actually found it incredibly tricky to keep all the paths I was mapping out through the choices straight. How much do I have to write? How does it branch off from the original material? How can I even begin to keep what I still need to do straight and the paths and consequences of each choice together? How do you organize a non-linear story?

Perhaps somewhat ironically for an ebook project, I didn’t find a good way to keep it all together until I drew it out using that old-fashioned tool of pen and paper. Still working out the final kinks so I can start the Javascript ASAP, but so far, this part has been more challenging than I thought it would be. That’s all right, though – all part of the fun 🙂

Leave a comment »