My (limited) experience with digital narratives and synergy

This was crossposted (without embedded video or hyperlinks within text) to the Discussion Forum for INF533 in Session 201860: thread available here.
It was in response to the following prompt:

(C)onsider Walsh’s chapter, and share your knowledge, understanding and experiences with digital narratives in the discussion forum. What are the key points of synergy that you have encountered? What are the differences?

My main area of experience with digital literature is the category of traditional literature presented in digital form, Unsworth’s electronically augmented or re-contextualised literary texts (Walsh, 2013; Unsworth (2006) in Walsh, 2013, p. 181), either as scanned copies of picture books used in classroom settings or ebooks I have personally read on a nook, iPad or iPhone. To be quite honest, I have even rarely used enhancements and features of the plain digitised eBooks, other than those that are automatic, like page re-orientation or low-light-level background and text and lighting adjustments performed in iBooks. I am intrigued by the possibilities discussed in the various readings, from the hypertext narratives that seem to have been the stirrings for the concept and terminology of electronic literature (Rettburg, 2012; Lamb, 2011) to works such as Inanimate Alice and Chopsticks: A Novel that are beginning to redefine the idea of ‘literature’ or ‘text’ with their multimedia affordances (Walsh, 2013; James & DeKock, 2015). My only exposure to these types of works has been through the readings of the module, and while I enjoyed playing around with them a bit (and also dipping into The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (Pemberley Digital, 2012-2014) through Tehani’s announcement) I have not really experienced them enough to analyse the synergy between literary quality and digital features that Walsh (2013) describes.

Short clip of animated series played via the now defunct website (Alexander Entertainment,2015).

The one area where I have experienced some of the synergy Walsh (2013) describes is through experiencing the hybrid texts and genres (Walsh, 2013, pp. 192-194) with my children, now high-schoolers. When they were small, we loved the Charlie and Lola series by Lauren Child. We experienced the print texts, the animated series produced by the BBC and the website, which no longer exists in the form it did when I encountered it (as pictured in Walsh’s chapter (2013, p.185, Fig 13.2). I did feel that the animated series and the website features had synergy with the print texts – they maintained the light, imaginative and cheeky tone of the texts and used the interplay of fonts, illustrations and words with a sophisticated use of language as Walsh mentions in her checklist of literary qualities (Walsh, 2013, p. 187). I hope to experience and analyse texts in this subject and look forward to being inspired by more examples of synergy.


Alexander Entertainment. (2015, April 9). Charlie and Lola webisode clip [Streaming video]. Retrieved from

James, R. & De Kock, L. (2013). The digital David and the Gutenberg Goliath: the rise of the ‘enhanced’ e-book. English Academy Review, 30(1), 107-123. Retrieved from

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and Leading with Technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from

Pemberley Digital. (2012 – 2014). The Lizzie Bennet Diaries [Transmedia narrative]. Retrieved from

Rettberg, J. W. (2012). Electronic literature seen from a distance: the beginnings of a field. Retrieved from

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

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