An Experiment in Immersive Storytelling
Behind the Scenes:
That's a Wrap

Wrapping up a story is a weird feeling. It's a bit like that feeling of stumbling out of a movie theater after a two-hour feature film set in another world. I'm sure you know that feeling, or something similar—the one where your muscles are trying to remember how to move and that you're slowly making your way toward a parking lot instead of an ancient elven forest. You put so much time and effort into a creative endeavor, and then suddenly, it's over, and you have to readjust your life around the fact that you are no longer doing something you love.

What do you do in that situation?

Well, extending the movie analogy, you figure out what your next movie outing will be. Of course, this analogy falls apart for most people today because you don't get the same feeling when you sit at home and pop on whatever on Netflix. It has to do with immersion (or lack of immersion). When you go to a theater for a movie, you have this single-minded goal of getting out of your house and traveling to a specific place for one activity where you'll be staring at a silver screen so big your eyeballs nearly explode and with such great sound that your earballs actually do.

Cheryl Tunt from Archie with her hands over her earballs yelling, "OWWW! MY EARBALLS!"
That wasn't a typo. That's what I call them. It's more fun. Try it.

When you're at home and watching a movie or TV show, it's easy to get distracted, which ultimately means you'll never quite experience the same type of immersion you do at a theater. Now, don't get me wrong, theaters have all sorts of bad things about them: unpleasant smells, sticky floors, snacks that cost three paychecks, and the inevitable pee pee dance because you held it too long and there's no way to pause—just to name a few. But the immersion has always been spectacular.

What of books, though? Books have the unique ability to actually draw you as fully into another world as you can get without truly going there. There's nothing like diving into a story with only the written word (whatever form it takes, audiobook or otherwise) and your own imagination. A good book can transport you, through the magic of mind-bogglingly substance-free hallucinations, to a place you never would have otherwise experienced.

Immersion was the entire goal of Absolution. I think it was a success. It certainly left a lasting impression on Zarina.

Stick around for a few bonuses like Q&As with Propmaster Tae, Zarina, a few notes on sanitizing the retelling, final reflections, and one final secret.

And...that's a wrap.

A bloody film clapboard.
I don't think people typically use clapboards for books. But why shouldn't they? You want a real writing ritual? Make yourself a bloody clapboard like mine and slam that thing down every time you start and finish a scene or writing session.