Do readers like interactive fiction that uses branches, that is different plots and endings the readers can choose online in the digital media? Or do readers prefer endings to sequels?
Should you promote your time-travel fiction as print or digital –paperback or e-book? The mainstream media focuses on paperback. But the digital media is seeing the rise of e-book sales now that e-book readers have become more like tablets with many uses. Which fits you as you launch the highlights of creative cultures in the media? See my book for writers, Social Smarts that Earn Free Book Publicity.
Remember here, we’re writing a work of fiction for the media to promote it, and the media wants a culture it can offer to a universal rather than only a niche audience of readers and viewers. Welcome the new trend in interactive fiction with multiple endings and branching narratives turned into sequels.
It’s not the same interactive fiction that evolved into video games during the early 1990s. Today, launching fiction can promote plots in the mainstream media through time-travel stories and novels, scripts, and even plays. Check out my book, Who’s Buying Which Popular Short Fiction Now, & What Are They Paying?
Diverse culture time-travel fiction in Sacramento
Sacramento writers may want to try new adventures in launching fiction related to diverse culture in the media by focusing on writing scripts for video games or interactive fiction for the Internet. A lot of interactive novels fizzled out at the end of the 1990s, but in its place, computer video game scripts arose.
Here’s how to create interactive stories online and launch your fiction in the media. Focus on ancient or diverse cultures to compete with the entertainment industry online. Here’s one sample of my story that you might continue writing, turn into a video game, or be inspired by to write your own interactive fiction to launch in the online media. For further information, see my book, Do You Have the Aptitude & Personality to Be A Popular Author: Creative Writing Assessments – IUniverse. (2009).
The Vulture and the Cobra, by Anne Hart (copyright 1997)
Guide To Writing A Time-Travel Interactive Story Solving A Mystery with Clues in Ancient Egypt
In this digital, interactive (fiction) story, you will write and/or illustrate the life of the real King Tut of ancient Egypt and his wife. Your story can either be a mystery-who-done-it, suspense, full of clues for the reader to sort and match, or a romantic piece, about Tut’s wife who finds herself pulled into intrigue and being forced to marry her servant so he can become pharaoh of Egypt.
Your story can be “user-friendly,” and set up for either print interactive or digital. Here are the real facts about Tut. King Tut wasn’t even an Egyptian in this story or in your own interactive story. You also can give him another name. In this story, he was a Hittite prince, one of many sons of Hittite King Shup-Pil-Lu-Liu-Mas, living in central Hatti, later called Anatolia, and finally, Turkey.
In fact, his real name isn’t Egyptian, but Hittite, an Indo-European language spoken in ancient times in what is today central Turkey–Anatolia. His people invented iron and were similar in appearance to modern Armenians from central and Eastern Turkey today. The language is similar to the rest of the Indo-European languages, and even the Hittite word for water is yawtar, pronounced “yortar”–and still sounds like “water.”
It all started when the king (pharaoh) of Egypt, Akhenaten and his wife, the beautiful Nefertiti, found they had only daughters and wanted a son to be heir to Egypt’s throne, so they asked the King of the Hittites, Shup-Pil-Lu-Liu-Mas (we’ll call him Shup), to send them a little boy to adopt. Since Shup had a galaxy of Hittite sons, and there was a peace treaty between the two nations, Shup sent his son, Tud, which is Tut’s real name. The real Hittite name of king Tut was Tud-Haliyas, or Tud for short, pronounced “Tut” by the Egyptians. Tud-Haliyas also was the name of King Tut’s Hittite grandfather (paternal) and several other Hittite kings before him.
The Hittite king may have had an Egyptian wife. So Tut’s mtDNA from his grandmother’s dad would match him if both mummies were tested. He’d look like an Egyptian under the microscope, but then again, there was a lot of intermarriage between Egyptian women and Hittite men or Hittite women and Egyptian men, once the peace treaty between the Hittites and Egyptians were signed.
It was a common practice for Hittites, some Aramaic peoples, and Egyptians to send daughters to one another’s territories for marriage. Even King Solomon married an Egyptian princess and built her a mansion on a hill in Jerusalem. But with Tut, to seal an alliance, the Egyptians needed a son, so li’l orphan Tut made his way as a baby to Egypt where his name was changed to Nibhuruiya Tut-Ankh-Amen. Actually Nibhuruiya Tud-Haliyas is Tut’s real name. Nibhuruiya in Hittite is related to the old Sumerian city of Nippur, where the great medical school stood in ancient times. And so the Hittite “Tud” was changed to “Tut” and ankh in Egyptian means “life”, and “amen” is after the Egyptian deity, “Amon.”
Tut isn’t an Egyptian name at all, but the hieroglyphic, an owl is pronounced “toot” in ancient Egyptian. So li’l prince Tut arrives in Egypt and his adopted by his Egyptian parents, the king and queen and made into an Egyptian which is done by assuming the uniform dress code. Tut retains the vulture and the cobra in his headdress. The vulture represents his royal Hittite ancestry, and the cobra his Egyptian nationalized citizenship.
Now Tut’s name becomes more Egyptianized. Instead of Nibhuruiya Tut-Ankh-Amen, Tut now is called Neb-Khe-Per-Ure, Tut-Ankh Amen, Lord of the Two Lands–not upper and lower Egypt, but the Hittite land, called Hatti, and Egypt.
Tut was the younger son of King Shup of Hatti, who was described in his own mountainous land as the “king of kings and lord of lords,” according to the Amarna Letters. Getting more intriguing? So this super-king 1,000 miles from Egypt, gives Akhenaten the gift of a boy child as a present for Akhenaten’s fiesta (his “durbar”) celebrating his 12th year of reign and his alliance with the Hittites.
Tut is raised as an Egyptian and becomes king when he’s only nine years old. He’s married to his older half-sister, Ankh-Es-En-Amen, called Ankh for short here, who also happens to be a daughter of the Hittite king with a different, Egyptian mother.
Now the Hittite couple are on the throne of Egypt, and Tut’s nanny, Aye, his Regent, is getting a little frustrated that an Egyptian is not ruling Egypt. After all, Tut’s step-father, Akhenaten, changed the religion of Egypt to worshipping one god, the sun, and after his death, someone erased his face on all the statues of Akhenaten and brought back the old-time religion.
As Tut grows into his teenage years and reaches age 18-20, Tut’s nanny, Aye becomes more ambitious about being King of Egypt himself, but he’s a servant. He’s raised the boy-king, and wants his rewards. Tut in the meantime is married to Ankh, and parades around in happily wedded bliss tossing that Hittite vulture around, playing games where vultures eat cobras, and Aye is growing angrier by the day.
The Cobra is the symbol of the wisdom of Egypt and the royal house. This Cobra doesn’t have to ask Eve to eat the apple of the tree of knowledge and receive the engineering wisdom of Egypt along with the knowledge of good and evil, and the Hittite vulture is always around to consume cobras before they offer knowledge, so Aye decides to bash Tut’s head in with a golden mallet or a Hittite iron hammer.
After Tut’s “accident,” Aye goes on as usual, being a nanny-no-longer-needed after all those years of service, but now there’s no king. Aye forces Tut’s widow into marriage with him, and the lady protests, especially after she had two miscarriages in a row and ended up having the fetuses mummified and sealed in two urns.
Only Tut lingers on in a coma for a while, and then dies. Twice Tut’s widow sends letters to the King of the Hittites to send her another son to marry–Tut’s brother. He has more sons than the Milky Way by now, and most of them are the right age for marriage with the Queen, as if age mattered.
The first time the widow sends a letter, she doesn’t get a prince, but another letter back asking whether she has a son. When she says, “no kids” the Hittite king doesn’t send her a baby as heir this time, but a handsome and virile hunk her own age named Prince Zennanza. The letters had to travel 1,000 miles by chariot.
Meanwhile the naughty nanny, Aye, has Tut all in stitches as he jokes with the widow, and she’s getting more frightened of being forced to marry her servant. He engraves a ring with his seal and wedding announcement between Aye and Ankh-Es-En-Amen.
She’s beginning to feel that Aye doesn’t like her Hittite-ness, and she knows by hunch, that he based Tut and will do the same to her. The bronze-age superpowers were Egypt and Hatti, and at this time they really were friendly during the reign of Tut’s step-dad. But know that Tut’s step-dad is considered the abomination and his faced is scratched off all the monuments and wall decorations, she doesn’t feel welcome anymore–at least as queen. At what price, peace, she ponders.
Then she gets another letter back from Tut’s dad in Hatti asking, “Who else did you propose to?” She’s getting madder, “No one,” she writes back. Meanwhile, she cools her heels stalling for time–no email here.
Egyptian custom required that a widow can married the unmarried brother of her dead husband. The custom was the same at that time all over the Middle East. The proposal was voided if the widow offered herself first to any other man before she approached her deceased husband’s brothers and asked for one of them in marriage. Also, Egyptian custom dictated that she could only offer herself to her dead husband’s brother if she didn’t have any living sons.
The unmarried brother was required to marry the widow. This custom was “law” not only in Egypt of the time, but all over the lands that had any contact with Egyptian culture. It existed in Mesopotamia, Canaan, Hatti, etc. It was law. See the Bible (Deuteronomy 25:5 or Genesis 38:7 for a description of this levirate.
Finally, Good King Shupp sends one of his sons. Only Aye bushwhacks him near the Egyptian capital and bashes him to Orion. Good ole’ king Shup of the Hittites was the father of King Tut as well as the father of prince Zennanza as well as the father of Tut’s widow. It’s all in the family, and none of ’em are Egyptian.
“Tut” never appears in the Egyptian language, past or present because the name is Hittite. Tut is buried next to his brother, prince Zennanza, the Hittite prince that king Shup sent Tut’s widow to marry her. To this day the two men are buried close to each other. Tut’s brother’s remains were dug up in 1907. The Valley of the Kings had turned into the Valley of the suitors.
All for the hand of Ankh-es-an-amen. Aye had his way and forced Tut’s widow into marriage. No sooner did the ambitious nanny marry her than he tired of her because she made him feel guilty, and he no longer felt attracted. It was like being married to the woman who sends you through medical school. You feel you owe her.
So maybe he bashed her in the same way, and she disappears from history. There’s no kids, no heir. Is that another clue why she was done in by Aye?
Aye marries Queen Tiye, becomes the Egyptian pharaoh himself, and lives happily ever after until he’s a mummy, too. He has lots of sons and daughters.
No more foreign kings on his throne for that generation. The only clue you have is her two letters to Tut’s dad in Hatti, the king, telling him she fears being forced to marry her servant. That’s trouble, but at least, hay, Aye’s a local guy, and the skeleton in the closet–well, it’s all in the family.
More than 3,000 years later, Tut’s skull is X-rayed and found to be normal. Did he die of parasites or tooth absesses or TB? Then which ancient king had his bashed in by the mallet of the millennium, the nanny in the “nemes?” How will your interactive video game script or fiction story follow the clues or engage viewers or readers to keep turning the pages? Maybe you focus on Tut’s wife.
Did Aye, the Regent and nanny to the boy king actually do the dastardly deed? What clues can you find in this springboard to help you solve the mystery of who killed King Tut? Or would you rather pen a romance of the loves of Tut’s wife? Could this turn into a mystery novel or story, perhaps a play or script?
If she disappears from history, can we assume Aye was a serial killer and did away with her, or did he banish her to another land? Did she end up marrying someone else? What of the life and love of Tut’s widow after Aye casts her out for his new wife, Tiye?
Since she disappears no one really knows–yet. Is she buried under some flagstones with Aye’s ax in her Apis? Or did she live a long and happy life as the wife of a donkey merchant from Babylon? The year was about 1,350 before the common era. Only you can tell the interactive story or script of the characters. Let them interact with the reader. Use the historical date to work in other characters from that time.
Maybe Tut’s widow sails to Mycenae and marries one of the Greek kings, or meets Conan the Barbarian in the Caucasus, or finds romance with a Phoenician sailor, or becomes….queen of Carthage. Or maybe you’re main character is Aye, who restores Egypt to Egyptian rulers.
Perhaps you’d like to focus your story on solving the mystery of who killed Tut. Perhaps it wasn’t his nanny, but queen Tiye who set the whole thing up without Aye knowing as the innocent servant. You, the writer must solve this mystery or create a romance using factual historical information.
In the digital media, the props can be simulated on a computer screen. Machines are destined to read you like a book, being truly “user-friendly.” Machines soon will recognize your most intimate moods and respond like a friend–with compassion. You can write this script for animation with robots, if desired.
As a writer, take the idea of such a machine will sense when you are feeling creative, and tie it in with a time-travel story of this factual piece on ancient Egypt. Make your computer emotionally aware in your story. Let your computer recognize emotions–pleasure, interest, distress, and respond. Let your computer take you back to Egypt of 1,350 B.C. and explore the mystery of who killed Tut or who married his widow or did her in with her second prince?
Today, prototypes of computers that read you like a book are being developed at MIT’s Media Lab. Write about these wearable machines that offer a writer sensitivity, and pull in a whole new story about Egypt. Then bring the user-friendly computer into your time-travel story, and you come out with a new detective series or time-travel romance about Tut, finding Tut’s killer, and using “affective computing” in the new media. Affective computing means machines conversing with people and responding to their emotions in a compassionate way with empathy.
Think of all the interactive stories you can write using historical or other themes. Now choose your genre or go mainstream, and create a 4,000-5,000 word story using Tut’s tirades and emotional computers in a time-travel new media mood shifting machine that makes what you’re trying to do much easier to handle.
Your creativity enhancement assignment is to write a script, story, or interactive piece of fiction based on these facts about the hidden life of King Tut, the boy king, his wife, or his life and times using the characters in this story: Your work can be a mystery, romantic suspense, or any other genre or mainstream, but use the facts to create the story, then bring in a whole new second angle–computers that can recognize their user’s most intimate moods and respond to them with empathy–to form a whole new third piece–a time travel story, placing you as the detective in ancient Egypt 1,350 B.C.–The 18th dynasty.
The golden age. Did the naughty nanny do it? To bring your script or story into a future science fiction theme, was the Queen hacked by a ‘computer’ hacker or hawker from modern times going back in time? Or was the mystery solved with Tut’s widow running away from a marriage in which she was replaced by a woman who gave the king an heir?
Here Are Your Characters
1. Akhenaten–Tut’s step-dad, the King of Egypt
2. Nefertiti–king’s wife, Tut’s step-mom
3. King Shup-Pilu-Liu-Mas, the Hittite king
4. Ankh-Es-An-Amen, Tut’s teenage wife and half-sister
5. Aye, the Regent, Tut’s nanny. Did he kill the royal family to become king himself, and take a new queen, Tiye, only to dispose of Tut’s widow?
6. Prince Zennanza of Hatti, the older brother of King Tut and half-brother to Tut’s widow who is obligated to marry her.
7. King Tut, the Hittite Prince who became king of Egypt at the age of nine and reigned until he was 18-20.
Use clues from the facts to solve the mystery or let
the reader solve it. Allow the readers or users to alter the moods of the characters. Use avatars for the royal family. Link ’em between past and present. Time travel, or stick to history.
You also could design a personality classifier using Tut’s facts to follow. Use this in the classroom to teach creativity enhancement in story telling or story design. Match your personality traits to the attitudes of your characters. How do you solve the mysteries or write romances that you write or design?
Work your way into digital fiction according to your preferences. Which genre is for you? Interactive? New media? Traditional? Detail-oriented, intuitive, or logical? Do you write focused on logistics or conceptual leaps? Do you write abstract stories or concrete stories? Take your pick.
When the traits, attitudes, and behaviors of your characters are combined, you come out with a personality profile. Find out how you approach writing digital fiction in the new media of machines that read you like a book.
What would your viewers or readers need to interact with in order to create their own story endings or branches? Print or Digital. Which fits you as you launch the highlights of creative cultures in the media? Remember here, we’re writing a work of fiction for the media.
Do You Have the Aptitude & Personality to Be A Popular Author: Creative Writing Assessments – IUniverse. (2009).
Social Smarts that Earn Free Book Publicity
How to Open DNA-driven Genealogy Reporting & Interpreting Businesses. (2007)
Dogs with Careers: Ten Happy-Ending Stories of Purpose and Passion.
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