The order or chapters

Today I have been wrestling with a decision, which in the grand scheme of things seems relatively minor. What’s bugged me is that I’ve wrestled with it before and come up with a different conclusion. When I was first drafting my literature review (two bloomin’ years ago!!!!) I could see there were three parts. Indeed as I wrote in the introduction to the chapter:

“Emotional engagement is the theme, the golden thread, running through all three avenues of research that this literature review explores: digital storytelling; interpretive technology; and, narrative structure.

The first is where I started, curious about how games could tell emotionally engaging stories while being interactive and letting their players take control of the game and explore its world, and how those techniques might be applied that to the narrative real world environments(museums, monuments, archaeological excavations and other heritage sites) around us.

The second goes back to a comment a colleague made when I explained I was starting this research. He said “the problem is, companies want to sell us technology, the mark-up’s good and it isn’t very hard work. But we want to buy good content, and that’s harder work to make, and the profit margins are small.” So, can technology help create, rather than deliver, good content, good story? I’ll explore how digital technology allows personalised delivery of experience.

The third thread draws on the findings of the first two, to explore narrative structure itself, and how it might be applied to real-world spaces”

Which all made sense, it seemed, in one chapter. But now, I’m splitting what has become an over-long opening chapter into three. I have thought, until now, that those three new chapters would run in the same order, and I’ve been writing new “tops and tails” that link between the chapters on that basis. But something has discomfited me all this while, and after much deliberation, I’ve reorganized the chapters to tell a better story. Actually, for the most part its about transposing the first two chapters, and pulling some stuff out into a new introduction, not just to the literature review but to the whole thesis.

It does mean doing a little more rewriting, especially of those tops and tails, but the whole job of shifting stuff around is made easier because I’m using Scrivener.

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