Author Update #14

Dee Richards
2 min readAug 31, 2022

For the summer, I was selected for a fellowship in the UCI Libraries Digital Humanities Department based on an idea my partner and I came up with. The idea: A storytelling Twitterbot. I am very excited to say that it has launched and is currently running my story, “The Mark of the Minotaur.”

https://twitter.com/TheMinotaurMark

The story is a mythic fiction tale based on the Grecian myth of the Minotaur. It follows an Athenian youth named Menestheus as he makes his way from his homeland, to Crete, and eventually to the Minotaur’s lair.

For this project, I used Twine to create 3 different motivation paths, that can cross over and diverge as the bot decides. If it selects path 1 in the first crossroads (post #4) it can, instead of staying on that path alone, choose path 2 or 3 and the story will still function nicely. However, to help keep the character motivations from too much henpecking, my partner and I decided to create a tool that will guide the story. It is a pretty awesome project, and even though I wrote the whole thing, I am still wondering which way this will go!

I am pretty thrilled to have worked so tirelessly on such a complex plot, and I am excited to see how it will unveil. There are 8 different endings, so I am dying to know which it will be. Unfortunately, it could be another 2–4 weeks until it concludes, based on the posting guidelines.

In general, I like to think of myself as a writer in surreal, mythic fiction, and fairy tale genres. So, this story goes right along with that. I’ve always been fascinated with Greek mythological stories, and own at least 4 encyclopedias of myths & heroes. The research on the project was pretty grueling, but owning those really gave me a head start.

I hope that people will start to follow the story as it unfolds, just because it is technically interesting, as well as a compelling story line. However, it was a paid fellowship, so I am happy to say that this is one of my highest paid writing projects to date! The money will cover the remainder of my fees for my Senior year at UCI, after my grant and subsidized loan. Use the link above to check out “The Mark of the Minotaur” and see where the story goes!

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Dee Richards

Dee is a neurodiverse writer from San Diego, with 3 awards in CNF & 9 short-form pubs. Subjects: feminism, identity theory, surrealism, horror, media analysis.