Recently I read J.C. Hutchin’s Personal Effects. If there is an offramp to a new brand of storytelling in traditional book publishing then this is it. J.C. takes his narrative (which is already fantastic) and extends it across mediums. Alongside the book, you will get a pouch of “personal effects,” photographs, business cards, legal documents and artwork all related to the story and all containing clues that drive the mystery forward.
Along with that, every website and every phone number mentioned in the book actually exists, and each of them brings you a little deeper into the plot. By the time you’re half-way through, you’ll start to realize that you are as determined to solve the mystery as the protagonist, and J.C. gives you the tools to do it.
The book is a collaboration between Mr. Hutchin’s and Jordan Weisman, a game designer and serial entrepreneur responsible for a number of Alternate Reality Games (which we will talk about later).
Personal Effects won’t teach you about good storytelling, but it is an important look down the rabbit hole at what the future of storytelling will look like. Watch the video, grab a few clues and learn more about Dark Arts.