What is a Wovel?

Simon Drax’s “wovel,” Exit Vector, started today on the Underland Press site. First, I have to admit that I find the word “wovel,” which stands for “web novel,” incredibly irritating. That said, it’s an interesting experiment.

Exit Vector is essentially a serial, except that readers vote at the end of each segment about what should happen next. From what I can tell, Underland has published one previous wovel, though I can’t find an archive on the site, and I can’t figure out if the resulting novel will be published in print.

I’m not sure how much reader control a wovel will actually give. It didn’t seem to me that the choice at the end of the first segment would necessarily impact the plot to a large extent, but this was only the first installment.

So far, the story is about a drug-soaked teen who looks like she’s about to embark on some sort of noir/steampunk mystery quest. Pulpy, which can be a good thing. I’ll keep reading for now. I’m curious to see how the (possibly false) sense of control affects the reading experience.

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