Experimenting with Extended Storytelling

Many entertainment brands have begun experimenting with transmedia, an academic term for extended storytelling across diverse social and traditional media forms. Since I am publishing a novel this year, I decided to experiment a little with transmedia.

From the extended Star Wars Universe to the X Factor, Hollywood is mixing in extended online media to build comprehensive experiences. Perhaps even more innovative are new projects like the City of Conspiracy in London, which combines rap music, a novel, events, photos and of course, web postings.

Here are some of the ways I am experimenting.

Jason on Twitter

After reading Goran Racic‘s approach to his fictional protagonist Thomas Cloud, I created a Twitter account for Jason, the antihero of Exodus. You can follow Jason on Twitter using the @JasonExodus handle.

With this handle, people can ask Jason questions, throw tomatoes at him, or just get book updates. I also intend to use Twitter as a means to extend the novel experience, and provide bridge teasers between books one and two of The Fundamentalists (the first of which I am targeting for an early 2015 release).

It’ll be fun reprising the role of Jason, and at the same time a challenge. I’m not really sure where the journey will take the character or impact book two (if at all), but in the social interaction era it seems silly to publish a static novel.

So if you’re game and want to experiment or you love the book, please follow @JasonExodus.

Special thanks to Erin Feldman for creating the character’s avatar. Erin was one of the developmental editors for the book so I asked her to sketch a personal interpretation of the young man.

Timeline of Events

The above timeline is a sequence of events that occur in Exodus prior to Chapter One.

All of the current entries are referred to the novel, but this medium allows for additional entries that backfill the story. After the novel has been out for a while, I intend to add critical moments in the book to the timeline.

I may add additional elements to the timeline that aren’t available in the novel as I begin writing the next books in the series, The War to Persevere and Hypocrisy.

I built the timeline with Timeline JS, a very friendly tool, which can be used for any chronological story.

Author’s Insights and Short Tales

The video trailer for Exodus provided some insights behind the novel. I hope to do a few more video shorts that describe some of the reasoning behind the book, but will likely wait for feedback to see what people are most interested in.

In addition, expect to see additional stories from The Fundamentalists world to be published on geoffreyrobertlivingston.com. These will likely be short stories that preceded the events in Exodus.

Nathan Burgess had several good ideas as well, and I may act on one or more of them. They include a Pinterest board of Jason’s recommended gear, a graphic novel, and a journal for Helen, Jason’s true love.

Exodus is coming out on August 26, but if you’d like to receive an advance copy email me at geoffliving [at] geofflivingston [dot] com.

What do you think of transmedia-based extended storytelling?


  • Hey Geoff, this is very cool. I’m going to take notes on how this works and how it works for you. I just started reading Exodus on the Kindle app…I’m already hooked.

    • Best news ever. Thank you so much! I really do appreciate it, and have fun. Let me know what you think!

      • Here is one reason that I think your upcoming discussions will be fruitful…the section where Brachus and John discuss Pravus. “That’s an interesting suggestion, Brachus,” John returned. “It is an empire. It is the leader, Pravus, who is causing this war, not Christianity the religion. We must be careful not to get caught up in developing “justified” prejudices. There are many spiritual axioms of Christianity that have benefit. It is the broken instinct of man, his warped desire for power, that is causing our woes.”

        That and the initial Pravus/Mordecai interaction (the dream)…tell me that you get it. Or that maybe I get where you are going.

        But I’m just about to start Chapter 17, so I know there is more to go.

        Regardless, it is a good read!

        • Yeah, that’s definitely my personal view, and I suppose that would come through. But I don’t want to say that I have got it right, just that I have a position. Who am I to say, right?

          Thank you for this feedback. It is invaluable!

  • I don’t know how you do it. Seriously. Amazing. Cheers! Kaarina

  • Hi Geoff,
    I like how you’re handling your hero’s twitter account; I think I might have started less than stellar. I thought that Thomas Loud would talk about what he is doing on his missions, but when you don’t paint a broader picture, it feels “lacking”. Almost dry. You went for conversation and it does serve you better. I’ll have to reconsider my thing in the future.

    • Hey Gorin, we’re all learning. This may not work either. Thanks for the great idea, and I hope your book is doing well!

  • OK, I’m just now on Chapter 12, and I was curious about the timeline…so I appreciated you including it in this post.

    The book reads very easily, Geoff – enjoying it so far.

    • That’s good to hear! Thank you for the update. Yeah, more to come, and I appreciate you telling me that it’s coming along well!

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