K: I read your interview for SPAG and one of the things I thought more about was the “show, don’t tell” rule for film and fiction. For IF, you said it’s “do, don’t show, never tell” – do you think a lot of IF authors do that or is that something that still needs improvement?
AR: That was just a phrase that I made up. I think all the good IF authors do that regardless of whether people consciously thought about writing IF that way; I think that’s something that just naturally evolves. For me, that’s something that the more IF I write, the more it becomes clear that a vital component of participating in a fiction is not just seeing events of the story or hearing about it, but actually participating in it and performing the actions that make the story happen. I probably talked about this in that interview, but for the dreams of Blue Lacuna, originally you were just watching them like flashbacks. At a certain point, I thought, “wow, this would be much more powerful if you actually became the people in those flashbacks and did the things that they had done.” I think that kind of stuff always makes IF stronger because again, you get that personal connection where you’re complicit in the story. Photopia was an early IF that I think does that really well; it’s this story from all these different perspectives and you become all of the people in that story for short periods of time. At the end of it, your understanding of what happened is much greater because you were all those people for brief moments.