Guest Post: Plot Hinge: Where Fact Shapes Fiction by Josh Martin

Today, I’ve got a guest post form Josh Martin about Plot Hinge, a website community dedicated to the serialized novel, especially those shaped by the real world.  The site offers a brief history of the serialized novel, and offers some bonus content, including an alternate chapter by Emily St. John Mandel (I reviewed her novel Last Night in Montreal).

If you are interested in participating, you can contribute by offering some writing, artwork or advice.  Now, without further ado, here’s Josh.

If. For such a little word it certainly packs a lot of significance. If we never met at that coffee shop all those years ago, we wouldn’t be married. If I hadn’t missed my flight I’d have gotten that job. If it keeps raining our basement is going to flood. It’s remarkable how much this tiny word shapes who we are and where we end up in life.

My latest writing project, Plot Hinge, is built around that two-letter word and lets chance decide the outcome of online serial novels.

Here’s how it works.

Each week a new chapter will be posted on the Plot Hinge website. At the end of each chapter the story will be left at a cliff hanger with the story able to progress in a couple different directions. We then connect the story to an upcoming, real-world event. The outcome of that event will decide which direction the plot will proceed and the following chapter is written accordingly.

For example, at the end of the current story’s Prologue (click here to go there now), the readers are left with the plot able to go in a couple directions. Whether or not Wiarton Willie sees his shadow on Groundhog Day (Feb 2) will decide which of those directions the story takes.

It’s a new approach to storytelling that leaves the fate of the plot to chance. The result is an unpredictable but hopefully very rewarding experience for both the reader and me as the author.

So how will these Plot Hinge serial novels end? Well, that’s a bit iffy.

We live in an exciting time where technology and social media are pushing the boundaries of traditional writing and publishing. The internet opens up opportunities to innovate and experiment with new forms of storytelling. Thanks to platforms like blogs, Facebook and Twitter, the walls between readers and writers are starting to crumble, allowing the two sides to interact and collaborate.

I think there will always be a place in the world for traditional, printed books. The tactile experience alone gives them value. But I’m excited about the future of publishing and finding new ways to create and share stories. My hope is that Plot Hinge, and interactive and dynamic stories like it, can contribute in some small way to this evolution of storytelling.

Plot Hinge’s debut serial novel, Run, is now live. You can learn more, read the latest installments and subscribe for free at www.plothinge.com.

Thanks, Josh, for sharing a little bit about your project with us. What do you think about serialized novels and bringing those to the Internet?

About the Creator:

Josh Martin is the creator and author of Plot Hinge serial novels. He was born and raised in rural southwestern Ontario, Canada, with seven siblings. He’s been a writer ever since his story “Super Something” won first prize at the Dungannon Fall Fair when he was in grade 1.

He now lives in the Guelph, Ontario, area where he works as a freelance writer, blogger, and serial novelist. He’s a cancer survivor, card-carrying member of the Sour Toe Cocktail Club, and an avid hiker.

Visit his Website to read more of his work: www.joshmartinink.com.


  1. Oh, wow! This is a great concept. I love how the internet and social media is reshaping the writing industry. Places like Plot Hinge are creating an exciting, new arena for readers and writers.

  2. Interesting idea!