Suspended: a small-town, zero tolerance story in survey form

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

Suspended: a small town, zero tolerance story in survey form is a novella length piece of electronic literature.

A thirteen year old boy is suspended after posting on social media an ill-advised, incendiary cartoon that features the principal of his school. However, as the characters make their moves, the roles of victim and aggressor blur to the point of ambiguity and even reversal. The boy's parents move from punishing their son to protecting him, dogged by social stigma and fear of recrimination from school authorities as the story plays out against the backdrop of zero tolerance policy and the juvenile justice system.

The narrative of Suspended unfolds in the form of an opinion survey. Some answer choices contain questions, narrative, dialogue, rumination, sass, indignation, and/or the other or comments option, in which the survey taker is free to insert any of the above, or anything else. The piece is presented from the point of view of the survey writer, who simultaneously seeks reassurance and guidance, courts disapproval, craves vindication, and urgently seeks your opinion. Survey taker responses cumulatively shape an experience of the narrative; skip question logic creates multiple pathways through the story.

Constructed using SurveyMonkey, a popular web based survey writing tool, the story occupies an application not designed for literary purposes. Like a squatter or a hermit crab, the story exploits an available space chosen for particular qualities, hoping to thrive where it's not invited. This is the way the survey writer can tell the story.

Thank you so much for entertaining this fragile construction.

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Record posted by: 
Jorge Sáez Jimé...