A Lateral Link. A Lateral link takes a sideways step in the trajectory of a narrative, outside of the main web of the text. In this case, its function is partially to inform the reader, to fill in information about how she needs, but the fill is not necessarily needed. It is the kind of text node that writers of print texts talk about writing and later taking out, suggesting that sometimes the writer needs to have a more intimate knowledge of the work than the reader. In the hypertext, Iím able to provide a link to this material to inform the reader if he or she feels compelled to know how it is that she needs.

Read the example below, then click the Lateral Link (for the purposes of this essay all other links have been removed from the text).

I donít mean to suggest that necessarily all material an author writes should be included in a hypertext, but when opportunities such as these present themselves, whereas in the print world restraint might be advised to increase the narratorís authority, in the hypertext world a deftly placed link can transfer that kind of authority to the reader. So when writing sections that may not fit the immediate trajectory of a narrative, position them laterally.

[RETURN]