Cover and Title Screens
The Cover to Beside Myself consists of five graphic elements—three photographs and two bands of text—that can be swiped either left or right. To advance from the Cover to the next screen, press the blue bar on the right of the screen. The screens that follow the Cover are the Title Screen, Dedication Screen, and Epigraph Screen. To advance past these screens, press the blue bar on the right of the screen. To go back to any of the previous screens, press the blue bar on the left of the screen.
Before you can start reading the novel, you need to choose an order for the novel’s nine main chapters. If you select, “I want to choose my own order,” you’ll advance directly to the Table of Contents. If you select, “I want to choose a narrator,” you will go to the Narrator Screen. If you select, “I want to read the story straight through,” you’ll go to the Table of Contents and see all nine chapters snap into a predetermined order. From there, just press “Read” and you will begin the novel.
At the Choose Narrator screen, you will have the option to follow one of the novel’s three narrators (referred to as Narrator #1, Narrator #2, and Narrator #3). If you follow Narrator #1, you will be taken to the Table of Contents screen where only the chapters that pertain to Narrator #1 will snap into place. From there, just press “Read” and you will begin to read the material that pertains to only that narrator. However, there are three short Link Chapters after each of the three sections of the novel, and these shorter chapters (that feature all three narrators) will be read regardless of which narrator you choose. Once you’ve read all of the material pertaining to the selected narrator, you’ll be offered the choice of reading the novel again, but from the viewpoint of one of the two remaining narrators. If you decline, the novel will be over and you will have read only a third of the text. If you choose to read yet another narrator, after you make your selection of which narrator to read you will go back to the Table of Contents and again only the chapters that pertain to that narrator will snap into place. When you read a second narrator, and then a third, you will be given an ending specific to that narrator. If you choose your own order for the novel, or select the predetermined order, you can access these alternate endings in the Extras section.
Table of Contents
There are three sections to the novel, and each section contains three Main Chapters (each of which pertains to one of the three narrators). On the Table of Contents screen, these chapters are represented by Chapter Squares (colored photos appearing to the right of the Section Title). The photos contain images that refer to events that take place within that chapter, and each narrator has a corresponding color. Narrator #1’s color is red, Narrator #2’s color is blue, and Narrator #3’s color is green. To customize the novel, you need to drag a Chapter Square into one of the numbered Content Boxes. The numbers in the Content Boxes correspond to the order in which you’ll read the chapters. Please note that you can only drag Chapter Squares to Content Boxes within their section. This means that you cannot drag a Chapter Square from the Discovery section to a Content Box in the Funhouse section. If you try to do this, the Chapter Square will not be placed into the Content Box. Instead, the Chapter Square will snap back to its original location. You can also shake the iPad to shuffle the Chapter Squares. If you do this, Chapter Squares will be randomly assigned to a Content Box. Once all of the Chapter Squares have been assigned to a Content Box, a menu will appear at the bottom of the screen with the following choices: “Read,” “Reset,” and “Share.” Press “Read” to begin reading the novel. Press “Reset” to return the Chapter Squares to their original location. Press “Share” to email a screenshot of your version of the novel to a friend, so that—if you want to read the novel together—they can match up their version of Beside Myself to yours. You can also, from the Table of Contents screen, press the blue bar on the left of the screen to go back to the Choose Screen.
Each of the novel’s three sections (Discovery, Funhouse, and Trading Places) has a Section Title screen. These screens have a photo on the top and the bottom, with a band of text in the middle. The pictures—which are bigger versions of the Chapter Squares from the Table of Contents—can be swiped left-to-right. The text in the middle is fixed. To advance to the Main Chapter, press the blue bar on the right of the screen.
To read a Main Chapter, swipe up and down. When you get to the end of a chapter, swipe to the left to get to the next chapter in your chosen order. (Additional instructions will appear only when you read the first Main Chapter and Link Chapter.) You can also, at any time, jump to the next chapter with a swipe to the left; you do not need to wait until you get to the end of the chapter you’re currently reading. If you do this, you can always return to the chapter you were just reading with a swipe to the right; your progress in any chapter will be saved. When you get to the third chapter of a main section, a blue bar will appear on the right of the screen; press this to advance to a Link Chapter. However, if you’ve chosen to read one narrator at a time, you will only read one chapter per section (the chapter pertaining to the narrator you chose), and thus you cannot switch between chapters.
Link Chapters are short chapters that appear after each of the novel’s three sections. Each Link Chapter is preceded by a Title Screen that consists of a single photograph; there are no interactive elements to a Link Chapter Title Screen. Link Chapters feature all three narrators, and will be read no matter what order you choose or which narrator you’re following. Since all three narrators are present during the Link Chapters, you cannot jump to another narrator by swiping left-to-right. You read through these chapters by swiping up and down. To advance to the next Section Title screen from a Link Chapter, press the blue bar on the right of the screen. The novel is over after you’ve read the third Link Chapter following the last section (Trading Places). If you’ve chosen to read the story one narrator at a time, the final Link Chapter will vary, with a specific ending for each narrator. If you read all three narrators at once, you will be given the “standard” ending. However, the two alternate endings can be accessed at any time via the Extras screen.
While you’re reading either a Main Chapter or a Link Chapter, if you tap the screen once the Reading Toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen with the following choices: “Cover,” “Extras,” “Font Size,” “Music Off,” “Music On,” and “Share.” Press “Cover” to return to the Cover and Title Screens. At the Cover you can return to where you just were by pressing the blue bar on the left of the screen. Or you can advance through the Title Screens by pressing the blue bar on the right of the screen. Once you’ve advanced past the Epigraph Screen, you’ll be given two choices: “Continue where I left off” or “Restart the novel.” Pressing “Continue where I left off” will take you back to where you were when you accessed the Reading Toolbar. Pressing “Restart the Novel” will take you once again to the Choose Screen. By advancing through the Choose Screen to the Table of Contents, etc., you will lose any progress you’d previously made in the novel. On the Reading Toolbar, if you press “Extras,” you’ll be taken to the Extras screen (the functionality of which is described below). If you press “Font Size,” the size of the font will be increased. If you press it again, the font size will increase yet again. If you press it again, the font size will become smaller than the default size. If you press it again, the font size will return to the default size. If you press “Music On,” music will begin playing. This music will play in a loop until you press the “Music Off” button. If you press the “Music On” button again, you will hear a different bit of music. If you press the button yet again, you will hear a third piece of music. Pressing the button a fourth time plays the first tune again. If you press “Share,” another menu will appear with three choices: “Email,” “Facebook,” and “Twitter.” If you choose Email, the app will take a picture of the screen that you’re currently reading and will attach it to a new message. You can then add an email address and your own note in order to send the message to whomever you want. If you select “Facebook,” you can post to your wall that you’re reading Beside Myself, and if you select “Twitter” you can announce to your followers that you’re reading Beside Myself. (Please note that you’re going to need a wireless signal, and to be signed into your Facebook and Twitter accounts, for the Share features to work.) In addition to the icons at the bottom of the screen, when you access the Reading Toolbar a Lock icon will appear at the top-left of the screen; functionality of the Lock icon is described below.
While reading any of the chapters within a main section, if you turn the iPad from portrait to landscape in a clockwise direction, you will go into Triple Reading mode. This means all three narratives will appear side by side. When you’re in this mode, advance the narratives by swiping up or down within each narrator. When you turn the iPad from landscape back to portrait mode, your progress within each chapter will be retained. The Lock icon, if pressed in Triple Reading mode, will prevent the novel from reverting to Single Page Reading no matter how you turn the iPad. Similarly, if you engage the Lock icon during Single Page Reading (after accessing the Reading Toolbar), Triple Reading mode will not be activated no matter how you turn the iPad. Once in Triple Reading mode, the Reading Toolbar will automatically appear, functioning the same as in Single Page Reading mode. While in Triple Reading mode, if you close out from the app completely via the multitasking bar, your progress throughout the novel will not be retained. Please note that, if you’ve chosen to read one narrator at a time, you cannot engage Triple Reading mode.
The Extras screen gives you the following choices: “Instructions,” “Alternate Ending: Narrator #2,” “Alternate Ending: Narrator #3,” “Credit and Thanks,” “About the Author,” “ScrollMotion,” “Back to Reading,” and “Restart the Novel.” After you make a choice, you can always return to the Extras screen by pressing the blue bar to the left of the screen. From the Extras screen, you can either press “Back to Reading,” which will return to where you were when you accessed the Reading Toolbar, or you can press “Restart the Novel,” which will take you once again to the Choose Screen. By advancing through the Choose Screen to the Table of Contents, etc., you will lose any progress you’d previously made in the novel.