The authorial temptation

In a single-author hypertext, especially one composed with tools that provide visual maps, the author is tempted to omniscience. The author can see it all.

The author works to create a space for reading, wandering, reflecting, and the author already knows its shape. But this is not enough.

The map is not the territory. The aerial observer can see all the paths but is not walking them.

The map view shows the patterns but does not follow the paths one link at a time. Time is missing, and the unsureness of step by step progress, and the shifting contours and horizons of meaning that the reader builds as she moves along.

Even if the author has tried out walking the paths (all of them?), the author has not done so in ignorance of the whole. The author already "knows." Which means that the author will never be as creative as a reader of the text.

The author must resist constructing devices designed to put the reader at the author's omniscient position. This would be to constrain the reader more than the author can realize.