just remembered a fic on AO3 (or more likely LJ because it had that distinct late 00’s experimental vibe) that appeared double-spaced oddly, in that some paragraphs would be spaced normally and others would have double or even triple spaces in between. it was about one half of the otp getting over the other’s death (or coma, can’t remember which), so all the comments were about how poignant the use of visual spacing was as a means to convey all the emotional holes in the character’s life.

and then the author replied like… *giggle* guys it’s NOT double spaced. try selecting the whole text

and we were all like “no WAY”

but we selected the text, and yes!!!

the “holes” in the story? they were actually lines and actions from the dead/coma character’s ghost, rendered invisible to the eye by the simple trick of coloring the text the exact same as the background, revealed by nothing more than a click and a drag of the mouse

a story about the profound loneliness of losing your the partner of your life and having to make do without them, without anything to fill the holes they’d left behind, suddenly became a story about the profound helplessness of seeing someone you love suffer from your absence while you are right there, unable to do anything about it, unable to communicate that you love them enough to suffer unseen and unheard with them, just to keep them company they’ll never know about

it was then that I truly realized how *superior* the digital medium is to plain printed paper, how the medium and the format can add to a story.

I think about that fic about once a year. I wish I could find it again