Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Stories with Choices

I remember picking up a "Choose your own Adventure" book as a kid, and really liking it. I got to choose where the adventure went. :)

I've been thinking of how I might write a story like that. It's technically easy to do links in an ebook, but how do you write a story where the reader has interesting choices to make? If every choice has only two decisions, but each decision launches a different branch of the story, I'll quickly have an enormous story tree. :) I might as well write a whole library!

Contrarily, I've seen choices that are irrelevant: each choice gets you to the same place as the other, via a slightly different path. That's a pseudo-choice, at best. The reader (or player, if it's a game), hasn't done anything significant.

Between those two techniques is a story in which the reader/player can choose between a few major storylines that go through the same places, but significantly change what happens in them. I'm tempted to try that, perhaps with some pseudo-choices along the way, and one of those story trees near the end, so there can be a lot of different endings.

The story I have in mind is tentatively called The Adventure Company and the Book of Mirrors, and it features young people on a nature trip with their parents. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, they are so far from civilization their cell phones and tablets can't get connectivity to the outside world, and the young folks are terribly bored until they find a magic book that whisks them away to a strange world, called Dimotzo.

Things, of course, are not quite right in that world, as the young people soon find out, and they'll have choices to make, among a Poisonous people who call themselves Civilized, and a Violent people who call themselves Strong, while animals like leopards and serpents tamely wander the streets of the cities as pets, and no one there thinks anything of it.

Does this sound like something interesting? I'm curious to try it, just to see what's it like to write a story with choices.

No comments:

Post a Comment