Choose Your Own Adventure Part 2

Choose Your Own Adventure Part 2

After my twelve-year-old read a few Choose Your Own Adventure’s, she really enjoyed them, but she had two complaints. The first: “In some of the stories, no matter what decision you make, you end up at the same place.” This is known as “False Forking”. For a good technical article on interactive fiction click here. The second problem: “There was never any danger of not being able to finish the story or any danger of possibly losing one’s life.” As soon as she realized this, the sense of urgency and excitement would drain away. Danger, tension, dilemmas … in a word, conflict. Conflict is at the heart of good storytelling. So one way to add more real choices in interactive fiction without making the story impossibly long is to have more of those choices lead to a definite end, a failing end. Something like: The Green Archer, half-starved, decides to eat the moldy bread. Dizziness ensues. Reaching for a chair, he stumbles. He falls to the floor. Arms, legs, even his neck feel like they are weighed down with stones. His eyes also are heavy … so very tired, he lets them close. The story path the reader was on just ended, and it ended badly. Now the reader knows that there is something at stake for making a bad decision — tension and excitement necessarily heighten. Now for a whole new twist. Game fiction! What’s that you say? It’s Choose Your Own Adventure with the added element of solo game play. The reader might need a piece of paper, pencil and a six-sided die. She can keep track...