PDA

View Full Version : Choose your own adventure



defyalllogic
03-25-2010, 07:00 AM
have you ever tried to write one? what happened next?

Polenth
03-25-2010, 07:11 AM
I wrote one in secondary school, as part of a workshop thing on writing choose your own adventure books. I lost the book (which wasn't much of a loss), but the methods for constructing it were useful.

I'd write one again if I thought I could sell it, but all the ones I've seen recently were part of a franchise.

jennontheisland
03-25-2010, 07:17 AM
Carina press has them listed in their list of publishables. I've heard they've been written and submitted, thought about them, but never tried writing one myself.

Polenth
03-25-2010, 11:11 AM
Carina press has them listed in their list of publishables. I've heard they've been written and submitted, thought about them, but never tried writing one myself.

They're the only press I know who wants them for adults. That's a lot of work for a story with only one potential buyer.

CACTUSWENDY
03-25-2010, 12:11 PM
I am so far out of the know....what is this thing you speak of? A personal adventure? I don't know what this is. Is it also called something else?

Gugland
03-25-2010, 12:16 PM
I am so far out of the know....what is this thing you speak of? A personal adventure? I don't know what this is. Is it also called something else?

Umm, yeah, me neither.

dpaterso
03-25-2010, 12:56 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choose_Your_Own_Adventure

They're "interactive" books whose descriptive sections are numbered, so when you the reader (2nd person adventurer) have to make a decision you can "Go to 55" or "Go to 79" etc. depending on your choice. The narrative goes off in many different directions, but all the possible storylines ultimately lead to successfully finishing the adventure. And buying the next book. :)

-Derek

shaldna
03-25-2010, 01:33 PM
Oh this brings back memories of D&D choose your owns.

Polenth
03-25-2010, 01:35 PM
They're "interactive" books whose descriptive sections are numbered, so when you the reader (2nd person adventurer) have to make a decision you can "Go to 55" or "Go to 79" etc. depending on your choice. The narrative goes off in many different directions, but all the possible storylines ultimately lead to successfully finishing the adventure. And buying the next book. :)


Except the one I read where the dragon ate me. That didn't have another book, because I was eaten.

I made a logical choice too. It wasn't fair, eating me like that. :cry:

dpaterso
03-25-2010, 02:05 PM
Except the one I read where the dragon ate me. That didn't have another book, because I was eaten.

I made a logical choice too. It wasn't fair, eating me like that. :cry:
If you were eaten, how can you be posting here??

-Derek

Polenth
03-25-2010, 02:12 PM
If you were eaten, how can you be posting here??

I got better.

Also, I flipped back a few pages.

It did teach me something though: foreshadowing is a good idea. The reason I remember that book is it asked the fatal question without any setup, so it was entirely random. It didn't have much plot either, other than trying not to die at each random choice. That was how not to write a Choose Your Own Adventure.

Namatu
03-25-2010, 05:07 PM
Except the one I read where the dragon ate me. That didn't have another book, because I was eaten.Bummer!


I made a logical choice too. It wasn't fair, eating me like that. :cry:It was rather rude of the dragon. Poor Polenth.

I have fond memories of choose your own adventure books.

cscarlet
03-25-2010, 05:45 PM
Oooh I used to love these things when I was a kid! Never tried writing one though.

Maryn
03-25-2010, 06:28 PM
One of my first erotica stories was a lengthy Choose Your Own Adventure with different ways to meet any one of three guys and different activities undertaken once you did, and different, pleasant outcomes possible.

The hard thing was planning it. Only time a flow chart was the right way to go, for me.

Maryn, who'd do it again

Libbie
03-25-2010, 06:38 PM
Oh my goodness. I wrote an epic CYOA story in high school. It was called "Lord of the Band Flies." (Band Flies were these huge lazy houseflies that hung out in the band room. They were hideous and enormous.) It's been fourteen years since that masterpiece was penned and circulated throughout the band, and people still cherish their copies. At the ten-year reunion, I had so many people tell me they still have their copy, and have tried to make their spouse/significant other/children understand why it's so hilarious.

It was my first bestseller. ;) I recall that it was really fun to write.

jennontheisland
03-25-2010, 06:40 PM
Yeah, I've been considering (i.e. half assed plotting) a Regency erotica one.

A friend actually gave me an old sweet romance one that she had when I told her about my erotica. I'd never seen the romance ones, just the fantasy ones. I loved those when I was a kid.

jennontheisland
03-25-2010, 06:41 PM
They're the only press I know who wants them for adults. That's a lot of work for a story with only one potential buyer.
Well, if one press sees a potential market for them... surely there's a reason. And a niche can be filled by more than one occupant.

Bubastes
03-25-2010, 06:43 PM
Pretty Little Mistakes (http://www.prettylittlemistakes.com/Pretty_little_books.html) (published by HarperCollins) is the only adult CYOA novel I've seen in recent years. The author has another one coming out this spring. I loved CYOA books when I was a kid!

Sophia
03-25-2010, 06:44 PM
Thinking about CYOA books makes me feel quite sad. :) I was looking for them online the other day as I was thinking about replacing the worn out Fighting Fantasy gamebooks I have, but I discovered they only did one print run in the 80s. I loved the covers, the artwork, everything about them. Two of them (City of Thieves and Scorpion Swamp) have influences on my current WIP. :)

There is a collector's edition available of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (the first book in the series), but alas, none of the others. I have one row on my bookshelf devoted to CYOA. I think of them as pretty priceless now.

Shadow_Ferret
03-25-2010, 06:55 PM
They're the only press I know who wants them for adults. That's a lot of work for a story with only one potential buyer.

Not sure what you mean by this, but many genres only have one potential buyer: people who like that genre.

Brukaviador
03-25-2010, 07:04 PM
I don't know what's up with you people and all your nice memories of CYOA books. I was always getting my ass kicked by something. Somehow I even chose to fall off a cliff once too. I was very annoyed, as I recall, because it wasn't apparent in the choices that turning to page 38 equated with jumping head first to my non-descriptive demise. Though I did one time save the world from space vampires. That was pretty cool.

Polenth
03-26-2010, 03:37 AM
Not sure what you mean by this, but many genres only have one potential buyer: people who like that genre.

I was talking about markets, not readers. Carina is the only press I've seen with it in the submission guidelines. I've yet to see an agent asking for them in their guidelines. The number of those books on the shelf in the bookstore is very limited.

It's the kind of project that might be fun... but if I like eating, it's not a sensible first project.

defyalllogic
03-26-2010, 03:17 PM
i tried to map one out once and that's as far as i got. trying to map one out...

swvaughn
03-26-2010, 03:59 PM
have you ever tried to write one? what happened next?

If you found that you couldn't stop writing because all the choices you kept including needed more pages, and you ended up at 400,000 words with no end in sight... Go to page 16

If you finished writing one, started to research publishers and found that the last one looking for Choose Your Own Adventure books closed shop in 1982... Go to page 212

If you've never tried writing one because those things are for geeks... Go to page 42

If you're thinking, just now, "I am a flashlight!"... Go to page Orange

If this post makes no sense whatsoever to you... Close the book and walk away.

:D

Oshodisa
03-26-2010, 06:27 PM
I loved these as a youngster, and I too had a whole shelf for them. My favorite was about robots - but I cannot remember the name of it!

I wish I still had them, but my parents threw them out while I was away at university!

I would love to read the robot one again.

ChaosTitan
03-26-2010, 06:29 PM
If you found that you couldn't stop writing because all the choices you kept including needed more pages, and you ended up at 400,000 words with no end in sight... Go to page 16

If you finished writing one, started to research publishers and found that the last one looking for Choose Your Own Adventure books closed shop in 1982... Go to page 212

If you've never tried writing one because those things are for geeks... Go to page 42

If you're thinking, just now, "I am a flashlight!"... Go to page Orange

If this post makes no sense whatsoever to you... Close the book and walk away.

:D

:ROFL::ROFL::ROFL:

PEBKAC
03-28-2010, 09:27 AM
Weird this thread would come up. I just finished "playing" through The Warlock of Firetop Mountain :) My son (9 y.o.) and I were in a discount bookstore and I saw a little collection of four CYOA books being sold for around $7. I told him he had to give them a try. I had to take one for a spin myself, since I haven't since I was about his age. He loved them.

dgiharris
03-28-2010, 09:50 AM
I thought they stopped publishing them.

When I was a kid I absolutely loved them.

I had D&D, LoneWolf, and CYOA. Had about fifty books total easy.

Usually I ended up saving the world. Of course, i'd die once or twice, but that's okay, can just flip back and make another choice.

I liked Lonewolf a little better because you customized your powers and abilities and then depending on the situation you rolled dice to help with the outcome which was really cool. So it was like CYOA on steriods.

Mel...

Polenth
03-28-2010, 11:08 AM
I thought they stopped publishing them.

They are still around, in various forms. Amazon lists some recent reprintings of some of the original CYOA books (I've not seen them in book stores though). I've also seen a few new ones, like a set for the Dragonology range.

SPMiller
03-28-2010, 02:16 PM
Add visuals to one of these, and you have a video game. Hence why the book version doesn't exist anymore.

On a positive note, I imagine writing one would teach important nonlinear storytelling skills if you were interested in writing for the game industry.

Cath
03-28-2010, 03:04 PM
Quite right SP. I used to love the CYOA books as a kid, and when I got my first ZX Spectrum I programmed up a CYOA using 'IF' and 'THEN' statements on the Speccy and made my brother play it.

Sai
03-28-2010, 04:41 PM
My earliest memories of reading on my own was me reading 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books. I love them. I've written one, a urban fantasy aimed at teens, and it was a lot of fun. With a CYOA, you get to write-out various plot lines and have a go with different endings. I ended up taking the plot lines and characters that I liked best and re-writing that into a linear novel.

Some of the CYOA books do some really cool things with narratives and plotting. Like there was one where at one point in the story you cross paths with yourself, or at least the 'you' you would have been if you had made different choices earlier in the book (a glimpse of what might have been). Or murder mysteries where it's only by going through the book several times that you can piece everything together. I even have a soft spot for the stupid random deaths. Sure it's not fair that merely by choosing to go left over right you end up eaten by Mars spiders, but sometimes life is like that. You might step out onto the street and get hit by a car. I kind of enjoy that out of nowhere randomness (and you can always just go back and try again).

I'm a little biased because I have another kind of CYOA story on the back burner, a murder mystery where all of the suspects are mad scientists. It's more than a little tricky trying to figure out the mechanics, but I love the genre and playing around with the opportunities it offers.

dpaterso
03-28-2010, 04:42 PM
I used to love the CYOA books as a kid, and when I got my first ZX Spectrum I programmed up a CYOA using 'IF' and 'THEN' statements on the Speccy and made my brother play it.
Oh! Parallel lives! Hours of insanity, for free! Cassette tapes, argh! Adventure game writing on the old Speccy taught me programming which later led to jobs.

-Derek

spike
03-28-2010, 05:02 PM
Am I the only one who hated these when I was a kid?

OK, I didn't play by the rules, when given a choice, I would read both.

Even as a kid, I thought they were gimmicky and lacked plot.

Once again, I'm obviously in the minority.

Polenth
03-28-2010, 05:37 PM
Sure it's not fair that merely by choosing to go left over right you end up eaten by Mars spiders, but sometimes life is like that.

Your life is clearly more exciting than mine!


Even as a kid, I thought they were gimmicky and lacked plot.

Once again, I'm obviously in the minority.

It depends on the book for me. Some lacked plot and the story didn't work. Others used the interactive thing in a clever way.

defyalllogic
03-28-2010, 08:11 PM
Did you ever read a CYOA that wasn't in second person?

MrWrite
03-28-2010, 09:26 PM
Oh! Parallel lives! Hours of insanity, for free! Cassette tapes, argh! Adventure game writing on the old Speccy taught me programming which later led to jobs.

-Derek

And when you've sat for five minutes listening to the screeching sound the Spectrum made when loading and just as you're about to start playing, the game crashed. Oh happy days!

I have fond memories of those CYOA's. The only title I can really remember though is Citadel Of Chaos.

Sophia
03-28-2010, 09:43 PM
Citadel of Chaos was the 2nd one. :)

Another set I have is the GrailQuest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grailquest) ones, by J. H. Brennan. They were set in the days of King Arthur, and the reader played themselves drawn into the past into the body of the hero, called Pip. They were very knowing about it all and very funny.

Witch_turtle
03-28-2010, 10:13 PM
Am I the only one who hated these when I was a kid?

OK, I didn't play by the rules, when given a choice, I would read both.

Even as a kid, I thought they were gimmicky and lacked plot.

Once again, I'm obviously in the minority.

I'm with you!!

Well, my only experiences with Choose Your Own Adventure books were A) In the fifth grade around Halloween, our teacher read one out to the class. Something about trick-or-treating and crossing the path of a witch or ending up at a house full of witches, and getting turned into a worm in the end. And she read it over and over and over that day because everyone wanted to do it again and make different choices. B) I discovered a weird CYOA book on my bookshelf about 2 years later, contemplated reading it, but really had no desire.

But when I was really little I used to get my older brother to tell me stories, and they would always be CYOA. He'd made them up off the top of his head, but there were always choices I would have to make. (He would also do "To be continued" a lot, which was so annoying). The only one I really remember was about three alligator friends who decided to go on a picnic, and had all sorts of trouble going through the woods (There was a fall tree in the way! what should they do? Go around it? Go over it?), and when they got to the campground all the picnic tables were missing. It was EERIE. And then when I got to the end they had just been taken to a picnic-table factory for repainting or something. I was highly disappointed in the lack of scary.

Moonfish
03-28-2010, 10:22 PM
I tried once, as a kid! I might have been 12 or 13 at the time. I had no method for doing so, and of course it was all just a big mess. I wonder where that manuscript is now.
But I sure loved those books! I was a big nerd (still am) but had no friends to do roleplaying and such with, so I loved there was something I could do by myself.

WriteKnight
04-02-2010, 05:38 AM
The people who write them now, are called "Game Designers" - As SPMiller pointed out. They are actually in high demand, and well paid. It's usually a team, though there will be an 'ediitor' who monitors the storyline for internal logic and consistency.

sunandshadow
04-02-2010, 05:53 AM
I wrote a CYOA once and discovered... that I don't like writing them. :o IT was weird, I thought writing one was such a cool idea, but then when I was actually writing it I didn't want to write any branches, there was only one linear version of the story I really wanted to tell.

But, what I think would be great is a multi-author CYOA where each person wrote one path, then went through and fleshed out other people's paths, then an overseeing writer went back through and edited it to consistent style. A truly interactive novel would be a beautiful thing (and would make a great videogame).