From Mind to Page – The Journey of a 1000 Choices
Post 1 – An Introduction to Adventure, aka Backstory
Okay, maybe not 1000, but it sounded better.
As I’ve written a few choose your own adventures now, I thought I’d write down my process so that it might demystify it for you, and hopefully unlock your own methods to get more interactive fiction out into the universe.
I fell in love with branching narrative stories at the age of 12, when the first Fighting Fantasy book, ‘Warlock of Firetop Mountain’, was published. I enjoyed fantasy, but genuinely didn’t have a lot of friends, and the ones I did weren’t really into it. The idea of being able to play such games using solo rules was amazing.
I also loved the format and the art. It was kind of the whole package.
In the years following, I tried to write my own adventures, but I never got very far. I tried several different methods; though, in true Simon style, I never actually looked up how other people did them.
Then, I remember finding the hardback anniversary edition of ‘The Warlock of Firetop Mountain’ and seeing the map at the back, and thinking, that’s not as complicated as I imagined it!
It was a penny-dropping kind of moment. A demystifying for myself. Even so, I still struggled to understand how to create an adventure.
I’d always known I was quite a visual person but had never associated this with creating interactive adventures. Then, quite fortuitously, late in 2018 I found myself with a gap in my work schedule (i.e., without a job) for a few months, and I was determined to finally crack the nut of creating a gamebook!
And, within 3 months, I had not only written a gamebook, but it was a massive 700 sections.
How did I do it? Step by step. Not only that, but it’s the same process I’ve done for each of my adventures, so, I know it works.
If you’d like to know how I create my books, become a paid subscriber to ‘A Branching Narrative’ and read my step-by-step guide being published every two weeks - and be warned, there’s homework!
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Speak soon and stay safe,