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Archive for February 14th, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day to all you out there in cyberspace.

Cupid’s bypassed me yet again so you know what that means… no tasty distractions from my writing today! I’ve been working on my new project for the month and I think I have a semi-permanent squiggly face of doom when I’m writing. Who knew it was going to be this involved?! I suspected it was going to keep me busy and writing like a fiend but I honestly expected it to be THIS intricate.

I think the great thing about the CYOA genre is that the complication and story line off-shoots are completely up to you. Do you want a book that each story will take 5 minutes to read or one that’s going to take 20? This is my first one so I suspect the stories are going to be shorter than future books if I write more. Also, there’s nothing to say that each story has to be the same length. Some paths may end up taking you on a 5 or 6 option chase and others you could die after the 3rd fork in the road. Pure genius!

Obviously this genre has to be handwritten because so far the only way I’v been able to keep track of things is by using loose-leaf paper. I can shuffle them around and the great thing is that I’ve found filler paper that has different coloured strips. That’s already coming in super handy; it’s the perfect way to colour-code each of the 4 original branches at the beginning of the story. Plus, I get to indulge in my Sharpie pen obsession and my love of handwriting.

I’m finding it tricky to not branch off every time my character needs to make a choice but this is a “pick your battle” situation. If EVERY decision had a branch I’d never get anywhere and the manuscript would be over 1,000 pages (albeit some pages only containing a sentence or 2). There are really only so many options I can give my readers but perhaps once I finish I can go back and fatten things up. Just to add a twist to things, it’d be great to weave some of the stories together if I can. Perhaps I’m getting too ambitious and too creative at the moment but I’ve managed one doubling-up so far so it could be possible. The added bonus to that I’ll cut down on the actual writing and my readers will get to backtrack a bit. Delicious!

I’ve forgotten how exhilarating it is to finish a story but it feels even better to finish one, start another and actually be able to indulge in the “what ifs” and “I should’ve done that insteads.” I think this could become quite addicting- it’s the chance to see what would’ve happened if you made the other decision. Sadly this can’t happen in real life but when the story’s written in 2nd person, it’s the closest you can get. This is the closest I’ll ever get to being omnipotent; I’m hooked.

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