CYOA, Novels, Writing Tips

Constructing a CYOA Book

It’s been awhile since my last blog, but I’ve been working on my new fantasy based Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) series. I’ve added more to my over world map and detailed the continent mostly populated by humans as that is where most of my beginning stories will start. As for the book itself, the writing has been very slow, but there is a ton of prep work when creating a new series. I’ve started a Series Bible, which is a very big and long Word Doc with chapters about my world as well as rules and guidelines I will follow for each of the books for continuity purposes.

One of the most frustrating topics that has alluded me thus far on my quest is how to actually construct a CYOA story. Yes, you write like any novel, you come to a point where the narrative is interactive through reader choice, but what then? No where online have I really found a set of instructions on how to write the stories out. So I’m forced to re-invent the wheel so to say and create my own method. My plan at the moment is write the story out until I come to a reader choice. From there I will create Node numbers for each of the choices (1A, 1B, 1C, 1D…2A, 2B..etc.) Each fork in the story will have a unique number and each choice within that fork will have a letter. I’ll then skip down in the document to those choices with a page break between them and continue writing. Each new fork in the story will mean a new number regardless where in the tree it branches. In writing this, it does seem messy, but I will be writing all of this in a separate document and when it comes time to format the actual manuscript for the book, it will be a copy & paste job into all 400 blank entries I have already listed. Once I have a system in place, the next book should run a lot more smoothly and I’m going to need it with for the original 9 books I have planned for this series.

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