When I first read about the Kindle so many years ago I had two thoughts. The first was probably similar to everyone elses – I could get books at any time, any where, and without having to reinforce my creaking bookshelves. The second thought was less conventional but more deeper; Books could now be limitlessly interactive. The iPad and other Tablet and smart phone generation e-readers have raised that bar further with embedded video, music and other content. Which is all well and good, no doubt it is a transformative phase for the ‘book’ as we think of it.
As a kid one of the types of books I enjoyed were the Choose Your Own Adventure books which could promise a different unexpected adventure each time (if leveraged by chance with the use of dice or more simply multiple choice). It gave me the reader, the feeling that I could power the story, direct it. Even though I was still ultimately at the behest of the writer, the illusion was enjoyable.
Ofcourse the advent of games consoles have meant the appeal of such books has declined, but a niche still exists. I know that I would rather let my kid ‘play’ his CYOA book before sleep than messing about on a games console which will overstimulate the mind and affect their sleep. What do you think? Can CYOA find a place still?
I have been considering writing a kindle intended CYOA for some time now and wanted to gather some opinions from people who have read such books in the past. What do you look for in such a story? First person or Third Person? How deep and branching should the story be? What genre works? At the moment I am considering my two loves of pulpy noir and american west.
Share your thoughts, experiences and advice in the comments below or via Facebook and Twitter.