How to Make a ''Choose Your Own Adventure''
Writing a book can be challenging all on its own, but penning a book that has multiple endings can be even more difficult. The "Choose Your Own Adventure" books do just that. They have the same beginning but offer many options for the reader to choose from when it comes to how the story ends. Letting readers partially control the story immerses them in the narrative to such a degree, they become living characters within the plot.
Begin by placing a piece of poster paper on a large flat surface. Use this to map out every possible ending for your story. At first you will only have one box, but each time you want your reader to make a decision, you need separate branches for each choice. Don't put in more than three choices for any one decision. Make sure each correct decision has a positive effect, and that any wrong decision has a negative or even story-ending effect.
Place the chart near the computer. Number each of the boxes on your chart; these numbers will correspond with the page numbers of your story. Write the beginning of the story, including the first decision your reader needs to make at the bottom of the page. Then, label each of the remaining pages you write to the corresponding number of the box you are writing about. At the end of each section, whenever the reader must make a choice, include the possible choices, as well as the number box each corresponds with so the reader can easily make his choice.
Check through the story, making sure that every decision leads to a consequence, whether good or bad. There should be no dead ends in your story, and every path the story can take must reach a logical conclusion. If you have anything that does not match this, fix it by adding in another section and giving it the next consecutive number.
Check through the story and make sure there are no grammatical errors and recheck that every path comes to a logical conclusion. Give the story to someone else to read. Have him read it several times, making different decisions each time. If he give the okay, your story is complete. If your volunteer reader discovers any mistakes, repeat Steps 3 and 4.
James Mascia is an English teacher in Maryland, currently teaching at the high school and post-secondary levels. Mascia earned his bachelor's degree in creative writing and culinary arts from SUNY New Paltz and his master's degree in education from Dowling College. He has been writing articles online on multiple subjects since 2006.