Interactive Fiction, Anyone?

Now here is an interesting concept: Multi-Author Interactive Fiction.

On this site there’s a “choose your own adventure” type story that’s been going on since 2000. Each author writes a section and presents two options for the next author to choose from. I haven’t read too far into the story, but the concept is intriguing. I’m wondering how they handle the logistics of such a thing and, more importantly, is this something I could add to THIS site. You know… I start a story and other people carry it on.

Worth looking into? Waste of time?


  1. Loki, October 22, 2007:

    Just took a look at that site. Not a bad idea actually. Reminds me of the Goosebumps series.

    Might be worth doing.:P

  2. DarkIcon, October 22, 2007:

    I like how every choice opens up an alternate path for the story, essentially creating an alternate universe. And and each of those paths can be explored by any and each of the contributers.

    However, I can’t imagine that being anything OTHER than a total logistical nightmare. Looking at the “map” of the story on the linked-to site, you can see paths that took off and paths that prospered, but I don’t think any of them has reached an ending. As it goes on, you are essentially dividing the effort of the writers as they contribute to mutually-exclusive “splinters” of the main storyline. Obviously there either ARE or SHOULD BE some kind of rules and/or limitations in place to keep the story from fragmenting indefinitely. The “only two choices per chapter” rule has already been violated a few times from what I can see.

    I’m wondering what kind of interesting variations of this theme could be created. For example, what if the story deviated from the standard second-person POV and was written in first- or third-person like a REGULAR story. And what if, instead of offering choices at the end of each short chapter, you just had a couple of links that said something like: “The Next Chapter as written by Loki” and “The Next Chapter as written by Werewolf,” where each link takes you to another author’s vision for how the story proceeds in the next section… and of course any author could continue the story from any point. I think I’ve seen something like that before, too, but I can’t remember where. It was horror-related, though, and there weren’t infinite splinters of the story, as one author’s “chapter” was always chosen to be the next “official” chapter. I wouldn’t want to do that, since it eliminates much of what drew me to the idea in the first place.

    I’m also wondering what kind of PHP scripts they’re using for a back end. Doesn’t seem to be an off-the-shelf blog or forum script… something custom made perhaps. I wonder if they’d be willing to share.

    At this point, I’m not trying to talk myself into OR out of anything, I’m just requesting comments from the fans/visitors.

    Anyone else have any opinions?

  3. AroseLilyWhite, October 22, 2007:

    Consider limiting your audience if you let everyone post your story may develop very slowly when writers who aren’t committed change their minds. Thinking about where the story should eventually end up seems wise if you don’t like worrying about getting bored with a plot that keeps getting more dry.


    Haven’t met your deadline?

    Someone else fills in for your missed work.

    What if two people write something equally appealing?

  4. Loki, October 23, 2007:

    DI- We at the Asylum Walls could always do a test run to see if it would work between all of us. You would still have to figure out how it would work; i.e., the PHP programming or whatever else they might be using. You might have to create a different site area for this though.

    I agree that if we should take a chance at this we should use a different POV. I think first would be best since it will focus the story better and keep the story inline and not run off too far from the original line of thinking.

    I think it is worth a shot. We would just have to figure out how many of us would be actually writing on it.


  5. DarkIcon, October 24, 2007:

    Okay, i might give this a shot! I’m pretty handy with PHP and MySQL (handy != professional), so I might be able to come up with some workable code. Won’t be pretty… but then, there is a certain beauty to just words on a page…

  6. DarkWells, October 25, 2007:

    It sounds intriguing (however that’s spelled) I’d write in it. I think the links at the bottom thing like you were saying would be good.

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