Writing Interactive Stories

OK, I’m hold enough to confess that I got hooked on the game of Zork a long, long time ago.  Zork was an interactive game that prompted you for various moves at every step.  It was great to visualize and each step potentially changed the story you were immersed in.

For the most part, electronic books follow the printed book where stories are linear.  It works and stories are written that way.

Except for genre of interactive adventure writing.  To do that, you need to investigate Inklewriter.  This application provides a wonderful environment for writing but, more importantly, it helps the author write the interactive, branching story.  Just writing your story and when it comes time to branch, just add the options along with the paragraph that will be the destination!  Inklewriter keeps track of everything so that you don’t have any points where your reader is left hanging!

For the visual among us, a map of your story is generated on the fly.

The interface is straight forward and dead simple to operate.

The clean interface features a toolbar on the left and the big area for assembling your story.  For a small fee, Inklewriter will convert your masterpiece to a Kindle document.

Check out a demo story here.  (The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

You’ve got to give it a shot.  You won’t believe how quickly and easily you, or your students, can writing your own interactive story.  This is a definite keeper – you’ll want to bookmark this.

Creating Interactive Stories

One popular activity that students enjoy is the Interactive story form known as “Create Your Own Adventure”.  I’m sure that most people have fond memories of working your way through one or two.  You read a paragraph or two and then you’re presented with options for where to go next.  One branch takes your story in one direction or another branch takes you in another.

If you go back far enough in computer gaming, you may remember the role playing game Zork where you explore an imaginary universe with commands like “GO WEST”.  I worked with an annoying person who felt compelled to repeat over and over “WHEN YOU COME TO A FORK IN THE ROAD, TAKE IT”.

inklewriter is a free online tool that lets you create your own interactive story.  Rather than creating a contrived example, click here to try a real story!  In this case, “The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle”

inklewriter is very easy to work.  Features include branching and looping, including images, and formatting of your works.  The interface, web-based, makes for easy creation of your story.

But, it would be very easy to get lost in the story with all the branching!  To make this understandable, a Map option displays an overview of your story.

In that respect, inklewriter is a wonderful tool to take a task that we might normally do and moves it to the world of the electronic.  I was wondering…could it be used in other ways?

Driving through town last night, I noticed a sign for Grade 8 orientation night at the local secondary school.  Lights went on.  What about a “Create your own adventure” to tour the school?!

For example, entering my old school would look something like this.  I could create a little adventure just exploring the school.  I’m starting to really like this.  I wonder…

As you’re editing and creating your story, not only do you add text and branches, remember I said that you could add images?  Why not include images of the rooms or artifacts that you might see along the way?  And, if we can do that, we could certainly insert a QR code linking to oh, say a YouTube video interviewing a teacher or student at a particular location?

inklewriter is a very easy powerful creating environment.  The website even includes an offer to convert your story to an e-book for a small fee.

I could see this as a very motivating and exciting tool for young authors.  Give it a shot and see if you don’t agree.