Where’s That Choose Your Adventure Story?

Hi everyone! Welcome to another Just Chatting!  How’s it going?

What?  Why are you all looking at me like that?

Oh…you’re all wondering if I’m ever going to start that choose your own adventure story that we talked about a few weeks ago…or  ahem…a month ago (has it really been that long?).

Before your sad faces make me feel guilty (too late!), let me say that I haven’t forgotten about it.  In fact the reason I didn’t post last week was because I was working on the story’s outline.  But it’s taking a lot more time than you would think.

Unlike a regular story, where I can outline just the once and be done with it, with this thing I have outline every possibility.  I can’t just say, Ok, I’m going to have MC (main character) do this.

  • team up with this band of thieves
  • find a magical dagger
  • find out that the dagger is cursed and must be returned to owner
  • return it to the owner (with help of thieves)
  • While at owner-of-cursed-dagger’s house, thieves steal golden buttons (never chose thieves to be your side-kick)
  • Find out golden buttons can grant wishes
  • Use wishes to help the poor (Ok, maybe those thieves weren’t so bad)
  • They become heroes.  People love them. The end.

Yay!  I’m done.  Now all I have to do is write the story.


Now all I have to do is write 20 other outlines with all the other possibilities.

  • MC doesn’t team up with band of thieves…he travels alone
  • finds a magical dagger
  • Magical dagger is stolen from him by band of thieves (So there is a reason to make thieves your side-kicks!)
  • Tries to steal dagger from thieves (Seriously?  Did he think that one through?)
  • Thieves almost kill MC, but he is rescued by a dwarf-sorcerer  (who happens to be the owner of the dagger)
  • Dwarf-sorcerer takes MC on as an apprentice
  • MC uses his new skills to stop thieves all over the land. He is a hero.  The end.

And that’s just one alternation.   What if the dwarf-sorcerer gave the cursed dagger to MC and it caused him to go around doing evil deeds?  What if the MC thinks he is better than dwarves and doesn’t listen to his master causing all kinds of problems?

As you can see, certain decisions in the beginning of the story (like whether or not he teams up with the thieves)  can completely change how the story goes.  Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to untangle myself from a spider web.

(Those are all my plots struggling to get out of the massive mess I’ve created with all these choices.  But it’s all for you dear readers!)

I’ve pretty much finished the outlining (though I still don’t know quite how the ending will go.  Yikes!)  and now I’m going to start writing some of the scenes.

There will be a lot of scenes that I won’t use at all depending on what direction you vote for the story to go, but want to at least have a rough draft of the scenes so I’m not stuck staring at a blank page the night before the next installment comes out thinking, “What the heck did I just get my self into?!”  and wishing I’d stuck to writing random blog posts with memes.

Besides, I want to give you a good quality story.  Which will only happen if I have a plan and do some pre-writing.

Speaking of pre-writing….

Next month is the king of all months in pre-writing (or draft-writing).  Yes, I’m talking about NaNoWriMo.  This is the month where that story idea that’s been floating around in your head forever–disturbing your sleep, and sneaking up on you when you’re trying to do something important (like nab that last Krispy Cream doughnut without being seen), finally get’s out and on paper (or in a word document).

I am so ready for next month!

The problem is, if I start working on my NaNoWriMo project, I won’t have time to finish the choose-your-own-adventure story that I promised.  And I don’t go back on my promises!

So, I found a way this can work and I can do both.  (Because I’m Hermione-level  clever 😉 )

I still have one more week before the insanity of NaNoWriMo begins, so I’ll use that time to work on my mysterious project. (I’m calling it that because I still haven’t released the title or when it’s coming out…or well, anything. Plus writing “choose your own adventure story” is getting annoying.)

On November 1st, I will continue to work on the secret project.

That’s right.  I won’t abandoned the story I promised you just so I can chase after the one in my head.

*sigh* The things I sacrifice for my readers.

(This is me when I realized that I couldn’t write both stories at once. Tragic, isn’t it?)

But if I do that, then how am I going to do NaNoWriMo?  Easy.  I’m going to count any words I write for the mystery project from November on toward my word count goal.  If I finish before the end of November, then I get to work on my original NaNoWriMo story.

Is that cheating?

I don’t thinks so.  You set your own goals for NaNoWriMo.  Anything goes.  I’ve heard of people writing a bunch of short stories or novellas for their “novel.”  As long as you write 50,000 words, who cares if it is all one story?  The point is to reach your goal, whatever that may be.

Last year, my goal was to write at least 35,000 words.  That’s all.  I just wanted to see if I could stick with it for that long and write that many words toward one story.  I ended up writing the full 50,000 but I knew I wasn’t going to do anything with the finished story.  I was just doing it to challenge myself.

My goal for this year is to finish the story I promised you and start the one in my head.  If NaNoWriMo helps me accomplish that, that’s all that matters.

So, now you know my plan!  It won’t be long before you’ll be starting your adventure in (insert name of place I haven’t revealed yet) with (insert character name I haven’t revealed yet).

Nope, I’m not giving anything away.  🙂


11 thoughts on “Where’s That Choose Your Adventure Story?

  1. I never thought about how much writing a “choose your adventure” story was like planning an adventure as the GM/DM for a roleplaying game. I had to plan out all those pathways, too — every possible version of “what if the players decide this?” and “what if they go here first instead?” It was maddening! And worse in some ways, because they could literally do *anything*. But better in other ways, because at least I didn’t have to write the whole thing out. Just be completely prepared with settings, characters, dialogue, events, etc. Ugh, this is reminding me why those sessions took up so much prep time!


    1. It is a LOT of work! And it’s a little nerve racking that I can’t write out every scene in advance. I’m kind of picking scenes hit/miss and writing a sketchy, undetailed version so at least I’ll have something to go by if I actually have to write them. Everyone will probably pick the one scene that I didn’t do any prep work on. 😛 But I guess it’s good to have a challenge every once in a while!


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