The first books I remember devouring were the Choose Your Own Adventure series. They were like these endless, looping narratives full of drama and possibility. Okay, okay, I grew up and realized they were about as complex as a game of hide the salami. But back then, I was hooked.
I've always wanted to make a CYOA story for adults. I tried this once. But you know what? It's hard. You have to, like, write a ton. (My back started hurting, and I was hungry, too.) Instead, I decided on a slightly different route–what if readers chose what happened as I wrote the story? So that they became directly involved in its creation? That way I didn't have to write 4 false endings. A-ha: Reader voting + episodic writing = Less work, more sleep.
On today's Morning News, you can find the first installment in this experiment. It's a story I'm calling “The Education of Elisabeth Eckelman,” and it's about a girl in her first year of college. She's a nice kid, but she's got a lot to learn. I have a feeling it's going to be a doozy of a year. Just wait — but don't forget to vote.