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Ideas & Resources
We define interactive fiction as any story that can be told only on a device. This can be due to the addition of choice, audio, or animation.
IF has come a long way since “Choose Your Own Adventure” days. The kinds of stories that can be told are only now being explored.
Want to try a new tool for making interactive stories? This is a golden age of options.
And more are being created all the time. Search, explore, and if you find something new and exciting, let us know!
Want to jump into Twine in particular?
- Unofficial Quick-Start Guide
- Twine Home Page (download link in upper right hand OR “Use it online” to compose in your browser)
- Official Overview
- Official Forum (useful for some questions)
- Official Documentation (overwhelming but thorough)
In theme, we’re looking for stories that
- Affirm humanity deserves to live
- Smart and fun, with a spirit of joy
- Leave the reader feeling good overall (if the story hurts, let it be a good hurt)
- Use first or third person POV
- Require interaction only when a meaningful choice is being made
In execution, we’re looking for stories that explore any of these:
- Character configuration, e.g. reader chooses the gender/height/appearance of the main character
- Romance options, e.g.
- A dating simulation nestled in a complete, satisfying narrative
- A BioWare game (Dragon Age, Mass Effect) for reading
- A Princess Bride where you get to romance Inigo
- Unreliable medium, e.g.
- Reader hits a contradiction, then scrolls back up to find the previous story has changed
- Style changes
- Text degrades/becomes less readable OR more readable
- Content reflecting theme, e.g. night scenes different style from day, dog’s POV has no color, etc.
And beyond plot and style…
- Conservation of Detail: What moments of story should be explored? What should be ignored? What moments should be invested in? What’s the story’s overall metaphor, significance, nuance? Is the cigar just a cigar? Reader decides.
- Dialogue: What’s really being said? What’s the full context? How much should be read between the lines, and how much should be taken at face value? Who’s more reliable–the speaker or the listener? Reader decides.
- Stream of consciousness: Reading is a kind of psychic link–the reader receives thoughts transmitted across time and space. Can the reader speak back? Can the writer anticipate what will be spoken? How much should be expected, and how much should be surprising? Reader decides.
- POV: What if the POV isn’t static? Which narrator is most reliable? Which is the most entertaining? Are they the same thing? Should they be the same thing? Reader decides.
- Genre: What kind of story is it? Is that sentence literal, or metaphorical? Reader decides. Similarly…
- Frame: What’s real? What’s the fourth wall? Should it be broken? What if it’s the only way out? Reader decides.
This list is meant to inspire, not limit. All ideas are welcome. We look forward to seeing what you do.
Ready to submit? Want to know more about rights and rates? Head on over to our submissions guidelines.
We look forward to seeing what you do.