A little over a week ago, I performed my first Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) Florida Man story live at Loose Lips. I got the idea from B.J. Best based on his interactive fiction class (great academic label for CYOA stories) after he mentioned the tool that his class is using called Twine, an open-source tool for telling non-linear interactive stories.

When I write fiction, I don’t plan at all. I chase a core idea and see what happens as I write. This is the anthesis of how I approach my day job as an instructional designer/technical writer. I plan. I outline or storyboard. Only after I storyboard do I build what I want to build in the applicable tool. I realized that before I could start using Twine, I needed to have a loose idea where I wanted to begin.

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CYOA beginning outline while heading to Ft. Lauderdale on a Megabus.

After I had my initial outline, I was able to sit down and write the story in Twine. The interface takes a little bit getting used (including how to insert links). Once you figure it out, it gets easier.

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B.J. also mentioned a free hosting resource that his class is using to host their interactive fiction called Neocities. Twine exports your story as an html file. All you have to do is drag and drop the html to a hosting site. It’s really easy.

I wanted to perform this live but I knew of the technical limitations. I didn’t want the audience to stare at a screen as I read the words to them as they appear on the screen (that’s a presentation no-no). I didn’t figure it out until the night before the reading: choices and responses printed on double sided paper.

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What would you choose?

I picked someone from the audience to be the chooser and the performance went off very well.

If you want to check out the web version of my CYOA story, head on over to here to Due Process.

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I have some new flash fiction up in the following places:

  • Central American Literary Review published my story “Cerulean” in English and translated it into Spanish. This is the second work of mine to be translated into another language (my e-chapbook A Patchwork of Rooms Furnished by Mistakes was the first). You can read the story here.
  • I have a 100-word story over in Short Tale, which you can read over here.
  • Maudlin House published my flash fiction story “Shadowboxer”. You can read that over here.