How many paragraphs have you got?
First, count up the total number of paragraphs you have in your three gamebooks. For me, I have 11 for my journey, 6 for my conversation and 15 for my lunch. That makes 32.
How will we link the scenes together?
Lets have the journey first, which links to your lunch, which links to your conversation. Do this, even if it does not make logical sense. We will think about logical consistency later on. All you need to do is on any endings of your journey gamebook, write something like 'You go to have lunch. Turn to...' and leave a blank space for the number. Do the same for the lunch gamebook e.g. 'You then phone your wife. Turn to...'.
How are you going to randomise the paragraphs?
|My excel spreadsheet at the beginning.|
I have 32 paragraphs to write, so I'm going to write the numbers 1-32 in cells. I'm going to make sure that there is an empty column by each number.
I'm also going to open a word document and write the numbers 1-32, one number per row and centred. A good time saving file is to have a word document which has the numbers 1-400 or more written like this so you could just copy and paste the numbers you need.
Green is written. Yellow is reserved to be written.
At this point, you need to pick x numbers at random where x is the number of options you have from paragraph 1. These are the paragraphs you tell the reader to turn to. They should not be close together. When I do it the low tech way, I find the largest white gap and pick the middle number in it. So in this case, I will pick the numbers 16, 8 and 24.
|This is the main road decision..|
|This is the country road decision.|
Paragraph 16 is my choice to go via the country road. That also leads to the village, so that goes to 32.
|Fabled Land RPG (20) or AFF2?(28)|
Got it? Rinse and repeat until you have a paragraph full of green. When you get to a paragraph that does not lead anywhere, you could write END in the cell next to the number or leave it blank.
Save the end of a 'scene' until last so that you know that you have completed the scene.
If you would like to read the gamebook, click here.
How was it?
So now we all should have a gamebook between 15 and 45 paragraphs long about a day in our lives. It is not the most exciting subject material, but the aim was to show you the mechanics of gamebook creation. We will get onto content in the next two parts.
As far as I was concerned, I missed out a paragraph, so I had to backtrack and redo about 6 paragraphs. It takes a while to get used to it.
You can read my finished gamebook here.
You can see a film of each step of the paragraph writing process here.
I have some more things to say on this topic, but the post is already getting long and I do not want to give you too much information, so I will release part 2f - what to consider when you write a gamebook by yourself. on Wednesday 10/08/11.
Until then, have a good week!
To improve on the map method, turn to 2a.
To improve on the flow diagram method, turn to 2b.
To improve on the just write it! method, turn to 2c.
If you have now improved all of your gamebooks using the three methods, it's time to move on. Turn to part 2d - working with paragraphs.