Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April A to Z - H is also for A Hero's Tale

Hello all!  Two posts today.  This one is from Brian Ronk who popped down in 2012.  Brian has run the interactive story A Hero's Tale on his blog, but he has much more up his sleeve.  Brian also has another blog.  Let's take a look...

How has the last 2 years gone for you?
Good, but too fast. I really hoped to get more done, and have the story done sooner. Real life does that sometimes.

How has A Hero's Tale progressed?
It has gone well. I don't have as many commenters as I started with, but that's because I had a couple time gaps where I didn't post anything. Story-wise, it has progressed to where I wanted. Maybe not the path I thought, which made it fun.

What's your favourite thing about writing a Hero's tale?
Getting to build a different story in a world that has been in my head for years. Also, trying to figure out how to make ties work when the two possibilities are completely different.

What's the hardest thing about writing A Hero's Tale?
The hardest part has been the editing for me. It's not something I did a lot of until this project. Writing and editing each part has been a challenge. I've grown as a writer through this, though.

What advice would you off to someone who thinks that they want to write their own gamebook?
It probably depends what type they are writing. A story or quest based (like Lone Wolf or Destiny Quest) I would write a single path first, and take notes where possible branches are. Then write the branches from there. Be careful that you don't prefer one path over another, though. Every one should be interesting in its own way.
For open world games, make sure there is something to do everywhere. But don't skimp on the story either.

What spoils a gamebook for you?
Rules that don't make sense or aren't explained well. I'm working through one right now, and I really like the concept and the story being told, but some of the rules aren't explained well enough.
The other would be inconsistencies in the paths. If I make a choice early on, and suddenly am reading that I made a different one, that's going to throw me out of the immersion of the story being told.

What makes a gamebook stand out for you?
I like a tightly woven story and rules that start out simple but reveal some complexity as you go on.

What future projects do you have that you can talk about?
I've got a concept that I'm plotting for Windhammer. We'll see if I can get it finished for this year, it depends on the novel I'm working on.
There is also a kids gamebook idea that's been brewing in my head for a while. Not sure if/when that will see the light of day yet.

What non-gamebook projects do you have?
My main project as the Hero's Tale Vote Your Adventure finishes is a novel. I've been describing it as mixing Iron Man withThe Count of Monte Cristo. I'm working through the second draft, and hope to have that done by May.

What is your wish for gamebooks?
I'd like to see their popularity rise. This resurgence over the last few years has been amazing. Not only have we seen many new books, but so many of the originals from the 80's have returned in new forms. I don't think we've seen the peak yet.
Along with that, I'd like to see writers dip into different gamebook concepts. Your entry for last years Windhammer would be a good example. Its goal was to teach the reader about plants and how they make food. It would be a great concept for students in biology class!

Final thoughts
The Hero's Tale Vote Your Adventure can be found at When it's done, I won't be posting as much for a while. You can find more of what I'm up to at

1 comment:

  1. I am not familiar with gamebooks, but I think I understand what makes a good one thanks to this interview.
    Visiting from A to Z ~
    Wendy at Jollett Etc.