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Story Routes

6 months ago

Is there such a thing as having too meaning different routes for your story? Too many choices that lead in too many directions?

I'm not sure if I should centralize the story more around a few major paths or allow tons of different branch-offs

Story Routes

6 months ago

Assuming you meant "too many different routes."

I really don't think there is such a thing as too many routes, or choices within reason. I would leave out small choices that won't really have any noticeable effect. If you're confident you can write all of it, I'd say go for as many paths as you like. I've just seen that a lot of times people will "bite off more than they can chew." If you start off throwing out all these different choices, and hatching all these different ideas you want to go back and write, the story will just keep growing, and your motivation has to be able to hang on through all of it. Someone else might be able to put it a bit more eloquently, but these CYOA's can get away from you a lot easier than a regular story from what I've seen.

My suggestion would be to take several major paths through to completion. All of the loops, dead ends, epilogues, etc. Make a finished product of it with only a handful of major paths. No dead links. Then if you're still motivated to write more for it there is nothing stopping you from adding more paths, and if you've lost the motivation to keep working on it at least you've already got it to a nice finished/playable state.

I think everyone wants to write a sprawling epic right off the bat, but more often I see it advised to start small, and work your way up to that. You might be one of those that could manage it, but I still think just taking a few major branches to completion first would be your best bet. Give you a real taste of what it takes to write a CYOA, and if you feel can handle it the option to add to it is still there.

Story Routes

6 months ago

Alright, thanks for the input I'll concentrate on a few select paths and grow the story from there all the while keeping myself motivated.

Again thanks especially for the quick reply.

Story Routes

6 months ago

You're welcome. Best of luck with your story. 

Story Routes

6 months ago
Well Havoc already covered this pretty well so consider this just a +1 to his post. You are much, much more likely to finish a story, and have it be a more interesting and meaningful experience to read if you focus on developing the major paths.

'A few' full paths represent more work than most authors can handle as it is.

Story Routes

6 months ago
This is my favorite article on branches and branching. It really does a great job of explaining possibilities and options in branching stories. But the biggest thing to keep in mind, and I've seen this a lot: the more choices you have, the more involved your story can be -- but every choice exponentially expands the length of your story.

Also, one of the things that makes CYOA stories SO different is that people won't see everything you write when you have branching. If you are one of the people who wants someone to read every single word you write, get away from these stories now. And the more choices you write, the LESS of your words the readers will read and the MORE words you have to write to make a decent story. My extreme example was my Rory Thorn story. Because of the massive number of pathways, the average number of words a reader will see when reading is 3,000. However, there are almost 16,000 words in the story! And it is a very short story from the reader's view.

So I guess to answer your question about too many choices -- I suppose you can't have too many choices if you have the time to write a good story in each pathway. Instead, the biggest risk of too many paths is that you will end up running out of time and writing poor stories for some pathways. Have fun!