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Calling Hive Authors: help w/Choose your own adventure


kfeusse
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I am a librarian of a small library.  I am wanting to create a "Choose your own adventure" display where a story is displayed and the kids vote on what they want to have happen next (choosing their own adventure) and then every week (or every other week) the display will change based on the vote.  The problem is that I am not very creative when it comes to actually writing the story...and I have been looking on line for one that is already written (outside of the books that are available which won't work because the sections between the decisions are too short and they have too many decisions which might drag this on for too long).  So, I thought I would ask here...does anybody know of such a story that has already been written or where I might look for one. I would like it to be a fun kid adventure with about 4-5 decisions...thus lasting until about Christmas time. (I looked on pinterst and teachers pay teachers...plus just a general google search)....if you can help me, I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks so much!

 

UPDATE: On post #14

Edited by kfeusse
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How long do you want the story section to be (in words or page length)? Do you have any ideas for what type of adventure? Location? Number of kids involved?

We have lots of authors in the Hive. I'm sure we could work together to write something up for you. (Not me, but I'll voluntold a daughter. She comes up with these all the time on long car trips for her little brothers. Or, lots of reeeaaal authors on here.)

Start us out & give us a word count.

"Felicia inched along the edge of the room to avoid whatever was dripping from the ceiling. The dark blobs gave the linoleum a checkerboard look."

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wow...that would be cool....thanks.....I am thinking something appropriate for kids grades K-5th.  Adventurous, but not scary...and gory.  Can be funny....or silly too.   Length.....not super long...but long enough between decisions.  So maybe 3-5 paragraphs of information...then a decision...3-5 paragraphs of more information, then the next decision.   For sure make the decisions cliff hangers of sorts...so the kids WANT to see what happens next.  As far as location...it can be a real place or a make believe place...that I don't care about so much...I would think maybe have both a boy and girl character so everybody can relate to the story.  But keep it  fairly simple so my display box doesn't take me forever and a day to create...but fun enough to have some interesting components.....sharks...or swinging in the trees...or hiding in a cave...or flying through the air on a large bird...

Is that enough information?

Thanks again so much...you great hive writers....When it's all done, I will post the work we all did together....and the way the kids voted. 

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"As she turned the corner, she caught sight of Tristan sitting cross-legged on the floor. He had a mixing bowl in his lap and was using his fingers to scrape glops of what looked like the same stuff she'd just avoided in the kitchen into his mouth.

"Want some chocolate frosting?" He lifted the bowl up in her direction, and she noticed his hair was also flecked with chocolate. "I had a little mixer malfunction, but there's still some left."

While Tristan was talking, the front doorbell rang. Felicia turned to Tristan, "You better get the kitchen cleaned up before Mom gets home."

She peeked out the front window to see...

[I figure this will be the first decision point- someone they know asks them to go someplace to help with something. Any ideas?]

Edited by RootAnn
updated with later suggestions
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Who is outside isn't a decision that places the reader in the child's shoes. Maybe deciding what to do about it would. It could be a person or a package. And Tristan is a good boy's name. Or just go with "her brother" and don't use a name for the girl character, either. It could even be written in second person, and leave the gender of the main character unspecified.

And I would use "mixer" instead of "beater" because of adult eyes and connotations/slang uses of "beater."

Edited by Ravin
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I like the idea of using actual names...let's go with Felica and Tristan.  
Great Start....let's have the "person" outside of the door be someone either fictional (like some sort of non scary alien or monster or famous fictional character...someone from a PG movie...(not too little kiddish) or someone in authority, like a teacher or firefighter....all depends on where the story goes, I suppose. The kids open the door the person/creature on the other side presents the first decision...some how....(not whether or not to go with them or something....sounding too much like an abduction).....but i am not sure what...(this is why I am not writing the story.....  :)  )

Maybe describe the mess a bit more too...the kids will get a kick out of that...

Thanks guys....this will be fun to do together....

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@Ravin I've made your suggested changes (well, except for writing it in 2nd person. I don't honestly know how to do that.)

@kfeusse How about having the thing at the door be a magical animal? (DD suggests a talking cat.)

I'll see if my "show it" girl will work on the mess description. Anyone else is welcome to add to this!! I didn't think you wanted it to be super long & we needed to get to the "decision" in a few paragraphs.

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Okay, how about a talking cat (wearing a harness that has a pouch containing two magical bracelets)? [Is this far enough away from an abduction situation?] 
If they choose to go with the cat, the bracelets take them to another land. [Enter new situation]
If they stay home, they clean up the mess together. Then, their mom comes home and takes them to ?? where [enter new situation].

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I do think it would be fun to tweak the story just a bit to incorporate something from the kids (like a response from one of the characters or some bit of scenery a kid mentions as she talks about the story), but if you have to have everything set up to go in advance, it would be more difficult.

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Maybe what I will do is have you guys help me get the first part of the story....and after the kids vote, I will come back to the Hive for the next part of the story....would that work?  I love the idea of the 2 magic bracelets...maybe that is where the decision is...vaguely describe the 2 different locations where the 2 bracelets will lead...(or make it 2 pairs of bracelets) and the kids can decide which one...they want. 

Would that work?

Edited by kfeusse
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kfeusse - A side idea depending on how much work you want. I'd invite the kids to draw pictures of the story during the time it is displayed. You can put those up because it'll be interesting to see what parts of the story the kids focus in on.

I'm still hoping someone else (a real writer!) comes in to help. If not, I'll have DD work on the writing of the last couple of paragraphs (answering the door, meeting the cat, choosing which set of bracelets (?) . . . )

I'd say the Hive would need to be working on the next part of the story as soon as it goes up because the kids will want to know what happens once the voting closes. So, we'd only have a couple of days to write the next part. (Not enough time!) 

ETA: The last (finishing) week should have them decide if they return the bracelets, swap them out for the other set, or keep them.

One set of bracelets in a blue bag (ocean visit). Second set in a green bag: rain forest or grasslands??

Edited by RootAnn
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Story so far. It is getting kind of long, but maybe the first part needs to be a little longer just to get it going? Anyone want to take a stab at rewriting the last part where the cat shows up? [One set of bracelets in a blue bag (ocean visit). Second set in a green bag: rain forest??}

Felicia inched along the edge of the room to avoid whatever was dripping from the ceiling. The dark blobs gave the linoleum a checkerboard look.

As she turned the corner, she caught sight of Tristan sitting cross-legged on the floor. He had a mixing bowl in his lap and was using his fingers to scrape glops of what looked like the same stuff she'd just avoided in the kitchen into his mouth.

"Want some chocolate frosting?" He lifted the bowl up in her direction, and she noticed his face, forehead, and hair were also flecked with chocolate. "I had a little mixer malfunction, but there's still some left."

While Tristan was talking, the front doorbell rang. Felicia turned to Tristan, "I’ll see who that is. You better get the kitchen cleaned up before Mom gets home."

She peeked out the front window to see a silver cat sitting on their front porch. It was wearing some sort of harness or backpack, and it looked like it was staring right at her. Then, it turned its head back to the front door. While she watched, it stretched its paws up to the doorbell, and the doorbell rang again!

“Who is it?” Tristan called from the kitchen.

“A cat.”

“A CAT is ringing our doorbell?” Tristan showed up just as Felicia opened the front door.

“Hello, Humans.” The cat’s voice was slightly nasal-sounding. “I am Argentum.”

Felicia and Tristan looked at each other, then back at the talking cat.

“You must take one of the bags from my back. The bracelets inside are for you to wear. Amazing adventures await.” Argentum turned around and presented his back to the kids. One blue bag and one green bag were attached to the red harness with carbiners.

[Do Felicia and Tristan take the blue bag or the green bag?]

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Updating:

I am a librarian of a small library. I am wanting to create a "Choose your own adventure" display where a story is displayed and the kids vote on what they want to have happen next (choosing their own adventure) and then every week (or every other week) the display will change based on the vote.  The problem is that I am not very creative when it comes to actually writing the story.

Can you guys work together to write this?

I am thinking something appropriate for kids grades K-5th. Adventurous, but not scary or gory. Can be funny/silly, too. Length: not super long, but long enough between decisions. So maybe 3-5 paragraphs of information, then a decision, 3-5 paragraphs of more information, then the next decision. For sure make the decisions cliff hangers of sorts so the kids WANT to see what happens next. As far as location, it can be a real place or a make believe place. I would think maybe have both a boy and girl character so everybody can relate to the story. But keep it fairly simple so my display box doesn't take me forever and a day to create, but fun enough to have some interesting components – sharks, or swinging in the trees, or hiding in a cave, or flying through the air on a large bird.

Here’s what we have so far:

Felicia inched along the edge of the room to avoid whatever was dripping from the ceiling. The dark blobs gave the linoleum a checkerboard look.

As she turned the corner, she caught sight of Tristan sitting cross-legged on the floor. He had a mixing bowl in his lap and was using his fingers to scrape glops of what looked like the same stuff she'd just avoided in the kitchen into his mouth.

"Want some chocolate frosting?" He lifted the bowl up in her direction, and she noticed his face, forehead, and hair were also flecked with chocolate. "I had a little mixer malfunction, but there's still some left."

While Tristan was talking, the front doorbell rang. Felicia turned to Tristan, "I’ll see who that is. You better get the kitchen cleaned up before Mom gets home."

She peeked out the front window to see a silver cat sitting on their front porch. It was wearing some sort of harness or backpack, and it looked like it was staring right at her. Then, it turned its head back to the front door. While she watched, it stretched its paws up to the doorbell, and the doorbell rang again!

“Who is it?” Tristan called from the kitchen.

“A cat.”

“A CAT is ringing our doorbell?” Tristan showed up just as Felicia opened the front door.

“Hello, Humans.” The cat’s voice was slightly nasal-sounding. “I am Argentum.”

Felicia and Tristan looked at each other, then back at the talking cat.

“You must take one of the bags from my back. The bracelets inside are for you to wear. Amazing adventures await.” Argentum turned around and presented his back to the kids. One blue bag and one green bag were attached to the red harness with carbiners.

[Do Felicia and Tristan take the blue bag or the green bag?]

 

I was sort of thinking that maybe one set of bracelets could take them to the land of the Walking Tacos and the other set to the Land of the Flying Pigs.  (or something like that).  So maybe, somebody can take the lead on if the kids pick the Tacos and someone else take the lead if they pick the pigs....

Oh, how do I pronounce the cat's name?  I like it, but want to pronounce it correctly. 

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~The land of flying pigs~

 

For what seemed like the first time in their lives, they agreed on something. They each placed a hand on the blue bag, and Argentum disappeared, leaving only the bag behind.

Felicia held the bag and considered, "should we open it?"

"Of course we should! The cat said 'amazing adventures await,' we have to!" cried Tristan.

"Ok." Felicia cautiously opened the bag. A small box sat at the bottom of the bag. Fancy lettering spelled out the words, 'Amazing Adventure Awaits.'

Tristan grabbed the box from his sister and opened it slowly. Two silver bracelets sat in the box, cradled in velvet. He grabbed one and offered it to his sister. "Take it." He put his own on his wrist, and put the box in his pocket.

Felicia took the bracelet from him and put it on her own wrist. "How do they work," she wondered aloud. Just as the words left her lips, they were enveloped in a cloud of blue gas.

When it lifted, they were standing in the middle of a large park. Thick forest lined the edges and there was a large castle-shaped play structure in the clearing.

Tristan ran up the stairs of the nearest tower and called down to his sister, "come on, let's try the slides!"

"I'm not sure, this place is kind of strange," she cautioned, "a playground in the middle of the woods?" She put the backpack on her back and joined her brother on the playscape.

It made her a bit nervous that the hand rails, when they were present at all, only came up to about knee height. "Strange is a bit of an understatement," she thought.

They turned around when they heard a noise coming from the forest. There was a narrow path, and someone was coming. Tristan and Felicia looked nervously at one another.

"Should we hide?" Tristan asked his sister.

"Yeah."

"Where?" he whispered.

"Quick, behind that wall!"

They ducked down behind a yellow wall and no sooner than they had sat down, they heard voices approaching.

"I call red tower!"

"I want to go all the way to the top of the purple tower!"

Kids voices. Tristan peeked over the wall. Not kids.

"Felicia, they're pigs! Talking pigs!" Tristan whispered.

"What do you mean?!"

"Look!"

Felicia peeked over the wall and saw that they were, just as Tristan had said, pigs. Talking pigs. Talking piglets? Strange, but after the talking cat and the transport bracelets, talking piglets didn't seem so impossible.

 

 

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Just now, Petrichor said:

~The land of flying pigs~

 

For what seemed like the first time in their lives, they agreed on something. They each placed a hand on the blue bag, and Argentum disappeared, leaving only the bag behind.

Felicia held the bag and considered, "should we open it?"

"Of course we should! The cat said 'amazing adventures await,' we have to!" cried Tristan.

"Ok." Felicia cautiously opened the bag. A small box sat at the bottom of the bag. Fancy lettering spelled out the words, 'Amazing Adventure Awaits.'

Tristan grabbed the box from his sister and opened it slowly. Two silver bracelets sat in the box, cradled in velvet. He grabbed one and offered it to his sister. "Take it." He put his own on his wrist, and put the box in his pocket.

Felicia took the bracelet from him and put it on her own wrist. "How do they work," she wondered aloud. Just as the words left her lips, they were enveloped in a cloud of blue gas.

When it lifted, they were standing in the middle of a large park. Thick forest lined the edges and there was a large castle-shaped play structure in the clearing.

Tristan ran up the stairs of the nearest tower and called down to his sister, "come on, let's try the slides!"

"I'm not sure, this place is kind of strange," she cautioned, "a playground in the middle of the woods?" She put the backpack on her back and joined her brother on the playscape.

It made her a bit nervous that the hand rails, when they were present at all, only came up to about knee height. "Strange is a bit of an understatement," she thought.

They turned around when they heard a noise coming from the forest. There was a narrow path, and someone was coming. Tristan and Felicia looked nervously at one another.

"Should we hide?" Tristan asked his sister.

"Yeah."

"Where?" he whispered.

"Quick, behind that wall!"

They ducked down behind a yellow wall and no sooner than they had sat down, they heard voices approaching.

"I call red tower!"

"I want to go all the way to the top of the purple tower!"

Kids voices. Tristan peeked over the wall. Not kids.

"Felicia, they're pigs! Talking pigs!" Tristan whispered.

"What do you mean?!"

"Look!"

Felicia peeked over the wall and saw that they were, just as Tristan had said, pigs. Talking pigs. Talking piglets? Strange, but after the talking cat and the transport bracelets, talking piglets didn't seem so impossible.

 

 

I was worried it was getting too long. I'm thinking they should go meet the pigs (who will eventually reveal that they can fly when one of them purposefully jumps off of one of the towers) but wasn't sure if that should be a decision that we leave up to the kids.

Meet the piglets or keep hiding?

If they keep hiding, do they get discovered when one of the pigs climbs up a nearby tower?

Is the decision then whether to go with pig A or pig B back to their home? To a different location entirely? To see a fairy friend in the forest vs. a frog friend in the river?

 

And feel free to tweak the story and to edit. I'm not a professional author by any means - it's been quite a while since I've written anything.

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love the story.  Let's have the kids meet the pigs....and then have the pigs want to stay and build a magical fort....so do the kids stay and play and keep the talking pigs a secret.....or do they go and get friends to have them meet the talking pigs? 

 

OR....do the kids play with the pigs or try to capture them to take them back to show their friends?  

just a couple options that you could go with...

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Oh, I am not exactly sure when I will be ready to actually do this....hoping in the next month or so...some things have happened that has slowed this down for me...but I would to keep the writing going...because I will reuse this at some point...so I will need to have all of the options written out...for the future.  SO, I am not sure how to go about that doing that...or if that is even possible in this thread...but I am hoping someone knows way more about this process than I do. Does it still make sense to have one person take the pigs all the way to the end...and someone take the walking tacos to the end?  Maybe each person will need to "map" out their story line...on paper...and then take it from there?

Thanks so much for working this out with me....I think when it's all done, the kids will totally love it...and I can see them wanting to do it again...to see if they make different choices. 

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@Pen Ideally, that'd be great. It'd be really neat to incorporate one or a few comments from the kids into the storyline as you went, but I think kfeusse wants to have everything ready to go for each option so it is just count-the-votes & put-up-the-next-story-part. Plus, it does take a little bit to write each section (especially as only Petrichor & my DD are working on it right now.) With more people willing to write, I think it would be more feasible to write it as they go.

With a "real" Choose Your Own Adventure book, some choices lead to a dead end because it is too tough to map everything out to the same length. I'm assuming all the choices in this one will eventually lead the kids back to their house safe & sound after the same number of decisions.

Assume 4 choices (including the one that has been made for tacos vs. pigs). 2^4 = 16 storylines. The pigs will have 8 & the tacos will have 8. That's why most CYOA stories have some decisions just end. All storylines will need to get back to the house at the end - so those could all be the same (with maybe a transitional line or two at the beginning.)

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1 hour ago, RootAnn said:

 

@Pen Ideally, that'd be great. It'd be really neat to incorporate one or a few comments from the kids into the storyline as you went, but I think kfeusse wants to have everything ready to go for each option so it is just count-the-votes & put-up-the-next-story-part. Plus, it does take a little bit to write each section (especially as only Petrichor & my DD are working on it right now.) With more people willing to write, I think it would be more feasible to write it as they go.

With a "real" Choose Your Own Adventure book, some choices lead to a dead end because it is too tough to map everything out to the same length. I'm assuming all the choices in this one will eventually lead the kids back to their house safe & sound after the same number of decisions.

Assume 4 choices (including the one

 

 

I see. 

Otoh if display w/ part one all the way to pigs as current stop point went up, and kids chose what would happen next then just that one story line could be followed for a week. (You guys seemed to do all this in the past week).  So only 4 total sections to write— and kids would have more real input. 

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