Character-Driven Interactive Fiction

Between work and being sick, I haven’t had much time to devote to studying or thinking about interactive fiction lately. Over the weekend, I gave EverNote a long-needed overhaul. The writing section is the only one complete at the moment, but I made sure to give interactive fiction its own category. So far, it’s only housing the notes on my experiments in writing the pseudo-educational book that got me started down the interactive path. There’s so much work that needs to be done on that one, mainly because I seem to be the queen of two-dimensional characters (or characters who are long-lost personality twins).

When I think of interactive fiction, I realize that I want to drive it entirely by the decisions. Even the storyline is an afterthought. I’m sure we can all agree that this is no way to write. Period. End of statement. So then I started trying to decide how I wanted to approach fixing that particular story. It will probably have to be story-driven, but my next project will hopefully shape up to be much larger.

A larger story should still have a compelling storyline that makes sense all the way through regardless of choices, but I think I want to work on both my character development issues and my growth in interactive fiction by making it a character-driven piece. The choices that come up will be based more on the character the reader has stepped into- their goals, their values. It’s going to be very challenging for me, but I think the end result will be well worth the frustration.

Can (or perhaps should) interactive fiction be driven by a character as opposed to the ever-changing story landscape? That’s going to be a driving force in my second project.


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