Musing on non-linear story forms

I’ve been musing a lot lately about non-linear storytelling. Particularly the different forms of non-linear story.

As anyone who reads the Author Buzz Dev Blog knows, I am a huge geek. I grew up reading Choose your own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy books. These books and alter Interactive Fiction titles on my Z X Spectrum (yes, I am that old) fueled a lifetime of interest in computers and writing.

I’ve been looking more recently at the topic of Games as a platform for stories. Mostly I’ve confined these thoughts to the Grumpy Dev section of the dev blog.

Games as platforms for storytelling

I’ve become sort of obsessed with the idea that the very lose canonicity of “That story with the cat in it” is extremely suitable for a non-linear interactive version. I think it would be immense fun both as a reader and as an author to craft a non-linear version where the interactions of the reader/player shapes the story.

After all, how many films or books have you read where you felt you would make better choices than the main characters? What if this one story gave you a chance to do just that?

I happen to think this would be awesome.

So I have been geeking out and writing a paper on the subject of non-linear story form and binary logic structures. If you are a fan of my work (and I really hope you are) then you might have to put up with occasional lower output while I geek out and try to make crazy new things. You might say Doc is based on me in that regard.

What I am thinking right now is how amazing it would be to craft a simple AI that is something like a chatbot so you can talk to each of the characters about whatever you want. The story would then progress, or not, depending on what you say to them. You have to admit that would be very cool.

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