The Storyteller Reports: The Logical Consequences of E-Books

I can’t believe I didn’t see this coming.

Have you heard of Coliloquy? They’re a California-based company who have taken the concept of the e-book and mutated it into an app for interactive fiction. They follow in the footsteps of a similar venture in September called The King of Shreds and Patches. Basically, they let you read a book, and make choices for your character at crucial points. It’s “Choose Your Own Adventure” for the Kindle. What’s new about Coliloquoy is that your choices are recorded by the app and sent to the company to influence future editions.

When I saw these headlines yesterday afternoon, my eyes lit up. My head is only starting to soar. Imagine if this stuff gets popular on the Kindle. The next Great American novel could be interactive.

Oops. Did I just say that out loud? I think I did. Let me repeat it. The next work of literature that could pierce the core of the human condition, and be read and discussed for decades afterward, could be a “Choose Your Own Adventure Book”.

Consider the power is leaves to an author. One of a fictions writer’s greatest powers is fate. What happens to his/her characters says something about how he/she views the world. When the villain falls off an icy cliff because he alienated everyone who might have been with him to lend him a hand, the message is that people who alienate other people are bad. Obviously, we can get more complicated than that, but that’s the idea.

Imagine this principle working in interactive fiction. With more choices come a more sophisticated moral vision. By coming up with multiple plotlines and endings, an author is forced to make more commentary on people and the world; he is forced to broaden his moral scope and ask more questions. This must strengthen the vision of his/her novel- not to mention himself/herself.

If you’re not up for literary fiction, more plotlines will still result in more excitement and more chances to hone your craft. The more you write, the better you get. What could improve your skill better than having to make so many alternate stories make sense?

All it takes is one runaway success to turn this into a legitimate genre. I truly believe somebody is going to take this genre and write a story (erm, stories) that will stun the world. You heard it here. Interactive fiction is going to find a way to become a force in the literary world.

***

Hello! I don’t know if you heard, but this blog is moving to a new one. It’ll have all the same weekly features, and news about The Kingdom Trilogy. It will also acknowledge the other projects that I dip my toes in. Check it out here. I’ll post the weekly features on both sites for a while, but before long I’ll make the full transition to the new site.

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day!

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4 thoughts on “The Storyteller Reports: The Logical Consequences of E-Books

  1. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn’t find a contact email for you.

    I recently put out an ebook of my writing, called ‘The New Death and others’. It’s a collection of short pieces, mostly dark fantasy.

    I was wondering if you’d be interested in doing a review on your blog.

    If so, please email me: news@apolitical.info. Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I’ll send you a free copy.

    You can download a sample from the ebook’s page on Smashwords:

    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/92126

    I’m also happy to do interviews, guest posts, or giveaways. Just let me know what you’d prefer.

    Yours,
    James.

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