Interactive Noveling

Experimenting with a new way of storytelling

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

I remember the You Say Which Way and Choose Your Own Adventure books from when I was younger. There was nothing more exciting than to be able to have an impact on the story I was reading.

I still remember the thrill of controlling the choices the characters made.

These stories used to be purely in book format, and at the end of a specific segment, it would give you two (or more) choices, and at the end of each, would be a page reference for you to turn to so that you could continue the adventure.

Nowadays, with the advent of ebooks, the ability to add hyperlinks and graphics is a game changer.

Books can become like an RPG game. These can appeal to all ages, and genders. They can be used in any genre, and can appeal to even the most reluctant of readers. These books make reading more accessible.

They are usually written in the second person, (you). This makes the reader a direct participant. Suddenly, you aren’t reading about a character, you are the character.

There are an increasing number of adult versions of the interactive novel, which rely heavily on the use of QR codes, and hyperlinks. These make the possibilities of storytelling even more endless.

Recently, I have been reading and playing about with an app named Twine. It is a bit of freeware, which is used to create RPG games, but can also be used to create interactive stories. The software itself is relatively simple to use, with only a small amount of coding (trust me, if I can work it out, you can!).

I am in the process of planning a middle grade novel, which I would like to turn into an interactive story. The main character is a dragon, who just doesn’t quite fit in to his world.

The thing about interactive writings is that they could be applied to anything. You could even start a blog series with different options for the reader.

The possibilities are literally endless!

And, as long as you have an idea, you can write one too.


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Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

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Characters Who Have A Mind Of Their Own

Characters Who Have A Mind Of Their Own

Adventures In Novelling

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

If you’re a writer, you’ll know all about the struggle of dealing with characters that simply won’t do what you want them to do. I have dealt with this so many times in my own writing, where, for some reason, the characters just don’t want to play ball.

Sometimes they won’t say what we want them to. Sometimes they turn around and tell us that really, they wouldn’t do what we’re about to write them doing. And it is so frustrating. I find myself staring at the screen, thinking ‘I created you, and now you’re telling me that you know better

The only thing I can say is that there is a fine line here. Sometimes I have forged on ahead and ignored that character’s voice telling me that this “simply wouldn’t happen”, and more often than not, I have been proved wrong.

On the very rare occasion that I have been right to put those words in the character’s mouth, or that situation into the character’s life, I often realise afterwards that the opposition wasn’t that strong and that the character merely wanted a small tweak to the plot.

The thing is, I’m not saying that my characters are actually alive, but inside my head, they are. They have to be, because if they aren’t then I’m just writing empty words on a page.

Your characters must come alive because if they don’t then, you really know that you have a problem with your story. I have done this so many times, and the stories that have run into the most problems have always been those where the characters aren’t fully fleshed out and where they are all just a little wooden.

So, I guess, the best advice I can give is to simply trust your character’s gut when it comes down to it. Listen to them and argue with them (yes, I know I sound crazy, but sometimes I get more sense out of them than I do out of most people).

Have any of you had arguments with your characters? How did you deal with it?


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Plotter or Pantser

Plotter or Pantser

Adventures In Novelling 2

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

As a writer, you quickly become aware that there are generally two different schools of thought regarding the process of beginning a novel. I’m talking about that annoying little segment in between getting your brilliant idea, and actually writing said idea.

The thing is, there are some people. A friend of mine calls them ‘the blessed’. These people don’t plan. They just sit down and write, and the story flows. These people find it easy to skip the step of actually planning.

And then, there’s the rest of us. The planners. The people that need some kind of road map to their novel before they commit to putting those words down.

I have found, through the years, that I am a bit of a mixture of both. I can just sit down and write, and at first, that’s fine. However, I then find that I must go back and try to organise the thoughts about the story that are flying around in my head.

I used to see that as some kind of failure on my part, but what I’ve learned is that it’s okay to plan. It’s okay to break the mould, and it doesn’t mean that you’re not a good enough writer just because you like to have a plan; a map; a backup. It doesn’t mean that the story you have to tell is any less worthwhile. It simply means that this is your writer’s process, and that is perfectly okay.

That horrible doubt that creeps up on us, can cripple us. Making us feel that we aren’t good enough. The thing is that what we have to do is tell that doubt to shut up. We can end up thinking that we aren’t good enough to tell that story, but in reality, you are the only one who can tell your story. It is yours, and no one else can tell it like you can.

So, what’s your process? Drop a note in the comments, and let’s get a discussion going!


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.