Amongst the karma sutra picture books and tattoo coffee table books at Urban Outfitters, I found a book called Pretty Little Mistakes. The second-person book lets you choose your fate. At the end of each chapter, you must make a decision on how to continue, then flip to the corresponding page to see what results. You begin with college or travel? Then move through life, death, addiction, love, hate, or sex.
I couldn’t help but sit and try to weave through the work process of the author, Heather McElhatton, as she wrote essentially hundreds of books into one flowing narrative of the readers second life. Well, there are answers to everything on the Internet. I came across this diagraming tool for the old choose-your-own-adventure novels of yesteryear (I’m not old enough to have ever read these, but they sound like something I would have like, in between Encyclopedia Brown and Babysitters Club). This mapping system, which looks similar to the sitemaps we worked with in a website redesign in class, shows how each decision flow into another. Very cool to see the use of usability engineering tools in novel-writing.