How to write a gamebook part 2c – improving on the just write it! method

Using the just write it! method, we didn’t play by the rules, but by God, we got results.  We already have a short gamebook of choosing our lunch.  So far, we have this:

1

You are in the kitchen.  You have a fridge and several cupboards full of food.  You stomach starts to rumble and you look at your watch to see that it is lunch time.  What will you have to eat?  To have a cheese and salad sandwich, turn to 2.  To have sausage and chips, turn to 3.
2

You slice up some bread, butter one of them and cut up some cheese to put in the slice.  You then get the left over salad from the fridge and put it one your sandwich.  You look for mayonnaise, but you cannot find any.  If you search the bottom drawer of the fridge, turn to 4.  If you eat the sandwich without the mayonnaise, turn to 5.  If you forget about the sandwich and make sausages and chips, turn to 3.
3

You get the sausages out of the fridge and a packet of oven chips from the freezer.  You put the chips in the oven and grill the sausages.  When they are done, you enjoy the meal with a bit of tomato ketchup although you are quite full after the meal so you feel a bit drowsy.
4

You open the drawer to find the squeezy bottle of mayonnaise.  You squirt it onto your sandwich and enjoy your tasty cheese and salad sandwich with mayonnaise.

5
You eat the sandwich.  It is OK but you would rather have mayonnaise on it.
So we can improve this by having more options.  Since we’re writing by the nibs of our pens (does that make sense?) we just need to think about how we can improve it and then write it.  
You can have more decisions to make from a paragraph that isn’t the first.  For example, with the above example, you could decide whether you could fry the sausages or grill them.  
We can have decisions cross over.  With my above example, we might want to have mayonnaise with our chips so you could decide to search for the mayonnaise if you have sandwiches or chips.
We could expand the decisions at the beginning.  For example, we could also choose to have soup for lunch.
Right.  There are three changes.  Let’s get writing.  
  1

You are in the kitchen.  You have a fridge and several cupboards full of food.  You stomach starts to rumble and you look at your watch to see that it is lunch time.  What will you have to eat?  To have a cheese and salad sandwich, turn to 2.  To have sausage and chips, turn to 3.  To have soup, turn to 6.
2

You slice up some bread, butter one of them and cut up some cheese to put in the slice.  You then get the left over salad from the fridge and put it one your sandwich.  You look for mayonnaise, but you cannot find any.  If you search the bottom drawer of the fridge, turn to 4.  If you eat the sandwich without the mayonnaise, turn to 5.  If you forget about the sandwich and make sausages and chips, turn to 3.  If you forget about the sandwich and have soup, turn to 6.
3

You get the sausages out of the fridge and a packet of oven chips from the freezer.  You put the chips in the oven but what will you do with the sausages?  If you want to grill them, turn to 9.  If you want to fry them, turn to 10.  
4

You open the drawer to find the squeezy bottle of mayonnaise.  You squirt it onto your lunch and enhance it immensely.  Yum yum!  If you squirted it on your sandwich, turn to 14.  If you squirted it on sausage and chips, turn to 15.

5
You eat the sandwich.  It is OK but you would rather have mayonnaise on it.
6

You find two different flavours of soup in the cupboards.  To have tomato soup, turn to 7.  To have vegetable soup, turn to 8.
7

You heat the soup in a saucepan and let it simmer for a while.  You then pour it into a bowl and enjoy your tomato soup for lunch.
8

You heat the soup in a saucepan and let it simmer for a while.  You then pour it into a bowl and enjoy your vegetable soup for lunch.
9

You grill the sausages which is a lot healthier for you.  When the chips are cooked, you put the sausages and chips on a plate.  If you want mayonnaise with your chips, turn to 11.  If you want ketchup with your chips, turn to 12.


10

You fry the sausages which is quicker but they are a lot more fatty.  When the chips are cooked, you put the sausages and chips on a plate.  If you want mayonnaise with your chips, turn to 11.  If you want ketchup with your chips, turn to 12.
11

You look in the cupboard but you can’t find any mayonnaise.  If you search  the bottom drawer of the fridge, turn to 4.  If you eat the chips without mayonnaise, turn to 13.
12

You squirt the ketchup on the chips and enjoy your lunch of sausage and chips.  It is yummy, but quite big so you feel drowsy afterwards.
13

You eat the sausage and chips but you do not have any mayonnaise.  The lunch is OK, but it would have been better with mayonnaise.  You are quite full afterwards and feel drowsy.  

14

You enjoy your yummy sandwich with mayonnaise.  Yum yum!
15

You have a delicious meal of sausage and chips with mayonnaise.  Yum yum!  After the meal, you feel quite full and drowsy.
So there we are.  I have a couple of points about my experience when writing the gamebook.
When I started writing, I had no idea how long it would be.  I did not anticipate that it would be as long as 15 paragraphs.
I started adding options in the paragraphs before I actually added the paragraph numbers.  I did this to see how many paragraphs I needed.  I could have done it another way, but focusing on one path of decisions at a time.  
I changed paragraph 4 to make it cover both the sausage and chips and the sandwich, but I was not happy with that so I added the two paragraphs where you turn to a paragraph depending on what you decided to eat.  Sometimes in a gamebook, you may get asked about a decision you took in the past.  This is a good mechanic to make seemingly insignificant decisions important later on.

To improve on the map method, turn to 2a.
To improve on the flow diagram method, turn to 2b.
To improve on the just write it! method, turn to 2c.
If you have now improved all of your gamebooks using the three methods, it’s time to move on.  Turn to part 2d – working with paragraphs.
To return to the main page, turn to part 2.
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