1. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    Writing a New Kind of Choose Your Own Adventure-type story?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by stampman, May 24, 2016.

    Ok so here's the premise. There's a man named Nomad who's a telepath. His specialty is warping people's perception, particularly in regards to him. Nobody has seen his real face, because they all remember him differently. And while the end results are all the same, how it happens is up to interpretation. The basic idea is that multiple thugs are being interrogated following a huge bust, in which their boss was taken down. Every thug has a different story, and different descriptions of the events. Some say he was like a shadow and silently took them down one by one, some say he came in guns blazing, some say one of their own turned on them, etc. Its never stated which event is true, allowing the reader to essentially create who Nomad is to them. Is he sneaky, or a brute? Is he harsh, or reserved?
    So, all that being said, what do you think? Decent idea? Just FYI I'm considering the graphic novel format (I think it works a bit better as a visual medium.)
     
  2. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    https://www.choiceofgames.com/

    If you want to make a choose your own adventure book, these guys have free software and a market. I tried but i'm hopeless at coding.
     
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  3. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    It's not exactly choose your own adventure in that sense, its more just left up to interpretation. But thanks for the input :)
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think this is a good idea for a story. Similar things have been done before, of course. I seem to recall a Farscape episode where everybody's version of the Truth came out a bit differently from the others.

    I think the idea that people see the same events differently from one another is a story idea that's worth exploring. I would be more interested if there was less supernatural influence, though. If somebody has the power to twist somebody's mind ...well, what's the point, really? They can. Whether they do it for good purpose or for some other purpose is really irrelevant. People do things for lots of different reasons, so exploring the reasons this guy does things is not terribly innovative. Being supernatural doesn't really add to the theme.

    However, exploring what happens when different people see things differently ...that's what I find interesting about this idea. Each of the thugs saw this Nomad person differently. So what did their perceptions make them do?
     
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  5. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    R.L. Stine had some Goosebumps books that were choose your own adventure, so many ways to end. Who doesn't like choices. :)
     
  6. Lemie
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    Lemie Member

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    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114814/

    Was this by any chance your inspiration?
     
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  7. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    I've never actually seen the Usual Suspects. I just had this idea for a telepath and wanted to do something a bit different. He's running, from something or someone, hence him basically wiping himself from peoples minds. This was just a way that I could bring this across in a new-ish format.
     
  8. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    The closest thing I would see as an inspiration is an issue of Batman where it shows several kids all telling about a time they met the Batman, and everybody describes him differently. Then I saw the warehouse fight in BvS and thought "How many ways could this have played out?"
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    it sounds really cool - I'd read that :) However, I think it's pretty hard to do because you need to make each story just as believable - they all need to share elements and each story needs elements of truth, and that each could have believably happened based on the handful of truths they share. I read a short story called Once in Aleppo by Nabokov - the narrator is an unreliable narrator and by the end, you have no idea which version of the events is true. Have a read: http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~mazalek/projects/aleppo/nabokov.html

    By the way, your signature made me lol :rofl: for me, it's the fruity ones. Hate them. Way too sweet. And while I love coconut ice-cream and coconut milk, I seem to dislike them in chocolate in general :blech:
     
  10. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    They wouldn't all be reliable, some are completely fantastical. Obviously those didn't happen, but they just go to show his skill set when it comes to mental manipulation.
     
  11. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    He's part of a larger hero universe, he's just one cog. He's always on the run, and nobody knows from who or what, or why he's taking out these criminals. I have an end game, but obviously that's down the road.
     
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  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ah, so you want the reader to easily know which ones are false? For me, that doesn't sound half as much fun :( but fair enough! But then it's just reading the same account with different details over and over, and if I know which one's false, why would I keep reading? If something's too far out there, it'd just feel outrageous. Like, if you're trying to convince the reader of the excellent manipulation skills this character has, then surely you have to keep the reader guessing?

    Hmmm, but then you did say you were thinking of it as a graphic novel. I'm thinking of it as pure narrative. The comic book genre is different and I don't know much about it, so maybe it could work after all?
     
  13. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    You make a very good point there
     
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  14. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    This gives me an idea; a choose your own adventure in the form of a website.

    Different selections could be done as links to other pages on the site, and progress could be saved in cookies or in a database.
    Using a database, you could track the most popular actions.

    Maybe I'm looking at this from too much of a technical angle.

    Back to the original post, and there have been characters who can create illusions to hide their true appearance, such as Camile from Red Dwarf and Candice from Heroes.

    Of course, the reader's expectations of what the character would look like could also influence their choices.
     
  15. Lemie
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    Lemie Member

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    In The Usual Suspect there isn't a telepath, but the way you described the boss who everyone described differently and no one really knew how he looks/who he even is made me think of it.

    Still - seems like a good idea.
     
  16. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    The Usual Suspects and Keyser Söze was what came straight to my mind on reading the OP.

    I'm struggling to understand how you'd pull this off. You say there's multiple thugs being interrogated following a bust, so the story would be told from their perspective. Would you jump around between the thugs to tell the stories i.e. thug "A" describes "X", thug "B" describes "X" where "X" is the same outcome but each thug describes it differently, before you move onto thug "A" describing "Y" and thug "B" describing "Y" etc . . . ? Or do you tell thug "A's" story in full before moving to thug "B"?

    Just not quite visualising it :)
     
  17. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    It's a pretty short event, so each would be told in full.
     
  18. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    Ah ok. So the interrogation sequence is just a small part of the wider story?
     
  19. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    Yeah. Its basically one or two chapters (or maybe if it becomes a graphic novel, just an issue or two).
     
  20. Joe Portes
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    Joe Portes New Member

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    This is more or less what the main villain, Kilgrave, played by David Tennant in Netflix's Jessica Jones does... he's a telepath who can control peoples' mind, but also make them see whatever he wants. Your Nomad sort of sounds like Batman mixed with Kilgrave. I get the Usual Suspects comparison as well, but I think this is a bit different. I do, however, think what a previous poster mentioned is very true: the interesting theme here is about perception and supernatural abilities can muddy that up a bit. If handled well, though, I don't think that's a problem.

    I absolutely think you want to leave it up to the audience whose interpretations of the Nomad, if any, are correct. Don't make it obvious which are right and wrong. Question: how would this work as a graphic novel? It sounds like something that would be best for that medium, but logically, we would have to see what the Nomad is doing so we would know the truth, right? Or maybe we visually see all their different versions through their POV's and don't know which is true... I guess it could work the same way. Love the hero's name, Nomad, by the way.
     

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