Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine

Hey everyone:

I have a book coming out about interactive fiction in general and Twine specifically in another two weeks or so, published by Pearson. Chris Klimas (chrisklimas.com/writing-interact … ine-ebook/) tech edited it. It has been an enormous labour of love for the last year or so, and the fact that it is almost out (well, the e-book version is out this week, but the paper version will be in bookstores on May 19th) is blowing my 9-year-old self’s mind. My dream when I was a kid was to find someone who loved Zork as much as I did. And now I’m an adult and I get to hang out online (and offline – we have an IF meetup) and talk about interactive fiction. And write a book about interactive fiction. That blows my mind.

Anyway, yes, the book is about Twine, but you can also skip all of the Twine information and use the other 50% of the book, which is about constructing interactive fiction in general. Building believable characters, developing arc, creating vivid setting – all the things you need to think about regardless of which tool you use – are in here. My background and MFA is in fiction. Chris’s post above sums up the book well.

We would love any help in publicizing the book to the greater world. Tweet it, Facebook it, throw it up on other forums. Any and all help is appreciated. Thank you enormously to everyone who has already done that.

Amazon: amazon.com/Writing-Interacti … 789756641/
Kindle: amazon.com/Writing-Interacti … 01ERR2TN2/
Barnes and Noble: barnesandnoble.com/w/writing … 1123015481
Nook: barnesandnoble.com/w/writing … 1123015481
Que: quepublishing.com/store/writ … 0134303093

Yikes – I can’t believe I have a new book coming out in a few days.

Sounds interesting, I’ll be sure to give it a read. Now, I’m excited.

Looks intriguing! Always great to see physical interactive fiction books out there in the world. Good luck with the launch!

Thank you! I hope everyone enjoys it.

YOu know we will. Anything to deal with this topic, we’ll love it. :smiley:

Congratulations, that’s wonderful!

added to my list on amazon of things to buy. thanks.

Thank you!

Looks interesting, nabbed a copy.

Thank you for reading it! Let me know if you have questions while reading.

I’m gonna add it to my Wishlist, but I’m afraid I’ve used up my Kindle budget for the month…


Hehe, more just a point where I have to decide if I like books more than eating for a week (Answer: maybe…) Are there any general Kindle-threads BTW? Cus I’d love to talk about what I got on there right now.

I’m a big fan of Amazon’s “save for later” option in the cart. That way you can cycle in your wishlist to hit the free shipping threshold when you need to.

(This is already in the “General and Off-Topic Talk” thread, so feel free to discuss, or start a new “Amazon Finds” thread as well.)

I’m more of a download a sample from iBooks or Kindle so I remember to buy it later. That’s my to-read list.

I use both, samples as the “maybe” pile and Wishlist as the “to read”-list. Samples can be of limited usefulness with short works, where you’ll get a page of the forward or something and nothing else. With “Writing interactive fiction with Twine”, about half the sample was foreword and acknowledgment, but I still got a nice juicy chunk of content from the first chapter, so that’s alright. :slight_smile:

Imma say, based on the sample, it is a REALLY good tutorial for Twine. :smiley: It makes me wish I had that when I got started instead of just browsing the twine wiki until I figured it out. I very much approve of the choice to include storytelling principles from the very beginning, as one of the biggest hurdle for me learning a new program or coding language has always been “yeah, this is a bunch of stuff I can do, but what am I supposed to do with it? :confused:

While most of at least that first sample are things I already know, it uses a newer version of Twine than the one I’m used to, so it’s probably going to come in handy when I realize it’s no longer the early 2010s and decide to upgrade (it may take a while…)

Ha – this is the book I wish had been around when I was trying to figure it out. I came to it with no computer science background and had to teach myself so I could teach the kids in our computer club. Hopefully this will make it more accessible for the layperson or kids and bring another generation of people into interactive fiction.

First, congratulations, and second, “I wish my book had been around” is what I strive for with my own writing. I suppose we all can.

As for not knowing how to program–we can make it a bigger block than it is. Of course it’s not trivial, but sometimes saying “I want to do this and I know people ahead of me have made a way” is a huge help."

I remember way back when, when we kids would make primitive choose your own adventure games on our Apple IIes. It’s good that spirit is still alive and probably a bit more rigorous and organized, but without losing the fun.

Yeah, and I think coding becomes much easier once you realize that so much of programming in the modern age involves typing questions into google until you figure it out. Art is the same way: it becomes so much easier once you realize that using references isn’t cheating, it’s the way it’s done!

I always love that sense of intergenerational connection when I explain Twine to someone and they go “oh yeah, that sounds like the things I used to do on my mac back when I was a kid and made silly stories about escaping from school instead of studying…” :slight_smile:

Not sure if we can count the group as organized (it’s pretty much follow-your-bliss), but it has been a lot of fun to be part of our drop-in computer club the last few years. I wish something like it had been around when I was a kid. The fact that a kid can walk into a room – for free! – and say, “I want to learn this” and then other kids or adults make it happen? It’s a pretty freakin’ cool to see 50 kids all making interactive fiction and then playing each other’s games as a group.