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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

inkleWriter is Shutting Down - Try These Alternatives for Writing CYA Fiction

For years inkleWriter has been one of my go-to recommendations for tools to create choose-your-adventure stories. Unfortunately, this morning as I was planning a workshop, I noticed an announcement on inkleWriter's homepage about their forthcoming shutdown. So if you find yourself looking for an alternative to inkleWriter, give the following two options a try.

Twine
This is my new first choice for writing choose-your-own adventure fiction. Twine is an open-source program for writing choose your own adventure stories. You can use Twine online or you can download the software for Mac or Windows. To write a choose your own adventure story with Twine online start by giving your story a title. After titling your story you will be taken to a grid canvas on which you can write short passages in a series of sticky notes. Each sticky note should be given its own title. To link elements of your stories you place brackets around the title of note within a note. Each note can be linked to two or more other notes in your story. When your story is complete you can read through it and click through it in your browser.

If you use Twine online there are a couple of things to be aware of before you start. First, there is not a log-in or registration option. Your work is saved in your browser. To save your work permanently, click the archive icon to download a Twine file. Your Twine file can be opened later in your web browser where you can edit it further or simply read through your story. Second, to share Twine stories you will have to email the file to the person you want to read your story.

Playfic
Playfic is a tool for creating text-based, choose your own adventure stories. Playfic is based on Inform7 which uses "if, then" logic to allow anyone to create their stories. When authors plan and write their stories they can include multiple paths for readers to pursue as they progress through their stories. Readers navigate through the stories by entering directional commands such as "go north" and "go south." Click here to try a sample story and learn a bit about the logic of Playfic. The aspect of Playfic that I like best is that while writing their stories students can click on a preview. If students have errors in the logic of their stories, when they click on the preview Playfic will point those out with an explanation of the errors.

A word of caution about Playfic: there is a public gallery of stories that students can access from the Playfic homepage. For that reason, I would only consider using Playfic with students of high school age or older.