Thursday, August 6, 2020

GAMEBOOK ACADEMY _____ How to rearrange the sections in your gamebook (and drive your readers crazy if they try to cheat)

NOTE: This is part of a series that explains how to create your own simple gamebooks. More articles here

Hope you've been having fun creating your original gamebooks! 

This lesson will show you how to rearrange, or shuffle, your text sections, so that they no longer run continuously. 

Why do this? It ensures that your readers have a better chance of enjoying your gamebook, because they are less likely to read ahead before making their choices, whether by accident or because they're tempted to cheat. 

If they're really, really determined, they can still cheat, of course. But by shuffling your pages well, you'll make this a big challenge in itself. Good luck to them, then!

Ready? Here we go.

Lesson 5: How to rearrange the sections in your gamebook (and drive your readers crazy if they try to cheat)

Step 1.
When you start writing your gamebook, just number your sections in running order. In the diagram below, your original section number is shown in red.

Step 2.
Once you're done writing and editing, and you're happy with all your text, make a list of your section numbers. Then make another list next to it with the numbers shuffled up thoroughly. But keep Section 1 as your opening. See diagram below. 

Step 3.
Now go back to the text and add your new section numbers (in blue) next to the original ones (in red). Remember to do this at the top of each section, as well as at the end, where you present your readers with choices for moving ahead. See diagram below.

Step 4.
Go through each section again and refer back to your two lists. Very important: check that the new section numbers (in blue) are correct. Once you're sure, delete the old section numbers (in red). Of course, the more sections you have in your gamebook, the more time this will take. But it's worth it.

Step 5.
Congratulations! Your sections are now properly shuffled. Arrange them in running order now. Your reader should have a harder time cheating.

More Gamebook Academy posts coming soon! In the meantime, you can read our bonus interviews with some awesome gamebook creators, check the full list here.

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