I want to create an semi-interactive novel, how you guys do it?

#1
Heya, Dylan here. I gotta question to ask. What is the best way to create an interactive chapter?

I'm planning to do some (I mean, A LOT) interactive things in my novel. But what I wanted to do is not 'polling' that could change the future story. Rather, I want my readers just to feel the decision-making that the characters did; I want them to put the thought of 'what if I am in that character's shoes, what will I do? What is the best that I can do?'. 

So the 'semi-interactive' that I mean here is like: I give the reader a question or situation that the character has/meet, and they answer what would they do OR what should the character do to handle the problem. Or, to put it simple: The reader 'plays' along with the character.

There is only one answer that is true to the storycause that's my fiction, after allbut I will eventually break down the character thought process on why they choose the certain option to deal with the problem.

I'm thinking about putting the semi-interactive question through the google form since the polling function wouldn't be suitable for that kind of interactive thing cause the question would be asked in the middle of the narration.

How'd you fellow Royals think about that? Will the platform be good enough or effective for that purpose? Or is my idea is such garbage? (Oh, and if it is, then please just tell me)

If you're an author and have this similar type of interaction in your fiction, please give me an insight into how you are able to do it.
If you're a reader who happens to be a fan or stumbled upon a fiction that has this kind of interaction, please shoved me some suggestions.

Thank you and cheers! May you have a great day!

Re: I want to create an semi-interactive novel, how you guys do it?

#2
Oh look! A guide that may be helpful!
Honestly, I think people would be unwilling to click a link that takes them off-site. People do answer polls here, so maybe just make the chapters much shorter and have a daily or bi-daily posting schedule?
Waiting for comments to continue is just flat-out a bad idea. People don't comment enough to make that a viable option here.
Honestly, Royal Road isn't the best site for interactive stories, but it's better than, say, wattpad. Maybe... Maybe try Quora? They have polls and things you can set up and link in-chapter, so everything is at least on the same site. Or if all else fails, try setting up on a blog site.
It's not a garbage idea, just a very difficult one. Let me know what you decide to do!

Re: I want to create an semi-interactive novel, how you guys do it?

#3
This seems like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel... except that ultimately, you only provide one route for the story to unfold.

I've got no tips on how to pull it off, but it does seem that since the reader interaction doesn't have any actual efficacy, the existing Poll function should work just fine.

I do have an overall question - what are you trying to accomplish here? Do you want your readers to feel like they have agency, that their input is impacting the story? And if not, why bother with the Poll/"interactive" thing at all? Readers naturally ponder things like "What would I do in this character's shoes?" as they read. Giving them a Google Form or Poll or something doesn't really ENHANCE anything your story is doing, and in reality might just detract from the reader's enjoyment.

I'd suggest doing simple surveys (like you would for a beta reader) rather than trying to present your story as more "interactive" than it really is. Just link readers to a survey (Parenthetical - Hey! What would you do? Click here to let me know.) and keep going.

That, or create an actual Choose Your Own Adventure story. You could present 2 or 3 choices for the reader, and each outcome could be a unique chapter. Then, when you present the choice, direct link to each of the unique chapters... And honestly, each "dead-end" choice could just be a few paragraphs about the hypothetical of what would have happened if that choice was made, along with a link to the "real choice" that the character actually made.

Not ideal... but at least interactive.

Re: I want to create an semi-interactive novel, how you guys do it?

#4

Mad Wrote: Oh look! A guide that may be helpful!
Honestly, I think people would be unwilling to click a link that takes them off-site. People do answer polls here, so maybe just make the chapters much shorter and have a daily or bi-daily posting schedule?
Waiting for comments to continue is just flat-out a bad idea. People don't comment enough to make that a viable option here.
Honestly, Royal Road isn't the best site for interactive stories, but it's better than, say, wattpad. Maybe... Maybe try Quora? They have polls and things you can set up and link in-chapter, so everything is at least on the same site. Or if all else fails, try setting up on a blog site.
It's not a garbage idea, just a very difficult one. Let me know what you decide to do!
Yeah exactly, I also believe sometimes it's not the best idea to interrupt the reading process and take readers off-site.. The thing about making my chapters shorter is, I feel like I have the best amount of words (for me) and the right time to cut off the chapter..
Meanwhile, my novel wouldn't be in the form of CYOA, I believe some of your tips GREATLY give me some ideas to tweak around and implement it in my fiction. Especially that colour code thingy, I think that just genius if I can implement it without confusing the readers. So, thank you!
Oh, and I don't really know if I'm willing to post to another site just yet... xD.

Re: I want to create an semi-interactive novel, how you guys do it?

#5

DNFrost Wrote: I do have an overall question - what are you trying to accomplish here? Do you want your readers to feel like they have agency, that their input is impacting the story? And if not, why bother with the Poll/"interactive" thing at all?
No, the readers won't be impacting the story. And, I just want to, you know, have an interaction with the readers. As a reader before, I feel like I don't have that thought of "Oh, damn, I wouldn't do that if I were you"; instead, I would read and read, just riding the flow and story. With that kind of 'interactive' thing, IMO, it will stimulate the readers to put them in the characters shoes...
DNFrost Wrote: Giving them a Google Form or Poll or something doesn't really ENHANCE anything your story is doing, and in reality might just detract from the reader's enjoyment.

This is exactly what was my concern. And my other idea is kinda similar to your suggestion, too. Also, you gave me an insight about providing the readers one or two paragraphs about their answer's outcome. That wouldn't be a pain in the butt, so, thanks!