Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Choose Your Own Erotic Adventure

A friend and I were discussing point of view recently. A lot of fiction is written in third person point of view (she went to the store…), and sometimes first person point of view (I went to the store...), but rarely do we see much written in the second person (you went to the store…). It’s uncommon, and something my friend had interest in exploring.

This got me thinking. The only types of stories that I’ve ever read in a second person point of view have been Choose Your Own Adventure. I so loved them as a kid! I was that eight year old at the library downing my eyes in words and plot that I was able to choose myself. I always cheated. I would choose one option, and then if I didn’t like it, I’d immediately switch. There was always some way to die in a story—a path I almost always chose first due to the danger and excitement surrounding the different plot options. The stories have made a lasting impression on me…

Now I wonder how this can relate to my erotic fiction. HOLY COW! The more I think about it, the more I realize what a wonderful experience this type of story could be when applied to erotica. Who wouldn’t want to choose their own erotic adventure? At this eureka moment, I googled “Choose Your Own Adventure Erotica” and was saddened that it had already been done.

Whoopdie-fucking-do. It hasn’t been done by me!

I can’t focus on anything else. My other numerous projects have been put on hold. I want to explore where this tangent to my typical writing might take me. So far I’ve come up with a list of all the pros of writing this type of story.

1. Allows the reader to place themselves in the story-This is usually the overall goal with erotica. It’s written to arouse, to allow a reader to visualize themselves in the character’s place. In this story, the reader is the character.

2. Allows the reader to choose their own path- We all want to have crazy adventurous sexcapades. This style of story can help a reader have these fantasies (if only in their head) without the fear of real life consequences. There’s also plot control. If you don’t like one path, say fuck it and choose another option for a more appealing outcome.

3. It doesn’t matter whom the reader is- “You” can be male, female, transgender, or other. So long as the author creates enough options to choose from, the sexual orientation of the reader shouldn’t matter. Instead of writing a book aimed at one audience, you could—in theory—reach all populations of people.

4. Plot Freedom & Experimentation-OMG. There have been so many times I’ve wanted to write other outcomes: bad, good, FUBAR, weird, sick & twisted, soft & sweet. This type of story allows an author to do all these things, satisfying the wide range of pathways where a story could naturally evolve.

5. There’s some of it, but…-Dude. I mean, really. Sure it’s been done, but it hasn’t been fully tapped yet. This should be have been popular enough for me to have heard of and not to have googled! If it’s not yet popularized, then I sure as hell am going to make it so.

It won’t be an easy task to complete. I start thinking of all the things that can go wrong, the multitudes of paths a reader could choose, and all the pathways I’d have to write in order to appeal to the wide audience I want to reach. It gets complicated.

I’m thinking it’ll look something like this:

Male Reader option --> Male lover 
                                    --> Female lover 

Female Reader option --> Male lover 
                                         --> Female lover

This could already have 4 different plot lines, but I could use the same plot and just switch the "he" to "she", or "she" to "he" to satisfy orientation preference.

Here’s an example of what could happen:

Male Reader --> Chooses orientation --> Plot option 1 or 2
                                                                  --> Plot option 1 has option A or B 
                                                                       --> Plot option A has option X, Y, Z
                                                                       --> Plot option B has option x, y, z
                                                                  --> Plot option 2 has option C or D 
                                                                       --> Plot option C has option ...
                                                                       --> Plot option D has option ...
Crazy right? To satisfy readers and to keep them coming back for more, essentially rereading the book and choosing other options, there would have to be a happily ever after option, death option, and maybe a happily ever after for now option. I might go as far as having an option would be “bad” but not death.

Needless to say, plotting a book like this will take a fuck of a lot more concentration and planning than anything I’ve ever done before. To be a good story, each pathway must be solid storytelling, complete with description, character development, and creativity. It’s a bit overwhelming, but I will rise to the challenge.

1 comment:

  1. I have four of these in progress. There are much more complicated than I expected, but it's at least an amusing diversion.

    Some things I've come to realize:
    - In effect you are writing scenes with purposed interaction
    - The blueprint flow is really scene to scene and minding your dependencies is really important
    - The illusion of choice is king because the reality is that the reader is rapidly being corralled to specific results
    - Every additional plot thread results in a potentially exponential increase in complexity

    It's like a puzzle without edges...