Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure stories we all loved as kids? This winter my two boys, we call them M-Man and T-Man online, have been hard at work writing a story in which readers can make their own crucial choices. It was about a 6-week project, and for a pair of elementary-aged low readers, it was quite a challenge. However, though they struggle with reading, they excel at understanding how stories work. In the home of this kid-lit enthusiast/author, what choice do they have? They’ve been bombarded with stories all their lives!
This time I gave them the reins. They spent a full week fleshing out their characters and their setting and a second week outlining their plot strands. Yes, strands. There isn’t just a single plotline. The reader gets to make choices, so my boys had to supply them. I let them do all the work. I just kept asking them the right questions. (And I overruled excessive bodily functions–there were quite a few of those!)
We spent the next four weeks writing the text. I actually ghost wrote this for them so they could have a much more professional product at the end of all their efforts, but both boys were planted on either side of me the entire time, working out details and making decisions. Then they got to design the cover image. Finally, I arranged with 14 blogging friends to host the different sections of their story. (Each choice will take you to a new blog.) The final product is pretty darn cool if I say so myself!
Have I piqued your interest? If you want a one-of-a-kind reading experience, head on over to my kids’ Storyboys blog where they’ve posted the first section of their masterpiece. From there, the rest of the story is up to you!
If you enjoy their work, please give them a shout out or leave a comment on their blog. It would absolutely make their day. I guarentee they’ll be planted in front of their stats page all day long. 🙂