Saturday, January 17, 2015

Readers Choose the Ending

Do you want to let your readers choose the ending of the story...? That's easy to do if you are telling your story at your blog. Don't let the instructions below intimidate you: it's not as bad as it looks! Adding this "choose your own adventure" element will take just an extra five or ten minutes, and you will end up with something that could be really fun for your readers!

Main Story: You will write the main story as a regular blog post, up to the moment when the reader gets to choose from two different endings (or even three, if you want to do that). Go ahead and write out the question the reader will answer, and then you will come back later and add in the links. For example:
The princess has a choice: will she help the stranger, or will she obey her brother's command? Make your choice: She helps the stranger. ... She obeys her brother. See what happens! Then you can read the Author's Note.
Label your main story post with Storytelling as the label plus the current week as usual, but without the author's note.

Ending 1. Now create another blog post where you write out the ending that is Ending 1. In the example above, this is the ending where she helps the stranger. You'll use a different label for this post: Special. Here's the most important thing: you need to change the date so it will be "hidden" in your blog and not show up with the other posts on your homepage. So, in the right-hand column, look for the date option. Choose Set Date and Time, and change the YEAR to 2000, then click Done to record the new date. Publish the post!


Ending 2. Now create another blog post where you write out the ending that is Ending 2. In the example above, this is the ending where she obeys her brother. Label this post Special and also change the year to 2000. Publish.

Author's Note. Now create another blog post where you write out the Author's Note as usual, but keeping it hidden from your readers. Label this Special and change the year to 2000. Publish.

Get ready to edit! Okay, now you are ready to put it all together. Open your blog in one browser tab; you should see the Storytelling post on the homepage; click on the pencil at the bottom of the post to open it up for editing. Then, in another browser tab, open your blog, and click on the Special link in your Labels box; that should show you a page where you see the three posts you published with the fake date: the two ending posts and the author's note.

Edit the Storytelling post. You need to add three links to your post; to get the link you need, you will need to right-mouse click on the title of each of those three special posts and open the post in another browser tab. That will show the specific address (URL) for each of those three posts: the first ending, the second ending, and the author's note. Use each address to create the link you need: link to the first ending, link to the second ending, and link to the author's note.

You're all done! Publish your revised Storytelling post, and then check to make sure all the links are working: test the first ending, the second ending, and the author's note links.

CONGRATULATIONS! You have created an interactive story for your readers to enjoy!






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