NaNoWriMo 2016

It’s got a little overshadowed by Ten Little Astronauts and Craft Keep, but yes, I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month again this year! However, I’m not writing a novel this time around. I’m continuing last year’s massively interactive fantasy story, Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure. The upshot of this is that although we’re only six days into the event, and although I only really got into it on Day 3 myself, the project is already more than 60,000 words long (50,000 from last year, plus 10,000 words of never-before-seen storylines from the past six days).


The only way I could get the entire flowchart into one image was to set up multiple monitors, and even then I had to stitch two screenshots together.

If you never came across this monstrosity last year, Exponential Adventure is, well, exponential. When you open it up, you’re presented with two directions the story can take. Each of those two options lead to two new options, and each of those two options lead to two more of their own, and so on. The screenshot(s)  above give an overview of how the whole thing is structured. Because you don’t see most of the story on any given read-through, it doesn’t take long to reach the end. However, at the time of writing there are nearly 200 unique endings and the thing isn’t even half done (which is partly why I’m devoting another NaNoWriMo to it). The network of boxes in the top half of the screenshot represents just 25% of the story.

Because of the way I’m writing this – prioritising complete storylines over number of branches – I’ve just hit a point at which the story is particularly accessible to newcomers. At present there are just two “dead ends” in the whole thing – one right at the beginning (which you have a 50% chance of encountering) and one about a third of the way through (which you have a 12.5% chance of encountering) – so you can more or less explore the entire story so far without worrying about running out of options.

Essentially, if you’d like to give Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure a quick go, this is a great time to do it: chances are I won’t be adding any new content until I have enough written to justify introducing the extra dead ends. And if you’d like to add me as a buddy for NaNoWriMo, you can find my profile here. Whether you’re participating or not, I hope you have a great November!

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