Learn how to write an epic solo adventure gamebook for readers of all ages

This course will teach you how to present readers with meaningful, memorable choices

Choice Design in Solo Adventure Gamebooks is a comprehensive five-lesson course that examines gamebooks through the lens of game design rather than narrative design or creative writing more broadly. 

Specifically, this course draws on the extensive academic and popular literature about player choice in games and distills the most relevant concepts into plainer language that's accessible to those with little or no game design background. This course also shares insights gleaned from instructor Sersa Victory's own experience as a game designer, gamebook author, and genre enthusiast. 

Considering the gamebook as a game and the reader as a player of games, the lessons in this course are oriented toward giving you a vocabulary for designing choices in your own gamebooks with intention in order to create scenarios that your readers will find engaging, challenging, and dramatic. 

Gamebooks continue to appeal to readers of all ages and there's ample room for innovating on or telling new kinds of stories with the format. This course aims to give you the tools and confidence necessary to leave your own mark on the gamebook industry.

What is a solo gamebook?

Gamebooks are fiction books where, instead of reading them cover to cover, the reader is presented with choices at the end of each passage. Depending on what choice the reader makes, she'll be instructed to turn to a different page and keep reading from there.

Some choices move the reader further along in the story, introducing new settings, characters, or plot details until she reaches the conclusion. Other choices, however, can lead to a story's unhappy or premature end — often with an inducement to the reader to try again. Gamebooks tend to emphasize adventure stories, with fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, and horror being popular genres. Younger readers have historically been the audience for gamebooks, though several gamebooks for teens and adults are available as well.
Tomb of the Everstar Sisterhood, a solo gamebook by Sersa Victory. The cover depicts a masked adventurer approaching a raised platform with a skull chalice. Behind the platform is a spectral figure and a glowing statue.

This is a self-paced, activity-based course

Here's a brief overview of the curriculum:

  • 1

    Welcome!

    • Welcome to Choice Design in Solo Adventure Gamebooks!

    • About the Instructor

    • Get to Know the Storytelling Collective

  • 2

    Course Downloads

    • Course Downloads

  • 3

    Lesson 1

    • Lesson 1. Why Choosing is Fun

    • Lesson 1. Exercise

  • 4

    Lesson 2

    • Lesson 2. Engaging Choice Types

    • Lesson 2. Exercise

  • 5

    Lesson 3

    • Lesson 3. Choice Types to Avoid

    • Lesson 3. Exercise

  • 6

    Lesson 4

    • Lesson 4. Communicating and Informing Reader Choice

    • Lesson 4. Exercise

  • 7

    Lesson 5

    • Lesson 5. Getting Beyond "Do You Go Left or Right?"

    • Lesson 5. Exercise

  • 8

    Course Wrap-Up

    • Final Words

Plus, your registration includes:

  • Downloadable handout and worksheets

  • Free digital copy of Tomb of the Everstar Sisterhood

  • Help and support from your instructor

  • Access to a private Discord channel

  • Indefinite access to the course and any future course updates

  • Support, encouragement, and accountability from the StoCo community

About the Instructor

Sersa Victory

Sersa Victory is an ENnie-nominated game designer and writer specializing in dark fantasy deathtrap dungeons. His work includes the solo gamebooks Tomb of the Everstar Sisterhood, The Coiled Crown, Trial of the Wolf Girls, and the upcoming Forge of the Molten Queen. He is also the author of Testament of Malice and designer of the bestselling RPG modules Tomb of Mercy and Necropolis of the Mailed Fist, both published by Kobold Press. Sersa's gamebooks emphasize dramatic action, mournful imagery, lore-based puzzles, and engaging choice design. In 2012, Chris Perkins and the Dungeons & Dragons community voted him apprentice of Acererak, the undead architect of the infamous Tomb of Horrors.

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