"Choose your own adventure" books were really popular for children in the 1980's. These interactive books allowed the reader to make decisions of where they wanted the story to go and, depending on their choices, this would shape the outcome of the book. Budding authors can now write their own interative story books and publish them online using a fabulous website called "Twine". My year 5 (aged 10 - 11 years old) literacy class have just created some wonderful Greek myths using this method.

Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. It is available to either download and install, or to run in a web browser. Stories can be styled to your own requirements, and are published directly to HTML, so you can post your work nearly anywhere.

The stories are created using a graphical story builder which helps the author determine how the story is going to be told as well as the choices that are available to the reader. The choices that the reader can make are enclosed with [[ ]] and when these are typed in and saved new pages are created for each choice.

We started out by looking at a selection of greek myths and identified settings, heroes, gods and ideas which were common in a lot of the myths, such as moral messages, quests or creation stories. This took around a week to do (5 x 1 hour lessons). The children then created a plan in MS Word and then spent 4 days creating their myths in Twine. We stopped every so often to look at each other's work and to offer help and advice to improve our interactive stories and then eventually published them using the sites referenced in the Twine Wiki.

We used myth web sites and an online thesaurus/dictionary to help with choosing interesting vocabulary. As there are no spell checkers (or grammar checkers) in Twine, I had to get the children to regularly check their work for simple mistakes. We need to get to a point where the children's grammar is as good online as it is in their books - I haven't got there yet...

At the end of this piece of work, the children asked if we could use Twine again to create more stories. Some of the more reluctant writers did a marvellous job creating their own text adventures and I think it has really brought their writing on.


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