Choose Your Own Adventure

My last couple of posts have included the beginning of a story called “Reconsidering Regina.”  In the first post, I invited the readers to comment and help decide which way the story should go.  That got me thinking about one of my favorite genres to read as a young adult – Choose Your Own Adventure.

Did you ever read any of those books?  An intrepid explorer finds a well-hidden cavern behind a waterfall but is expected back at camp in an hour.  Does she explore the cavern, or check in back at camp and bring someone back with her?

I would have chosen to go back to camp and bring a friend.  What if that choice resulted in injury or even death to your friend?  Looking back at what I remember most about those stories, I realize they really played a role in shaping my understanding of the consequences inherent in any decision.

I often wonder, “What if I go to Chipotle for lunch instead of Piada?  How many people’s days will change ever so slightly because I made a different decision?”

This is an important lesson in writing.  What you write doesn’t exist in the universe until you actually write it – how might your creation change people just by them reading it and absorbing it?  Would my gooey nougat-y moral center be a little harder and more cynical if I hadn’t read so many Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid and really gained an understanding of actions and consequences?

As Uncle Ben says in that Spiderman movie, “With great power come great responsibility.”  Write well, and write to inspire.  Create in to the universe that which you would like to be surrounded with!

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