Choose Our Way tales (COWtales) are stories where the reader gets to make a choice about the direction the story will follow. By being an active participant in the story, readers are more engaged and willing to press forward through the text.
COWtales have a number of branching plot threads, as well as a variety of endings. By providing multiple outcomes readers are encouraged to read, and reread the same text over and over again. Some people have even tried reading
Different types of COWtales
The first, and most beloved type of COWtale is Choose Your Own Adventure. In fact, you may be calling all COWtales Choose Your Own Adventure stories, but you would be wrong to do so. That term has been copyrighted for some time, and those seeking to use the term often find themselves in legal hot water. Changing one or two words, however, puts you in the clear.
There are a number of types of COWtales such as: Plant Your Path, Choose Your Own Minecraft Story, Choose Your Own Misery, Choose Your Path, An Interactive Doomsday Adventure, A Chooseable-Path Adventure, You Choose, and Choose the Scare.
Obviously COWtale is another such term, but I choose to use it as a generic term that covers all the chooseable path adventures.
Where to Start?
The first thing you’ll want to do is familiarize yourself with some of the more popular texts. There are a huge amount available through online book stores including your childhood favourites, long since out of print.
Next, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the history of the genre. Again, most of you are probably familiar with those brilliant white covered books you had as a child.
Many of them have been redrawn as “story maps” that show the various ways the stories connect, and split apart.
This brief introduction will provide you with everything you need to know about Choose Your Own Adventure stories: Hidden Structures of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Books
Now that you’re familiar with COWtales it’s time to press on and discover how to introduce and write Choose Our Way tales with students.
PART 1: Introduction to Choose Our Way tales