Sometime around last October, I published my interactive book, Ravished Inside the Haunted House. It was a monster of a book and took my half a year to write it. I was exhausted and told myself that my next book would be a hell of a lot shorter.
About a month later, I decided what I wanted to write next was a story about a sex gladiator on a faraway planet who battled for his ass, literally. In front a screaming crowd and an evil Queen, he would fight aliens and people, with the winner having the right to fuck the loser with domination sex. It would be part of a grand tournament with a big finale where the winner gets to fuck the Queen. It would be an interactive book where the reader took the part of the sex gladiator.
My initial thought was to write fast and dirty. Just spit this draft out there and I should have it done by June. Polish it and get it published in July. It would be like my version of a summer blockbuster: loud, crass and big. I would even get the jump on it and write some of it in December. Hell, I may have it done by May!
It is now June and I am about 80% of the way through the first draft. Whoops.
My rough outline was simple. Gladiator has a night before the match where he bangs the servant assigned to him. He then has a fight. If he loses the fight, he gets fucked and he is out of the tournament and the story ends. If he wins the fight, he fucks the loser and the story moves on. The gladiator goes back to his room, bangs the servant and repeat. Easy-peasy. That is six fights and six nights before.
My biggest concern is that this would be most linear interactive adventure I have written. All of my books read like amusement parks; you can only visit so much on one trip. The early choices determine what part or theme of the book you explore. This allows the reader to play through the book at least three or four times with clearly different stories. I like this approach because it gets a lot of replay-ability out of a single book.
This book wouldn’t have that feature. You start at the same place, fight the same six sex gladiators and have the same six nights after the fight. There would be variations of how you fight or how to spend your night, but all in all, it is a single story-line without any real reason to read again unless you really like the story. This was a problem but I figured that I would just have to make sure the story is really good and worth revisiting.
Halfway through writing the first fight, it occurred to me that I have stressed that sex gladiators play to the crowd and play to the Queen but there is no mechanism to encourage the player to keep it mind. It seemed obvious that winning wasn’t enough, I had to quantify how good your win was. By adding that element, it stood to reason that your night after the fight would change as well. If you win and please the crowd and Queen, the Queen sends you a gift. If you win and only please the crowd, then someone from the crowd visits you. If you simply win, then you just have sex with your servant and maybe some luxury that has been provided for your quarters.
Now I have a lot of variety to play with. We have the same six fighters, but now there are three different ways to spend your night after each fight. That will help a lot with repeatability.
Of course, once I introduced the idea of three different ways to spend a night before a fight, it seems logical that the fight itself would change. Maybe fucking a member of the crowd gives you a hint about your next opponent. Maybe the Queen’s gift gives you an advantage. Maybe having sex with your servant can have risks in that you don’t adequately prepare for the next fight.
As you can easily see, now instead of fighting the same six gladiators, you have three possible variations for each of those fights. The math works out to three possible versions of each of the six fighters equals eighteen different mini-stories. Add to that the three different versions of the six nights before each fight for another eighteen mini-stories. Add them together, and I have thirty-six variations to write out for this tournament. Plus any variations I want to do on the grand ending when the Queen rewards you.
So that is how my simple story ballooned into a massive space gladiator epic that has consumed all of my writing for this year so far. I think it will be worth it. On a single run through, you will see twelve of the mini-stories and have twenty-four that you never saw. Of these thirty-six combinations, you could repeat some and see new ones depending on your choices. It may be linear, but there are a lot of ways to get to the end.
It is a lot of work but I can’t wait to share it with you.