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Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine Book

Hey everyone:

I have a book coming out about interactive fiction in general and Twine specifically in another two weeks or so, published by Pearson. Chris Klimas ( tech edited it. It has been an enormous labour of love for the last year or so, and the fact that it is almost out (well, the e-book version is out this week, but the paper version will be in bookstores on May 19th) is blowing my 9-year-old self's mind. My dream when I was a kid was to find someone who loved Zork as much as I did. And now I'm an adult and I get to hang out online (and offline -- we have an IF meetup) and talk about interactive fiction. And write a book about interactive fiction. That blows my mind.

So the book is about 50% Twine 2, covering almost every macro in Harlowe and then SugarCube, and 50% general information on constructing interactive fiction in general. Building believable characters, developing arc, creating vivid setting -- all the things you need to think about regardless of which tool you use -- are in here. My background and MFA is in fiction. Chris's post above sums up the book well.

We would love any help in publicizing the book to the greater world. Tweet it, Facebook it, throw it up on other forums. Any and all help is appreciated. Thank you enormously to everyone who has already done that.

Barnes and Noble:

Yikes -- I can't believe I have a new book coming out in a few days.


  • Thank you :-)
  • I bought your book on Kindle and am loving it so far. Going to buy a hard copy and share the love where I can. Thanks for writing this :)
  • Getting the print version right now.
  • Thank you so much, you guys! Chris and I worked really hard on it.
  • I posted a blurb about this on my Tumblr (although no one actually reads my Tumblr).
  • I just purchased the Kindle edition and am very much looking forward to reading it, Melissa. Thank you in advance for what appears at first glance to be a really useful tool for creating stories with Twine.
  • Finished it in about two days (was on vacation) and now it sits beside me as I program!
  • Thank you!
    I posted a blurb about this on my Tumblr (although no one actually reads my Tumblr).
  • I'm up to Chapter 5 now - I got it a few days ago - It's a pretty good resource - and I'm somewhat experienced with TWINE and learned a few new things - and can somewhat 'translate' the Harlowe code into Sugarcube in my head to a degree, since the early chapters are heavily in Harlowe but that's okay. :)
  • bought the kindle edition and I an using it as a guide to write my first twine game.
  • edited January 2017
    Got it too. Amazing content. I need to say that the fiction writing part and the exercises are the best things about this book.
    Now, anyone interested in writing a more advanced book with some CSS, HTML, JavaScript and Sugarcube heavy stuff?
    It seems there's a huge confusion on how to bring CSS, JavaScript and SubarCube in harmony (according to beginner questions on the forum). Almost every 8th-9th question is about making an inventory system or stat system.
    Maybe a tutorial on making a nice looking SugarCube Adventure-RPG? Anyone?
  • cressidahubris, excellent book. When anyone asks me how they can start writing IF in Twine, I just tell them to get it. The dual approach of explaining the mechanics of Twine alongside the lessons in writing IF is very unique and helpful.
    Will you update it as needed?
  • I will definitely be purchasing this book! Is there any way to buy the hard copy and verify the purchase online so I can also get a PDF version without buying it separately? I'm fine if that's not an option and will buy both; I would just prefer to buy the hard copy so I can read it cover to cover and have a PDF so I can ctrl+f it and find what I need quickly.
  • @Amolith I found my copy at Barnes and Noble - although you probably could find it at a bigger bookstore. As for the PDF copy - you probably can't verify it and dl it for free. I already verified my book, and didn't see a PDF I could download so I'd have an ebook variant.
  • The Kindle version is really nice if you are looking for e-versions. The book lends itself to reading on a computer and doing the writing exercises. They are one of the strengths of the book. You can cut and paste the code examples into Twine as you practice. Works great.
  • Bought your book and i'm happy with it.
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