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Stories with Puzzles

Anonymous asked: “Hi Lizard. I’m writing a surreal and puzzle text adventure game. How would I go about writing a plot and making it engaging and enjoyable?”

I’m not really sure what kind of book this might be? I mean, I’m familiar with choose-your-own-adventure books and I’ve read some novels that are a little on the experimental side that involve things like puzzles, but I’m not really sure what you’re looking for. 

Because of that, I’m going to make this an excuse to talk about this book that I absolutely love called The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero. This is the first book I’d ever read that had no joke puzzles in it. The characters were reading clues and learning how to decode puzzles in a way that you could also be racing to figure it out right with them. It was a lot of fun. The puzzles were challenging, but made sense and it was just one small element of this book which was overall, one of the coolest reading experiences I’ve had in a long time. 

The big selling point on this book: it was a good book. The mystery was interesting. There are moments of writing that I use as examples again and again because it has moments of incredibly strong writing. The plot is well thought out. You can take the puzzles out of it and still have an interesting and experimental book. While puzzles are cool, story is always king when writing fiction. Story is what matters most. There needs to be a plot that makes sense for the puzzles to exist and not the other way around. 

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