10. Achieving Proper Pacing

I’ve mentioned before that interactive fiction has more in common with short stories than with novels, even though interactive fiction games tend to have more words than the average book. A short story may consist of 5,000 words, whereas a novel is likely to have closer to 80,000 words. An interactive fiction game could have twice as many words as a novel. For example, Sorcery! by Inkle has about 150,000 words.

So how is an interactive fiction game more like a short story if it’s longer than a novel?

First, remember that you’re not encountering all 150,000 words as you play through the Sorcery! game. That game has 3,442 passages and 2,618 choices, which means that each time you play, you see only a fraction of the ...

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