Simplest story/ies ever? (to learn from)

I’m getting through longer, more complicated books, but I was wondering if there are any very simple / SHORT stories to learn from?

I think it might be a good idea to try to find the simplest examples to learn from. Those will be quicker to read and learn from.

Edit. I should have been clearer:

  • Interactive.
  • For writing a physical print book.
  • simple English/ children’s would be helpful

I feel like there’s a writing thread that would be more suited for this that a moderator could probably guide you to. With that being said, a few of short stories that are both very good and very famous are here:
-Anything by Flannery O’Connor
-Anything by Anton Chekov
-A Perfect Day for Bananafish by J.D. Salinger
-The Veldt by Ray Bradbury
-The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

If you want pieces that have been examined and anthologized thousands of times, these are for you.


Here are three of my favorite short story writers (and some of their works I like):
O Henry (The Gift of the Magi, After Twenty Years)
Anton Chekhov (Misery)
Ray Bradbury (There Will Come Soft Rains)

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If you are looking for shorter IF stories you might want to look at choice of the dragon


Correct me if I misunderstood your request, but I’m not entirely sure if there’s really amything to suggest beyond the old Choose Your Own Adventure series. Aside from maybe gaming manuals or campaigns for D&D, physically printed interactive fiction has never been a very lucrative genre, so there isn’t going to be a lot to learn from. I can’t speak to the market as it is now…but that’s mostly because I’m not sure there is much of one? It’s just so much cheaper to publish IF digitally than physically.

That’s not quite true. If you also include gamebooks like the Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf series, there was a big market for physical Interactive Fiction in the 80’s and early 90’s. They were in fact so popular that initially skeptic respected British book publisher Penguin were convinced to both publish it and stick with ithe Fighting Fantasy series as part of its children imprint, Puffin until 1995, despite according to several FF writers, many people in the company not really liking that series.

On the other hand, I’m not so sure whether much of the physical interactive fiction of that time is a good example of what you’re really looking for, even though being ostensibly made for children. I think that neither the Fighting Fantasy series or the Lone Wolf series got much of what you’re looking for to be honest. But still, in the golden age of gamebooks, there were really a lot of physical interactive fiction being published. Of the top of my head, I think both the Choose Your Own Adventure series and maybe also the Give yourself Goosebumps gamebook series could have some of what you’re looking for. If you use this link: Series List - Demian's Gamebook Web Page you have a list of most of the physical interactive fiction series and likely there’s some other books and series there that can provide what you’re looking for, @aFreshUsername.

This. Choice of the Dragon is also the game from which the examples in the websites tutorial are taken from (and some of the wiki examples), and for good reason. It’s also an older game, so it mainly focuses on using CS the way it was “meant” to be used, which can help clarify some of the concepts.


Is there anything in public domain to use as a template?

If you’re asking about COG/HG you can copy as a PD template, the answer is no.
Check out the examples suppllied on the COG website that have been suggested to learn how to structure and code and go from there.

If you’re talking old school CYOA style physical books, the answer would almost certainly still be no.

The earliest known gamebook enters public domain in 2026.