Thu 21 November 2019
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Did they all live happily ever after?
A new digital novel will overturn centuries of literary tradition by allowing readers to choose how they would like a story to end.

99 Reasons Why, a 99-chapter family drama about obsession, offers a choice of 11 possible endings. The conclusion depends on the reader's tastes and mood and on their answers to multiple-choice questions on colours, numbers and objects.

The idea came to its Newcastle-born author, Caroline Smailes, on hearing that some readers wished the dark stories in her two earlier books had had less gloomy dénouements.

For her latest work she decided to make every reader go away contented, with endings ranging from a "happily ever after" to a grisly Quentin Tarantino outcome. Star Wars and Brief Encounters versions are among others.

She told The Independent: "Different readers will have different reactions, interpretations and feelings about the story, depending on which ending they choose. This is the reader taking responsibility for the ending."

Her publisher, Scott Pack, said recent advances in ebook software had made such interaction possible.

"I'm not aware of anyone having done this digitally yet," he said. "There is more [technological] freedom now. So we wanted to exploit that."

For the rest of the article


The Independent

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