Choose Your Own Nuthouse





            Are you ready? 

            Strange question to ask, I know, but it is a good start to one of the most ambitious projects that we in The Nuthouse have ever attempted.  Oh sure, we’ve written an uncountable number of collaborative stories in the past (including dozens that never have made it to the site, lucky for you), but nothing that took this much planning and work.  

            It all started one night when Nick, Sean, and I were hanging outside the apartment that Sean and I share while Sean’s dog pretended, for a brief moment at least, that he was free to wander the wild and be the master of his own destiny.  Or maybe he just wants to pee on everything.  Yet another thing he and Sean have in common…

            Anyway, we were kicking around ideas for Paul’s homework.  For those of you who don’t know, Sean and I gave Paul homework if he wants to come down to Lawrence and escape his family.  All he has to do is write something…anything…at least a couple pages in length.  We enforced this upon him because, quite frankly, Paul’s lazy, and will admit as much.  He is by far and away the most talented creative writer in the group, which is saying something, believe me.  If you don’t, just read on and keep an eye out for his sections.  I also recommend his story “Solstice”, one of my absolute favorite pieces of fiction.

            Paul’s got all the talent in the world, but little motivation, so we provided that.  Works out well for everyone because we are all curious as to what he is going to write next, and he finally has to write.  We wanted to mix things up and make him write in different styles because it is a good exercise.  We thought about non-fiction, screenplays, etc, when I thought about the idea of a Choose Your Own Adventure type story, because I’ve always loved those.

            The second I suggested that, I knew that it would be difficult for one person to do, so we started discussing how we could ALL participate in it.  It was my idea, so I took the task of organizing the darn thing and assigning writing sections. 

            A couple of days later, I bought a giant poster board and graphed out a flow chart to show how the story would go.  I hung it on a wall in the apartment and it is still hanging there, confusing all who look at it.

            Once I had it all graphed out, I realized how big a project this really was.  The damn thing consists of 92 sections.  This is bit of a step up from our normal, couple page collaborative stories.  Hell, the longest collaborative story that is on the sight is “It Versus Willy” that was 18 pages typed.  This was going to take a while.

            And boy did it…

            The first estimates on this thing were about 2 months. 

            Over a year later…

            Yup, interest on this thing waxed and waned depending on the mood of the writers.  The problem with this sort of project that that if one person can’t find inspiration to write a section, it holds up everything that can be written after it, which adds up quickly.  (For the record, I was the first person to have all of his sections done AND keep track of the whole thing.  I rule.)

            I’m probably the luckiest person with this whole thing for a number of reasons.  First off, I got to read every single section as it was given to me.  I’ve read this whole thing many times and know how really funny it is.  If you have the time, please try to find every choice and section, you won’t be disappointed.  You’ll probably be confused and maybe feeling a little vulnerable, but not disappointed.  The second is that I get my name included on this.  Let’s face it, Nick and Paul (and Rob…if we knew where he was…) are the writers on this site that keep things going.  Sean and I know that we don’t have the sort of talent that they do.  (Note to Sean:  Umm…you knew that, right?  I hope so cause otherwise youse gonna hurts me…).  So, if we can contribute to something this cool, that rules.

            So here it is, dear reader, the completed Choose Your Own Nuthouse.  We’ve all put a lot of work into this, and we hope you enjoy it.  If you don’t…I had nothing to do with it.  Umm….Nick wrote this….

So I ask you again:


Are you ready?