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What follows is the Puffin Submission Guildlines for the Fighting Fantasy range of gamebooks as they stood at June 4th 1996. This was sent by range creative editor Marc Gascoigne to fan Mark J. Popp.
Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks Initial GuidelinesEdit
The following are some basic guidelines for anyone wishing to write for the Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone presents... series, in the Fighting Fantasy range of adventure gamebooks published by Puffin Books. Please note that these guidelines were established to help us to process your work properly and with good speed. If they are not followed, we may not be able to deal with your submission.
Before sending in an entire, finished manuscript, we prefer you to send us a brief proposal accompanied by a sample of your style, in the form of some paragraphs from your adventure and a synopsis of how you intend it all to progress.
The Fighting Fantasy series is about to undergo a reformat. All future adventures will be 300 paragraphs, and a maximum of 30,000 words. Please do not submit a proposal for a longer adventure.
What to send
Please send us the following items from your proposed Fighting Fantasy adventure:
- Background, including any new rules
- 100 sample paragraphs
- Synopsis of the rest of the plot
If you have not written your adventure already, miss out the sample paragraphs, and just send a short synopsis of your idea, both how it starts and how it continues. We'll tell you if it's worth proceeding with.
Just like the start of any FF book, this should detail any new rules you intend introducing, and the Background story which leads into the adventure paragraphs proper. The basic rules and combat system you use must be the standard FF set-up, but originality and variations are welcome (for example, a new fear characteristic for a "haunted house" adventure). Please note that the increasingly common Test your Skill mechanism is not a standard part of the rules, so it must be defined in these new rules if you are going to use it. Also bear in mind the various options for fighting more than one opponent.
Please note that your adventure must use the Fighting Fantasy rules and no others. It must be for one adventurer only; you can provide companions along the way, but the reader must be playing only one hero. It must be set somewhere on the established FF world of Titan, and therefore be a fantasy adventure (although it can incorporate elements of other styles, e.g. 'horror', where appropriate). If in doubt, do some research: be familiar with Titan - the Fighting Fantasy World and some recently published FF gamebooks.
These should ideally be the first 100 paragraphs of your intended adventure. You can number them 1-100 if you wish, and need not put each one on a separate sheet of paper at this stage. A few paragraphs either way is acceptable, but please do not send us an entire 300 entry gamebook.
This should continue from where your sample paragraphs end, and detail over two or more pages the rest of the plot, its setting and any special features we should note. Include details of new monsters, tricks and traps, special games (these are all essential if your adventure is to have any chance of being accepted), and any other points about your plot that you think we would find attractive.
All submissions must be typed, double-spaced, with wide margins all round, on one side of A4 paper only. If you use a computer, print out at the highest quality possible rather than Draft, and separate any continuous stationery. Do not "Justify" your text. New authors must also send a large, self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage (or IRCs, if not based in the UK) to cover the proposal's return. Keep a copy of everything you send, in case it gets lost. (A system for handling PC or Mac disk-based submissions is being instituted but is not yet ready, so only send hard copy submissions for the present. Submissions by e-mail _are_ acceptable.)
All of this information will give us enough to decide (a) whether we like your idea, and that it is not too similar to another book in the range, and (b) whether your style is suitable for the Fighting Fantasy list. Remember that we are looking for original ideas, new and exciting adventures and really inventive encounters with new monsters, puzzles and traps.
Because we do also have to put out books occasionally, we should take about six to eight weeks to read and fully assess your manuscript. After that time, we will either reject your proposal, or take the next steps toward publishing a finished gamebook. Either way, you will hear from us by letter.
Send it toEdit
Your proposal should be sent to Richard Scrivener, Puffin Books's Publishing Manager, or Marc Gascoigne, the freelance FF Advisory Editor. If you have any queries or need more information or advice, write to or email either of us and we'll advise you.
Puffin Fighting Fantasy Editor: Richard Scrivener, Puffin Books, 27 Wrights Lane, London, W8 5TZ, UK
Gamebook Advisory Editor: Marc Gascoigne, 95 Morley Ave, Mapperley, Nottingham, NG3 5FZ, UK email: FFed@overload.demon.co.uk