BenCrucifix, The Reader

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8/4/2019 1:01 PM

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I made a story on here once.

I plan on doing so again.







I mean its been over a year since my last one and I've written about two pages of the next one, so that's progress right?


Castle Conundrum

The world has been ruled with an iron grip by the evil Lord Enigma for centuries. Hidden within the impenetrable fortress of Castle Conundrum, he is all but undefeatable.

But you are an adventurer, and it is your job to defeat evil overlords, no matter what the odds.

Can you puzzle your way through Castle Conundrum and defeat the evil Lord Enigma?


An entry for the Riddles & Puzzles competition 2016.

Overall Winner: Riddles & Puzzles 2016

Recent Posts

Welcome to Earth: Opening scene on 5/11/2019 2:22:04 PM

Just to start off, here is the first thousand words of Welcome to Earth.


The ringing phone pierces through the fog of alcohol that’s misting up your mind and drags you kicking and screaming out of your sleep. Without the protection of unconsciousness your head instantly starts pounding, your throat begins to lather itself up with sandpaper and every muscle in your body competes over which aches the most.

Deciding to open your eyes, you quickly realise that your decision-making process isn’t very good. The blinding light of a gloomy room stabs into your vampirically sensitive eyes. Screwing your lids shut, you let out a little groan of pain.

The phone carries on ringing relentlessly.

Letting out a little sigh, you swing your feet over the edge of the bed and, trying not to trip over the small elephant sleeping on your floor, stumble across the room to where you dropped your mobile last night. You look at it curiously. A phone number has been painted on the back in purple, next to a small sticker of a banana.

You try to figure out exactly what happened last night, but it’s all lost in a mist of drunkenness.

You’re snapped out of your reverie by the sudden silence of the phone stopping ringing. You glare at it angrily, before returning to your bed, stepping gingerly over the snoring pachyderm.

Just as your head hits the pillow, the phone starts ringing again. You pick it up. “Stop ringing!” you yell at it, before putting it back down again.

It doesn’t listen, and carries on with its relentless racket. You lie there for a moment longer before giving in and answering the phone. “What?”

“Dude, CIA activity is off the charts!”

“Fuck off Terrance.” You’ve heard Terry’s conspiracy theories a million times already. It’s enough to send you to sleep, not that you need much encouragement for that at this moment in time.

“No man I’m serious, do you have any idea how many men in suits and sunglasses I’ve seen walk outside my window this morning? Three! I’ve consulted my notebook, and there’s only meant to be one on Saturdays, and he doesn’t normally walk past my house until five past eight.  This is clearly suspicious activity.”

You blink slowly. “Are you telling me its not even eight o’clock yet?”

“No, its three minutes past now.”

“Goodbye Terry.”

“Wait, please just hear me out man. I know you don’t understand just how dangerous the government can be, but they’re clearly up to something at the moment. You need to open your eyes dude.”

You do as he says, not even remembering closing them. You’re clearly much too hungover to be dealing with this. “The CIA aren’t even our shitting government Terry. We’re not American. Even if we were, why the fuck would they be interested in a stoner like you?”

“Do you really think countries keep their secret services to themselves? You’re even more naïve than I thought.” He barks out an annoying fake laugh. “Besides, they’re not interested in me, they’re interested in the spaceship that landed in your garden last night.”

The line goes silent for a moment as you process what he said. “You might need to repeat that.”

“Don’t you remember? You’d just finished vomiting on the church down the end of the street when it came flying out from a cloud and crashed behind your house. You said I was just imagining things because I’d taken a shit tonne of MD, but Hanno saw it too, ask him.”

“You probably were imagining things, you do way too many drugs Terry. And I don’t trust Hanno, he’s fucking nuts. There’s no such thing as spaceships dude.”

“Just go check your back garden, I bet you there will be a smoking spaceship wreck out there. I’ve got to go, I can see a woman with a pram out my window reading a newspaper. Something fishy is clearly going on here.” The line goes dead.

Not wasting any time with getting back to sleep, you shut your eyes. Terry and his spaceship can wait a little longer, you think.

“What was that about me being nuts?”

Your eyes snap open. With a groan, you force yourself up into a sitting position. It doesn’t look like you’re getting back to sleep this morning. The elephant is looking at you expectantly. “Apparently you saw a spaceship last night.”

“I did. It crashed into the garden. Why does that make me nuts?” Hanno glares at you angrily.

“Well it would hardly be the first time you convinced yourself you saw something stupid. Remember that time you were at the grocery store and thought you saw a zombie in the vegetable aisle?”

“Its not my fault if people go around covered in blood and torn clothes.”

“She’d just escaped a rapist! She’d managed to get away and hide in the store, and then you tried to bash her head in with a shopping basket.”

Hanno harrumphs at you and looks at the floor sheepishly.

“Look, you’re not going to get offended at me for calling you nuts, are you?” With a horrendous hangover and a supposed CIA insurgency going on, an angry elephant would be enough to make this day a living nightmare for you.

“Don’t worry,” says Hanno, much to your relief. “Us elephants are famously thick skinned. But let me remind you, we never forget. If I ever hear you call me nuts again I will stick my tusk so far up your arse you’ll choke on it.”

You’re not too worried about his threat. As famed as an elephant’s mind may be, Hanno had the memory of an amnesiac with Alzheimer’s. Besides, you’ve known Hanno for years. He’s threatened to impale you with his tusks multiple times, and its yet to happen.


Ben's Blog on 5/11/2019 2:18:44 PM

I wouldn't actually classify this as a blog, I just enjoyed the alliteration. Think of this more as an infrequent spew of words about how my writing is going. I made a 'motivational thread' here eons ago, but I couldn't be bothered to go trawling through the forums looking for it, and it clearly didn't work as intended, so here we are.

I've got a bunch of writing projects I've started on over the years, but I never manage to bring them to fruition. It's a problem I've noticed in myself. I'm great at starting things, not so good at finishing them. Write a few pages, rewrite those pages, get distracted and then realise months have gone by and I've not touched it. Get inspiration for another project. Repeat.

Does anyone here have any tips on how they deal with this problem? I can't imagine I'm the only person here who struggles with motivation when it comes to writing.

There are a bunch of 'projects' I started with the intention of publishing on here. I've decided to try and actually complete them all over the next few months, just to prove to myself that I can do it before attempting an actual book I've got plans for. I will be posting updates on my progress here, and any feedback will be very welcome. I'm a glutton for positive feedback, but constructive criticism would be great too.

1. Welcome to Earth

This is the first one I'm going to try and finish. This is relatively short compared to the others, and had a bit more planning already done with it, so seemed like a logical place to start. A very brief rundown of the plot: You're an alcoholic living with an angry talking dwarf elephant. An alien crash lands in your back garden, and you have to deal with the fallout that comes with it.

2. Return to Castle Conundrum

Castle Conundrum was the one story I actually published on here, and I'm still proud to say even won a competition. But being rushed out in a few days it was a lot shorter than I would have liked it to be, and there was a lot more I would have liked to have done with it. Not sure yet if this is going to be a sequel, prequel, equal or just plane old rewrite.

3. Port Paradise

"Port Paradise, the legendary city of pirates. It is here that you were born and raised, and here that you now seek your fame and fortune. Will you become a legendary pirate lord? Or just another corpse in a back alley, like so many before?"

This was the very first idea I came up with after joining cys way back in 2014. I was 16 at the time, so the bits of it I can still find are ridiculously cringe worthy. But I still think its a fun concept and have some interesting ideas in mind for it, so I'm looking forward to writing this.

4. Generic Fantasy Dungeon RPG

A tongue in cheek take on shitty fantasy RPGs, this was originally just intended to be a play around with the site to see what I could and couldn't do with variables and items and the like. Nothing much was ever made of this past the basic concept, so I am tempted to just scrap it completely.

5. Dark Crusade

Based upon tonnes of world building I've been doing over the years for what will eventually someday become a series of novels, this was my intended entry for the Epic fantasy contest last summer. It quickly became a sprawling mess and, coinciding with me starting a new job and new relationship at around the same time, its no surprise I hadn't gotten very far with it by the time the competition deadline came around. It's still an enormous beast of a story, so this one may take me a while.

Contest SHAME 8: EPIC SHAME on 9/29/2018 4:10:43 AM

I don't genuinely blame Bucky, that was just a poor attempt to be humorous on my part copying what other people had said above.

My reasons for failing this are entirely my own, and mostly come down to a mixture of poor time management, lack of prioritisation and just bad discipline. 

Still, even with the shame, I'm glad this contest happened, as I thoroughly enjoyed writing what I have actually got down so far of my story, and I'm looking forward to actually finishing it at some point.

Contest SHAME 8: EPIC SHAME on 9/25/2018 3:14:00 PM

I've got a couple of different excuses I could use for my pathetic display of not completing this on time, but instead I'll just blame Bucky for giving us a difficult contest.

Even though I didn't complete it in time for the contest I still enjoyed writing this story and plan to continue with it, so hopefully it should be completed over the next couple of months.

Congrats to those of you that did complete it!

Dark Crusade - An Epic Progression Thread on 7/16/2018 5:07:11 PM

That sounds like some solid advice, but if I'm capable of getting up that early is yet to be seen.

Making the side branches shorter is probably the way I'm going to go. If I really want to I can come back and flesh them out into full paths at my own pace once the contest is over.

Thanks for all the advice though! Having someone take an interest and encourage me definitely helps.

Dark Crusade - An Epic Progression Thread on 7/15/2018 5:24:30 PM

Thanks for the words of encouragement. Progress has been pretty slow, this is the first time I've even logged into the site in a week. But I'm hoping to step it up a gear and crack on with writing. What I have written I've quite enjoyed, which helps.

Dark Crusade - An Epic Progression Thread on 7/15/2018 5:19:36 PM

Sunday, July 15: Update #3 on story progress and what you like most about your story so far

So, progress hasn’t been great. Strangely enough, going from being a lazy student who is rarely awake before 11 am to doing a full time 9-5 hasn’t been an easy transition.

My writing has taken a bit of a hit, and I’ve written a depressingly small amount since the last update.

Although what I have written I do quite like, and I’m enjoying the way the story seems to be going so far. It’s definitely going to be more story than game, and looks like it’s going to be quite linear. I’d originally planned to have a few different paths in the game that look like they might have to be cut out due to time constraints, so I’m currently in the process of deciding what’s in and what’s cut/ held back to be added after the contest.

Although saying that, I was planning on doing that this evening but ended up spending an hour researching medieval understanding of ptsd, so distractions and procrastination are as prevalent as ever.

For now I remain optimistic that I get used to my new schedule and stop collapsing as soon as I get home from work. Hopefully I should still have time to make 60k without it feeling too rushed.

Tall/Short/In Between? on 7/15/2018 5:05:08 PM

6'2, or 1.89 m for people who use the correct system of measurement.

Dark Crusade - An Epic Progression Thread on 6/30/2018 6:15:36 AM

Update #2 on story progress and any issues in the writing process

I start working at my first full time job on Monday, so I’m thinking that deciding to join a competition to write 60,000 words at the same time might not have been my smartest move. But I’m committed now, so I’ll still give it my best shot.

Progress hasn’t been as good as I would have liked, due to preparing for the new job, an impromptu camping trip and large amounts of general laziness and procrastination.

Word count is currently 3673 (although there’s another couple of thousand words just in the outlining and planning of the story). Page count is at 3 (or 8 in word). I’d originally planned to be at about 10k words at this point, so I’m running ever so slightly behind.

Hopefully the world of full time employment won’t suck out my will to live and I’ll be able to step up my game a bit in time for the next update.

Dark Crusade - An Epic Progression Thread on 6/19/2018 9:09:36 AM

I was originally going to respond to this by saying that I'm a fan of "low" fantasy and so I would be aiming for that. But then I decided to quickly google the actual definitions of High and Low fantasy, and after half an hour of getting distracted by reddit threads I've decided there is no consensus on what those terms actually mean.

To actually answer your question, I will be aiming to emphasise realism. Although the world its set in has its fantastical elements, such as a nation ruled by an undead witch queen, or tribes of elves that worship a comatose dragon, there won't be all that much interaction with these in the plot of this particular story. 

I'd say the 1400s is probably the most equivalent real world time period, when Europe was just on the verge of the renaissance. The nation that the majority of the story is set in is based upon the Holy Roman Empire