Ogre11, The Grandmaster of the Written Word

Member Since

11/20/2014

Last Activity

1/27/2020 8:56 PM

EXP Points

5,823

Post Count

3284

Storygame Count

17

Duel Stats

37 wins / 29 losses

Order

Pre-Eminent Architect Exemplar

Commendations

693

 

I like to write. I have lots of stories running around in my head, but it does take me (WAY) too long to get them from my mind to paper (or computer bits). I've always loved "Choose your own Adventure" type books, so I thought, why not write a few to share with others? I hope you like the stories I set up here.

I do appreciate you reading my stories and please do provide feedback on what you read! I used to be able to reply to all comments, but notifications were turned off for those, so I don't see all the comments on the story all the time. But feel free to PM me with questions or comments on stories, or even start up a thread if you want to talk more.

 

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points Earning 2,000 Points Earning 5,000 Points Genuinely inspiring advanced editor teaching and helping. Jointly won the 2017 Wilderness Contest Having 3 Storygame(s) Featured Rated 99.4% of all Stories Given by BerkaZerka on 01/20/2018 - Plentiful Contributions to the Site! Given by EndMaster on 01/07/2020 - Well, you're better than most people here. Given by JJJ-thebanisher on 08/27/2019 - For ridiculously prolific writing and excellent site activity Given by Will11 on 01/14/2018 - For your thirteen well-written stories, especially Spy Mission

Storygames

A UFO at School

There's a UFO at the school!

This story was written as a an attempt to try out a different way to write storygames. I tried to write the entire story from start to finish, then insert choices only after writing the story (see more here). The story is intentionally short: this is supposed to be a short story of the type you might read in a magazine: no matter which path you take, it should end up with a story about 800-1,200 words long. For those interested, there are eight different endings.


Alien Abduction

You were minding your own business when you are suddenly abducted by aliens! Now you need to find your way home before, well, you're not sure, but before something!

This is a short, lighthearted puzzle adventure. It is not too hard and not too serious. The puzzle is simple, but try and pay attention to the clues to avoid dying and having to back up! There are seven ways to die and just one way to win.


Created for Riddles & Puzzles 2016 contest

First Runner-up: Riddles & Puzzles 2016


Boobs!!!
Story inspired by Will11 (here).


In short, please read and rate this story, we want to see how fast we can get this to 100 ratings!

Cryogenic Failure
You signed up for a long space journey -- so long that you would have to be frozen in a cryogenic state for decades until the ship reached the destination: a new planet that was just like earth, but had no inhabitants. The ship was automated, and a group of 249 other people were frozen with you -- to be automatically un-frozen when the ship reached its destination and landed on the planet.

After many strange dreams, you find yourself waking up, but something doesn't seem quite right. This waking up process is not what was described to you at all, and now you're going to have to figure out what happened and what you're doing to do about it!

---

This is a relatively simple choose-your-own ending story adventure. There are many different endings (eight total) with a good story (I hope) behind each. Enjoy picking your own story!

Escape From School
This is an IF game in the old Colossal Cave Adventure style. Basically all your choices are just picking directions and manipulating stuff. You wake up trapped in the school and need to find a way out before you are caught! Wind your way through over 100 different rooms and locations to find your way out of the abandoned and locked school building. Initially published: 5.04.19

Update 1.1, 5.13.19: Added a time-out so that if you take too long you get caught in the school (Sorry about lost saves)

Update 1.2, 9.1.19: Fixed beaker issue, updated item use issue, fixed room descriptions (Sorry about lost saves)

Finding the Muse

This is a game based on writing, inspired by the forums here at CYS.

Your goal is to find your muse and write a storygame for CYS. How will you do that? There is only so much time in the day, and there are so many things that you can do...

In this game, you make the selections and see if you can find the way to the muse and the next great CYS story. There are a total of 5 different endings to this storygame.

Special thanks to Kiel Farren and ISentinel Penguin for their forum contributions to this story (whether they believe it or not).


Go Get The Mail!

You have a simple task -- go and get the mail. Oh, it sounds easy, but could you ever imagine how many different things could get in your way?

This is my first attempt at a storygame. It's a very basic "Choose your path" story. Let me know what you think of it in the forums!


Featured Story Hank's Journey
Make decisions for Hank as he wanders out into a world that is quite a bit more than it seems. Watch him head into the darkness and see if and how he will find his way back out...or further in...

Please note the maturity rating on this one. It doesn't mean that it's mature, it means that it's nasty sometimes. While yes, there is some humor, it's pretty graphically adult at times, not like most of my stories. Oh, it's not as bad as some other stories I could mention here, but it's different than nearly everything else I've written, so be warned. It's gross, too, in way too many places.

Just in case that wasn't too clear, here is the trigger warning: if you have a trigger, you're warned. I'm not sure anyone should actually read this.

This is mostly a gauntlet style CYOA story, but there is a bit of branch and bottleneck to it as well.

Updated 8.16.19 to fix a few typos.



Entry for the Succubus Contest, 2019: Winner of the contest!

Featured Story Spy Mission

In this story, you take on the role of yourself. Your day starts out like every other day for you, until a few different things happen... and you have to decide what to do about those things... Join in this fun spy adventure and journey to Prague, Havana, Buenos Aries, and more!

Note: There are a lot of different options in this game. Please do try it more than once -- there are many different ways through (you will always see the same first chapter, but there are many different ways through it to other chapters).

There are also quite a number of endings. For those who like to look for such things, each ending is labeled with a number, and there are 28 different endings (and many ways to get to each one).


Featured Story Surviving Pre-School

High school can be tough with all the cliques, bullies, "resource" officers, and changing rules. But that is nothing compared to the pre-school room! In pre-school you don't even know what a rule is, never mind that you're breaking it. And those evil naps can slip up on you before you know it. Can you make the right choices to make it through the pre-school day without getting spanked?

Please note: There are just three endings to this little short: you survive pre-school, you do not make it through the day, and, well, you don't want to get the other ending.

Also note: This is an intentionally short, very light-hearted story that is meant to be silly. Please read and enjoy in that vein.

Story inspired by MattC


Survivors

This is a short story that is was an entry for playa988's 4-week long contest. Yes, I wish it was longer, too, but this was intentionally short for the purposes of writing a complete story in the short time frame allowed for the contest. There are, however, 18 endings, so feel free to try the story more than once and follow different paths. The theme of the contest was "gray vs gray," so don't look for a "winning" ending. When it's all grey, no one wins.

The year is 2016 and a series of nuclear bombs have been detonated in dozens of cities across the United States in the population centers. The country is destroyed and many people are dead.

While many cities (and surrounding areas) have been destroyed, there are various areas, far from the population centers, where people have survived. The people are trying to make sense of what happened and are trying to rebuild their lives and their country.

This story takes place in Western Montana where you follow the adventures of Jim Thompson, a survivor of the massive attack, trying to make sense of what is left of the world. Your choices will decide what happens to Jim, and perhaps what happens to the country...

 
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The Adventures of Rory Thorn in Math Class

Rory heads to Math class. That's boring, right?

Well, it is boring for most people, but not Rory Thorn. Rory always manages to find adventure, even in math class. Join Rory in math class and help decide what happens to him and his adventures!

The suggested way to read this story: do not press the back button. Oh sure, I know you want to, but read the whole story through, then start over. You will find that the stories will take you in entirely different directions and I think you really see that when you start over instead of just backing up! But hey, you're the reader, you get to read it however you want!


There is only one ending to this story. However, there are 32 different pathways that lead to that end! There are almost 16,000 words in this story. However, since there are so many pathways, the average story you will read will only be 3,000 words. So it's a short story...but with 16,000 words...


Author's Note: I do hope you enjoy this story. If you think it should be longer, well, I'm sorry, but do look for more stories in the "Adventures of Rory Thorn" series. The idea here was to give you a LOT of options and end up with a single short story.


The Emperor's Zoo
The emperor sends you to a faraway land to capture exotic beasts for his zoo. But a spreading plague, a witch-doctor, and a brewing feud between local tribes presents . . . difficulties.

This is a contest entry for Bucky's December 2017 contest

This ended up being more of a puzzle game than a story. It still has a good story, I think, so I do hope you enjoy it. It will take a little time, there's not a short way through this one!

The Horror Inside
Drew was a fantastic accountant. He really enjoyed his job and he was good at it. But one day something started happening to him, and he just wasn't quite sure what was going on...

Created for BerkaZerka's Creatures of the Night Contest

The Mayoral Campaign

Try to get elected as mayor of your town!

This is more game than story. Okay, there's not really much story to this one, it's a game. There are many options and lots of variables, so be sure to play more than once!


The Mountain Pass
You wake up after a car crash and find yourself lost in the snow. Can you survive and get out alive?

For those interested in such things, there are eight bad endings and three good endings. Sorry about that, but there are lots of ways to die in the wilderness you know.

Created for January, 2017 New Frontier Contest

The Quick Dating Game

Play the quick dating game and see if you can get the girl!

I hope you have as much fun reading this as I did writing it. It was a lot of fun.

This is my official entry for the contest, "Brevity, the Soul of Wit" for August, 2015.

Please note: If you are easily offended by stereotypes, especially as they relate to men, women, and dating, please don't read, rate, or comment on this game. It is meant to be silly.


Adventurer
unpublished
This is a fantasy adventure where you star in the role of the young adventurer! Follow the adventurer along throughout his life starting out as a child and leading into adventure. Be careful with your choices because almost every time you make a choice, it will have an effect later in the story.

A Solar Flare
unpublished

Solar flares are quite common. Many days the sun throws out a number of different solar flares in all directions. Most are of no interest to anyone but astronomers. They aren't dangerous. In fact, the worst solar flare followed by a coronal mass ejection in history (The Carrington Event) really didn't even have much of an effect on the entire planet other than a couple fires and a lot of pretty colors.

That was then, this is now.

Most of the time, earth has days to react to a solar flare because there are astronomers out there watching and recording the sun 24 hours a day. But what if there were a solar flare larger than the Carrington Event? And what if that solar storm made a direct hit on the planet, before anyone had time to prepare? Could humans survive? Could the planet itself survive?

>

Moon Base Alpha
unpublished

Join Stone Ulrich, leader of Moon Base Alpha, as he heads off to explore parts of the moon - why are there caverns here? Who made them? Are they still here?



Please note: This is not your typical choose-your-own-story on this site. This is a longer length story that really attempts to draw you into the story. If you're looking for a quick few clicks and a free point, this is not the story you want for that.

Note #2: This is what I call an alternative universe story. This means that there is not just one universe to explore with your choices, but instead your choices can lead to different universes. In other words, if you go left at one place, that might mean there are aliens. If you go right, that might mean there never were aliens. So feel free to try again and see different options, but don't rely on your prior knowledge

Created for Bucky's Epic Story Contest, Summer 2018

However, First date of publication:


The Adventures of Rory Thorn in Biology Class
unpublished

Time for Biology! Sounds fun, doesn't it? What? It doesn't? Well, apparently you've never been in Biology class with Rory Thorn! Come, help Rory get through class by choosing your own adventure and see where he will end up!

The first story in this series is Rory Thorn in Math Class. You do not have to read that story to understand what is going on in this story, but that is his first class of the day, while Biology is his second class.

This series is an attempt to create stories that have recurring characters and are in a way similar to a sitcom -- no matter what happens during the story, everyone returns and is ready to start the next story.

I hope you enjoy this story!


The Adventures of Rory Thorn in English Class
unpublished
It's time to head to English Class

The Archaeologist
unpublished


Join in the adventures of archaeology student Tom Forsyth as he follows clues that lead around the world. Help him make decisions that will unwrap ancient secrets without releasing evil on the world. Discover the pathways of old before others decipher the clues and reveal enough power to take over the world!
>

The Drunk- Explorer Inn
unpublished
Follow along with Zorek and direct his actions as he retires from the military and starts a brewery.
This was originally an entry for the Year End Story Contest, 2019. However, that story ended up quite rushed. This is a re-do with the rest of the story included. Prompt: For your services to the crown, the king has granted you valuable lands near an important crossroads in a recently conquered territory. Now, it's time to retire and fulfill your dream of operating a renowned brewery and tavern ... but it may be wise to keep your sword-arm ready.

Winning the CYS Contest
unpublished
Try your hand at winning the latest CYS writing contest! It's not as easy as it sounds: you will have to use strategy, do some quality writing, and figure out how to beat all the other entrants. And you will have to overcome the random number generator (because that's how your opponents are going to be determined).

It's a short game that you can try over and over again until hopefully one time you win that coveted trophy for winning a CYS contest!

Note: This is not an actual CYS writing contest and you will not actually win a trophy for your account if you happen to win this game.

Articles Written

Choose-Your-Own-Stories, Paths, and Writing
How do different paths work in CYS stories? How do you write different paths in your story? What is branching?

Recent Posts

Cave of Time vs Everything Else on 1/27/2020 8:55:19 PM
Every time I write a time cave I have to consciously stop myself from writing too much lest I risk it getting out of hand and getting burnt out on it; usually I just cut a branch off when I feel it's getting too long, leading to the branches feeling neutered.


Yes. This.

Cave of Time vs Everything Else on 1/27/2020 8:53:56 PM
Honestly I despise the concept of "true ending." All I can think is: What kind of crap is that? Oh, since I didn't make the "right" choices, I didn't get the "true ending?" Well, why the hell were there choices if there was only one "true" ending? What are all the other endings, false endings? If one ending is more preferred than the others, why do the others exist? When I write, I try and make every ending as valid as every other ending (barring the insta-death ending, but that's a different concept entirely). If there is a "true" ending, that clearly implies that anyone who receives any other ending simply made the wrong choices.

Cave of Time vs Everything Else on 1/27/2020 5:22:35 PM
Oh yes, I agree -- but then the question becomes how to display that? If you have a display with stats that are always there, have you moved more into a game setup than a story? Does seeing stats like that disturb the reading of the story? Does it make the reader worry more about stats than the characters in the story? Fun stuff.

Cave of Time vs Everything Else on 1/27/2020 4:36:43 PM
Well that was... interesting... Yes, I would agree that cave of time is the easiest to write. It also gives you the most flexibility -- you don't have to build the world, you can quite literally make anything happen at any time, no matter what else you've written. There is no requirement for continuity from one path to another because there's no point when the reader will ever cross those lines during a single read-through. I know some people don't like that, but I'm just pointing out that with cave of time, it's an option. Of course the biggest drawback IMO of that style is the length of writing. Every time you branch, you are creating a section that a reader will not see on a single read through. While you can write in many directions at once, you have to write a substantially longer story to end up with a story of any length at all-- and you know that most readers are simply not going to read the vast majority of what you write! A 20,000-word story can easily end up with paths from start to finish that are a couple thousand words. Are they the most entertaining to read? I would certainly say they are the closest to the original Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books. Those seemed to all be cave of time style. And they do allow the writer to go anywhere at any time. Of course, a writer could do that with any story, but a writer can do it much more often and easily in that style story. Bottlenecks and small decisions are very different, and I'm honestly not sure how the reader sees them. I suspect unless a reader reads through the story as many times as they can, they might never notice small changes. At one level you can have small choices allow the reader a percentage chance to increase an event later, and I'm not sure anyone notices that (unless the writer tells them). Certainly on this platform the author can include dimmed out options that are not available if the reader made the "wrong" choices earlier in the story, but I'm not sure readers like that, and it does tend to take them out of the story. I think bottlenecks are not too hard to write, but are hard to write in a way that's effective and useful. If the reader is going to get to point X no matter what choice they make in the story, it can be difficult to make the decision and the path significant. For (a very simple) example, if I can get to the backyard by walking through the house or around the house, how do you make each pathway interesting without making one the "correct" path and one the "wrong" path? And if there's not a significant difference, astute readers on this site in particular WILL notice and WILL point it out-- though I'm not sure the casual reader will notice. And yes, resources and random numbers (especially on this site) can make for some fun games that are really games and not really stories at all. But they can still be fun and interesting (and will probably include zombies for some reason). And Conan is awesome.

Landslide on 1/21/2020 2:02:00 PM
Horror is, imo, pretty hard to pull off. And I think in this case it was more the English word choice that took away from it -- I think there's a potentially good horror story here, I just couldn't focus on it because I was distracted by the word choices.

Landslide on 1/21/2020 1:46:02 PM
At the request of @poison_mara, I reviewed Landslide. I think my review is a bit too long to fit on the story page, so it's here:

Starting this thread because I think this review is going to be a bit too long to throw onto the page of the story. Mara, I’m going to try and read this for content, as I’m aware of the English language barrier. But I’m going to guess now that some errors in the language are going to be too entertaining for me to not mention. I promise you the purpose of this is to help you see what I’m reading and seeing so that you can make things better. None of this is to make fun of the writing or the story at all.

First, the disclaimers: this is my review. It is likely not like anyone else’s. In fact, you probably couldn’t find anyone else who completely agrees with what I write here. But it’s my opinion. I’m also writing this as I read through this for the first time. These are my first impressions as I read it. I’m not saying they’re right, just what I’m thinking. I haven’t looked at the other reviews or read anything else about this bit before writing this other bit. This is written in the spirit of helping you see how others (okay, me) see your story and to perhaps give you ideas for improvement, and not to be mean or anything else. Please don’t take it personally. Also, I tend to type very fast when working these, so there are likely many typos in this review. It is likely worth exactly what you paid for it. Finally, you did ask.

The story description sounds fun and entertaining. There’s a few minor errors that that stand out: “IN a natural park,” “And Sera HAS to,” and “NOT for children.” They’re minor, but for native English speakers, they really do stand out. It can cause the reader to have to go back and re-read sections, and that can take the reader out of the story. For me, when I read a story, my mind creatures pictures of what I’m reading. When there are conflicts, the picture isn’t as clear. If I have to re-read, I have to step out of the picture and the story is harder to understand and comprehend. Anyway, on to the story!

In the first sentence, there’s two English errors: “found” should probably be “find” and “faster enough” should be “soon enough.” I like the setup, though. I like that the story starts out with action and being trapped. I’ve already glanced ahead and noticed the “How did I end here?” link (that should probably be “How did I get here?”), so I know I’m going to get more detail soon. I would question my body being swollen from crawling through broken windows. Usually that leaves cuts and bleeding, not swelling. And I’m not sure anyone would call shards of glass from broken windows “crystals.” Why is it a “mortal” trap? I’m not sure what an “immortal” trap would be, so I just don’t see why that word would be there. Just “trap” or “accident” or even “landslide” could work there.

Now the sudden cracking from the cantilever is odd. I get that the place apparently collapsed around me. But there’s a candle flickering. The only way there’s a candle flickering after a cottage is buried in a landslide is if I lit it AFTER the landslide. But apparently the beams are cracking and the entire place is about to fall down on top of me. I feel like there might be a pacing issue here. When I started reading about someone finding me in time, it sounded like I was prepared to sit and wait a long time. The candle kind of supported that. But then the crawling through the glass and the cracking of the beams make it feel like there’s a big rush here and if I don’t move quickly then I’ll be smushed. I’m not sure what to think of those differences in pace.

Ok, I mentioned some of the English would stick out. On the Sera page: “I CAME here,” “relax and FINISH up my,” “and just WOKE up,” becomes my coffin,” “turns more stale,” “The CANDLE’S flimsy,” “light FADES away.” The story mentions hearing a noise and waking up to the planet shaking. Those are quite different things. If I hear a noise, that might be a mouse or something. I think it would be more dramatic if the entire world is shaking, that’s not just hearing a noise. Was I supposed to laugh at the next part? If I’m imaging an earthquake, that can be a terrifying experience. But then I pictured a giant tambourine. That’s funny, right there. I think perhaps that’s just an analogy that doesn’t work there. There’s a similar issue with the hissing noise. What is that? Is there a snake nearby? Was that the gas line? And how did the noise cover my whatever is my coffin? Noises don’t really do that very well (though they can with a special type of literary feature).

“You let yourself go” in English is normally associated with someone who was at one time fit and active and who is now fat and lazy. And another pace issue: suddenly I wake up in a massive earthquake, but I simply go and sit down behind the broken furniture. Well, if the earthquake is over, I guess that could be. But again, it shows a very slow pace and unhurried actions. Stale air won’t make breathing torture, it’s just stale. And stale really refers to the quality of the air, not the quantity. But if oxygen is disappearing, this suddenly got really, really bad. I thought there was just an earthquake and I was hanging out in the wreck of a house. But if there’s suddenly no oxygen, I’m trapped in an airtight container, and I have been for some time. Also, if there’s no oxygen, that candle over there is going to have trouble burning. I also had trouble with the last sentence. Did I die from lack of oxygen? Or did I die from fear? But wait, I’m not really dead, I can see that I have options at the bottom of the page. But to be fair, it did just tell me I died.

I’m going to die fighting. I can’t walk on my fours. I don’t know what that means. Did that mean crawling? No sense in even talking about how many limbs I have on the ground, just crawling would work. Those broken crystal windows are serious: they penetrated my bones! Most of the time broken glass would just penetrate the skin a little bit, not bones. But now I’m suddenly walking because I’m taking steps. That certainly implies I’m on two feet, not crawling on all fours. Except I’m walking on my knees. I’m also walking around, but trying to crawl my way to the surface. Which is it? Am I walking or clawing? I would think if I’m clawing, I’d read about my fingers digging in dirt, or clearing debris, or something like that. If I’m walking, or even crawling, where the heck am I going? Is there a door out of here that’s airtight?

Am I even alive? When you write “In the films,” you’re really taking the reader out of the story here. I have to stop what I’m doing, leave the picture in my mind, and think about films. For me, this really destroys the images and current feeling of the story. But wait, I’m dead. I think this is twice now that I’ve died. A minute ago I was crawling, walking, or digging my way out, but quite suddenly I died. Again. I don’t know what the hell is going on in that second paragraph. It shifts point of view from “I” to “your” in the same sentence. But now not only am I dead, I’m outside my own body that has apparently been dead for quite some time. Am I just delusional? Is this another LSD story? Why would my body already be infested with maggots if I just died? And why would I be looking at my own face? And where did this rusty, putrid anchor come from? Something is weird? You’re not kidding me. “How much time HAS PASSED since the landslide?”

One step beyond: Why is everything pink? I’ve heard of things going black. I’ve heard of people seeing the light. But I’ve never heard a dead person talk about everything going pink. But at least someone’s talking to dead me. And apparently I’m pissed at them. Why would I suddenly yell and swear at someone I don’t know? I’m not sure how to “burst promptly.” I’m not sure I can think of a way to use those words together in a sentence effectively. Maybe I should just yell. Also, since this appears to be me talking to myself, wouldn’t I know why I had been swearing since I was a kid? It seems quite odd to say why I “probably” was doing it.

This seems like a weird god. I get that it’s told me all about me being cursed, and apparently I really am dead this time. But why would it let me reunite? And I don’t know how a single person reunites. Usually that’s an action that specifically takes more than one person who have been together before. So I don’t know what word you were going for there, but it’s not “reunite.” At least I’m not so high that I don’t know about how long it takes my body to rot.

Also, how can something “decompose naturally in one day.” If it’s happening in one day, that’s kind of the opposite of naturally. From what I’m reading here, I think I got crushed in the house, I died, my body decomposed in one day, I’m staring at my body as a ghost, and someone is talking to me. If that’s not what’s happening, I’m even more confused than normal.

How can I save myself from that fate? I have to gather emotional power. Oh, and my emotions are magical. And I have to murder people to obtain this magical emotional power. People I possess. Or I can meditate until I am nothing. I’m not sure if I’m on LSD or the voice is. And voices don’t evaporate, especially if they stop talking. They just stop talking. But hey, now I’m back in my rapidly decomposed body again, pinned in rubble, so I’ve got that going for me. I have to say, those are some interesting options for me on this page. Since I think I was told to murder people, I’ll choose the anger option (because I didn’t actually have an option to murder my people).

I will wield my anger: I’m not sure “snarkily” is a word. And if it was, I don’t think it would go with a “crisp tone.” That was five paths. I think if there’s opposing paths, that part should be mentioned first, and you can introduce the different paths by pointing out how they are opposed to one another. But I have no damn idea what path I’m on now. I was told to go with murder, I chose anger, but now I’m told to continue trickery. I’m also really bad at math because after I’m told there are four (or five) paths and told to stay on just one; I ask about the other two. But wait, there’s more: after I was told to choose murder, actually chose anger, and then told to continue trickery; when asked about the others, I’m told those are violence and anger. So all told now, there’s paths for: murder, anger, violence, sex, sympathy and kindness, wisdom, apathy, havoc, wrath, trickery, lust, and passion. We’re up to twelve paths now. And I think the voice (that evaporated earlier) implies there’s yet another, path number thirteen: anything goes.

Oh wait, the voice is a him. I didn’t get that before. But I am confused at my choices. I can burst at him. First, I don’t know where he is. Last time he talked, the voice was all around me. Second, can I burst at him? That implies I will just throw my bloated ghost-corpse directly at him, wherever he is. I’m not sure that sounds like a legitimate option, so I guess I’ll ignore him.

Ignore Him: Now he’s a moron. I thought he was a god of some kind. I guess a weird god like this could be a moron, too. Hey look, I found another path: hopelessness! I really thought I had picked the angry murder path, but I guess that wasn’t to be. But hey, I was being nice when I chose to murder my friends, apparently. I have absolutely no idea what “Barely can’t read but possess editorials” means: not a clue. I do know “barely” and “can’t” are almost never found together, though. Apparently I’m a gay lawyer, though.

You start to ascend: Now I’m a dead ghost gay lawyer fume. I don’t know what a “fume” is. I only know that word as a verb. “elevate throughout” should be “rise through.” Now I’m between dimensions. No wait, now I’m floating around the perimeter of something. What, I have no idea. To go around the perimeter of something, I’d need something to go around, wouldn’t I? But now my head is spinning around, poltergeist-style, 360-degrees. And now someone is made of colors. And people. And everything. I think I absorbed some LSD on my way through the soil. I’m wondering how much marrow will be left in my bones if everything decays. I’m thinking the marrow dries up, too. How do I know the mystery timer is a timer if I can’t read the display? And what kind of speech reminds someone of white noise in a television?

What the hell? Now the voice is being nice to me? And it’s telling me I have a physical body – that’s rising up through the soil and seeing things in bright colors and a 360-degree view. That’s not like any physical body I’ve ever seen. And wait, why am I not used to having a physical body? I thought it was less than a day since I was buried? But hey, at least in my physical body, mortals can’t see me because… why? But at least I’ll adapt. “Fresh new dead ghost soul” had me laughing. I wonder where this random three people a day came from and if the current physical body I’m in counts as one. Apparently my tongue only works sometimes as I was just talking to the random male god-voice, but now I’m struggling to mumble. And there are human bubbles around. Wait, there’s a rescue team? For what? Remember, it’s been less than a day since the accident, as far as I’m aware.

I’ve run out of time, but it appears like most of the choices lead right back to the main path. That can be done well, but each choice should have an effect overall on the story. Since I didn’t get all the way to the end, I can’t be sure, but it doesn’t look like that’s the case.

In many cases, I think you tried to use too many ten-dollar words. There were several instances where you used a fancy word where a simple word could have been used. For example, no one “says bombastically.” They just don’t. No one says that word, and no one writes it. That’s just one place where a simple word, even if it’s been repeated, can word just fine. There’s no need to find a different way to say everything in every sentence. With conversations, you’d be surprised how well just using “said” can work, even when it looks repetitive.

Overall, I think you have the makings of a very good story here. But I think your English word choice is enough that it takes away from the story to the point that it’s distracting. It isn’t even that you don’t know the words – in many cases they are technically the correct words. However, they’re not words that people really currently use. I would suggest that as you learn more English you read as much as you can so that you can see which words are used in different cases. I know you’re working hard to learn the language, and the only thing missing is the colloquialisms of the language. I do realize it would be a lot for someone to majorly assist you, but I do think you have a good story: if this were run past a native English speaker where they could ask and confirm all the above question with you, translating it a bit, I think you quite possibly have a great story here. Don’t give up, English is a hard language with lots of strange, unwritten rules that are hard to learn unless you speak it and use it quite a lot. Good luck!

Trim Comments on Main Page Display on 1/21/2020 11:20:23 AM
If I could find someone to help me figure out the error I'm getting... but you already know that. I'm thinking of buying a new computer just to try and make this work... Though I'll be stopped just as much as Killa with the testing and pushing.

Trim Comments on Main Page Display on 1/20/2020 9:51:54 PM
Comments are starting to get crazy long. In some cases they're making the main page of the story look silly. I do realize there's an additional page for all comments, but what if there were a chop off at a character limit for comments? It might be much cleaner on that main page of the story if only the first 5-10 lines or so of any comment were displayed, but with a "more" or something for someone who wants to view the entire comment.

Insomnia on 1/20/2020 12:18:50 PM
Wow, hi there! Glad to hear you're better!

FIREBIRDS N SHIT: THE STORY on 1/18/2020 11:03:37 PM
First, the disclaimers: this is my review. It is likely not like anyone else’s. In fact, you probably couldn’t find anyone else who completely agrees with what I write here. But it’s my opinion. I’m also writing this as I read through this for the first time. These are my first impressions as I read it. I’m not saying they’re right, just what I’m thinking. I haven’t looked at the other reviews or read anything else about this bit before writing this other bit. This is written in the spirit of helping you see how others (okay, me) see your story and to perhaps give you ideas for improvement, and not to be mean or anything else. Please don’t take it personally. This review is likely worth exactly what you paid for it. Finally, you did ask. Extra side-note written after all the other stuff: holy crap this is long! I did not mean to make this that long. I honestly hope that you’re not annoyed or insulted by anything written below. I just let my mind wander while I read this and that’s where it went. I’m reasonably sure this is my longest ever – and again, please don’t be angry, it’s just what my mind sees as I read it. I really do hope that it helps you see what I’ve seen and that it can help you edit just a wee bit and make this a lot better. Here we go: Nice title. I’m not sure what to think when reading that. I did go back and glance at the intro, so that did lighten the impact a bit, but still. I’m not sure whether to take that title literally. As I’ve mentioned in the past, when I read stories, my mind tends to paint pictures to go with what I’m reading based on my imagination (and perhaps how much beer I’ve had). At the point, before I even start reading the story, I’m picturing a huge, majestic, massive firebird rising up from the ground into a blue sky… but just below the massive firebird is a junk yard. Not a pile of trash or anything, just a junk yard with piles of twisted metal and partially usable things here and there. Maybe with junkyard dogs, or maybe with Fat Albert and his friends wandering around, looking for treasure. No one in the junk yard seems to notice the firebird that’s taking up the whole sky. Then again, perhaps I’m interpreting the title wrong and the fact that it’s a junk yard should be a clue to me that the “firebird” is actually a 1977 Pontiac Firebird that’s in the junkyard! Yes, and perhaps one of Fat Albert’s friend has found a mysterious bag of white power in the trunk of that firebird in the junkyard. Okay, well, anyway, I guess I should move on past the title and actually read what you’ve written here, right? First sentence: I like the picture here. I’ve moved on from the junkyard (just barely, maybe it’s still there to appear in another scene). I’m waiting for the land to take shape, and I’m not setting up and preconceived notions. Since the black mist recedes every day, this is starting out ominous, whether that is your intent or not. When the grand bird appeared, I got a little confused (I know, you’re shocked). I was picturing the mist pulling back from the ground, slowly dissipating. The clouds dispersing shifted the viewpoint radically on me: now instead of mist along the ground, there’s clouds spreading. I wasn’t looking at the clouds, I was looking at the mist. Now I don’t know if the clouds and mist are supposed to be the same thing or not. Not huge, but distracting to me. The whole scene with the phoenix arriving seems to be at odds with the black mist slipping away. It also felt off that the wings of the bird blessed the morning with light. Was this because the clouds were moved away because of the wings? I feel like that’s the only way the wings could have blessed the day with light, but the clouds appeared to be moving before the bird’s wings moved. Now the view shifts to me. Did I summon the phoenix? I don’t think I did because there was that bit at the start about the black mists going away every day. But I’m casting a spell, so my first thought is that I caused what just happened. I can see as I read on that maybe not, the results of the spell are starting after I finish. If that’s the case, what does all that other stuff have to do with me casting a spell? Anyway, I’m not sure what’s happening here. My eyes are blue and misty and that’s supposed to protect me from the sunlight. Why would I need protection? Am I staring at the sun like a moron? No wait, I’m staring at the phoenix? Is it bright? I didn’t know that. After re-reading the paragraph, I’m still not sure if I summoned the phoenix, or if I just started staring at it when it just appeared, like it does every day. A few places seemed like extra words without adding meaning: “twisting your torso,” “incantation of divination,” and “ecstatic sensation.” And I’m not sure how I clutch at power. I feel like I’m reaching out into space and grabbing onto nothing or something no one else can see. Wow, was that really just one paragraph? Yikes. I need to get on with it. Now there’s an elf. Is that me? I don’t think that’s me. But he’s talking to the phoenix. I’m not sure that’s a divination spell, but whatever. I do have to wonder: who the hell is LUX and what does he have to do with this story? I mean, there’s an elf begging for a phone call from the phoenix to his servants. He’s staring at the sun or the phoenix. But LUX needs and offering. I don’t know what that is. Is there a pig being slaughtered off stage or something? If there was an offering here, I completely missed it. Was the crushing up some powder the offering? If so, maybe that could be more clear. At least he’s crisp, whatever that means. Oh hey look, I returned. From where, I have no idea. Did I just go take a piss in Fat Albert’s junkyard? Seriously, I was just standing there, staring at the sun, then some elf (who might have been me) said some words, some LUX guy was being jacrispy, then I return. I wasn’t aware that I had left. But at least I have tea. Apparently magical tea. Oh, a ground-up magical tea leaf. Where did I get this? I guess you can find a lot of useful stuff at junkyards. But now I’m going to drink it and now I’m below the firebird. Whoosh! I was standing at a window, watching him before, but now I’m below him. That’s what I guess for taking an unscheduled piss, I suppose. But now it’s not only in the sky, but it’s tail is doing fancy things. Seriously, a minute ago that sucker just landed. And now I can stare at it and see dead people or something. Who the hell is dead? Is this the elf’s buddies that he’s asking about? Should we go back to figuring out if I’m the elf? Is my name LUX the Elf? I’m thinking of heading back to Fat Al’s junkyard to see what’s happening over there. At this point I’m two paragraphs in. I have no idea who the character are or what’s going on. I don’t know if there’s more setup before this part, but at this point, to be honest, I’m starting to lose interest because I’ve lost all context with what’s going on. I’ve gone back and read it again and I still have me, some elf, LUX, and a bird that may or may not be flying or sitting down; and who may or may not be the actual sun. I’ll keep going. Now the mist around my eyes goes away and my eyes burn. I’ll try not to point out the entire reason I put the mist there was to avoid them getting burned. Guess that spell failed. Now the damn bird is yelling. What the hell did I do to make the bird yell? But hey, if I close my eyes, maybe the yelling won’t hurt my ears. And what happens next, I really don’t know. I’m more confused than normal. My arms are Simpsons yellow, so I guess I’m Homer Simpson doing a crossover with Fat Albert and the gang. My eyes are burning, but they just casually fluttered shut. And now I have pointed ears that are above my head or I have tiny tyrannosaurus rex arms. I say that because on a normal person if my arms (yellow or not) “swoop upwards,” then they’re above my head, far out of reach from my eyes or ears. So now I’m picturing myself as a Homer Simpson elf with tyrannosaurus rex arms with burning eyes standing in front of a giant fiery bird that is the sun, who is yelling at me and hurting my ears. Is that what you were going for? And “nothing except time wouldn’t” is so confusing I’m just ignoring that sentence. But now at least I know the bird is yelling at me because I used magic. To talk to him. Or protect my eyes, and that actually failed. At least I’m going to tell someone while I’m “stumbling stumbled.” I guess that’s a typo, but I’m not sure what for. But I’m going to take my anger out at the table nearby while I stumble. Yeah, I’ll smash those tools that shatter into tiny pieces (what kind of tools shatter into tiny pieces?). And now Chaos has entered the room! Welcome, chaos! Thank you for smashing my mirror. And now there’s some serious dust in the air! Did you see that dust? The dust, normally light, showered down on my so hard that I actually staggered from the impact! Wow, that’s some serious magical dust. But at least I have a metal left hand to save me. I’m not sure where the hell that came from, but that was kind of a surprise to me. I assume you’re trying to show rather than tell, but that was kind of a shocker. I really think I’d be safer in Weird Al’s junkyard. Because just now, after trying the spell, failing, being blind, and getting yelled at by a bird/sun, I’m just not realizing that I’m “mediocre.” Perhaps I should have thought of that before casting the spell. As for the writing side of it, perhaps more emphasis could have been put on the risks associated with casting the spell, mentioning that I should have practiced more, that type of thing. It does seem weird that only now I’m useless to someone else’s liege. Why do I care? I was just calling out for someone, but that was my Lord, or it seemed to be. Now I’m concerned about HIS liege. Damn lot of kings running around here. And what is happening? This ended up with more harm than good? I learned that some people are dead, and the only cost was a bird yelling at me. That doesn’t sound too bad. Now I have this serious heavy dust on my robes. But I shamble – that doesn’t seem like something a yellow person with tyrannosaurus rex arms would do. Am I limping, too? If I’m uninjured and not Jabba the Hut, I’m not sure I would “shamble” anywhere. I’m also quite sure that I won’t “dart” anywhere if I’m already “shambling.” There’s no way you can do those two things together. And now I’m inside, feeling around for corridors. If I’m blind, I didn’t realize that. Perhaps that should be more clear. I was picturing that my eyes hurt and I was squinting a little, while rubbing them with my tyrannosaurus rex arms. Okay, I wonder if there was perhaps just a little LSD mixed in with whatever the hell I was doing there. Now my “eyesight is releasing pain.” That’s so out there that I think I’m delusional. Maybe that’s why I think I have tyrannosaurus rex arms – because I’m high as a kite. I don’t know what mildly returned because I don’t know how you can return mildly. The LSD experience is really making a lot of sense now. It might also explain why I’m still looking for Fat Albert. But hey, there’s more blue: sigils on the wall. But this place is SO familiar to me, that I’VE placed some of them there, yet I’m still feeling my way around…apparently with my robocop metal left hand that has feeling just like a normal hand. Yeah, not only is this an LSD trip, this is starting to shape up as a bad trip. I’m looking at the sigils that *I* placed there, but I still need to feel my way along. But hey, I can feel magic, so yeah, I’m soooooo wasted. I’m so friggin high right now. I can feel myself being siphoned. Through what, I don’t know. But yeah, I’m floating towards something until it lets me go, after rejecting me. Why am I picturing a drooling idiot sitting on the floor, rubber band still wrapped around his arm, needle still sticking out of the inside of his elbow right now? Heck, I’m so wasted that when a rune falls dark, it casts a shadow. Maybe this is a weird place, or maybe I’m just super-high, but usually when something goes dark, it can’t cast a shadow. That often requires light. That’s okay, because now we’re shifting over to “he” again. Is this LUX? Maybe the elf? No wait, I’m the wasted elf with the metal hand and t-rex arms. I wonder if “he” is the liege. Or the other liege. Or maybe it’s the phoenix. I have no idea. Fat Albert tells me these runes were doing something, but they’re not any more. But they’re my runes. So my own runes are rebelling against me! Someone stop the rebellion! But hey, now instead of stealth and defense they’re, what now? They are “leading” to the throne room? How do I know that? I’m stumbling and shambling along the hallways with my metal hand and t-rex arms. And now Lord Stone is doing something. Is he my liege? Is he the “other” liege? Does he know the phoenix or Fat Albert? But hey, I’m a trooper, I’m going to press on. I don’t know what my goal was, or what I’m pressing on to, but why not? Now there’s a beacon. I wonder what kind. Is it a lighthouse beacon that can be seen from far away? Or some super-secret one? I guess that it’s related to this Lord Stone fellow, but the text certainly didn’t mention that. I mean, I get that you’re trying to not just do a text/info dump, but for me, there’s just too much disconnect at this point. If there’s a damn beacon, let me know instead of me trying to determine that Lord Stone’s magic has somehow taken over my magic in my sigils that I created to help defend the secret castle and instead are trying to light the way for someone (I dunno who) to find their way to the throne room that might contain a king, or maybe Lord Stone, or maybe nothing at all and it instead has a pit trap with poisonous spikes at the bottom. And how does a beacon get used? I’ve always thought they were kind of on or off, and you could decide to follow them or not. But here I can feel that it wants to be used. Is this a rated M story all of a sudden? But hey, forget all that, Ima cast a spell. Wait, I’m deaf? When the hell did that happen? I mean, I know the bird yelled at me, but I used my metal hand on my t-rex arms to protect my ears, didn’t I? I had absolutely no clue I was deaf here, none at all. Am I blind, now, too? I mean, I don’t think I am, but since I didn’t know I was deaf, I’m now wondering if I’m blind and don’t know that, too. I think I might need to check my junk and make sure that works too, or I can just go ahead and jump off a cliff now. Oh yeah, nailed it: next sentence, I’m blind. Nope, didn’t know that, either. But hey, at least getting haste saved my blind life. Yeah, that didn’t make any more sense when I wrote it than when I read it. But hey, since I’m hasted, I have a trail to follow. I’m thinking it’s a trail of Skittles that lead back to Mushmouth. I have no idea how to “swivel around a corner.” That sounds really, really gay; or at least something that only someone gay could pull off. Am I gay, too? We’ll deal with issues of sexuality later (not really, I’m just putting that aside, permanently). Instead, after I sashay around the corner, I’m in front of some doors. Now in my mind, I’m literally in front of the doors. I would expect maybe less than five feet from the doors. But I can “make out” a pair of revenants guarding. Well, of course I can, if I’m five feet away, I’m thinking they’re about six inches from my face. But at least I’m having pleasant thoughts (I have no idea why, “pleasant” thoughts would never enter my mind when I’m about to fight guards, I’m blind, and I’m fighting with t-rex arms). What’s my heart doing? Pumping LSD through my system? No wait, sending “neurotic” energy. Well that’s not a good thing. But at least my adrenaline overcomes my sense of decency. You see, when that happens, since I’m alone, the only thing I can imagine is that I’m stripped naked. I have no earthly idea what else I could be doing that would overcome my sense of decency. So now I’m high and naked. Great. But hey, at least I’m dealing with absolute morons for guards! You see, if a guard has a spear, which these appear to do, this is the perfect weapon for people charging them! They just set the spear and point the pointy end towards the idiot on drugs charging them. Then they can just wait for the idiot to impale themselves on the spear. But no, these guards are so stupid that when they’re faced with an attack, they take their actual weapon that they should be using to defend themselves, and … slam it into the ground. Did they think that they were going to intimidate me in the middle of my LSD-induced naked bull rush? They stood there, armed and armored, and just watched my naked ass charge them. They didn’t raise any sort of defense, they just let me slam into them. Is everyone on LSD on this planet? Oh, but at least the hot guard with the deep voice thinks you’re hot, being all naked and drugged out and all. She tenderly picks me up – after I nakedly and violently charged at her. Does she want me? I must be hot since I don’t know her name. I wonder if I have a boner – she would know since I’m naked. How do they not know I’m wasted? Wait, what the hell is chin-length hair? The only way you’d know hair is chin-length is if it was in front of your damn face. Hey, maybe the two of us are blind. But hey, he’s undead, I’m naked with a woody. Yes, this is clearly a rated M game. Understatement of the entire bit: “You must look like a madman.” No friggin kidding! I’m naked. I have a boner. I’m making eyes at the male undead guard. I’m high as a kite on LSD. I’m blind. I’m mostly deaf. I’m covered with magical dust that can knock over an elephant. I’ve been to Fat Albert’s junkyard and lived to tell the story. I charged the royal guards and lived. I’ve stared into the eyes of a phoenix that is the sun and my t-rex arms are metal. I don’t know if I’m an elf, the liege, or some god named LUX. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that puts me in the madman category. And just to keep up my appearances, I go ahead and yell at the undead. Yeah, she wants me. I like that I’m suddenly all better now that the magical doors are open. Well, I’m still naked and have t-rex arms, but I think I’m not blind and deaf now. And some guy is a wreak. Clearly not me because it says, “HE” was still a wreck. Not Leon, because I want him, but apparently the Lord behind the magic door. Maybe Stone. Maybe not. But there’s some sweet, sweet blue rune light in there, so my high is restored. Oh look, Lord Stoned is an orc. And I’m a naked elf with t-rex arms. What could go wrong? Oh, and it’s a freaky orc because his head is grey. No, not his hair, his HEAD is grey. Maybe that’s a trick of the blue light or the LSD. HOLY CRAP! HIS HEAD IS SIX FEET TALL! Yeah, this is a seriously bad trip. I need to talk to weird Harold about his supplier. This LSD a’int no good. I mean, someone’s face could have wrinkles, but this guy’s facial features have wrinkles. So I think his eyes and nose are wrinkled. Damn, I need to come down from this trip. But hey, since this naked elf walked in the room, now blue magic is having sex with him. Whew. That was harrowing. I’m not sure how to explain all the things I saw there. Seriously, there were lots of disconnects for me where the story just didn’t connect or make sense to me. In some cases it was a simple aspect of using “he” all of a sudden when there was nothing to connect it to. In other places it was more of what I pictured being in conflict with the next bit, like with the guards. I’m not really sure what to say, other than that based on what I’ve seen, this could use a bit of revision. On the good side, the grammar and writing was relatively good. I think there was a bit too much effort put on trying to make this sound more flowery than it could have been, but in general, I could read what’s here – though I couldn’t often understand what was happening. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure if I was the protagonist the entire time as the view appeared to shift more than once. I really do hope this helps you see what I saw when I read this! TL;DR; Suck it, you! Go back and read it!