Zake, The Dramatist

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9/20/2019 2:14 AM

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'ello! I am Zake. Welcome to my profile.
Writing is fun, hard, and interesting.
Feel free to message me.

Some sites that may be worth reading, especially the first:

P.S. Profile picture appears to be a shrunk version of this artwork, by Deviantart MenasLG. I think someone else resized it, because I doubt I would've known how to when I first found it on google (but I can't seem to find it anymore, so maybe it was I who resized it).

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Recent Posts

Defeat my Students! on 9/19/2019 8:24:59 PM
It seems we are still capable of getting graded; I'm going to send one over as well. Not too late to drag down the average.

Orp - Planning & Choices & Writing on 9/18/2019 8:42:28 PM

Those are some good points.

I'll set about planning just a little bit more, to figure out the major plot points & events so that the relevant sections lend themselves better to branching out.

Having the reader able to change the expected outcome of events is a neat way of implementing it, since I imagine that can feel really impactful, especially if the storygame is played through multiple times, where the reader can see things turn out differently.

Thanks for sharing!

Orp - Planning & Choices & Writing on 9/18/2019 8:45:48 AM


Irat steps out of his limousine dressed in his finest black suit. The white patchwork which lines his cuffs, collar, waist, and ankles is almost brighter than the marble pillars of the exclusive establishment he is approaching. The gold lettering above the five by five door up ahead holds little meaning to him, for he didn't come here because of the establishment, but rather because of the person who has invited him. With that said, it is a most fancy place.

Inside, amid the black, white, and gold, and the crimson, wood, and violet, sitting at a table on the reserved floor, in front of a sleek personal machine, is Laz.

"Ah, you're right on time!" the young man calls jovially.

Irat first gestures, as if brushing dust of his left shoulder, and his two guards leave him, and only then does he head over to the table Laz is sitting at.

"Of course I am, this chance meeting is quite lucky, I wouldn't disgrace it by being late! And to think, I almost didn't come to Singlonos at all, but the fact you are here makes me glad I did."

"Indeed? Chance must've conspired to have us meet," Laz says with a coy smile, temporarily turning his attention to his machine, typing away some command.

"Ah…yes, you inherited quite the information network from your father, didn't you? But surely you could just reach out if you wanted to talk?"

"Oh, you know about that."

"To think I wouldn't, I'm up there with the best of them! Besides, if Zene knows, I certainly do."

"Ah, I know Zene knows. He has some fun with it. Bloody idiot."

"Anyway," Irat interrupts, "I hope you didn't invite me here just as some sort of game, I was quite looking forward to us talking and sharing our views!"

"Clam down Irat. I wouldn't waste your time like that, nor mine. No, I did call on you with a purpose, a great one actually," he trails off.

"Fine, I'll bite, what o' great purpose caused you to call on me?"

After a moment of silence, Laz continues to speak, albeit more quietly, "Do you remember how my father talked of a great change to come?"

"Yes, quite vividly."

"Well, it is finally happening. Great change is on the way."

"Oh my, so the kinks have been worked out?"


"Extraordinary. I thought it would take longer…"


"Oh, certainly not. Just, I imagine some people would be quite upset finding out what you plan to do. It won't affect me adversely, but I must ask, who else have you informed?"

"No one else, and I don’t plan to. Those who can deal with it will, as they should have prepared for it. I'm only telling you because of your status, and because I figured that it'd be best if at least one person north of the Veather Sea knew when the thing to transpire would transpire." Elegantly put.

"Of course, that all makes sense. I'm still shocked at your accomplishment. Your father would be proud. I thank you for the information. It will definitely make the change easier to burden."

"Thank you, but I must say, parts of the way you're speaking makes me think you no longer wish for the change?"

"No, I do, I do. It is just that, I had some plans I was hoping to accomplish, and it will be much harder if the status quo was to…change beforehand."

"Is that so? Well, how much time do you need? I'm only informing you that everything is on track, but the change won't happen all that quickly. Two months, maybe three, I can keep you updated on the estimate."

"That is better, I will have time then…"

"What's the matter now? I'm being awfully nice as is…and surely you know of some of my recent activities: setting up wonderful accommodation for some of the unfortunates, relocating certain waste deposits, and more! Change is change, but it won't be some nightmare. I know what I am doing."

"That is fair, and I am content, for my plans will be accomplished. But I'm just wondering about all the people who fail to realise the reality that shall befall them. What about their plans? Things they'll never be able to finish. One of the greatest pains is that of something left undone. In the old stories, people would turn to ghosts or spirits if they died like that…it is a tragedy understood across cultures."

"Well, what do you propose? I cannot just tell them, things would spiral horribly!"

"No, I agree, that would be stupid, everyone would suffer. Change is change, but as you said, it won't be some nightmare. No, rather, I think you may wish to tell everyone when there is, say, a weeks' time left. That way they will have plenty of time to prepare, if they can, or make peace if they cannot. It is the more humane thing to do, I feel."

"Is that so?"

"Indeed. Any reason that telling them that in such a manner would cause complications?"

"Some things may need to be set up, certain sacrifices, but…it is doable. Let none say I am not compassionate!"

"None at all!"

"Thank you for this talk Irat, but I'm afraid I must go. I have lady friends to entertain," Laz says with a wink.

"Aha! You rascal. Yes, go on. I shall jaunt around these areas for a bit, seeing the wonderful locations here is worth even my time. I wish you luck with your pursuits."

"Thank you Irat, I hope we may converse again. One of my people will give you the device when you go to leave. The unlock password is Anul."

Irat gets up from the table, giving an appreciative nod to Laz before turning and heading the way he came, to the left. Once he is gone, Laz closes his machine, then leaves by another door, this one to the right.

The lights dim.

Orp - Planning & Choices & Writing on 9/18/2019 8:44:04 AM

Motivation. An elusive thing. It has been a while since my last writing thread, so I figured I'd give it another go. Perhaps, it'll even help with catching the aforementioned elusive thing.


Trying to plan storygames has gone a bit off the rails for me recently, so I'll be trying something a little different.

I'm going to see if I can make a short story (split into parts for reading, writing, and convenience), and then (hopefully) turn it into a storygame.

Doing it this way means I'll have one concrete path to build off, which, while it will have some challenges, should save me a lot of trouble in regards to making something that fits together cohesively (assuming I do it right). It is also good to do because the scope will be much more controllable.

This does bring up some questions of if I'm writing the 'canon' path, and to that I'd say no, because the ultimate goal is still a branching story, and because of the approach I'm going with, this would involve not having a defined canon path.

Another big goal is to avoid over-planning, because it has gone pretty badly for me with some recent projects. With that said I do still plan on having some outline (albeit a very weak and broad one). As I have often typed, find what works for you. As such, by trying the more minimal approach to planning (which has given me success with some failed projects in the past), we can see if I was just less critical of what I was writing back then, or if this approach actually works for me better.

However, feel free to share your thoughts on planning! This can be a pretty big topic, so if you don't want to get into it, just a short description of your process can still be invaluable to others (especially me in this case) for getting ideas and learning.


I believe it has been talked about before, but might as well mention it again, especially considering this'll read like a linear story for the foreseeable future, which means thoughts on this could prove really helpful in the second stage.

I should mention that there are many ways to do this, so even if your approach is obvious to you, writing it out could prove more helpful than you'd expect. Also, the same thing as with the outlining applies here, you can keep it brief. In fact, being able to succinctly deliver valuable information is a great skill, especially in writing! Anyway, onto the question:

How do you decide where to put choices in your interactive works?


Finally, just a section to explain this thread a bit.

Orp is the story title. I hope it conveys the appropriate tone. It might not have enough meaning, which would lead to it being changed, but I can't think of anything yet.

I will be putting the story progress into this thread, which means there will be writing, and as such, feedback and thoughts are highly appreciated.

Other than that, I mentioned two specific things in this opening post, for you see, I've told people to ask for specific feedback far too often to not listen to my own advice. Granted, I was still rather broad with the questions, but the more tailored ones will come about when I finish this.

Happy reading!

Please read and give advice on my horror story. on 9/16/2019 8:00:01 AM

I'll start with the usual disclaimer of: take this with a grain of salt, think about the things I'll mention yourself, and horror is not my expertise (though I wouldn't say anything really is).

Also, if there is something more specific you are curious about, feel free to ask. Specific questions can help with acquiring desired feedback, as otherwise the feedback can end up a bit more general than you might be hoping for.

Oh, I should also mention that I consider writing to be very much a thing where you ought to find what works for you. That's why one of the things mentioned above was to think about the things mentioned yourself, since you might find they are irrelevant in your case.



Because you seem to be punctuating dialogue correctly (here is an article for those who don't know how) I'm going to instead say... that it seems you haven't used any semi-colons or em dashes. Obviously you don't have, but in case this isn't a choice but because you don't know how to use them, here is a website that might help get some idea of it (to start at least, there was a better one but I can't find it): Alternatively, you can wait for Gower to make an article here, it'll probably be better.

The reason I bring this up is not because there is anything lacking in what you have written that'd be fixed with this, but rather because having access to all the tools can help more interesting and varied sentences, along with better conveying ideas and creating nicer flow. Personally, I don't really use either of these myself, but I would like to at least be capable.

Flow & Word Omission

This one depends on style and intent, so think about it an extra amount.

Here are two sentences early on:

  • He worked at Walmart, talking to people all day but never really talking to anyone.
  • He liked to read, but only read non fiction.

Maybe it is just me, but the repetition of talking and then read feel a bit off, especially the second one. Try reading them aloud (or mouthing the words). The first one I think just needs a comma (but I could be wrong); check this article out: Basic Sentence Structure: Additive Sentences. For the second one, I think the second read makes it clunky, so I'd just drop it.

As such I'd suggest something like:

  • He worked at Walmart, talking to people all day, but never really talking to anyone.
  • He liked to read, but only non-fiction.

I'll quickly mention that one thing said: non-fiction/nonfiction (British/American spelling). However non fiction didn't seem to come up.

I find flow to be something you get better at just by writing/paying attention. It is an interesting element of writing which I am no authority on, but I can still point it out!

Other than that, word omission would also cover not giving pointless information. Sometimes, readers can assume things, and this can also be used to affect pacing. As you need to think more about tension and stuff (which I think matters more in horror) it is definitely worth keeping in mind.


This'll be short because you seemed to do it well, but I'll say that words that end with -ly being tacked on as additional descriptions for stuff can take away from the writing when overdone (this ties in with word omission). Some people tend to overdo this without realising the negative impact it can have. Anyway, you seemed to do this well, so no complaints from me.


Not much to comment on, as this is just the first page. However there are some general things that are worth mentioning.

Show, Don't Tell

Mara did mention showing rather than telling regarding the protagonist being uninteresting, which is worth thinking about as 'telling' can be bad (but again that is when overdone). Showing AND telling do have their merits, but the general proverb exists because people tend to overdo the telling which can end up rather dull.

In this case, I think both ways can work, and it depends on what you are going for. I imagine you don't care to spend much time before the inciting incident, which makes sense, which is why I think keeping it as is should be fine (but do consider trying to polish the opening some more, as you generally want to make sure the reader isn't put off before the story even really started).


I'm curious about all the directions this can go, you already mentioned a major branch at the start, so it is nice to see you thinking about it. Anyway, suffice to say the idea seems to have potential (but this doesn't mean much, as I'd say most ideas have potential).

However I'd say this opening is executed pretty well, and if you end up delivering some happenings/narrative beats, I'm sure this can end up as a pretty good story.


Don't forget that the scope of branching narratives can explode like crazy, so thinking about it a bit is a good idea. Also keep in mind that cutting things or restructuring them is something that exists and can be done.


Keep writing, it's looking good! Do tell me if there is anything else you'd like mentioned, for I tried to not go overboard by giving all the general advice I can think of (aha), but this does mean I might've missed something worth talking about.

Oh, also, if you have time, remember to proofread. I think people like to skip that step, but it is definitely worthwhile as it can push a good story into a great one. Doing a proofreading pass at the end can also help spot scenes that might be omitted (or find good spots to add new ones), because at this stage you'll have a really good idea of the overall story.

Heck, in general, the micro vs macro of writing is interesting, and something I'll hopefully get a better understanding of. I was considering trying to talk about it here, but I'll save it for when I am more confident in what I have to say, and besides, this post is long enough as is.

P.S. Here is an article about proofreading (for those who it may concern...which might be a good deal of people): Proofreading.

Gower's Office Hours on 9/9/2019 9:39:03 PM
Quality information, thank you! Learning things is good.

Gower's Office Hours on 9/9/2019 9:38:14 PM
WIP = Work in Progress. In this case I was referring to the storygame who's excerpts you used.

Let's Play: Tally Ho, by Gower on 9/9/2019 8:39:20 AM

My guess is that Gower wouldn't swoop so low as to have predictable stat padding choices, that is to say, I don't think these four tie to the first four stats.

I imagine it might be something like:

  • Renown -- such a magnificence breakfast!
  • Soothing -- it is literally calming! This one might be tranquility...
  • Abrasive -- a cocktail to ease a hangover? What a buck to social norms!
  • Tranquility -- wouldn't a lovely flower make things easier? Might be soothing instead...

Granted, I have no idea, and feel I could swap some things, but I guess we'll find out soon enough...

Anyway, because the choice is already clear, I'll just go with Option 3. They all have their appeals, but I do think establishing a cunning ability to solve problems is good... but I won't complain about the first option winning.

e - although I will say that looking at the stats again, I might've been trying to overthink it...

Gower's Office Hours on 9/9/2019 8:27:39 AM

... and let's all discuss it together.

I'll start by adding a random website because I remember multi-paragraph speeches confusing me (not closing quotations!? How barbaric- wait that's how it's done?).

If one person's speech goes on for more than one paragraph, use quotation marks to open the dialogue at the beginning of each paragraph. However, do not use closing quotation marks until the end of the final paragraph where that character is speaking.

Here is another one that I love to link (it has a part on multiple paragraphs of dialogue):

Anyhow, Gower already answered you, so I'll leave it at that (but I will add that the WIP is looking pretty good).

Actually... now I have another punctuation question: If a sentence ends with a word like V.I.P., will it have two periods next to each other?

Gower's Office Hours on 9/9/2019 8:12:44 AM

I'm shocked this opportunity isn't being utilised by more people. 40% is a huge amount and you will probably fail if you do not seek consultation!

I'm also disappointed in Ford for not linking to tilde and ampersand, as he is definitely capable. It is his loss though, so I guess matters little to me.

Anyway, here are some smallish things:

  • Imagine a random scene. There is an important bridge here, so it will get mentioned multiple times. The first time I'd mention it with an 'a', that is, "there is a bridge". Later on I'd refer to it with 'the', "the bridge is collapsing!" My question is... what is the technical term for doing this? Is mentioning the bridge as 'the bridge' straight away technically incorrect?
  • Using brackets in fiction (to convey further optional information [that is how they are used right? {and what about nesting, is that even a thing!?}]), good or bad or neutral?
  • Use of italics, do they have any specific purpose? Are they a crutch and should be avoided? Should sentences work without them? (Such as having sarcasm, you know?)

As this is supposed to be for smaller things, feel free to tell me to do my own research if anything requires longer responses.

Oh, a bonus one:

  • Ellipses, you put a space after them, yeah? I could've sworn you do...but I've seen it done without too often, albeit I can't say that I'm referring to professional works (at least not in reference to recent memory).