Zake, The Wordsmith

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1/19/2018 3:47 AM

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Hello! I am Zake. Welcome to my profile.

Writing is interesting.
Feel free to message me.

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Recent Posts

Review this story game? on 1/15/2018 5:16:57 AM

Well I might as well put a link here (for convenience): Experiment Gone Wrong?

If anyone is up for a challenge, pm me for your instructions. ;)

Sort stories by new on 1/13/2018 4:58:16 AM

Ah makes sense, I suppose it def would have been a bit weird if you couldn't have found that page on your own. xD

Yeah some way to find stories one has missed could be handy, since I can't think of an easy way to figure this out. Maybe making a thread asking ppl to give you links to their recent stories? Not sure how that'd go tho.

Anyway, I imagine just adding a 'time published' filter option to the existing filter options, similar to the one for the forum search, could solve this issue. However I'm not sure how easy or hard it is to actually code that, as I'm pretty much stupid in regards to that.

If it is just copy + paste the code, then I guess it wouldn't be hard to do. But let's be honest, I doubt the code is that simple.

I do wonder if there are others who would also want this feature, since at the moment I feel it would be put towards the back of 'to implement features'.
Granted, if it isn't hard to implement, it could be a nice little thing to roll out just for convenience, and heck, it might even encourage some people to read the more recent stories, which is always a good thing.

My non expert opinion believes adding a similar filter option to the one forums search uses, regarding dates, could be implemented relatively easily to solve this issue. It might encourage people to read more newer stories.

If there is a way to do this, then I feel it could help to point it out with a link or something on the main storygames page, to again, encourage people to read newer stories. Mainly since I haven't seen anyone mention such a feature, and it honestly would be pretty neat to have.

Sort stories by new on 1/13/2018 1:40:33 AM

I'd say this is the closet thing to what you want, unless I'm misunderstanding what you are looking for.

Can find it by going: Storygames.
Scroll down.
Clicking [See All New Storygames].

Hope you comment on them all, dedicated readers are always appreciated, and any feedback/thoughts are always great.

Trying to build an advanced storygame on 1/12/2018 10:29:09 PM

Commendations are like a newer form of xp, but they can't be taken away (for now).

They are sorta given for contributing to the site in a meaningful way regarding writing. So forum posts helping people with their writing, or quality short stories / works. Also for writing storygames (but it isn't ideal for this, so admins aren't giving them out there as much) and comments on storygames.

If I recall, storygame commendation count is dependant on the story length, so admins don't pick the exact number, which leads to it being either too much (if the story is bad) or too little (if it is good). I am being general here btw.

Forum posts get 1, and storygame comments get 3.

Commendations are then added for all members in the order, to give each order a total. Sages are winning by a heap so this sorta failed, as it was supposed to encourage people to contribute more in a friendly competition way. (Orders are given to everyone and are random).

Also when you get a commendation you get xp as well, so that is nice. Further if you are in the top 5 you get special titles dependant on the order, they do nothing, bragging rights I guess. If you are first you get the most special title btw.

Also there is some more nice little gimmicks regarding most commendations in the day, and stuff like that (regarding red usernames, and bolded red usernames and what not).


Good luck with your work, I feel you could do either fantasy or edutainment, as long as edutainment is not just a side thing for the whole story. Then again I believe admins can change it if you pick the wrong one, so no pressure.

I do wonder why you are using 'basic' variables tho, pretty sure that is more likely to limit you since I don't think advanced are that complex and they do give more options.

Maybe make a test storygame and see what it actually changes? Since honestly, I don't recall the differences, and this way you can make sure you don't mess anything up.
Pretty sure changing it now shouldn't effect you in a negative way, but maybe someone else knows if it would.

Commendations are nice, but not really used by you for anything (it is automated). Also good luck, either category should work (pretty sure).

A Christmas Tale - Feedback & Possible Coauthor on 1/11/2018 10:44:45 PM


First few thoughts (before the edit): Glad you know that the north pole isn't the north end of a magnet (well I phrased that poorly, but you know what I mean).

Also what happened to the formatting? Guessing you copy pasted it here, but just wondering if it is a stylistic choice (you never know).

Anyway, as mizal mentioned, a lot of this is pretty much just information on the setting. Personally, I like that you seem to be grounding this in reality (to an extent) by giving me fun facts.

Moving on, if this is the first page, I have to say it feels a bit like narration to the opening part of a movie. It goes on for a good amount of time without introducing the main character, heck I'm not sure there is even going to be a plot of any kind. It might all just be a documentary playing in a classroom, who knows!
Note that this should be fixed easily enough by just writing the next 'scene'.

I didn't notice mistakes in the writing itself, and I like that it goes all fancy using colons and commas and what not (I think this is called complicated sentence structure, or at least something to that effect). It also all read pretty well, but I'm definitely no expert on these things.

Anyway, I'd say you have a solid foundation here, and if you keep up this quality at least the writing should be good.
I can't vouch for the story being interesting, because as mentioned earlier, I don't know what it is yet, I only know things about the setting.

With that said, I do wonder how much of this will be grounded in realism, and I mean literal realism, not super grim 'realism'. I am worried that you'll probably drop all the realistic aspects to make writing the thing easier, and that you are just using it now for the hook. Granted, doing that isn't bad, and it can work, I just find things grounded in reality interesting, and I suppose you might be setting up some expectations that you might not deliver on.
My main point here is, think if your story will benefit from having an opening that gives a clear indication of what the reader is getting into, this might require you to rewrite this part if you are going to go all fantastical later on in the story.

I won't go all nit picky on you, as I doubt you'd want that or even care.

Anyway, some general tips: Make sure that at some stage stakes get introduced, as they can help drive the plot and give readers a reason to care about what is happening.
Introduce the main character.
Have choices.

(Only one of those things is really necessary tho, the rest are more suggestions, which you could ignore (but make sure it is a conscious choice)).

Also screw it, here is a nitpick. Why are the towers shaped as candy cones? This does NOT sound like a place Santa wants found, so aesthetic reasons seems like a lacklustre response. Sure, it might be to 'boost morale', but I feel that the (maybe) non-sleeping snipers would prefer practicality anyway so they can get their job done. After all, firefighters are dressed the way they are for a reason, and the truck isn't just red to look nice. This can be explained away by 'it's muh story' as well, which is fine, but so far I get the feeling you want this grounded in reality, so have my concerns.

Another thing I wonder about, is Santa a saint (ie. Saint Nicholas)? Just curious, since I guess you could retcon that part, but since Saint Nicholas is one of the Santa names listed on Wikipedia (hey, it's a better source than my memory,) I feel you won't... but this is a minor thing (at the moment).

Oh got another nit pick, I wonder how you'll explain Santa giving free gifts once a year and not getting shut down from lack of income (unless he has another job? But why the heavily guarded facility? Just to protect the gifts? Who knows! Lots of ways to go with this).

I could probably think of more stuff to say, but it'd be general things and/or nitpicking. So instead I'll end it here. I think you got a good start, in that you could continue writing and make something good. However there is no way I can say this will turn out good with certainty, there simply isn't enough to make a concrete guess. I'd say, just make sure you keep this level of writing quality through out, that should definitely help a lot, and as long as your story is also interesting you should be golden (and let's be honest, in general, good ideas are a lot easier to come by than good writing).

Keep writing, you should be capable of making this into a good storygame. Don't forget to introduce a character and some sort of conflict (I mean, unless you want a much greater challenge, which I can admire, but you better know what you are doing if you don't have a main character/conflict).

Come to think of it, you said Christmas Tale, not Christmas Theme Storygame. Anyway, still gonna assume it is a storygame cause you didn't specifically say it isn't, and you are looking for a coauthor on this site (which has a coauthor feature). So yeah...

Oh also, good luck if you manage to find a coauthor. It can be more of a hassle than it is worth, and you want them to be someone who'll pull their own weight. It can work, just a pretty rare sight.

Story Titles on 12/31/2017 4:51:12 AM

From what I know, no, there is no way for you to get the title yourself.

I mean, technically speaking, an admin could edit the story so it has a different title. However I'm sure you can see why that might be a questionable course of action.

If the story was unpublished ages ago, and the author hasn't been active in forever, I imagine if an admin really wants to do you a favour, then it might happen.
However it tends to be easier to just leave that title forever in limbo, since from what I gather there aren't any actual rules regarding title editing by admins, and it becoming a thing that people expect to happen would be adding extra, unnecessary work for admins.

Anyway, someone else might know more regarding this.
Personally, I suggest first writing your story, then begging an admin to help you give it the title it deserves (since there is little point in giving you the title now, just so you have it, since if you don't finish the story, the title will just remain in limbo).

I don't think it'll happen, but I suppose if an admin wants to be nice it could happen (given the unpublished story definitely isn't still being worked on).

Short Story Analysis Attempt on 12/14/2017 10:33:37 PM

I have a feeling that this is a lot more useful to me than you seem think. Sure writing styles can vary, but there is still plenty they share in some regards.

Just to mention one overall point, it is interesting to see how you improved the start without actually changing the general 'story' (as in, still starts in same place, with a lot of the same information being covered, and same characters).
Goes to show pretty much anything can work if written properly.

I find it interesting since when I tried rewriting the beginning, I sorta just assumed it couldn't work and changed things drastically (well, drastically in comparison).

Yet it seems it didn't need as much things getting changed to work.
Granted, given my initial minimal information sharing approach, it would be pretty hard for you to rewrite the scene in a majorly different way without potentially changing the story/setting too much. However, I'm still somewhat surprised to see, essentially, the same beginning, just actually good.

Also thanks for taking time out of the contest to provide all this feedback. I should probably avoid making posts during contests, as it isn't like I am in any sort of rush (and some people might not have time to respond if I do, which I just realised).

This is more useful than you think (probably). Good luck with the contest, and thank you for spending your time(/typed words) on helping me out.

Short Story Analysis Attempt on 12/13/2017 9:35:13 PM

Wow, you weren't kidding when you said it was long (in the other post).

Since I'm pretty sure me responding to every question isn't what you want (after all, it would mostly just sound like excuses,) I'll try to keep this short.

This is immensely helpful, since it points out some major flaws with my writing that I was pretty much oblivious to. There is a lot I can get out of this, so it'll give me plenty of things to work towards improving.

(100% necessary) TL;DR
I seriously appreciate this, thank you for taking the time to write it all up.

Short Story Analysis Attempt on 12/13/2017 12:45:47 AM

If you feel you are spending too much time on it, you can always just post what you managed to get done (unless you have better commitment capabilities than me, and so want to & can finish it).

Any feedback is immensely helpful, as it will (hopefully) shape all my future works/thoughts, as it tends to be pretty universal (ie, have stakes).

I tried rewriting the beginning with what feedback has been provided so far, and while it isn't perfect, it is much better than what I had to begin with.
Just knowing stuff to keep an eye out for (good, bad or even neutral) is invaluable in helping one write better (in my opinion).

Any feedback is great (and appreciated). Don't feel pressured to provide the absolute perfect explanation of everything, since all in all, there is just so much to cover (regarding writing as a whole,) that it would be impractical.

Short Story Analysis Attempt on 12/11/2017 7:09:25 PM

Comments that disagree with my analysis are perfectly fine, it isn't horrible to give honest thoughts (specially considering I'm no expert by any means, so it is pretty much a given that there is a lot I need to work on).

Feedback for the story is also great (since improvement will come slow without it), so guess both is best (if you don't mind, since it is obviously also the most work).

However, I will say that I feel just feedback on the story would also work well, since it should be clear enough if parts are going against some of the things I mentioned in my analysis (it would just be less direct than specifically talking about the analysis).

Story feedback will sort of cover analysis feedback as well, so guess it is the best choice (if you don't want to do both), tho feel free to do both if you want. All feedback is greatly appreciated.

P.S. In retrospect, I should have made all this clearer in the opening two posts.