Zake, The Dramatist

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7/28/2015

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5/22/2019 8:17 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

My R&J Summative on 5/22/2019 12:48:55 AM

While I am not a professor, and thus my opinion is uneducated, I can at least give it to you without wanting to die.

Technicalities

I believe that in essays you want to use formal language. As such do not use contractions. i.e. instead of didn't use did not. Also consider rewording phrasing that is less formal (I'm more iffy on this so figure it out yourself,) my suggestions would be things like:

  • "... should have used his brain" > should have thought it through.
  • "... just a little bit more digging" > just a little more research.

(Granted, you already used the word research in the sentence prior, and pointless repetition can be bad).

Grander Examination

I feel you might want to look deeper into the work so you are not just examining what happened. Think about themes and stuff. Think about author intent. Recognizing that this was meant to be experienced as a play can also be good. Heck, thinking about the time period can help with examining author intent as well! What you have here doesn't seem to really be going beyond surface level things, but I guess your main point of the Friar being responsible isn't really looking for deeper meaning anyway.

Granted, you are writing it for 9th grade, so I definitely think you can get away with what you have here, heck it doesn't look bad to me, but trying to push yourself is probably a good idea. I believe taking some risks and being more out there won't hurt your education (as later year's exams are more important?), but you'll know better about that than I.

Can you ask your teacher for feedback? I know some teachers are happy to help their students, just ask Gower! Would probably give you feedback if you were taking one of his classes. Also see if there is a criteria.

Depth

It might just be me, but think about if you are going into enough depth with your thoughts. Leaving things unsaid can be pretty bad, but you also obviously don't want to ramble either. Just... when you are proofreading, see if your point is fully explained, by asking 'why'.

"The Friar could have publicly announced the marriage of Romeo and Juliet, which would have forced the feud to halt then and there, instead of allowing it to snowball into a larger conflict later."

Take that as an example. It is a pretty bold claim that announcing the marriage of Romeo and Juliet would halt the feud. Why exactly would announcing it stop the blood feud? Wouldn't the parents just be pissed that their children went and married their enemies behind their backs? Like, you can argue for it, sure, but I think going just a little bit further into your reasoning might be good.

But do think about this yourself, because again, you don't want to ramble, and the length does seem pretty decent already.

Conclusion

No mention of the author's potential intent, play message/meaning, themes, etc. You are just trying to claim that the Friar is responsible, so it might not be needed, but having even one paragraph on how Shakespeare is making a point about society by having the Friar be guilty might give more variety to the essay while also showing greater understanding.

Obviously tho, showing that you understand what happened in the play is important too.

I'd ask a teacher for feedback (assuming you can) and also look into the criteria sheet if there is one.

Personally, I don't think the essay is bad, but it isn't exactly anything new or highly impressive (tho I may just be too harsh). However, if you stick with this, I'd be shocked if you don't get at least a decent mark.


New need help on 5/16/2019 6:28:09 PM

My advice is to turn of RTE (Rich Text Editor), this can be done on your profile settings. Otherwise just put the picture in last, RTE tends to delete them if you open the page up for editing.

As for font size, if you turn of RTE (or use the source button [tho beware of potential consequences]), just use html tags. Generally you can google [how to do {thing} in html] to get answers, but for font just modify the attribute:

text.



That aside, consider why you are using font changes + pictures, as while they can be used to enhance the reading experience, they can also kill immersion extremely quickly while also messing with readability. They don't necessarily have to do this, but most the time I've seen font style/size changes, I feel they were unnecessary. Just make sure it fits together properly and you aren't changing it just to 'be different'.

I'm not sure if RTE messes with font size tho, as I thought it could do that properly, but I wouldn't be shocked if it messes things up there as well.


My new story on 5/16/2019 5:14:22 AM

Four

I'd argue that with horrid spelling and grammar you won't be getting above a 2. You can have the best story ever but if it is a pain to read, it won't be well received. Granted, those who trudge through will probably encourage you to fix it up.

Heck, I'd say general readability is important, if people can't understand what you are trying to express with your writing, they won't end up engaged with the story. Don't do stupid things with font style & size. Generally follow conventions. Proofread!

Granted, some mistakes can and do get forgiven, but you cannot have a story riddled with mistakes, it won't end well. With that said, for the minimum at the start, you just ought to read over what you write at least once to see if it makes sense and can be read. People aren't expecting perfection, but they do expect some effort to be put into published stories.

Six

Personally, I'd say that the fundamental aspect isn't getting readers invested in characters, but rather engaged with the story. I feel this is broader and can thus better cover stories where characters are not the central focus. Granted, most readers do really like well written characters, and character driven stories seem to be the norm and most widely accepted, but I feel you shouldn't discount stories trying to do things in a different style.

Anyway, having characters who feel realistic makes sense as a criteria, tho less logical works can still work (but they can be harder to pull off). I'd, again, argue it is more about making the characters engaging than realistic, since it is a broader goal, but I'm more OK with this statement of yours than the other one. Maybe simplify it down to being consistent with the things the story establishes? I feel the word realistic can make it sound like certain things wouldn't work, but having a strange story which has consistent internal rules should still work even if it is not something realistic. Maybe I should just say, there needs to be some method to the madness, if you go that route.

Seven

I'd say no, as I do not think every story will benefit from love interests. Obviously, in CYOAs they can do what you have mentioned, and it can lead to some interesting things due to the potential different paths provide. BUT I disagree with it being one of the most important characteristics of a 7, but maybe I'm just delusional.

Personally, I'd say think about what you can do to help elevate the specific story. Love interests might be just that, but maybe utilizing themes more effectively would be the better choice. Perhaps working on the flow on both the micro and macro scale would be a good idea instead. Thinking about narrative beats and grander concept things too!

Obviously, you can still just write something to be cool/fun, and it can definitely work, especially considering CYOA's unique strengths and weaknesses (such as foreshadowing being much trickier to do well when the reader can end up in different spots). However, I think it is at least worth considering these other things to figure out what you prefer most, maybe you don't care for themes and think they belong in eight grade books, but maybe you just haven't thought about it and now want to include it, who knows!

There is a lot of freedom in writing, and I'd say it is all about finding what works for you, but that doesn't mean you cannot gleam something useful from others. You aren't inventing the concept of stories here, trying to get something useful from what others think can be invaluable in helping you make your writing better.

Oh, I'll quickly add here that there is a thing such as too much detail, and in certain scenarios less can really be more. With that said, most stories that suck tend to have too little detail/information, so trying to have more can be a good first step. You can always trim things down. Granted, you can have 'bloated' paragraphs and still have a good story, but you want to be careful that it still flows and has good pacing (tho that would arguably mean the paragraphs are no longer 'bloated', just long).

Eights

I like to think that 8's don't have to be perfect, rather just really good at what they do. I'd also argue that you can have a short 8, since length isn't everything, but it can definitely be harder as you'll really need to utilize the word space you have to maximum effect if you want the story to resonate as much with readers as something longer (as the longer a story, the more time for the reader to explore/engage with it).

Conclusion

Yeah idk, I didn't like how authoritative some of the things here were so figured I'd add my own thoughts. Truth is tho, I might just not have enough conviction, so what I added might be too general (or I might not have spotted stupid things among my thoughts). The post is still good, very informative with good use of examples.

I'd say if you have to ask if something is worthy of being an article, it probably isn't. Tho I'm not an article expert so don't mind me. Maybe see if the post gets commended? That might show it contains enough value that turning it into an article might be a good idea.

As for the OP's question, almost any idea can work, you are being way too vague for us to figure out if the idea will fail. The execution tends to matter more in these scenarios where the idea is relatively vague. However you should probably try to write, worst case scenario you improve and learn, best case scenario, you write something that you want to write AND improve and learn. Both are good outcomes, so just write!

TL;DR

Austinc - I micro-aggressively opine that you are being overtly restrictive:

  • Readability is paramount, so grammar/spelling are more important (proofreading is a good tool here),
  • I think engagement is more fundamental than investment, as investment leads to engagement,
  • Love interests are not needed for all stories, or in other words, you can have a really good story without love interests.

Evie22 - Almost any idea can work, so go ahead and write it! Remember to proofread so that readers get the best experience possible.


Any way to tell which score is the highest? on 5/7/2019 6:02:43 AM

I'd imagine that you could just go through the max check thing but ignoring the highest option once (by having an extra variable to figure out if you ignored the change once so far or not, in case you have two variables sharing the maximum). (If you want to ignore the value if it is equal to max then it should be easier to do).

Note that %EXTRA starts as 0, it is the extra variable I'm using for finding the second highest. %MAX2 is second highest.

IF %MAX = %STRENGTH THEN %EXTRA := 1
ELSE %MAX2 := %STRENGTH

IF %MAX = %SPEED THEN IF %EXTRA = 1 THEN %MAX2 := %SPEED ELSE
IF %EXTRA != 1 THEN
IF %MAX2 < %SPEED THEN %MAX2 := %SPEED

IF %MAX = %ACCURACY THEN IF %EXTRA = 1 THEN %MAX2 := %ACCURACY ELSE
IF %EXTRA != 1 THEN
IF %MAX2 < %ACCURACY THEN %MAX2 := %ACCURACY

IF %MAX = %INTELLIGENCE THEN IF %EXTRA = 1 THEN %MAX2 := %INTELLIGENCE ELSE
IF %EXTRA != 1 THEN
IF %MAX2 < %INTELLIGENCE THEN %MAX2 := %INTELLIGENCE

IF %MAX = %STEALTH THEN IF %EXTRA = 1 THEN %MAX2 := %STEALTH ELSE
IF %EXTRA != 1 THEN
IF %MAX2 < %STEALTH THEN %MAX2 := %STEALTH

IF %STRENGTH = %MAX2 THEN # Strength is second highest
ELSE IF %SPEED = %MAX2 THEN # Speed is second highest
ELSE IF %ACCURACY = %MAX2 THEN # Accuracy is second highest
ELSE IF %INTELLIGENCE = %MAX2 THEN # Intelligence is second highest
ELSE # Stealth is second highest

Hope this works, according to my primitive testing it should(?) but I don't trust myself. I'm also not sure if I structured it properly, but it can be rearranged as desired.

EDIT - There is some redundancy in my checks, I think, but I'm too lazy to go check it myself so I'll just leave this unedited. Someone can always post a better version anyway.


Some Advice! on 5/7/2019 5:36:04 AM

Any Idea Can Work Spiel & Audience?

Almost any idea can work, it is all about execution. Sure, some ideas may put off certain readers, but if the work is engaging for the reader I'd say you've succeeded.

If you really want to reach wider audiences think about demographics and stuff, who will be reading your story, who will be your target audience? Don't say everyone (generally false) or people like you (too vague).

You certainly can aim for wider audiences, but trying to write for everyone will likely end up with you writing for no one, as your story will be too bland to engage anyone.

Writing for people who share your interests is perfectly fine and something I'd generally expect, but if you are trying to think about who you are writing for you'll want to narrow it down to some more concrete thoughts.

What to Write

Moving on, how many branching stories have you written so far?

If you haven't written any yet, I'd just advise picking a random idea and pushing yourself to accomplish it. It can even just end up as a learning experience. I mention this because too many people have ideas, but then struggle with the actual act of writing, however if you never write you're not going to get better (if you ask me), so write!

On the other hand, especially considering you have a site, it is possible you have written branching stories before, in which case I'd say either write in the same vein as your other works, or work on filling in gaps (and thus going for more variety).

Obviously, you'll never be locked into anything, but readers can come to associate you with a certain type of story, even if you can change your approach later. But this is my advice if you're struggling with picking an idea at the moment, as figuring out some sort of approach can be good, since it can provide guidance.

Alternatively, I should mention, you can be one of those crazies who works on multiple things at once, bouncing between ideas as inspiration strikes. This can be tricky to pull off which is why I don't generally recommend it, but as I'd say writing is about finding what works for you, I figure I might as well mention it. With that said, do be careful of just bouncing around constantly without returning to finish ideas, as that is a pretty bad limbo to get stuck in if you actually wish to finish something.

What I Want to See

Quality and consistent writing, good flow and pacing, well handled branching (whatever the style), compelling characters/plot/world (with more weight given to whatever is more relevant to the work), and perhaps, just maybe, some sort of artistic vision/intent (even if that intent is just to write something fun/cool). Some sort of themes might be nice, but I shouldn't get ahead of myself.

But this is all a bit misleading, because my expectations do shift depending on what I'm reading, and honestly, I'm pretty bad at picking up on stuff like symbolism and the meaning/message behind works, so I should hardly be mentioning that I want themes when I probably wouldn't even notice them.

As such, what I truly want is... proofread stories, as that'll increase the likelihood that they are what I truly want. Well-written shit. So go forth and put some effort into what you are creating, and enjoy yourself!

TL;DR

Just write something, anything, but if you've written stories before maybe write something similar to something you wrote before (i.e. more fantasy). Ultimately, just put in some care and effort, almost certainly proofread, and above all, write.


Just Another Day In HELL on 5/2/2019 4:42:55 AM

FIVE WORDS MISSING!!! Jokes aside, here is another one: don't explain the ending in an edit at the top of the page, spoilers but also because you can then laugh at people who can't figure it out. Jokes aside for real this time, if you have to edit your story to explain the ending, maybe rewriting the ending is the proper way to go, however I can see why it could be difficult to do this given the interesting premise.

Technically Technical

New obligatory typo point outs:

  • "... they were sure that had been reading it wrong" ==> "... they were sure that they had been reading it wrong ..." Honestly just proofread a little closer, but mistakes do happen.
  • "mental spoon" also, metal spoon I'm assuming was intended, tho I guess mental can make sense on some level too.

Plot

A comedy! [Insert that I'm not an expert on comedies.] Anyway, I rather liked this one, and while I do think it makes a complete story, I do feel the ending could be improved a bit for clarity. Maybe just a tiny bit longer so you can add a few words to those ending scenes so things are clearer?

Other than that, the ending is a twist ending, sorta, because it doesn't do too much to disrupt reader interpretations of previous parts, but it is humorous so I'd say it does what it needs to.

The writing itself looks good to me, barring the two typos above, but I would like to give a shout out to the flow and pacing in the way they handle the story moving between different scenes, along with the time skip. It fits together well, and the tone feels consistent too. Good work!

Semantics

Maybe not the best title, but I wanted to mention that if the protagonist is a god, I think it makes sense to not capitalise the word as I think that is reserved for scenarios where there is a the God (unless you are using it as a ... proper noun). Granted I might've just made this up right now, or it might be a style thing, but I did want to mention it. Small things add up!

TL;DR

Worth a read, nice little story with an interesting premise that could probably be utilised for a number of different stories, if one wanted, but as it is, for what is here, it definitely still holds up on its own merits.


Just Another Day In HELL on 5/2/2019 4:42:46 AM

Hmm, would you look at that, italics used for visual flair, someone with a certain 'm' username could learn a thing or two from here.

Plot

The fact the first twist came before the end meant I didn't see it coming, very good choice of information to share early on for a compelling read. Good thing that it stayed consistent for the rest of the story too. The writing quality was great too, tho I do question this line:

  • "School was a place where Monsters were bad, ..."

Maybe it just broke up the flow of the section it was in, because I think it does make sense rereading it, so I might have just tripped on it for no reason, but figured I'd mention it anyway.

The story does feel complete even if the ending is far from a happy or final one, and I think this is because of the way elements are handled helping make the story feel more real and make the reader confront the reality that some people have as their own literal reality. Basically, it seems to work for the type of story being conveyed here.

Style

I liked the writing style, really felt well utilised to keep quality flow throughout the story, but also some of the sentence structure really helping put myself in the protagonist's shoes and engage with the story.

Good work!

TL;DR

Worth a read, a solid story with a strong and consistent style/tone. Engaging throughout.


Just Another Day In HELL on 5/2/2019 4:42:28 AM

Boy, I sure do want to read a story that is crap, so glad you told me about that, now I can read what I want to read, so glad you posted crap in the first place too. I'll blame it on your being barely awake, but I expect you to not fall in the group of self-hating for pity points people, which means you must really think it is crap unless you dropped this: (/s). Alternatively, you're proving a point that even crap stories can get someone out of hell, or perhaps you're opining that everyone else has submitted crap as well so you're sneakily throwing shade.

Also you used the descriptor of "stern black letters" and don't utilize BOLD? I guess flair for visual representation in text stories isn't really necessary, but it is an easy addition...

Moving on.

Technical

I must try to nitpick because you called it crap.

  • "All but the most extreme physical infirmities or indignities of age being at least one remnant of their primitive past humans had gladly left behind them." Such a wordy sentence, maybe it is the way their and humans interact being so close together, maybe I just want a comma. Not too sure, maybe it is because you used long words.
  • " “Security,” murmured one of the aliens in strangely accented but perfectly understandable English. " I think it would be funny if you had him murmur "Sécurity" instead. This goes back to pointless visual flare.
  • "... it is you humans and your suspicious natures that have caused the difficulties in our ..." Is this supposed to be nature or am I just tripping and both work?
  • "... you don’t thing matter ..." Think. You meant think, pretty sure.

I'll stop here because I want to enjoy the story and I worry about where this gimmick element of this post will lead, and besides, you're an admin, you can just edit your post.

Plot

I thought this was a cliffhanger ending, but thinking about it, it makes more sense as a twist ending. There is enough build up for it too, and it is impressive that you managed a sci-fi setting for a short story like this.

The writing was solid, really hooks you in and you provided the exposition in a way that didn't detract from the experience, information flow in general is handled nicely. Good work.

Setting

As mentioned, good work with a sci-fi story for this. The world felt big despite being mostly in one place, but the flow and pacing of events still kept it very engaging. The world felt believable (that is to say, I have suspended my disbelief), and that is a great thing to achieve.

The setting also felt very relevant for the story, as you'd definitely lose something if you changed it (or at least that is what I think). As such good work executing on that front.

TL;DR

Wait for Mizal's next story, seeing as she called this one crap. Tho if you do bother reading it, it is actually pretty decent, with a well realised setting all things considered.


Just Another Day In HELL on 5/2/2019 4:42:12 AM

Hmm, is it just me or should you have proofread more closely?

  • "Scott was just testing if he used his new power on both the cat and himself at once ..." Reads a bit awkwardly to me, maybe add two words? Something like: "Scott was just testing if he had successfully used his new power on both the cat and himself when ..."
  • "... looked put the window and say a boy of around seven or eight years old walking on the road, apparently alone ..." out & saw.

Plot

I don't know how conclusive this is... but I'd classify it as a comedy, though I suppose a little darker comedy given some of the concepts. Anyway, I feel that as a comedy it works just fine, but because the kid doesn't get introduced all that quickly, him being the pseudo-twist for the ending means that I feel slightly unsatisfied, might just be me.

Anyway, I'd see if you can condense the earlier part, or find a way to place more emphasis on the kid as their own character, that way you could keep this ending. Otherwise I'd imagine expanding it so that the ending has more to do with the super powered guy instead would feel more whole. I'm not too confident on all this tho, so take it with a grain of salt.

Oh, I will add another alternative, after the "***" mini time hop add another part, one which occurs prior to the scene we just witnessed (or I should say simultaneously as the scene we just witnessed) and have it follow the boy. This way you can develop them more as their own character so that the ending fits better with the whole piece. Yet... this adds its own problems, so again, I'm not too sure.

Anyway the story is still rather amusing with good flow and pacing (barring the two things I pointed out which stuck out). The ending also isn't bad, I just feel it could have been better. Regardless you do manage to do quite a bit in regards to information conveyed, but you also keep engagement high so it is pretty awesome.

Self-Evaluation

I'm curious on how you feel about this story tho, you're happy with it (hopefully, as I'd you should be) but are there any other things you wish to share regarding your thoughts on it? How was it writing it? Did you get everything you wanted in? Simple stuff, really, I'm just curious.

TL;DR

Worth a read, pretty humorous and mostly well written, with very good pacing. I feel the ending could be a bit better, but this is an uncertain criticism so I wouldn't worry much about it.


Just Another Day In HELL on 5/2/2019 4:42:06 AM

Hmm, ~600 words over the soft limit isn't inherently bad, but I did feel it was significant enough to mention. I'm curious if you were aiming for closer to 1k and just ended up needing more for the story, but it doesn't matter.

Plot

After today I'll either change to avoid spoilers or just be more careful not to read other people's comments, because now I can't comment on if I would have figured out the twist before it happened!

Regardless, same thing that went with Gower applies here, quality build up to the twist is a thing that helps elevate twist stories into more complete works, while also making the endings more satisfying. It definitely helps with engagement levels too.

I'd definitely say you done a good job here, the repetition felt used to good effect even if it shows me that you could have potentially altered the style to produce a shorter story with the same concept. Luckily for, you 1k words was not a hard limit, so it doesn't really matter.

Good work with the descriptive language, really conveys the happenings and character thoughts, helping keep the story engaging.

Melodramatic

I wonder if some lines are a bit melodramatic, but given the rather grim tone and the fact that I'm uncertain, I'll go with a no. You definitely used language to good effect to get the readers thinking down the relevant paths, but given that people have somewhat seen the twist coming I wonder if that was your intention. I'll assume it was, but if you wanted it to be a greater surprise, I worry a good deal would need to be changed for it to work.

TL;DR

Well written with a consistent tone/feel, and rather well executed ending. Definitely feels like a complete story, which makes me wonder if I should even classify it as a twist story... hmm. Anyhow, it is as such, worth a read.