Zake, The Dramatist

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7/28/2015

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1/17/2019 10:10 PM

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Hello! I am Zake. Welcome to my profile.

Writing is fun, hard, and interesting.

Feel free to message me.























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

A Short Story by Mathias on 1/17/2019 10:00:57 PM

Constructive criticism you say? I'll do my best, but this might fall more into the realm of feedback.


Technical Aspects

Regarding how you write numbers, it seems to be a stylistic decision, but generally, almost always if the number is one digit you want to write out the word (i.e. five instead of 5). Figured I'd mention this, even if I didn't look into it too much.

I won't repeat the dialogue punctuation thing Cricket covered, but I did mention it just now so that there is a reference to it in this post as well.

There might be something in regards to structuring sentences in a certain way, something like what makes a complete sentence, but I'm pretty ignorant in this department (for now), so I won't try to guess about it and assume it is probably just your style/writing voice that I'm noticing (since it is different to mine). I should say that the writing does look good to me, so I'll just throw in a friendly reminder to not forget about proofreading once your larger work is completed.


Plot, Characters, and most importantly, Stakes

Eh, not much to say regarding the plot. Obviously, a capital being overtaken by a four month old undead horde is bad, but as there is a lot of ways for the story to go I can't really comment on how good the meat of the narrative will be. Heck, it might end up being more focused on the characters and their growth, I just can't know at the moment.

As for the characters, you do introduce all five and set up a common goal for the party, and seeing as they appear to be going to deal with the undead, there are stakes here, even if they haven't really been developed yet.

Speaking of stakes, I'd advise to at least somewhat establish what will happen if the party fails. Not necessarily here in the opening, but do keep it in mind for latter scenes. This is because, so far, as I ought to make the least assumptions for a story that is only beginning, I'm assuming that if the party fails, it is bad for the city and themselves. Currently however, this is lacking.

This is because a capital city I know of only by name is not something I'm very invested in, especially because it has already been overrun, so a party fail won't really impact it, it'll just remain overrun.

So what about the characters? I cannot really be invested in them from just this introduction alone, as there isn't enough to make me really care about any of them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not rooting for them to fail or anything, in fact I'm probably leaning towards liking them since there seems to be some sort of party dynamic going on, but (and maybe it is just me) I need more to get invested in characters.

Now, this can somewhat obviously be remedied just by writing more, but I am still mentioning it specifically to draw attention to it, because it is all to easy and possible to neglect putting thought into why and how readers will be engaged, in this case I'm focusing on stakes, because in this case, if I care about the party, I obviously don't want them to fail, and so I am more engaged.

Anyway, I will say that depending on what type of story you're going for, i.e. more character driven vs more event/world driven, you might want to find some way to make me care about this city which has been overrun. Probably just finding a way to let readers learn more about the city would work, but be careful to not end up with a dull exposition dump. For something as large as a capital city, I imagine there is more than one way to make readers care about it, so just consider how important the city itself is for your narrative, and ensure readers understand this so they remain appropriately engaged.

I'll finish this section by mentioning two (err, three) things:

  • It is possible to give readers both a reason to care for the characters and the city, but I'm not sure this is necessary, more so something that depends on the story your trying to tell.
  • Further, all this really does depend on what you're going for, so while I do try to be specific in spots, some of my advice might not be helpful for your specific story. It depends on so much, so at least keep the general idea of keeping readers engaged as important, since there are many fantasy stories out there, and this can lead to them feeling uninspired or dull, which is something I think is worth actively trying to avoid (for obvious reasons, namely, not wanting readers to be bored reading your work).
  • I mostly focused on stakes for engagement because stakes, in general, are something I struggle with, so really, I'm writing this for myself as much as I am for you.

Conclusion + TL;DR

Keep writing, it looks good. Many ways for the story to go, so I'm curious to see how this turns out.


P.S. "Short piece that I've written" + "the story is a small section of what will eventually be a larger text" makes me assume this is not a storygame, but I also want to mention that you'll probably want something to happen regarding some form of a conflict/contrast if you want this to end up as a complete story. Right now it is just an opening, you do establish stuff, but that is all. I will say that there are obviously numerous ways to write/structure a story, but what you have so far feels lacking to me (in regards to being a whole work).

I'm only mentioning this in a post script because of the second excerpt, which I read with more emphasis on the "be a larger text" as opposed to "the story". As such, I could have misunderstood and you are talking more about this being almost a part one of a larger collection, or maybe short stories that are linked together, in which case I would have more feedback to give regarding my thoughts on this as a standalone story (mainly in regards to structure), which is why I have this post script at all (you know, other than the fact that almost all my longer posts have one for some reason).

P.P.S. Oh, almost forgot, if there is something more specific you want feedback on, feel free to ask/clarify. Also correct me if I got anything wrong. Hope you got something useful from all this.

EDIT P.P.P.S. Messing around with formatting so that these longer posts look nicer... I have some ways to go.


The Risorgimento on 1/13/2019 4:37:13 PM
Just want to mention, the 'paralysed vs paralyzed' for spelling is dependent on country. Both are correct. American/Canada version is preferably spelled with a 'z' while everyone else prefers a 's' (as far as I can tell, looked at one web page to 'educate' myself). Pretty sure the same goes for a number of other words, so if you see a z, you can make a decent guess for where the author is located... or at least for what variant of English their auto spell is set to (I appear to have the wrong one set for my area, which annoys me).

Uh... Okay, this isn't good. on 1/10/2019 12:49:11 AM

Ah, well it probably wasn't the best explanation regardless.

Here's another:

- ASCII is like an alphabet for computers.

- Without RTE, source code is what you'll be seeing.

- With RTE, a letter may be added where you don't want one, so then the script won't be read properly, it is like misspelling a word.

- So to misspell words less, you can turn off RTE.

- However now you are seeing stuff that may look weird, because you are seeing ASCII letters as well as English ones.

Hopefully this makes more sense.

I should add that you can pretty much write plain English into source code (along with the %%VAR%=%1%TEXT%% script) and have it work fine.

Only the formatting may be lacking. That is why I mentioned some HTML things.

HTML = Hyper Text Markup Language.

So think of it as a computer language. Stuff that changes things (such as bolding a word) but isn't actually writing.

The

paragraph

bold italics
break (no closing for this one) are the main ones I imagine might be used. You put paragraphs in the paragraph tags, you put bolded words in the bolded tags, italics in the italics tags, and break can replace the enter key (mainly for being used inside the text area of "%%VAR%=%1%TEXT%%" to have paragraphs, if you want). If there is other things (like changing color) you can always google "html changing text color" and copy the tags they show you.

There, a simpler explanation.

TL;DR
Err, HTML can be used for formatting when writing straight into 'source'.

P.S. You learnt the CoG coding, this is the same thing, just more universal (ASCII and HTML aren't site specific). I'd say you only really need to know that HTML is used to format stuff, as opposed to site specific 'coding' doing that. Offering 'inspecting' via right click was probably not the best idea on my part tho (and viewing page source is even worse, since there are heaps of unmentioned tags, and this site is old so it is not a prime example of HTML anyway).


Uh... Okay, this isn't good. on 1/9/2019 10:37:16 PM
I'm sure people will take my post for some sort of sci-fi exposition dump if it gets too confusing, so I'd wager on the head still being intact, and thus your hope is well placed, as yes, I am satisfied.

The Many Fates Of Hjordis on 1/9/2019 10:34:39 PM

Nice, looking good and the world seems interesting (although not much to go off by yet).

Anyway, my one gripe is that you capitalize letters after dialogue when you shouldn't, namely with things like:
" 'Where are you?' You ask, feeling nervous now that the music is no longer calming you."

Notice that if you took out the dialogue the sentence wouldn't make sense, because 'you ask' what? This means the you ask (and following part) are in the same sentence as the dialogue. What do you capitalize in a sentence? The starting letter, along with proper nouns (names), and I's in reference to self (however you describe it >->).

Anyway, this means you want the 'you ask' to be lower case. Further, here:
" '... be a water spirit.' You ask,"

Refer to the earlier part where I said " 'you ask' what? ". This applies here as well, it doesn't work as a sentence, which means you want the closing dialogue punctuation to be a comma, and then the 'You ask' lowercase once more.

Worth mentioning, if the dialogue ends in a exclamation (!) or question mark (?) it doesn't get converted to a comma, but the following 'you ask' would stay lowercase to keep it all the same sentence.

Mainly remember that you want sentences to make sense, and while quotation marks can surround whole sentences, things like 'you ask/question/say/inquire/scream (etc)' all fail as sentence parts if the part which is 'said' is not mentioned there in the sentence. Generally that's how I think of it anyway.

TL;DR
Dialogue punctuation! Quotations marks show spoken dialogue, they don't automatically surround whole sentences. Dialogue ended with a comma won't cause the next word to be capitalized as a 'sentence start' capitalization, so keep it lower case if it isn't something that would normally be capitalized (like a name). This mainly applies for dialogue followed by a 'you said' or variation on it (i.e. 'you demand'), so keep an eye out for those.

P.S. Hope this makes sense, but feel free to look up dialogue punctuating yourself, note that it is not something I'd consider general writing knowledge, plenty of people don't know about it, so most people probably won't notice/care, but aiming for being correct is still a good idea I say (at least until language has officially 'evolved' to a point where something else is grammatically correct, aha).

P.P.S. I find it funny that the 'Uncharted World' is charted.


Uh... Okay, this isn't good. on 1/9/2019 7:37:20 PM

If RTE (Rich Text Editor) is turned off, then you will only see the source code. The issue with RTE is that it ends up adding in stuff you cannot see without looking at the source, which can mess up the on page script stuff.

If I recall, you can have the RTE on and then press some button to view the source code, which may help in seeing if all the things around the %'s are clear/appropriate.

ASCII is a way that computers represent stuff, and because html (the thing web-pages are made with) uses certain characters in it's 'coding', such as < and > you cannot type them out yourself (in some conditions) without it getting read as html by the browser, which means they won't show up as you want. However, you can type out something else instead which will let the browser know to interpret it as the symbols without thinking of them as part of the html (& l t ; for less than, without the spaces, & g t ; for greater than).

As I recall, some things the RTE puts in are literally just invisible ASCII, things no one will see but that can mess with on page scripting if they end up being in certain spots, which makes the storygame code get interpreted wrong (or I should say not at all).

A span is something used in html to separate stuff, it is super generic and probably something the RTE put in by itself for whatever reason. Not necessary at all as far as I'm aware (for making a storygame).

Worth mentioning that one of the reasons RTE is so often suggested to be turned off is because the functionality it provides is easy enough to just do yourself by typing the html into the source, as the basic things are simple enough to learn,

for paragraphs, for bold (or use strong instead of the b), i or em for italics,
for a paragraph break (like shift-enter in word), etc. As such, there ends up being very little reason to use the RTE, but it does make global font changing (and color changing) a bit easier, but they can still be done without it (and global scripts are a thing).

Anyway, the more complex html stuff can also be implemented (as far as I'm aware) and is in fact easier to deal with without the RTE messing you up constantly.

TL;DR
Just me attempting to explain some things that came up in this thread, because I felt people weren't explaining it as much as they could. Granted, I might have gotten something wrong, in which case I await people to correct me.
Also, with RTE turned off, the only thing you'll see is the source code (which probably shows that what you were copying pasting wasn't clean [or became corrupt after pasting into RTE]).

P.S. Right click a page then 'inspect' or 'view page source' to get a glimpse into web creation with html + css. It will probably be messy... but might be interesting to take a glance at (you might even find a span or hundred).


Best of 2019 Contest Starts Now on 1/7/2019 5:09:04 AM

Refer to: "At any point before the end of November, you may nominate ONE story you've published between now and then as your entry."

To nominate, I imagine it is just you replying in this thread with a link to your storygame (I'd imagine you can type something like 'I nominate this story, Best of 2019, as my entry' just so that it is clear).

Mainly you want the judges to know that you have entered and what story you have entered with. Don't miss the deadline too.


Looking for Writers & Company Promotion on 1/4/2019 7:52:40 PM

I think the issue for me is more in the style and the way the story ends up being presented.

The issue with this bias is that it means my 'opinion' would likely just end up being 'change lots of stuff because I personally like something else better'. And I'm not talking about changing things that would make some sense, but rather stupid things (things that aren't inherently wrong/bad), like the format which the story is presented through.

As an example to try and explain, it is like watching a web series with many episodes and saying: 'Eh, I'd prefer if it was just one big thing that goes on for an hour or two'. Or watching a movie and saying: 'Wish it was longer, with like many episodes and stuff'.

The medium/style of something shouldn't be getting changed just because some people prefer other things. Heck, here is another example, I read a book and go: 'Not bad... but maybe add pictures? Heck make it all animated, or maybe live action, and have it go for an hour or two'.

Books and movies can both exist! People can have a preference without it meaning that the thing they don't prefer should be changed to one that they do (unless, you know, you are specifically trying to target those people, but that is a bit of a different discussion to what I'm talking about).

It also doesn't help that I'm rather... lazy.

Look, as long as you are clearly advertising what the application provides on the app page, people who see it should be more than capable of figuring out if it is for them.

I will add that Mizal brought up some good questions regarding the word count and what the available screenshots show, so figuring out if they are misleading as to the actual content might be a good idea, since if they are, then adding just a few more screenshots may be a good idea, so as to ensure it is clear what the application is offering.

If I do find myself in a better spot to actually take a closer look, I'll make sure to send my feedback, one way or the other. Just at the current moment, I can't make any promises, and I wouldn't advise holding your breath.

I will mention that being open to feedback is definitely good, and something that is nice to see, especially considering how some companies can be a bit... ignorant towards public opinion. Goodwill with consumers is something I certainly view as great (but seeing as I am a consumer, that is probably to be expected, aha).

TL;DR
Regrettably, I don't think I'll be able to help in this regard (feedback), but if things do change, rest assured you'll know. However, I don't think you're missing out, as I think my feedback would likely end up being rather biased, potentially enough so that it'd be rendered practically useless.


Looking for Writers & Company Promotion on 1/4/2019 4:04:07 AM

Ah fascinating stuff, now I'm somewhat looking forward to it! Although it doesn't sound like something that'll be made overnight, but I feel I understand it better now. Will be interesting to see all the potential this has realized, since it appears to have a lot, which is definitely a good thing.


Looking for Writers & Company Promotion on 1/4/2019 3:56:40 AM
This definitely answers all my questions, thank you for all the responses.