Zake, The Dramatist

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3/23/2019 5:35 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

Hi....again on 3/19/2019 3:18:33 AM

Such site behavior does signify that one has been banned, so your assumption was correct.

Anyhow, if you do still find yourself interested in the lands of CYStia, not all hope is lost. I'd advise on reflecting upon your past actions to figure out what may have caused your ban. The truth is that if you lurk awhile (not drawing attention to yourself) and get a better feel for what is acceptable and not, making a new account later (with a different name to separate yourself from the past), and avoiding negative attention (perhaps even finding a way to contribute to the site), it is unlikely you'll be forbidden reintegration into these fair lands.

Now, obviously, this would require some effort on your part (as I don't recall instances of bans occurring for literally no reason, thus you'll need to change something about your conduct), but it certainly is possible, despite not being a common occurrence.

I mention this because your willingness to stay away after a ban "out of respect" is definitely a good sign, and tells me you are probably not a completely lost cause. This is why I have outlined a way back in, if you so desire.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana

Oh, also, I'll quickly add that taking a break, even a long one, can be helpful, as with time you are likely to grow as a person which may help in better figuring out how to avoid bans in the future (albeit this depends on your circumstances to some extent), thus making reintegration easier (and who doesn't love some good character development?).

Story idea on 3/10/2019 8:40:58 AM

Personally, I think it is a great idea.

Trying to control yourself with a smaller piece AND writing what you know should be immensely helpful in getting you acquainted with all the things that go into making a storygame. As mentioned, if it is well written, it won't be mundane. I'll quickly mention that proofreading/redrafting can do wonders in fixing a story that is mundane, among just improving it in general, so if you want to write it, I do not see the idea as a reason not to.

While my experience isn't great, I think that people generally underestimate how interesting their own lives/experiences are, but my sample size for this is pretty small. At any rate, worst possible case scenario: you'll learn more about the editor, handling branching, and actually writing.


It can definitely be a workable story, but that goes for almost any idea, as such, what I like is that there is a clear familiarity (due to basing it on personal experience, 'write what you know' and all that) and it having a clear scope. Any boring parts that comes about can be refined out anyway, so I'd say go for it.

P.S. You already give good examples of what could happen, showing that there can obviously be engaging events/happenings. Readers will likely be able to relate to the general idea easier as well, which can also help with engagement. Anyway, hopefully you get something useful out of this, tell me if anything needs rephrasing or if you've got further questions.

P.P.S. Hmm, thinking about it a bit, I'll say that you might like to consider some unifying theme(/s), as that might be a nice way to help keep the story more concrete if you are worried about it being boring, as it'll help guide the writing process (easier to spot what doesn't belong, thus getting rid of any parts that might be more dull [or helping refine them to fit in better with the rest of the story]). I'm only putting this here as a post script because themes are something I struggle with to some extent, and they are something that I haven't given much (if any) thought in the past, so I guess I assumed others done the same. However, because of this, I do now like to bring them to people's attention, in case they are like me.

Just a couple questions from a newbie on 3/10/2019 7:56:42 AM


Short Answer

Plan your story whatever way you normally would (since there are many ways to go about planning), if you don't have a preferred style yet, experiment. Trying to figure out the basics of the story is generally a good idea, since having some idea of what you want to write can help you figure out what sort of branching style would work best. Here is a link regarding some styles. At this stage, you should be able to get a good enough idea of how you'll be handling the choices/branching, which should help with that aspect of cyoas. A good piece of advice often given is to start small, branching stories can get out of hand very easily, and it can be hard to grasp if you haven't done it much before.

Things to aim for during the planning stage depend on how much planning you prefer; gardener/discovery vs architect/outlining. Think of it as a spectrum, since thinking of yourself as just one or the other is generally not nuanced enough. I will point out this excerpt from the above link's conclusion: write as much as possible, and figure what suits you!

EDIT -- Basically, do you like to plan things out then write them, or figure things out as you write. Again, generally it is a mix, but I find it interesting to think about (and I bring it up rather often).-- EDIT END

Remember that proofreading/drafts/rewriting are all great as well, they can push writing to become really good. Very few professional authors just write something first go around and have it published, and I'm pretty sure they have editors. Now, I'm pretty sure most of us here are amateur writers or hobbyists (or whatever you wanna call it), and it isn't like people will be expecting perfection, (reading some higher rated storygames can give you a good idea of what people like), so don't fret too much and try to just write something. Things can almost always be improved, and one of the commonly hardest parts is just writing.

With that said, I'll mention that you don't want to get stuck planning forever, but there are definitely competent writers here who do spend a lot of time planning, so just:

  1. Remember that there is (usually) no rush.
  2. If lots of planning is what you prefer, go for it, it can work.

No-go Zones

For writing... nothing really, but certain things might be widely viewed as illegal or immoral, but handling more mature/controversial topics is fine, just have some tact and understand that there might be some people who really don't want to read it (so I'd say ensure it is properly labeled, on this site that'd be setting the appropriate maturity rating).

For the site:

  • Outright porn (including NSFW images).
  • Warrior Cats (due to a troubled history). This is a certain fan-fiction.

Site Guidelines, also: Minimum Storygame Standards.

Getting Black Out Drunk

I'd say it depends on where (country), but I'm pretty sure this is an unpleasant experience and should thus be avoided.


There are many ways to go about planning, try out doing a lot, a little, none, and everything else to find what works for you. Generally starting small is good, since branching narrative stories can get out of hand very quickly. You still want to figure out the general things as well when planning, broadly being: what type of story do you want to write? Then go from there, depending on your answer. (Most stories will have some sort of event/conflict/contrast that is central, with CYOAs you can obviously have multiples depending on the paths, but ultimately there is lots of freedom [as with all writing], I'll also mention thinking about themes might be helpful).

Finally, I'd say that you mustn't forget to start writing at some stage, since while planning a lot is fine, it won't produce a story all by itself. Find what works for you, and feel free to drop by in the Writing Workshop if you end up wanting more specific feedback or thoughts on stuff, or just sharing unfinished writing.

Closing Question for All

For a question of my own, tell me, how would you explain planning in general (but being more specific than I was with 'plan your story whatever way you normally would', i.e. what is a normal way to plan a story?).

P.S. I feel there is a lot more to mention (thus the 'short answer' subheading), but hopefully you get something useful out of all that is here atm. Also, as a disclaimer, take what I wrote with with a grain of salt, since you can technically do whatever you want and still potentially end up with something you are happy with (but I did try to give mostly applicable stuff given the broadness of the question). Oh, also, if there is something I missed or you got another question, feel free to ask (either I or someone else should answer, or both!).

EDIT --P.P.S. Oh, I didn't mention the advanced editor and how it can help you with certain things... so I'll just say that you can utilize the computer based medium to your advantage with certain things, such as tracking a variable to have a delayed reaction to a choice (i.e. it occurs at a latter page rather than straight after the choice) along with modifying on page text based on variables.
This doesn't matter too much, but just know it is possible, but not necessary. Certain things will be super tedious without it, but if that happens you'll probably notice and ask for help at which stage the specifics can be explained (assuming you don't figure it out yourself).-- EDIT END

21 word story time on 2/23/2019 12:53:06 AM

21 words Hero's Journey, true literary perfection.

Jokes aside, I think it could be a lot better if the words used were more carefully selected. Right now it is... a little cheap. Honestly, I only made it so I'd have at least one 'story' in each of these threads, but it shows how using someone else's template can really help guide the creation process (and you can always make your own template too).

I do find it neat since it helps me have a 'complete' story, even if generic and formulaic, but I think it is nice to have as a comparison for the other stories which are more original (such as those with neat twists).

Anyway, I'll patiently await the 11 word thread for now, tho it will be interesting to see what else people put up into these current ones till then.

21 word story time on 2/23/2019 12:28:39 AM

Call answered,

Relic granted,

Guardian defeated,

Boarder crossed,

Aid acquired,

Temptation averted,

Conclusion commenced,

Defeat tasted,

Death avoided,

Victorious yet changed.

Is this idea too...faggy? (Yes) on 2/21/2019 7:13:11 PM

I just want to point you towards two resources:

  1. CYS Website Guidelines
  2. Minimum Site Standards for Storygames

As such, theoretically, the story 'idea' (if you can even call it that) can work. I'd say there are many potential pitfalls, but you aren't asking about that, and besides, it might just be me who would struggle making such a storygame.

At any rate, knock yourself out, at the very least it will be a good learning experience.

100 word story on 2/19/2019 9:00:03 PM

TvTropes hero's journey image was totally not a huge inspiration. Anyhow, it'd need choices to work as a storygame. Luckily, deadline for intent to enter is April 1st, so I've got heaps of time!

Also, I too recall something about a 100 word story thread from a while back, so either your memory didn't fail, or you've successfully began implanting said fake memory into the minds of readers.

100 word story on 2/19/2019 8:35:54 PM

Ordinary day suddenly changed; a rift has opened, altering the land.

You beseech the king; a powerful relic is granted.

Soon, threshold guardian found to be no match for the relic's blade.

Border is crossed.

Outsider met; they aid you in traversal and teach how to close the rift.

Night. Assailed in dreams; promises of power are refused.

Finally, the rift. Futile attack, you fall.

Clasped by death.

Suddenly, rift's magic breathes new life into you.

Yet still it must be closed; the new power grants you strength to prevail.

Return is rejoiceful, they know not you are forever tainted.

Edit - This is the 100 word story thread right? (Also your story is good, really like the prose, but figured trying to 'contribute' would work as a better bump).

My story on 2/14/2019 10:33:46 PM
You're using the basic editor? No variables? I'm assuming answers are yes to both for the following. If you aren't using any variables to track gender, you're basically gonna be doubling up on every page just to change out pronouns, which I doubt is worth the effort. Heck, if the gender has no actual impact on the story, and you aren't using variables, I'd pretty much encourage you to drop it, but if the customization is something you feel is worth having in the story, then I'd say learn the few variable things needed to make it immensely less tedious. I don't know how you're handling backstory, or what sort of branching the story will have, but again, variables can make a lot of things less tedious. If the backstory will have a major impact, maybe variables aren't needed, really depends on what you're gonna do with it (and how you want to utilize it). Adding races pretty much has the same factors as the above. I will mention that if you're going to add races, add what makes sense for the story/world, unless you're just trying to make a character creator, but I doubt that is what you're going for. Figure out what is best for the storygame/work that you are making, and go with that. Worth keeping your abilities in mind, and not having the scope get out of hand. Finally, I'm pretty sure people on this site don't care as much about customization as some other communities, especially when it ends up feeling very superficial; however there is an appeal to customization and all that, so if you do decide it is something you really want your story to have, go for it, but without variables you'll either be limiting yourself on how you can use the customization, or, depending on how much customization there is and how it will be integrated, you'll be making so much work for yourself that you might as well learn variables as it'll save you more than enough time and effort in the long run.

Pit of Shame on 2/13/2019 7:50:50 PM

The PIT OF SHAME is a place where you do not want to end up. It is cramp, dark, smelly, and generally horrible, and you CANNOT LEAVE until you basically atone for what got you thrown in there in the first place, which means you might be stuck there for a while, if not till the heat death of the universe. Regardless, escape is possible, but the pit has layers, almost like hell, so try not to get shamed too many times while within it, lest your very soul end up purged. The catch is that to attempt to atone, you have to do something which will end with you shamed again if you fail, so hopefully you can muster up the power to push through and escape should you ever find yourself in that wretched place.

Err, to get shamed, enter a contest and fail to submit an entry. Basically be too lazy to put together something that meets minimum site requirements for a storygame, which honestly ain't too hard to do, as we aren't talking about a good story, just one that isn't utter garbage. Keep in mind it actually needs to not get disqualified from the contest, so keep it relevant to whatever the goals of said contest are.

Anyway, if you get shamed three times without getting unshamed (which is done by submitting an entry to a contest) your account gets banned. I think that was how this part worked. This rarely happens tho, since again, avoiding shame, especially when your account is on the line, is easy enough (also you are only ever eligible to getting shamed if you put yourself in the position in the first place, you practically have to try and get banned for something like that to happen).

Shaming can also be incurred due to special circumstances, something like betting that if you don't win the contest, you should get shamed. These are obviously brought upon yourself, so not worth worrying about. Similar thing with betting your account, but that has dropped off as such bets were more so only allowed for one contest where it made thematic sense to be legal.

Anyway, rules are always subject to change, and admins are the higher authority, but hopefully I got these parts right.

P.S. On the People's Democratic Republic of CYStia discord server, shaming exists but functions slightly differently, in that you can get shamed for pretty much anything (usually saying something extra stupid in some way) and if the SHAMING wasn't done as a joke, to get out of it you'll need to fulfill a request that will generally be one of two things:

  1. Write a short story/written piece on some given theme/idea/something and post it here (on CYS).
  2. If you are eligible, you can draw a drawing instead.

I'm pretty sure only one person is eligible for number two, but I could be wrong, as my understanding of the shaming system there is less concrete than of the one here. At any rate, shaming on the discord server is generally weaker/lighter of tone, but it does restrict what channels you can talk in (I believe), so getting out tends to be a priority.