castorgreatpoetguy, The Reader
Recent PostsFailed Historical Fiction Contest Entry on 10/14/2019 4:28:28 PM
When I was writing this, I think I was trying to convey that the protagonist, suddenly subject to an isolated life of exile, was thinking back, the symptoms of his sickness and hypothermia getting more serious as the story progresses.
As a historic fiction, I tried to base the story on the only part of Xia's life that wasn't charted; his final months spent in exile. His death by hypothermia and illness was real, as was the events of the story. However, I guess linking the history to the fiction was too much for the time I gave myself.
SuperHero Project on 10/14/2019 2:56:27 PM
He's a psychologist, he's not supposed to be entertaining!
Anyways, I will keep that in mind so I don't place any moodkillers in any of my other stories.
Failed Historical Fiction Contest Entry on 10/14/2019 2:46:54 PM
Okay, so several weeks back, I entered a historical fiction short story contest—about two hours before the deadline. The winner gets to attend a writing workshop and some meager cash money. I thought, oh, what the hell, what could go wrong?, and I entered.
Then I remembered thinking, SHIT. I just joined a contest two hours prior to the deadline. However, This wasn't just some community of writers I would be dissapointing, it would be an entire college writing division! So with a can of Monster in my hand, I began writing random nonsense. Connecting word to word with no end result in mind, my only goal being to destory the blank white screen with walls of text.
Eventually, I have noticed a theme in the nest—a needle in the haystack—and I have gotten the idea to base the story off Jie Xia, a tyrant of ancient China who was overthrown by rival Shang clan.
I have finished and entered this hot mess around 5 minutes prior to the deadline, and needless to say, it wasn't a winner. However, I did learn a lot writing this—and I learned a lot about how exactly I write when short on time.
Anyways, this is what I have entered. 597 words—out of the 1000 maximum I got. Planning, researching, drafting, writing, and publishing took me around 2 hours.
Overthrown (Historical Fiction Entry)
Despite the harsh conditions brought by the blizzard around him, Jie Xia willed himself to push further, to walk the final mile through the forests and into his home. Ignoring the stinging sensation on his exposed hands and face, he slowly marched onwards, barely managing to throw himself into the cabin in time.
I can’t keep doing this, Jie thought as he started the painfully slow process of starting his fire, This is no life for an emperor. However, he knew he couldn’t leave—especially not during the middle of winter. After all, he was shunned by the rest of society on account of his past status; attempts have already been made on his life, even after he was overthrown.
In the years following his sudden plummet from power, Jia was consumed by fantasies of revenge, his bloodlust and desire to avenge the former Xia Clan defining him. He used to live a lavish life, and nobody had nearly as much to their name as his, not nearly as much slaves for whatever whim he could conceive, and best of all, status. All feared him; everybody knew better than to go against his supreme word. Until, that was, the contemptible Yang Shang showed up, and overthrew him.
However, Jia liked to think he was over such things. Sure, he would love to see every Shang and their associates bleeding on a stone, but he no longer plotted it. After all, he was beginning to get too sick to fight, and his horrifyingly plain food could not even begin to compare to his prior feasts.
Laying in front of the fire, Jia let his mind wander, desperately trying to take his mind from the unbearable cold and his slowly progressing illness. Alas, in those efforts, he has let his mind drift to a memory he had wanted to seal away forevermore; the years he was in power.
Before the Shangs, before their swine of a general Wuzu captured Jia near the boundaries of Cheng, he was the ruler of the Xia clan. Whatever he wanted, he had gotten, and if somebody failed to that extent, they were promptly beheaded. With every meal he would have a wine of pure alcohol, and he would even sit on the backs of his subordinates whilst drinking his wine. Everything was perfect.
Then, of course, the Shang Dynasty started gaining momentum. Vassals belonging to the Xia were taken over, and Yang, that detestable dog, has pitted the citizens of the Xia against their own ruler. After a while, even silencing the messengers didn’t stop the terrifying news.
By the time Jia has truly realized the gravity of his situation, it was too late. His army was defeated, and there were many men after his head. He has tried to flee, to escape to a different land, but he was captured, and now resides in this barren forest.
However, Jia didn’t care so much anymore. Right now, he was cold. Cold despite the fire in front of him, cold despite the furs on his shoulders. Perhaps the cold was from the days spent marching through the snow for scraps to eat, perhaps the cold was from the empty void in his being that luxury masked.
Or, perhaps, the cold was from the sickness that has been getting worse ever since Jia’s isolation. Sleep slowly catching him, he didn’t know if it was exhaustion, or the sickness, or the cold draining his consciousness. However, Jia was sure of one thing: Soon, he would regain power, and he would get revenge on the Shang Dynasty.
SuperHero Project on 10/14/2019 2:16:05 PM
I wrote a 1000-word story about some old Chinese man defeating a group of thugs without violence, then I realized,
Oh crap, he needs to be a superhero!
Oh well, just make him a prodigy psychologist.
Yeah, I agree though, the story kind of sucks. I didn't do any proofreading or revisions as I wrote, so the whole thing ended up a mess.
In fact, every story I write featuring old Chinese protagonists all seem to suck. I actually got chewed out by the judges of a writing contest because I entered at the last minute with a shit story about the first Emperor of China.
OFFICIAL official CYS Discord on 10/14/2019 1:29:46 PM
By choice, mind you.
Speaking of, when you join you're going to get sent to a special channel, and to actually earn your right to stay, you have to write a short story or a lengthy review.
After that, you can get sent to hell for various offenses, but the way out doesn't change; you still write a short story or a review to escape—unless you get a unique, oftentimes more painful task.
Honestly, it's a great place to ignore the distraction of the rest of the server.
SuperHero Project on 10/14/2019 1:25:17 PM
Oops, I meant to write:
"...I have something much more important; an education."
Still a face-punch worthy line nonetheless.
OFFICIAL official CYS Discord on 10/14/2019 1:17:59 PM
> The server seems to alternate between quiet and absolutely chaotic. You shouldn't get any notifications unless you are pinged, though.
> There are quite a lot of inside jokes about CYS, and there are forums you might be linked to if you want to actually understand them. Most are understandable however, if not a little strange.
> Only like 3 people are on the server 24/7. Almost everyone else is on the server whenever they have a moment to spare that can't be spent writing or reading. Oh—and do make sure you spend reading/writing time reading and writing. Speaking from experience here.
> A lot of people like to request others on the Discord to review their works, and there's actually a channel pretty much dedicated to that.
> I will not sugarcoat it—the server is like the lounge. It is where a lot of people from CYS like to hang out, and you will often see misadventures not related to reading or writing.
All in all, here's what I would say:
The CYS discord, while it is not nearly as serious as the forums, is a great place to check if you want a pointer to which stories and poems need reviewing. A lot of the humor is unique to CYS, and it may take you a while to understand it, so you're going to have to read lore in your free time, sadly. A lot of it is quite interesting, though.
All in all, I think you should get it, but you might want to mute the other channels that do not relate to reading and writing as much.
OFFICIAL official CYS Discord on 10/14/2019 1:07:16 PM
Hey, my points were in the negatives ever since the account was created!
Fine, I'll get actual things done without the server there to distract me. I am curious what has been going on as of late though, so please do make sure to send a postcard or something!
Also—and I will argue this to the grave—they are not lolis!
SuperHero Project on 10/14/2019 12:53:55 AM
I feel like it's that plausible vulnerability that makes a hero truly compelling. More than anything else in a story, I look at characters the most, and I always love to see how they develop throughout the story. Ideally, a character always has some conflict going on, even during the "Happily Ever After".
In this case, Xinshen is old, and not even a hero; just a dedicated—if not remarkably talented—psychologist. Stuck in a demanding situation, he has to draw from his skills of his trade to get himself out of that situation, and although the story is still far from realistic, it conveys—at least, to me—that these superheros are oftentimes just as or almost as ordinary as the average person.
That's how I was taught, anyway. If the characters are compelling and their development rich, then even an awful story can be at least somewhat entertaining to read.
OFFICIAL official CYS Discord on 10/14/2019 12:44:43 AM
Figured. Probably how Mizal has gotten it.
Regardless, I have learned my lesson, I am ready to rejoin society!