mizal, The Expert Scrivener

Member Since


Last Activity

5/27/2018 7:12 PM

EXP Points


Post Count


Storygame Count


Duel Stats

1 win / 6 losses


Lauded Sage



Sagely advice for the children: Here and here and all over this wonderful internet only a single Google search away, you may find explanations of correct grammar and punctuation usage in English. That and proper spelling (most writing programs and even the editor on the site itself helpfully include a spell checker!) are the bare minimum expected of anyone posting a story on the site. If you're not willing to do that much, you're not remotely serious about writing. And if you don't care about what you write, then we don't care to read it. So don't bother.

Rating and reviewing other people's stories is still an excellent use of your time however and a way to accumulate points and respect on the site even if you don't write. It may also teach you a thing or two about writing and especially writing and structuring CYOAs, which are a bit of a different beast than a standard story. Reading books, and thinking about them on the meta level in the sense of the the things the author chose to include and how they were introduced and why is also a good exercise in sharpening your skills. Reading bad books and being able to identify why they're bad, even better! Read books above your designated 'age level' or whatever as often as possible. That whole system was created by people who think you're stupid and want to keep you that way. You'll never get better at anything unless you push and challenge yourself.

Sagely advice for newb authors: Read the articles. Especially the ones on the advanced editor and scripting. A basic knowledge of variables and scripting will save you untold headaches in the future and streamline the whole process. Learn what $DEST is for and how to toggle a variable within link if nothing else.

A regular story is challenging enough if you're serious about doing it properly. Meanwhile a CYOA is an exponentially expanding story on steroids and crack. You MUST make plans ahead of time about what you're doing and where it's going or it will get away from you completely.

Always back up your work. If nothing else, make a copy of anything you write just before hitting the button to save it. Glitches have been known to happen and a page can time out if it sits too long.

Many of the veteran authors here do all their writing in a separate program that can be more easily backed up and paste it over to the site when they're finished. Your words often flow easier when you tackle one path at a time and then go back to add in branches, treating each major path like its own complete story with variations within it.

Although, there are many ways to structure a CYOA and you may found a different system than the one described above works best for you, one thing that's important for any story to be satisfying is that it's structured like a story.

Behold the sacred precepts of S T R U C T U R E in all their simple, straightforward glory:

Spelling it out (for the blindies and others) in order for a story to BE a story you need to start off by establishing your setting, important characters, and the conflict they'll be up against. Smaller obstacles leading up to the major one will need to be overcome, and the protagonist will usually try and fail to deal with whatever the main source of conflict is, or it will be revealed to be more powerful or dangerous than believed. (Remember, an easily won victory is a boring one.) This leads into the climax, the point of greatest suspense where the stakes are highest and the characters have everything to lose. Once THAT'S overcome, the story enters a period of falling action where the tension winds back down and the fallout of resolving the conflict plays out. Finally, the resolution or epilogue where the themes or larger lessons meant to be learned might be reflected back on, and everything is wrapped up leaving a sense of closure for the readers and/or characters.

Finally, a quote, since that is apparently a thing we do:

"Your reviews for both the published storygames and the works in both the creative corner and writing workshop have undeniably helped countless users. Your site presence is a boon for the site by acting like a fiery furnace. You'll roast the worthless rabble and refine what's left.

If you never would've discovered this odd yet charming corner of the web, then CYS would be missing a beneficial and integral part of its very identity." --WouldntItBeNice

Given by Mizal on 01/15/2018 - Finally the M is capitalized. Gifted by Zake, so the other won't be so lonely and retarded.

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points Earning 2,000 Points Thorough and consistent writing workshop contributions / excellent commenting. Having 1 Storygame(s) Featured Posting 7355 Forum Posts Given by BerkaZerka on 11/10/2017 - Forum and Site Contributions Not Unnoticed Given by EndMaster on 11/30/2017 - It's everything you've always wanted! Given by Will11 on 01/14/2018 - For Inseperable and your other great stories


A Stack of Cats
You are a man on a mission. The cats, they must be stacked.

A puzzling math and logic game I made just to put some of the scripting practice I've been doing to use. Have fun and please let me know if you encounter any bugs.

Should be solvable by middle schoolers, or those with same basic level of intelligence as a middle schooler.

Don't Get Date Raped!
A short, educational piece. Please remain sensitive and respectful in the comment section. (I'd hate to have to report you to an admin for bullying me.)

(DO NOT READ if you're at all easily offended or lacking in a sense of humor. There's nothing graphic at all in here, but seriously, I still cannot stress it enough, this story is not for you.)

WOWSERS! Triggers ahead!

Facts About the Planet and the Solar System
A compilation of some little known facts about the solar system, as well as the debunking of a few myths. In addition to the scientific explanations, there's a small story dramatizing it all. Hopefully young readers will find this fun as well as educational. :)

Featured Story Inseparable
It doesn't matter what they say...

Love is for the Birds
...and the squirrels. Sort of.

Written in six hours, for no other reason than to avoid consignment to the SHAME pit after my other Romance contest entry didn't want to cooperate.

Now You Gotta Deal With This S***

A tale told in verse. A text from your sister requesting a pick up from a party leads to a night of strangeness.

Inspired by Bucky's ballad contest. Though...I wouldn't call this a ballad. I'm not sure what I'd call it, actually, other than exceedingly stupid, and fun to write.

(Don't pay any attention to the scores, they're just for me to track which endings reviewers get.)

Read My Stories or Die!



Silver Horn, Silver Hooves
When the weather is fine, you've been coming to this grove to drink from the pool for centuries now. Today, you meet a stranger and hear a story that changes all that...

A fairy tale adventure.

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: There's a heavily scripted scene that due to time constraints I didn't have the opportunity to thoroughly test. You'll know it when you see it. In addition to a save game link beforehand, I've provided the option to skip it altogether should you encounter problems. A PM describing those problems would also be greatly appreciated as I'll be revisiting this game once the crushing weight of December has passed.]

Articles Written

CYS Forum Advice and Etiquette
A modernized guide to the forums. The path to internet popularity and happiness, and a few CYS specific do's and don'ts.

Recent Posts

Killa's Spring Thing Contest! on 5/27/2018 12:30:17 PM
There are a billion and one pictures of actual crowded marketplaces that would have taken about five seconds to find, so there is still a definite 'time wasting' element here as far as story progress goes even if you're just photoshopping for fun. You can't beg an extension on the grounds that you spent days editing a picture you didn't need in the first place. Nobody should get an extension IMO, this contest is going to flop and all of you deserve your punishment.

Killa's Spring Thing Contest! on 5/27/2018 9:35:47 AM
Fair enough in IAP's case, but let's hope you didn't go out of the way to make your game unplayable for the people using screen readers. Because that would make you a monster.

Killa's Spring Thing Contest! on 5/27/2018 9:01:51 AM
Hurray for backup crappy stories, those have kept me out of the SHAME pit so many times. It's really difficult to wind up with a low rating and you understand the secrets of grammar and such so I think you'll be fine. There might be something to the concerns that you're becoming the style over substance guy (But yes tbf can't deny it DID work out pretty well for you with the Ghost People...) but nothing wrong with making shiny pretty games your niche if you enjoy fiddling with all the scripting stuff. Although it didn't look like Steve was putting any real effort into going after you, so might be a bit premature for white knighting. Maya and IAP read with images off so in the meantime we can always trust them to tell us if we're being bedazzled by all your sorcery.

General World Events Thread on 5/25/2018 5:27:44 PM

"As the gunman ran from the scene, two bystanders got their own handguns from the trunks of their vehicles, then confronted and fatally shot the attacker outside the restaurant, Mathews said Friday."

Who needs police?

General World Events Thread on 5/25/2018 5:21:29 PM
Would've definitely been me if I'd seen it, give me some credit here.

How do you get from one chapter to the next? on 5/25/2018 12:11:40 PM
First make sure you have all the advanced options turned on in your editor settings, then just put it in the link script. (The icon next to the link name. Page script meanwhile will always refer to the one next to page title just fyi.)

How do you get from one chapter to the next? on 5/25/2018 11:34:11 AM
Use $DEST = @P16 (or whatever the number of the page is) to jump around to wherever. If you select the chapter itself in the dropdown it'll go specifically to whatever you have set as the first page in it, so you may just not have that set.

Site Running Very Slowly on 5/25/2018 4:46:18 AM
I've had no problems at all the last few days but I'm never on late at night so maybe it really is hitting around a specific time now. At least that's better than completely randomly or the thing it was doing before where it would go out for about two minutes out of every five.

My Writing Is Going Downhill - What Do I Do? on 5/24/2018 10:46:43 PM
Only had time to do a quick read, and I see a few places where the wording could be tightened up or tweaked (too much reliance on -ly adjectives and adverbs perhaps?) but there's nothing that immediately leaps out at me as wrong with any of this. The action is very immediate and draws you right in and you've got some excellent imagery here. Honestly this is better than 90% of the stuff I've seen published on the site. It is perfectly natural to hate your own writing and that's what keeps a person improving, but in your case I'd say you are definitely being too hard on yourself. The actual text is so tiny though, not sure what you did to the formatting but it's a bit of a strain on the eyes to read.

Readers Wanted on 5/24/2018 10:04:24 PM
You Are A Disc In My Dad's Spinal Cord. Can You Make His Back Stop Hurting In Time For Christmas? is magical and should be experienced by all. Nice job @tylerrusso