mizal, The Master Scrivener

Member Since


Last Activity

4/20/2019 12:22 PM

EXP Points


Post Count


Storygame Count


Duel Stats

1 win / 6 losses


Lauded Sage


NOTICE: I can only access the internet on my phone right now so response times to messages and beta reading requests will be even slower than usual for the time being.

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

"I love bird vore." --Cricket

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 10073 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.

Agent of Order
Orbiting a barren planetoid in a system full of nothing just past the edge of the frontier, The Last Outpost is just another refueling station. Strategically important, true, but on a routine stop you never expected to spend longer than a couple hours there, let alone a couple of days fighting for your life...

There are five epilogues, but some may be difficult to discover. Note that actions have consequences, but not always immediate ones. (And if you just need an End Game link, go play around with the probe.)

Another Damn Wolf Story
I have no idea why I wrote this. All I can say in my defense is that it seemed like a good idea at the ti--wait no that's a lie, I said, repeatedly that this was stupid and shameful every time I mentioned working on it.

The truth is I needed to publish something before the end of the year and there is CLEARLY a burning need for wolf stories in the psyche of children using the internet. But then they write them badly, or make their wolves behave like clans of cats. So here is a simple straightfoward story of a young wolf leaving his pack in search of a better life. Maybe no one will ever feel the need to write another one now, or if nothing else maybe this will give them ideas for how to do it in slightly more minimum-standards-meeting ways.

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!

Dedicated to the good people of COG.

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. :)

(Might not be the greatest story ever written, but consider this: it got me 200 points.)

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

Story Rules on 4/19/2019 2:14:54 PM
Also this. Lol. Comms were shiny and new and he was really eager to try them out.

Story Rules on 4/19/2019 2:13:39 PM
Witness this day: Steve folding immediately because I hold all the power and he's just a little bitch

Characters you're just obsessed with? on 4/19/2019 2:06:19 PM
I prefer original settings too, but when I think of that kind of thing now it's for characters that I theoretically intend to write about. Characters that just kind of spontaneously formed when I was in middle school weren't really from any kind of deliberate process. Mary Sue is still not a great term for this thread, but I don't have any other. It's not to imply they always succeed at everything, just the level of self indulgent obsession.

Characters you're just obsessed with? on 4/19/2019 1:57:37 PM
Do you find this makes it harder to come up with branching plots?

Story Rules on 4/19/2019 1:52:43 PM
Well I guess Prophecy gets unpublished now, great job.

Characters you're just obsessed with? on 4/19/2019 11:07:21 AM
It's okay if you don't want to admit to the hundreds of hours daydreaming about a boy named Tseve who was the most promising student ever at Hogfarts School for Young Warlocks.

Characters you're just obsessed with? on 4/19/2019 10:29:04 AM
Character tropes I keep returning to are a definite thing with me too, although they pop up more in the 'temporary' settings or in the ones I'm specifically planning out for a story. The established settings already have their established casts. A lesser enemy that allies with Team Good Guy to deal with a greater threat is a common reoccurring one. (Or the opposite of that where someone on Team Good Guy defects.) But then the Big Bad is usually fairly capital E Evil while the lesser villain is just someone with conflicting motivations or methods. And there's always the character that speaks all the languages and translates all the ancient whatevers before inevitably unleashing shit they can't handle. Or the token actually trustworthy authority figure, which is always like a boring desk job guy or else the fantasy/sci fi equivalent who quietly bad ass in their own way and with a better insight into things than most people realize, and their job is to pave the way for the heroes to go do their unorthodox hero shit and smooth out any consequences after. I'm realizing as I write this that all POV characters are not especially powerful but make up for it by being intensely interested and good at some unusual thing and use that with a bit of cleverness to punch way above their level...except for a couple that are the opposite and stupidly powerful but with no idea how to use their abilities effectively. And the oldest most Mary Sueish character is the best in both ways of course! ^_^ Now that I think of it more, I have several more 'permanent' settings than I mentioned at first, although the later ones are not as old as the others and are in a shape where they could potentially be written about without it being cringy for all involved. Each are specifically a different kind of setting and tone so I'm guessing that more than anything determines which my brain will settle on to hang out with at any particular time. There's uh... Futuristic/historical/fantasy/secret war/time travel. (The one I don't talk about.) Good vs evil monster hunter thing. Modern X-Men type setting. Star Trek style universe. Fantasy with megolomaniacal wizards and magic portals Sci fi with megalomaniacal scientists and....scientific portals. ....Redwall type setting.

Characters you're just obsessed with? on 4/19/2019 9:19:57 AM
I'm not really talking about 'writing related thoughts', rather characters or settings you reflexively go back to that you specifically *wouldn't* write about or at least would have difficulty working into real stories. Seems like developing them as a kid and having them stick with you is common. So it's possible you misunderstood, but I'm also okay with you just being the weird one here.

Storygame Maker Layout (Graphic Display) on 4/19/2019 3:43:09 AM
That seems hard.

Storygame Maker Layout (Graphic Display) on 4/19/2019 3:42:43 AM
A complete overhaul of the editor is just not ever going to happen. I always wished for more organization options (the ability to drag pages around for instance) but ultimately it's not like the current one has ever stopped anyone from creating a large or complex story. There are loads of options for writing offline, and just making sensible use of page titles and chapters goes a long way.