mizal, The Master Scrivener

Member Since


Last Activity

12/12/2018 11:04 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 9070 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.)

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.]

The true history of the heroic gnome race.

Laurels of Triumph

The Last Realm
On the night of your marriage, your knife is fractured and you are left for dead in a valley. When you come to, your life is missing, and your once perfect wife now in tatters.

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

50 words story thread. on 12/12/2018 8:56:54 PM
You should give it a try if you have any interest in 4X at all, it's in the top tier of the genre. People call it Civ on an alien planet but that's not really doing it justice.

Plus the research blurbs are infinitely quotable as well being a pretty incredible feat of storytelling by way of tiny text blobs in a strategy game where it's the player that controls when and in what order they come. They give you insight into all the factions and their leaders and there's a little more going on there too once you put them all together and start reading between the lines. The game is very well balanced but it's the writing and characters that make it so memorable.

Some of them work as flash fiction in their own right.

Richard Baxton piloted his Recon Rover into a fungal vortex and held off four waves of mind worms, saving an entire colony. We immediately purchased his identity manifests and repackaged him into the Recon Rover Rick character with a multi-tiered media campaign: televids, touchbooks, holos, psi-tours-- the works. People need heroes. They don't need to know how he died clawing his eyes out, screaming for mercy. The real story would just hurt sales, and dampen the spirits of our customers.

--Morgan StellarTots Keynote Speech, "Mythology for Profit"

82 words so too big for the thread, but we've got a pretty extreme limitation going on here tbf.

50 words story thread. on 12/12/2018 5:05:46 PM
I confess I somewhat stole the idea from the Self Aware Colony project from Alpha Centauri. Always wanted to do something more with the idea but I don't think I'd ever have time to tackle a full plot, maybe all it needed was 50 words to get it out of my system.

A new dawn is here. on 12/12/2018 4:56:48 PM
Huh, there must be a teacher that likes us, for some reason. I'm getting IP hits from this school from as far back as 2011.

A new dawn is here. on 12/12/2018 4:40:59 PM
You...you're aware of the reputation the Undertale fandom has, yes? Are you absolutely sure you want to open with this? Would you like a do over? Anyway, fanfic is one thing but as Undr said, simply trying to convert the same plot over to CYOA form wouldn't be allowed. If you're looking to attempt a more original work then good luck and let us know if you have any questions. e: Did you really co author yourself to your alt account?

50 words story thread. on 12/11/2018 10:16:43 PM
The defiant boy made his first and only mark on the world. Silently, the cameras watched. His paint hadn’t yet dried when the drones launched themselves from the gleaming tower.

Afterward, workmen cleared the scorched body and graffiti away. The peaceful city was once again free of corruption or blemish.

50 words story thread. on 12/11/2018 10:16:15 PM
It's the first one he rated after joining, but maybe he didn't get all the paths.

50 words story thread. on 12/11/2018 9:11:09 PM
You know it's mean to pick on the dead.

50 words story thread. on 12/11/2018 9:07:37 PM
She’s the girl you talk to in one of the experimental shelters. A lot of people make the mistake that she’s the main love interest in that path and complain that the arc where you’re going to go find her ends prematurely.

50 words story thread. on 12/11/2018 8:44:37 PM
I'm not sure there's any scenario where you could fire a shotgun at a door with a person standing right on the other side of it and not kill them very extremely dead.

50 words story thread. on 12/11/2018 8:43:07 PM
He probably should've made it the basement specifically, basements are inherently sinister and he's got somebody tied to a chair in there. Downstairs and yeah, he probably just left the TV on in the living room.