undr, The Wordsmith

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4/11/2019 5:10 AM

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What the title says.


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Magium on 4/10/2019 3:34:22 PM

I had read Book 1 and 2 and now I'm going through Book 3 because this thread reminded me of its existence.

It's a good CYOA with some good characters and a fun adventure, and I appreciate that it keeps few stats and that they have low values, making them simple to manage. I also like the lore the author built around his story.

It obviously has some limitations due to practical reasons; Austin already mentioned its linearity (I only played one path but it's pretty clear that the story has to converge at some points), and another weak link is in my opinion how OP the protagonist and how tame some of the villains seem to become, making those who seemed difficult antagonists look like not much of a threat all of a sudden. Of course this has to happen in order to make the good guys win and keep most of them alive; I just hope that these kind of character developments are written well though.

One thing I noticed in the third book is that the author's slipped up a few times with verb tenses, using the past tense in situations that required the present tense as usual. I'm still at chapter 2 though, so I won't pass judgement until I've finished this book. I will say that I enjoyed Book 2 the most so far though.

~ on 4/10/2019 2:32:41 PM

These were great, and Digit being hit by a thicc piece of metal was very appropriate. A lot of characters in this story have incredible powers, making it all the more fun to see what happens when they face off.

Epitaph on 4/10/2019 2:04:09 PM

I really enjoyed this sudden burst of short stories from you, and I think writing down these kind of small experiments might have also been helpful for you. This one was close to perfection in a grammatical sense (bar the "he laughed" in between Rob's final lines, which should have been capitalized) and the writing style was anything but "dense", which is what you were concerned about in the last story if I recall correctly.

You tried going all-dialogue with this story and it was a successful experiment, and not an easy one in my opinion. Writing a long dialogue sequence and keeping it from becoming a shopping list or a straight-out theatre script is a tricky matter, but you managed to intersperse it with the right amount of descriptive bits and action at the right time. There were two instances where I thought you had gone too long with pure back-and-forth dialogue but I'm almost certain that's just a subjective opinion of mine since I tend to get lost when the dialogue goes on for a while without identifying who's saying what. In general, having a few lines of dialogue without adding dialogue tags or anything else can lighten up the style besides also quickening the pace, and so it can usually be a good idea.

Looks like I got this far without mentioning the main theme of the story or the plot, typical me. I thought the idea of having an imaginary first person narration was brilliant, and I liked that the subject was treated simply and in a light tone, without great showings of existential crisis. The "less is more" rule strikes again. The way you described his state in the flashforward paragraph at the end also didn't disappoint and didn't break my immersion; remaining vague and using figurative language there helped, I think.  From a technical point, I appreciated your choice of trying a flashforward break before briefly coming back to the main time of the story to tie up the action with the final lines.

In conclusion, I'm glad you decided to try out different styles and ideas with these short stories and I mostly liked what you wrote. CYOAs are a different beast from short stories, but you can definitely be a good writer.

The Affair on 3/31/2019 11:55:18 AM

I liked it a lot, probably because I know who Beccaria is and I wouldn't have expected to read something about him on here. You also polished your writing in terms of grammar from the last time I commented under one of your stories; the only error I could find was the repetition of "seep" in the third sentence.

As for your style, you always seem to enjoy writing detailed descriptions, which is not a bad thing per se; just be sure to dose them right so they don't overpower the narrative and clog the pace, especially if you have to tell your story in little space. Just to be clear, you didn't make such mistakes with this one. As you said, you had to tell a large story with few words, so you had to devote some paragraphs to description in order to recreate the atmosphere of the time, and I think you managed to do it quite well.

As for your second post, I didn't find the story vague at all. If anything, I think it was very specific to a particular period, place, event and person. What might be lost to a reader who has never heard about Beccaria is the purpose of telling this short story, its significance.

Killer on 3/21/2019 7:03:18 PM

I liked it, mainly because of the mystery voice. The rest of the story was the usual opening of an amnesiac finding himself at a crime scene, but the voice gives it a touch of eerie charm. I hope it isn't just the voice of his conscience because that would dull it all down a bit.

As for your writing skills, you can pace a short story well enough and you almost know how to punctuate dialogue, which means you're on a good level. As a rule, your dialogue tags should always be in lowercase, even after following an exclamation or question mark inside quotations. Typos aside, it was a good piece. Maybe not as self-contained as should be expected by a short story, but not bad.

50 words story thread. on 3/21/2019 3:25:54 PM

The others already talked about the knife and the sparks, so I'll go into nitpicking mode and tell you that there should be a comma instead of a semicolon before "faintly".

On the whole, I liked the description in the first paragraph, it turned out well. The second paragraph was alright, listing the events matter-of-factly, but it's the first one that would draw a reader in.

Grief on 3/18/2019 11:31:27 AM

I'm really sorry Zass. Lean on people who are close to you. I've never experienced anything like that so I can't tell you how to deal with it. You seem to be dealing with it like anyone would.

Hello on 3/18/2019 3:05:17 AM

Welcome to the site! Readers are always needed, especially if they also review the story afterwards. Check the articles in the Help & Info section for general advice, and if you still have questions feel free to ask us.

Another one of these darn things on 3/17/2019 11:17:07 AM

I liked the atmosphere most of all, the traditional background and melancholic serenity and tiredness that permeated this story. Nothing much happened, at least not in the present time of the story, but there were continuous jumps back in time (of different entity) that delineated the main characters and their lives. It made for a delicate story, in line with the characters themselves.

There still are some errors though, even after your latest edit.

• "One day it darkened and became colder" > this line sounded a bit off, because "one day" usually introduces an action that implies a change from the usual order, whereas here the weather described in past tense after "one day" is exactly the same as the usual weather described in present tense in the previous sentence.

• "aired his books aired his books" > repetition typo

• "- the professor's own recorded thoughts were never found again" > should be, "- the professor's own recorded thoughts - were never found again."

• " "[...] a little earlier tonight?" He begged" > "he" should be with a lowercase "h".

• "It was only when [...] did they finally shake each other's hand." > inversions of this kind ("did they") only happen when the sentence begins with "Only", not with "It was only when", if I recall correctly.

• "Carefully rubbing his painful knee with even more painful fingers" > "painful" might not be the best possible choice here, considering that it's more usually associated with the cause of the pain rather than what suffers it; "rubbing his aching knee with his arthritic fingers", for example, might sound better.

• "Kung-Shu carefully poured [...] black tea." > I'd have at least put a comma before "for".

• "smiled gently, "I came as soon [...]" > there should be a period instead of a comma after "gently".

• "Kun-Shu's turn to smile, "And if [...]" > same error as above.

• "his right leg becomes more stiff" > "became"

• "as he spoke softly, "and now that I'm here..." " > "and" should have a capital A.

• "staggered him to the door" > I don't think "stagger" can be used as a transitive verb with that meaning. It's not like you can substitute "walk [sb]" with "stagger [sb]" just because he's crippled lol.

And that's all; I enjoyed it but it's almost too frail to be a standalone. It looks more like a chapter of a bigger story.

As for the title, I understand that it can be a pain having to think of one but it's your story, so you should choose its title, not someone else. 

new to this on 3/14/2019 6:16:59 PM

I'd suggest going through the featured storygames (the six titles that appear inside each category box) as a general rule. If you want more specific recs, anything by EndMaster is worth reading; Eternal, Rogues and Ground Zero are just three of his most famous stories but you could as well read through all the storygames listed on his profile. Dead Man Walking by BerkaZerka is also a classic on the site and is a zombie survival. Bestist Frend Jane by IAP, on the other hand, is more recent but equally excellent, and was also a much needed addition to the Modern Adventure category. If you're a history nerd you should probably take a look at the featured games in the Edutainment category, there's a bunch of good ones in there.

I only listed four featured games because they were the first that came to my mind right now but there are many more that are a must read, and many other good authors too like Steve, Ogre, Mizal, Will etc.