The Weekly Review - Edition 6
Published every Friday, Editor: Will11, Special Thanks: Kiel_Farren
Another week and another Review written. This edition looks at some of the very good story-games published in the last week as well as EndMaster’s incredible masterpiece Eternal, an interview with the master of good writing with a truly great attitude Kiel Farren, and the usual slew of tips, puzzles and jokes. Feedback has been very positive and after ten Editions I plan to adapt and improve the Review. If you have any suggestions on something you would like to see as always I would be glad to hear them.
Reviews Recommending Riveting Reads
Note: your story-game must have received a player rating of at least 4 for inclusion here.
Princess Pretty - The Captain of the Queen’s Guard (A Love & Dating by cheniepenny)
Cheniepenny is actually one of my favorite author’s on this site, her Princess Pretty stories (this is her third) make great teen fiction and her style is light and cheerful. This latest addition to the series is as well-written and enjoyable as the others but interestingly the most serious yet…
A little something about the Philippines (A Edutainment by Penworth)
An interesting quiz from a great author this will certainly teach you things you didn’t know before.
IB English Project (A Edutainment by englishprojectten)
A school project providing glimpses of various classical works of fiction, can you recognize them all?
Court Case (A school-based by Emgi)
A little over-simplistic this is nonetheless a pretty good pair of courtroom dramas.
Since The Dawn of CYOA Time (2001):
Eternal (A Fantasy by EndMaster)
If you have an hour or two to spare and want to see what an incredibly original and detailed story-game looks like this is the one I’d recommend over EndMaster’s other games. EndMaster doesn’t create stories so much as worlds, races and history in a way that seems perfectly natural and eases the reader in effortlessly to these fantasies. The story itself contains all the drama, sex, violence, complicated characters and battle scenes you could ever want and is a great example of a true multi-choice story game, reading like a dozen books in one.
Interviewing Interesting Individuals
Q: Why do you write choose your own stories?
A: I guess I've been something of a story-teller since I was little. Somewhere there's a home movie of me at age four, proudly holding an upside-down book that had literally nothing to do with the story I was supposedly "reading" to her. I have some rather depressing reasons for loving to write as much as I do, but as to why I write CYS games specifically? I love to entertain people. I enjoy connecting with all of you over a shared interest. I love making people smile, or laugh, or even cry. (Not in a malicious way, you know.) I love making difficult puzzles for you guys to solve, then seeing a reader who struggled with it excitedly tell me "I got it! I figured it out!" It's great, knowing you guys are having fun or just feeling something positive because of what I created. Plus, I loved CYOA books as a kid.
Q: What is your preferred writing method and style?
A: Perfectionism combined with daydreaming as I go? I have a big imagination, always have. It's why I can't write anything shorter than 400 pages. :P My brain has never had an off-switch and draws inspiration from a lot of random places, including every day objects and situations. GOLAD started off as an apple, a mirror, and a barely remembered collection of scary stories from my childhood--one of which was a CYOA about a witch, her cat, and a creepy house.
I also do a ... pretty ridiculous amount of research when I write. xD It's embarrassing to admit, but, for example: There's a scene in The Other World where you offer some grain to a fellow slave. I wanted to give the reader an idea of what their kindness was worth, so I looked up exactly how much grain was required to make enough flour for a small loaf. If I use a material or an object in my story I'm not personally familiar with, I look it up, because I want to be able to describe it well. I'll read into their history, time periods, anything I find relevant or think might be interesting. I, uh ... once spent a full ten minutes researching door handles because I wanted to get the wording just right for one scene. Not joking. I also love symbolism and meaningful names, so I've studied (far) more than a few pages on both.
Q: Any plans for future stories?
A: Definitely. The Other World is on the last leg of its journey to being finished, it's just been a much longer road than I expected--which isn't a bad thing. Jace and Kyra have both grown on me quite a bit since their creation and earned the right to an epic story. It's almost 600 pages now. That said, I have two other priorities on my list. One would be "The Devil's Chess" --so if anyone finds themselves missing Layne L. Gray, my old puzzle elements, or are eager to see a certain character of Quiller's in a requested cameo, I'll do my best not to disappoint. The second would be the much requested and excessively lengthy "Magic Academy"
Q: Who are your favorite authors and/or story games on this site?
A: My picks will probably come as a shock to absolutely no one: Madglee and Quiller have both inspired elements of my two biggest stories. Endmaster's dark sense of humor and tendency to push boundaries is fun. Berka's ambition in scripting is impressive and Briar's work has been very enjoyable.
Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?
A: Yep! xD I filled two articles with it already, but I'm always around if people wanna PM me to ask for further help and tips.
Q: How about some final thoughts?
A: Just one, actually. *chuckles* I probably shouldn't do this and anyone who can't stand a spoiler will want to ignore what I'm about to say (particularly if you're very clever) but I can't resist ...
"Justice abandons courts easily as notoriously doubious kings' yeasayers reinforce atrocities and refuse even momentarily experiencing lucidity, it's so sad, aye?"
Thank You Kiel_Farren
Do you want to write a story but are worried about fierce criticism? Find it difficult to stick to an idea or finish a story? Can’t seem to find the right words?
1) First off: don’t worry. I can’t stress this enough, in the end no one’s opinion of your story counts except your own. Even if you provide us with the literary equivalent of heroin there will still be people who complain. Criticism is just opinion and should be viewed as such. Any feedback that contains swearing or negativity without clarification or explanation can just be ignored.
2) Try to learn from criticism. Having said the above you should not take feedback to the other extreme and not listen to anyone except your mother and your imaginary friends. Criticism, if it is rational and shows a thorough reading of the story, is someone helping you to improve your story for free. Don’t agree with them? Ok, that gives you the basis of what is hopefully a useful discussion.
3) It is good if you keep getting different ideas, where possible try to find a way to incorporate them into the story you are writing. If the ideas are not compatible considering making your stories into short stories (if you really like a particular idea you can always come back and do a sequel). Short stories should be at least ten pages of A4 worth of typing (which can easily be done in the day) and can always be returned to later.
4) Reading, communication with others and research are the best ways of expanding your vocabulary, increasing your knowledge and making you a more intelligent and socially successful person in general. I don’t think it is cheating to have a link to thesaurus.com or a rhyming dictionary when writing stories or poems and if you know a good joke or interesting experience feel free to give it to one of your characters. There’s no point deliberately making things tricky for yourself.
5) Above all remember writing is a hobby. People write and read as a form of escapism, creative writing is a bit like recording day-dreams and consciously developing them to share with others as a gift or to see if they find them interesting. Non-creative writing is therapeutic for a number of reasons: authors of fan-fiction are keen to share their love of a series with people or people like me who love history want to help others revisit the past. We like reading because we can escape the predictability of every day life and enter exciting new worlds: as long as they are clear, original and interesting we’ll enjoy them :D
Puzzles of the Week
This week I’ve got my puzzles from Buzzle.com which are simple (or are they?) questions starting with a timeless classic. I have kept the second puzzle from last week (a Maths puzzle) as no one provided the answer.
1: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
2: Daniel, my son, is exactly one fifth of my age. In 21 years time, I will be exactly twice his age. My wife is exactly seven times older than my daughter, Jessica. In 8 years time, my wife will be three times older then Jessica. How old are Daniel and Jessica now?
3: 20 pigeons sat on a branch of a tree. A man shot 1 pigeon with his rifle. How many pigeons were left on the branch?
Last Week’s Puzzle Solutions
Successfully Solved by the Clever… TacocaT and Briar_Rose.
1: Though Briar’s Dead Parrot monologue is a more exciting answer sadly she and TacocaT are right and the parrot is deaf and that is why he cannot repeat anything other people say.
2: As no one got this puzzle I’m leaving it up for next week.
3: TacocaT got most of them so I’ll provide the rest of the anagram + one letter taken away:
1: Aspirin, 2: Sprain, 3: Paris, 4: Rasp, 5: Asp, 6: As, 7: A
NOTE: The jokes this week shouldn’t be read by anyone offended or confused by sexual references…
It might be my infantile humor or low IQ (or both) but when I was playing golf the other day it occurred to me how some of the golfing terms could be misinterpreted… here are ten things that are ok to say on a golf course but probably not to say your girlfriend:
1. Ah crap...my shaft is bent.
2. After the 9 holes I had this morning I can barely walk.
3. You really whacked the hell out of that one.
4. Look at the size of my putter.
5. Keep your head down and spread your legs a bit more.
6. Do you mind if we join a threesome?
7. Stand with your back turned and drop it.
8. My hands are so sweaty I can't get a good grip.
9. That was a good entry but I feel your follow-through could be better.
10. Hold up...I need to wash my balls first.
PLEASE READ AGAIN NEXT FRIDAY FOR MORE REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS, TIPS, PUZZLES AND JOKES!
1: The egg. For two reasons. Egg came at breakfast, chicken at lunch. And dinosaur eggs existed before chickens.
2: I've got nothing.
3 None. One died, others were terrified by the noise and flew away.
Nobody likes math...
d = x/5
5d = x
2(21 + d) = 21 + x
42 + 2d = 21 + 5d
21 = 3d
7 = d
7j = x
3(8 + j) = 8 + x
24 + 3j = 8 + 7j
16 = 4j
4 = j
Golf puns haha! ^v^
I agree 100%! XD
Great job as always, Will. I really enjoyed the jokes. I'll need to submit some sometime.
I wonder if anyone's going to try to figure out my 'final thought.'