THE WEEKLY REVIEW - EDITION 17
- In Newbie Central newcomers Catlover02 and GNeighbour introduce their fantastic selves to the site!
- In the Lounge Poeticmindframe45 triggers a lively debate about whether transgender preferences should be considered a mental illness or not…
- In the Parlor Room Kiel Farren’s A Game of Life and Death and Gmmcgee’s Avery M continue to puzzle and bemuse.
- In the Writing Workshop Killa_Robot seeks writers to help update some of the site’s more outdated Articles.
- In the Reading Corner things remain quiet from last week… I wonder if anyone has been reading anything good lately?
Featured Article - Is Size really that important?
Last week as I was going through the site’s most popular story I noticed something interesting: most of them were 6/8 or more in length. Conversely those stories that get panned and deleted within days of appearance are mostly 2/8 or less in length. That got me thinking - perhaps the authors with the enthusiasm and self-discipline to write and publish a completed story of great length are more likely to be the better writers? Is there any other reason why longer stories are so popular?
There are a few reasons why longer stories might be so popular: maybe people appreciate the time and effort the writer has put into their story or perhaps longer stories simply mean more choices, characters, settings and all those other things readers look for in a story. On the other hand those authors who publish quickly, often in parts or demos, are the sort of indifferent authors who are more likely to misspell words, make grammar mistakes or do all those other things that make certain site members cast aspersions about their parentage, IQ Levels or whether their claim to be a member of the human race is entirely justified based on the available evidence…
There are some exceptions to these rules. Snow, hands down the most popular story on the site, is only 4/8 in length but uses a fantastic economy of language to ensure nothing is surplus or unnecessary. On the other hand other stories where a tremendous amount of effort has been put into the writing are so specific in their subject matter or just so difficult that the majority of readers appear to feel bored, disinterested or simply unable to complete the story game in order to rate it. This suggests that as well as time and commitment good writing is important and that is what distinguishes the truly great writers on the site from the merely decent.
So is Size really that important?
It seems so - if you want your story to be popular and well-read spend as much time to write as much as you can but also try to maintain a high level of quality throughout as, like other things, it’s not just the size of something but the quality of it’s impact on the recipient that determines their enjoyment level…
Featured Interview - Introducing EndMaster
He is the most prolific and popular author on the site, in the Forums he can reduce trolls to quivering heaps of self-disgust with a handful of lethal messages and as one of the site’s newest Mods he is armed with almost satanic powers to crush and maim (mentally) entirely as he pleases within the realm of chooseyourstory.com. Love him, hate him or just simply have no idea who I’m talking about this is the fantastic author and key site member who we know only as EndMaster… here he talks with mizal in this excellent interview:
Q: How has admin-ship been treating you? Have you found it more annoying/time consuming than you'd like? Do you feel like all the rumors and accusations being stirred up by the KCJ at the time unfairly overshadowed you and Killa's promotions? Why do you think it took the site being in basically a state of emergency for you to be approached, when it's seemed like such a no brainer, 'about damn time!' decision for most members, for years now?
A: It’s been okay. I don’t really find it annoying, sometimes it can be a bit more time consuming when there’s a blob story suggestions or I'm getting a lot of PMs asking about things. As for the promotion being overshadowed, if it was it didn’t really bother me since I just sort of went about what the job entailed regardless of what the rest of you were fighting about in that thread. Didn’t really last that long anyway considering the purge and needed bannings started taking place soon after along with featuring new stories and all that caught attention. As for why it took so long, I don’t know. Probably because I didn’t say “Hey I want to be an admin.” But they could have asked me a long time ago and I would have accepted. Anyway, it’s done now.
Q: The quality of the Lounge threads have noticeably improved, and the 2 star story purge is something the site direly needed. (The fact that this made LemonAIDS flip out was an unexpected but welcome result...) How many idiots have you banned? Are you keeping track of the number of no content trash threads or stories deleted? Is the constant worship and adoration from needy children worse than ever now? Has there been any juicy behind the scenes drama or whining you can share?
A: Haven’t been keeping track of the crap threads/stories deleted, but I am keeping track of most of the bannings in this handy dandy thread that I try to update it as needed. http://chooseyourstory.com/forums/the-lounge/message/20404
I don’t think the worshiping is any more or less than it ever was. About the only behind the scenes drama even worth speaking about is LemonAIDS’ last PM to me claiming that the entire site had a bias against him and that I was part of it. Lol.
Q: You've been far more active than any previous admins have been for a long time. Besides the highly effective 'tard control, it was much appreciated you cleared out the backlog of the previous Draw My Attention thread and got a new one active again. Do you see yourself keeping to this level of activity? How is it effecting your writing?
A: Probably, mainly because I get OCD about leaving the suggestions unfinished so I try to get to them as soon as I can. I imagine it’s slowing the writing down a bit, but more on that in the next question.
Q: Speaking of your writing, how is Rogues coming along? Do the completely unsubstantiated and surely false rumors you'll be cutting the female path have any truth in them? (You absolute bastard.)
A: Been slacking! While I’d like to blame it all on the new admin stuff, but that’s really a minor things. Real life stuff and all these new video games have been keeping me distracted. Currently I’m about half way through one of the major branches on one of main paths. Planned to finish it by the end of the month, I’ll be lucky to finish it by the end of the year at this rate. Not cutting the female out the path, not sure why you thought that, but it’s going to take me forever to get around to working on it, but I’m trying to make notes for it as I go along since I have to keep track of all the major events in the story.
Q: Do you have anything you'd like to say to the awful children who write terrible stories, now that you're being forced to notice them and take out their trash on a daily basis?
A: Your stories are bad and you should feel bad.
Q: What is your opinion on people who turn PMs off to avoid discussions/ensure they have the last word? In your opinion, is this going to become a trend, like the way people 'leaving' often make sure to scrub their profiles clean with salt?
A: Up until recently I didn’t even know you could turn off the PMs. I don’t think it’s going to be a trend since only a handful of people have done it so far. It’s sort of a lame thing to do though and it’s just setting yourself up to get stuff brought out in the open since there is no other way to discuss anything. Besides, if you’re going to do the internet equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going “LALALALALA” it’s funnier to just delete the PM when you receive it and then PM the other person “I didn’t even read your last PM, I just deleted it. LOL.”
Q: 3J and Killa have gone pretty quiet. Once you assumed power, did you kill them and eat their corpses in some kind of instinctive dominance display? Did this help attract a mate?
A: Lol. JJJ and Killa are still around (along with Berka and the rest). I imagine I’m just more talkative than they are on here.
Q: Tell us a story about being a librarian IRL. Does not necessarily have to be about gross dudes whipping it out in public, though going by a recent thread that seems like it would be popular.
A: When I was putting back a bunch of books I just scanned and tagged, this woman was asking one of the reference librarians for information on something and then at some point she says “YEAH I JUST GOT RAPED. THAT’S WHY I’M ASKING.” very loudly so everyone could hear, but she didn’t seem all that traumatized and she was very calm about the matter. Later she was talking on the pay phone in the library and… “YEAH I JUST GOT RAPED. I DUNNO, I WOKE UP AND I THINK I GOT RAPED. NOT SURE, STILL GOTTA WAIT FOR THE TESTS. SO YEAH I JUST GOT RAPED.” Same loud tone, same calm demeanor. Almost like she didn’t even give a shit if she was or not, but definitely wanted everyone around her to know about it. It was weird, but I guess people deal with stuff in different ways. Whatever.
Q: Hillary or Trump? (You don't have to answer this!)
A: I’ll let everyone know on election day, of course I may be joking, then again I might not be.
Q: Now how about...Writing Workshop, or Forum Games? :D
A: Writing Workshop, I barely pay attention to the Forum Games.
Featured Review –Geek, a Horror Story by EndMaster (Published 2007)
A classic that has managed to get itself a place in the Horror Category by the acclaimed Endmaster, Geek is an interesting tale of a man in a miserable position. Your unnamed avatar is a carnival freak, earning a meager living doing things ranging from weird to disgusting to downright horrific to amuse the audience as a titular Geek, living out an existence of drinking, self-hatred and misery, hated by all. Your goal in the game is to manipulate the rising factional tensions between the various groups that run the carnival to try get yourself a better place in the carnival.
The world presented is a dark and most definitely bizarre one, as Endmaster is known for. The story's cast is strange and interesting despite how little development they get, including an androgynous and mysterious Ring Master, a sadistic and cruel midget with his equally mean muscle, a perverted clown, a mad psychic and more. Although the game is very short, each manages to have an interesting personality that the reader can learn about quickly enough.
The main choices the reader has involves attempting to make alliances with the various factions, from the criminal midgets who run the carnival, the loyal freaks, the simple normals or the clowns, who are as awful and terrifying as clowns are, all for one of three potential candidates to continue or take over running the carnival. In taking into account their various strengths and weaknesses and how necessary they are to the club, you can carve yourself a path to a better life with smart thinking and cunning.
The story is rife with the dark humor, solid dialogue and an intriguing plot. It easily captivates the reader and presents them with a dark and disgusting world behind a friendly, happy carnival, a unique and attention-grabbing setting for a horror story. Although it has its fault, such as being short and in some areas feeling rushed, as well as being fairly repetitive in playing other paths, it most definitely stands out as an under-looked gem at the site in Horror, an already neglected category, and is a story game that I would without a doubt recommend.
Featured Short Story – A Short Story by mizal
The blue flash of the portal had hardly cleared Havasa’s vision when the ship lurched hard to port and then back again, tossed by violent winds. Sheets of rain battered the finely embroidered sails and her own heavily patched coat, soaking her to the skin in seconds, and the sky was split asunder by a jagged spear of searing light. Flinching at the instantaneous, accompanying BOOM--as if she couldn’t already tell the storm was right on top of her--she scrambled and slipped along the heaving deck toward the ship’s wheel. “Sails down! All sails down!” she shouted, voice lost in the wind, but gratified a moment later to see the rigging being worked in response.
Blue eyes blinked twice, thrice to try and clear her vision, and she pulled her cap down tightly over black curls and rubbed her thumb along the polished disk pinned on for luck. Then, reconsidering a half second later, she flung the cap to the far end of the deck (the charm was copper, oh right...), gripped the rain slick wheel and heaved right, steering toward a thinning in the clouds and she hoped clear of the worst of the storm. Buffeted by powerful winds, in these circumstances The Gryphon’s Wing was hardly sprightly, but she felt it making the slow, ponderous turn and then begin to pick up speed. Storm clouds piled up into twisted pillars and ruins, towering above the ship and billowing below it. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed, and the smell of burning ozone flooded her nostrils, but the Wing still obeyed her, and she steered through the storm with a sense of power and a maniac’s grin. This ship was never to be ruled by the whims of the wind. It had conquered the very air. And it was hers, all hers. These past two months, the fates had truly smiled on Havasa Coppermoon.
The only thing that gave her pause was noticing lightning of a different kind, a familiar shade of blue flashing away within a veil of cloud behind the ship to the right. She tried to gauge the distance and was just concluding with cautious optimism that it was too far away to matter when from somewhere nearby a cyan bolt blazed a hand’s length past the starboard bow and far, far out over the sea. Whips of light lashed out to arc and crackle in its wake long after it had disappeared, and she felt a prickling along the back of her neck and arms.
This wasn’t the first time those wild blue lights had made an appearance. They seemed to be a side effect of opening the portal gates. “But that, ah, that’s probably supposed to happen.” It was probably nothing to worry about. The elves that made the modifications to the ship...were elves, sure, but seemed to know what they were doing. And she had made sure she understood how to control the thing before slipping off with it. So everything was probably just fine.
She sailed on, till stars twinkled through ever-widening gaps in the tattered clouds trailing the main mass. Distant thunder still rumbled, though by now the unnatural blue was gone.
In the stillness of the storm’s aftermath Havasa retrieved her cap from where it lay sodden on the deck, wrung saltwater from the fading red wool, and took stock of the situation. First, she lit a lantern and did a visual check of the intricate runes carved in twining rows all along the deck and rails. Everything seemed all right in that department, as far as she could tell, and so she turned her attention elsewhere.
Far below, she spotted the white speck of a sail, and wondered how they’d fared through that spot of weather. Meanwhile in the upper regions of the sky, diaphanous ripples in the moonlight indicated the presence of gale phantoms whisking about. Havasa watched as stray clouds were corralled by their easy control of the wind and sculpted into fantastical shapes, the phantoms’ bell-like laughter drifting through the night. A peaceful scene, and some considered gale phantoms good luck; but way up here, in the ship The Gryphon’s Wing had become, they made her uneasy.
The rope securing some of the stores on deck had snapped, a few smashed crates strewing their contents about. Hopefully the supplies in the hold had fared better. A few minutes half-heartedly attempting to clean the mess was all she could manage before she decided to find land somewhere and make a day of it, and check for anything that might need repairs. Taking out a sextant, she located Nyanda’s Raft circling the Whirlpool in the clearing sky and used it to mark a course for an uninhabited island she knew. Here in Greatwater, there were many such, and many she knew well. After her gate hops to Darksea and other foreign places, it was good to be back. The warp stone mounted within the ship’s figurehead meant all the splintered Lands were open to her, but now that she’d surely given the elves she’d partnered with the slip, she’d stay in her homeland a few weeks and see to some things.
Her crew, for one thing. Taken by the Aegis Guard while on a smuggling run, it was their absence that had led to her working with those damned outland elves. (Not that she hated elves the way some did. She was very open minded.) They needed a ship, and a local to help purchase and collect certain things, and once she’d understood she wouldn’t be required to be seen in public with them she’d had no problem teaming up on a temporary basis.
The Gryphon’s Wing had been a ship to be proud of, but of the ocean-going variety at the time, and she couldn’t have retrieved or sail it alone. So the outlanders had served her purpose, and given her one hell of an upgrade to boot. And now that she’d shaken any chance of pursuit--and what ship could catch up to her even if they could track her through the sky?--she’d have to set her mind to getting the old gang back together. Not that she owed them anything, but her lover was among them and, well, there was at least one thing even a flying ship that magically obeyed her every command couldn’t do. Besides, they worked well together, and if they had her to thank for their rescue they’d be at least marginally less likely to do to her what she’d done to the elves. Though that lot would have to be made to understand this was her ship now.
Raising the sails and locking the wheel, Havasa settled into a hammock and slept until dawn.
The first rays of light glinted across steep cliffs and cascading waterfalls. Thick, impenetrable masses of vivid green bristled above. Havasa gave the order to move in closer, dropping the ship level with the tops of the cliffs and following their curvature in search for an open place to land. Rounding a bend, she spotted movement centered around a rocky strip of beach up ahead.
Her first impression was of large shorebirds hovering and swooping at something bright green. A bundle of vegetation or fabric perhaps, flapping in the breeze. “No, that’s not right.” At this distance and closing, the scale was off, she realized. They were far too large to be birds...
To be Continued…
Special Section - School Humor
As an English teacher I tie in with all the stereotypes people have about mad chalk-waving, assignment-setting teachers (I once got a student to write a 1000 word essay on the intrinsic beauty of a Ping Pong ball when he p***ed me off). My eccentricities include a fondness for school-based humor so here are some jokes from my personal experience and the Internet that I’d encourage you to use in your schools whenever the occasion arises…
1 - Not Feeling Well
Student (on the phone): I can’t go to school today.
Teacher: Why not?
Student (on the phone): I don’t feel well
Teacher: Where don’t you feel well?
Student (on the phone): In school!
2 - Not Missing School
Teacher: You missed school yesterday didn’t you?
Student: Not very much!
3- The Dog Ate my Homework
Teacher: Where is your homework?
Student: My dog ate it.
Teacher: I have been a teacher for five years. Do you really expect me to believe that?
Student: It’s true Sir, I swear it is. I had to smear it with lots of honey but I finally got him to eat it.
4 - 0%
Student: I don’t think I deserved zero on this test!
Teacher: I agree, but that’s the lowest mark I could give you!
5 - Bad Marks
Student: Teacher, I don’t want to scare you but my Daddy says if I don’t get better grades… somebody is going to get a spanking…
6 - Why so many mistakes?
Teacher: How can you make so many mistakes in just one day?
Student: I get up early!
7 - Stand at the end of the line
Teacher: I thought I told you to stand at the end of the line?
Student: I tried, but there was someone already there!
8 - Good News!
Student: Hey, Dad! I’ve got some great news for you!
Father: What, son?
Student: Remember that $100 you promised me if I got an A on the test?
Father: I certainly do.
Student: Well, you get to keep it!
9 - Honest Answer
Teacher: I hope I didn’t see you looking at John’s exam?
Student: I hope you didn’t either.
10 - My Favorite
Teacher: Why can’t you answer any of my questions?
Student: If I could, what’s the point of me coming to school?
Idea by Jaystarcat, Article and Special Section by Will11, Interview and Short Story by Mizal and Review by Steve24833, Special Thanks to Lancelot and Seto.
Finally, Thank You to you, the Reader, for taking the time to read this Review!
Nice. But for some reasons... I think the previous weekly reviews months ago were better.
As a wise man once said, 'put not your trust in princes, nor pay attention to the opinion of a man with an anime catgirl av'. The Review threads are currently the Lounge's only redeeming feature, and this one was a great read. The article we should start linking the bad story kids too, because like all other useful advice on the site, the ones who need it most never bother to seek it out.
I'm disappointed in End though, I was trying so hard to get juicier answers out of him and he evaded every time.
Also, I that Catlover newbie needs a goodbye as well as a welcome, I think they're already banned?
....not completely sure though, come to think of it. But End's been having a bantastic week.
Not sure what you think I was being evasive about.
You kept giving all these neutral answers. I wanted more mockery of idiots. Figured you'd be in the mood for it after all the alts running around with their pants on their heads and Drk and Read before that....
I suppose since I'd already been mocking them all in the forums on a regular basis it seemed redundant to do it in the interview.
Another terrific weekly review :D
Well, I read this Sunday, but I thought more people would have commented. Well, I do really enjoy these and look forward to anything that you create.
Yay, writing! This was enjoyable. Well done, Will, and generic other writer-minions.