The Weekly Review - Edition 20
A What’s New Section giving the latest info on the Forums!
An Article exploring the usefulness of Articles!
An Interview of the fantastic site member Bucky!
A Review of the great Fantasy story The Path of Death!
A Short Story by the terrific writer Steve25833!
A Special Section with a great satirical poem by keen author Lancelot!
- In Newbie Central newcomers Cressence introduces his or her fantastic self to the site!
- In the Lounge some guy triggers a despairing debate about some recent minor changes that will be occurring shortly in the political landscape of some country somewhere!
- In News and Updates nothing happens!
- In the Parlour Room BerkaZerka’s story Kill Aman’s Moustache continues to baffle, befuddle and bamboozle (not to mention bemuse and bewilder) many who encounter it!
- In the Forum Games Chris113022’s Barsam: Arden Falls Prologue may be the most popular Forum Game! I don’t know because I never bother to read them; it has the most replies of the recently active games though.
- In the Writing Workshop Killa_Robot continues to consider how to improve the Help and Info Articles!
- In the Reading Corner MinnieKing looks for fellow fans of Roland Smith!
- In the Advanced Editor Forum silence reigns!
- In the Feature Wishing Well Weeaboo shares a few interesting ideas!
- In Bugs and Problems section everybody wins the “not writing anything at all” competition!
Featured Article – The Importance of the Storywriting Articles (Explained in an Article)
The articles are a huge section of the Help and Info area of the site. While there's most huge merit in the articles about scripting, advanced editor and, with some updating, the website, there's some debate to be had about how important and beneficial they are to new members. While in many cases new members are directed towards there, there is a question of whether it's they're an effective method to teach new members how to write.
The storygame articles are a mixed bag. While some of them are most definitely extremely helpful, others are not. Many have quite a few grammatical mistakes or misspellings, which hardly gives a good example for new members. While some of the articles are written by fantastic writers like Endmaster, Kiel Farren and JJJ the Banisher, some are written by, to be completely honest, weaker writers who have failed to even publish anything. In my opinion, these are not the people we should be turning to for advice. The articles can be lacking in solid advice and filled with basic fluff that's already in other articles, and in some cases the information presents a certain subjective writing style as better than another, or an inferior version better than it actually is. Whilst a purging and remaking of these articles would definitely help, is it the best route forward?
Let's be honest: the articles are long and boring. Whilst we are a writing site, many of us simply don't want to read it. One of the biggest complains about storygames are a lack of choices and massive, boring blocks of text. That's pretty much all the articles are. Many new members simply aren't willing on getting through that. Hell, some of the biggest writers on the site like charming Irish lad whose name I'm forgetting, have never even read the storywriting articles. So, if articles aren't the best way forward, what is?
Well, I think there's two solutions. One, is practice and review. Now, I'm not suggesting that new members should just publish their unfinished stories, get some reviews and criticism and take them down again. Only the best you can do should be published. Instead, I'm referring to the Writer's Workshop. What should be a bustling part of a writing site is actually quite underused. Rather, that's where authors should look. Ask questions about the process, ask for proof-readers or spare pairs of eyes to read their work, or just put up works for criticism. Through this, authors can actually improve through practice and become better writers in whatever way suits them personally.
The second solution is one pioneered by the wonderful, talented, clever and insanely attractive Will11, (this article was written by me, Steve24833, not Will, yes I am Steve24833, haha, I'm Irish, it is me): Storygames. Storygames like "HOW NOT TO WRITE- A Pokemon Adventure - Part 1 - Chapter I - Section A: The Beginning of the Start" and "The Land of Bad Writing" are both very fun game in and of themselves, but also impart valuable knowledge on what not to do when writing a storygames. These games are both popular, fun and easy to read, and help pass on genuine writing tips. In my opinion, we should put more effort into games like these and recommend them more.
The articles are as I said, a mixed bunch. They've been described as helpful, interesting and great tools to improve writing as well as unhelpful, boring and prone to send writers down the right path. Really, this is just the opinion of one author, so I'll pass the question onto you. Are the articles a positive or negative thing on the site? Do they need reform, or are they fine? Are there better ways to impart tips on new writers, or are the articles the best way to do so?
Featured Interview - Introducing Bucky
An excellent writer, creator of the fun US Capitals with Zombies Quiz and other great stories, a positive site presence and the driving force behind two recent competitions that have helped gain even more great stories to the site I give you the man, the legend, the strange horny skull in the desert: Bucky!
Q: What first got you interested in joining the site and how have you found it since you have been here?
A: I was looking for a text based, interactive story one night while on winter break from college, most likely while drinking. After several disappointing Google searches, I finally found Necromancer, and the story was addicting from the start. I went on to read Eternal from there.
And I've told End this before, but his stories are what got me back into writing after not really writing anything since I was in High School. I just found it incredibly inspiring that a dude would write something so fantastic for no profit on his own end, or even any benefit other than his own happiness and utility from writing the story itself. And I that's the absolute highest compliment I can give any writer, inspiring someone else to write. And for that spark of invigoration, I am Eternally Grateful.
Q: Who are your favourite people on the site and how do you feel the different members contribute to the site as a whole (i.e. writers, forum posters, forum gamers etc)?
A: Well, Will and Steve are really the driving force of the community right now as far as story content goes, and without fresh content of quality, you can't sustain a community like this. So I think the two of them are really pillars of the present state of CYS. And without guys like Berka, JJJ, and End, who have all contributed multiple super high quality stories from even way back in the day, this place wouldn't be what it is today.
And a lot of people either find the site through End's stories, or through stories of writers that came here because /they/ found End's stories in the first place. So other than Alexp who created the site, no one has been or will ever be anywhere nearly as important to the success of CYS as End. He's basically the center point of a grand outstretching spider web.
But good /quality/ forum presence is definitely important for an online community. Killa has been around consistently for what seems like forever. People like Seto and mizal do the community a good service just by engaging in general writing conversation. And of course, people with strong technical knowledge, like Axiom, are great for developing unrefined writers.
So really, there are a lot of ways to contribute.
Oh, and who the hell doesn't miss Briar? @Briar_Rose ^_^
Q: You have recently hosted two competitions, what first gave you the idea of hosting the prose writing competition?
A: There seem to be a lot of people that want to write but just have a general lack of focus. A little extra structure and friendly competition can sometimes bring out the best in people. And I was hoping that a regular community event could be something to entice new members and put the focus back on writing and story discussion, while moving away from the nonsense.
Q: The more recent Halloween competition has seen less entries despite so many people signing up. How do you feel about this?
A: End has already SHAMED everyone, so there's not much else to say. I was hoping we'd get a strong turnout because that would have given me faith to run an EPIC contest starting early next year, but I don't have high hopes for that now. We'll go back to a shorter time-frame in December. Hopefully, that'll keep entrants more on focus and maybe build some confidence and esteem when they complete something.
We might try some kind of point fee upon entry next contest where you put up points as collateral when you officially commit, and then you'd get them back, plus a bonus, when you actually meet the deadline and submit your entry. Otherwise, your SHAME will be marked upon your point history.
Q: Do you have any plans for future writing competitions, perhaps a Christmas themed one?
A: There's definitely plans. We'll have one in December, but where we go from there will depend on collective community interest and what we can expect in terms of follow through.
Q: What are your favourite and least favourite things about the site?
A: CYS is sort of the only place of it's kind. CoG doesn't count, because their stories are more about illusion based choices and role-play that don't necessarily have an actual impact on pivotal plot or character points. Poor Infinite Story has been a ghost town for awhile, and with their forums down... Well, never say die, but still.
But with that, CYS is kind of ancient in terms of internet time, and it shows in some of the coding and features. It'd be quite the overhaul to update some of it, so it's understandable why some things are the way they are. Still, it'd be nice if the site got a little modernization.
Q: You have written three very good stories, including US Capitals with Zombies which I particularly like replaying, are there any more story-game plans on the horizon?
A: There's always ideas, and I have a project I'd like to work on with mizal, but I've developed a very bad habit of self editing and perfectionism, so most of what I write gets re-hauled over and over, and then dumped in a save file because I decide the project has merit, but isn't where it needs to be and requires some mental distance for re-evaluation. I think I have four different versions of one short story in my old computer. Anyway, taking pride in your work is good. You should be proud of what you write. But when it gets in the way of the end goal, you need to take steps to remedy that. And that's an area I need to work on right now.
Q: There is a strong community feeling among certain members such as yourself, Axiom and Mizal who all met on a previous forum. Do you think this group of extremely talented individuals will have a key role to play in the future of CYS?
A: I met mizal here, and then she begged me to become friends with her other internet friends, but we all know she just wanted to lure me in for herslef. She's just wretched, really. But she should be pitied, not scorned.
I have no idea what the future holds. But I don't miss the cat porn of the past.
Q: What has been the most funny (intentionally or unintentionally) thing to happen to you recently?
A: It's probably not appropriate for the forums. ^_^
Q: Finally are there any last words you would like to share, perhaps to any site members who have just joined the site?
A: Your first story will probably suck, but that's okay. Don't whine, cry, make excuses, or bitch about it. Accept it. Learn from it. And use that knowledge to get a little better next time you write. If you can do that and have a little fun along the way, then you're having success.
Featured Review: The Path of Death, a Fantasy by Steve24833 (Published 2016)
One of the latest stories by the master wordsmith who is clearly Endmaster’s son this great story (a spin-off from another great story) tells an adventurous tale from an original perspective: that of an orc called Dagden. Playing between seriousness and humour, underscored throughout with clever dialogue, interesting characters and fascinating story branches this seemed a bit like a Quentin Tarantino movie turned into a story in places. There are certain parts in the story that stand out as extremely memorable but you’ll have to read it to find out what they are!
Like all stories of great length it suffers from a few minor errors, a few grammar slip-ups here and a few oversights there but overall the story is a fantastic experience. The story is not overly difficult, despite it’s great length and should make an enjoyable playing experience for new authors regardless of whether or not they have an interest in the Fantasy genre. This is a great and enjoyable introduction to this great author’s work and well-deserving of its place among the top-featured stories of the Fantasy genre.
Featured Short Story – The Cornfield by Steve24833
To read Part One please click this link to Edition 18 of The Weekly Review:
He awoke in a large, empty circle in a cornfield. He sat on a handful of shattered glass, in front of a smashed up and flipped over sedan. The memories flooded into him, and he immediately got to his feet, stumbling up. What the fuck? It... the.... whatever the fuck was in this field had found him again. He needed to find June and get somewhere safe. He crept over to the crashed sedan, staring through the rows of corn for movement. The beast didn't seem to want to harm him. Why? Job had no idea. Perhaps Job had some connection to the beast. Perhaps it had been the one who had taken his memory. The only question was whether the beast had spared him, or whether the beast was simply fucking with him, toying him him, playing with its food.
Job stared inside the sedan, and his fears were confirmed. The yellow rags, tinged with the green of the flowers imprinted on them and the red of... June hung around the driver's seat of the car. He looked off through the cornfield, and saw flashes of movement. He only got the vaguest of glances at the movement, but there was something there. His mind began racing, as pictures of horrible, clawed-monsters with deep crimson scales, images of black-furred beasts with massive jaws filled with teeth. Whatever was there, Job needed to get the hell away from it. Its "kindness" or loyalty or whatever it was had spared him thrice so far at least, he didn't want to have to trust it again.
Job turned and ran, sprinting off into the cornfields once more. His heart pumped as adrenaline pumped into his body, as his feet desperately leapt forward. He found himself heading towards the only place he knew was nearby, the farmhouse. He ran without regard, never looking back even once.
He desperately panted for breath, his hands going forward to shove stalks of corn out of the way. He saw the old, wooden farmhouse and barreled forward, nothing but adrenaline driving him. He lept onto the porch, his hands fumbling for the door handle as he swung it open. He slammed the door behind him, pressing his back against the door. He took several rushed, desperate breaths before trying to calm himself, breathing in through his nose.
"Dad? Dad?" a voice yells from upstairs.
"Shit," Job muttered.
The son quickly ran down the stairs, looking more disheveled from the last time Job saw him, with bed-raggled hair, dirty jeans and again, no shirt, with his golden crucifix hanging around his neck. The boy held a revolver in his hands, and quickly aimed it at Job's head.
"Where the fuck is my mom, you scumfuck!? Where's dad?" the boy yelled.
"Look, wait, wait! For fuck's sake, put down the gun!" Job said desperately.
"Answer the question!" the boy yelled.
"I don't... look, this is going to sound like bullshit, but I swear to god it's true."
The boy cocked his revolver, putting it at Job's chest.
"Talk," the boy commanded.
"Fuck, OK! OK! Look, there's something in the cornfields! It's after us. It tracks anything that goes out there, and kills them! It killed your dad, and then it killed your mom! You..."
The gun fired, as Job's body felt numb. Suddenly, a surge of pain ran through his leg. He screamed horribly as he stared down at hole in his leg, which now had blood gushing down it.
"Ah! AH! You shot me! You shot me!" Job said, in abject horror and shock.
"You're lucky. I was aiming for your balls," the boy said.
Job clutched at his bleeding legs, frantically trying to remember any first aid training he had. Fuck, hopefully now he'd remember his career as a paramedic or a doctor or some shit.
"I... I need to go... to a hos-hospital," Job said.
"You're gonna take me to them. Wherever you took them, you hear?" the boy said.
"I can't walk! I'm going to pass out!" Job said feebly.
The boy seemed to reflect on this, before backing away into the kitchen, keeping his gun pointed at Job. His hand went off to the side, grabbing a washcloth and tossing it to Job.
"Tie it around your leg, like a tourni... whatever it's called."
Seeing no other course of action, Job followed the boy's orders, and tied the washcloth around his thigh, stemming the blood-flow somewhat.
"This won't do. I need a doctor," Job said.
"Shut it! You're going to take me to my parents, understood? Else I'll put a hole in your other leg. No more bullshit about monsters. I want to be shown the truth."
The thought of heading back into the cornfield, terrified and bleeding out, was not a comforting thought to Job. He began to take deep breaths, as the boy grabbed a cane from the doorway and tossed it at Job.
"Come on. Better get moving, if you don't want to die here."
The boy paused, slowly backing up to the stare well.
"Jessie!" he shouted, presumably to his younger sister. "You stay there! I need to go get Mom and Dad! You just go hide in your room, understood?"
The boy turned his attention back to Job.
"Up," he commanded.
Job frantically got to his legs, using the cane to stand. He groaned in pain, but managed to keep himself standing.
"Start walking," the boy said.
"I'm not lying to you. There's something out there."
The boy pointed the revolver at Job's other leg, and Job limped forward.
Every step was agony. Every fucking step. He took a deep breath, stopping to adjust his position before the boy pressed the revolver into his back again.
"Walk," the boy commanded, as Job commenced again.
"We need to turn back. The beast will come for us again. We can't..."
"Shut up and walk!" the boy yelled.
This couldn't happen. Job wasn't going to die here. He took a deep breath, putting weight on his wounded leg, before swinging his cane. The cane connected with the boy's wrist, knocking his arm away and sending the kid collapsing onto the ground. Job turned and stumbled forward. Adrenaline surged through him once more, as he ignored the pain and ran as fast as he could, admittedly at a desperate pace. He...
The gun fired again, and Job fell to the ground. He screamed in pain as a fresh pain shot through his wounded leg. He stared down, seeing a fresh bullet wound carved into his leg.
"You rotten bastard!" the boy yelled, aiming his gun at Job's chest.
Job felt the world turn dark as blood loss took him, staining the earth around him crimson.
"We need to get out of here... the beast..." Job said, before passing out.
He awoke in a large, empty circle in a cornfield. He...
Memories flooded through him. Jacob. June. The boy. Job pushed himself to his feet, and immediately sprinted forward. He could feel the gaze of the beast on him, practically hear its laughter as it watched him run. Jacob ran as fast as he could. He wasn't coming back here. He wasn't coming back here. Run. Run. Run.
Job slammed the door shut again, panting. He needed to think. He could call the police, something someone further down the line probably should've done. Would they believe him? He was in someone else's house, claiming monsters had killed them, with a badly shot...
Job stared down at his naked leg. It had two big blotches of scar tissue, but no bullet holes, no wounds. He was fine. Hell, he had been able to run here without pause. What the fuck?
Suddenly, Job noticed the new presence watching him. Sitting on the stairwell staring at him was the daughter. She stared at him, her thumb in her mouth and a white teddy bear in her other hand.
"Oh, shit, shit... Hi! Hi there, sweet heart! My name's Job. What's yours?"
The girl sat there, staring ahead. Tears welled up in her eyes, as her whole body began to quiver.
"I want my mom," she said.
"I'll... I know, sweetie. It'll be alright. I just..."
Job began to convulse, shaking violently. He felt something hard block his throat, and began to choke. His vision went blurry as he struggled to breath, only managing to wheeze desperately He got to his knees, ramming his stomach against a table repeatedly as he coughed and spluttered. He rammed again and again, forcing air up through his stomach. Finally, the obstruction began to get loose. He coughed out the obstruction, dropping to his knees as he vomited onto the floor.
"Jesus..." Job muttered, before looking down at his vomit.
Sitting in the middle of the puddle of puke were two bloodstained teeth and a golden crucifix.
The memories flooded through Job. Turning. Shifting. Morphing. Roaring. Hunting. Smashing. Slashing. Devouring. Feasting. Sleeping...
Job stared at his hands, as he began to fully remember what had happened since he had first woken up in that cornfield. He remembered smashing up the pick-up to devour Jacob. He remembered tearing June apart in the seat of her sedan. He remembered leaping up and feasting on the terrified, screaming boy.
Job looked up at the girl, who stood there, crying and terrified. In the distance ebbs of his mind, he felt the darkness attempt to take hold again. He yelled, smacking his fists against his head in an attempt to ward it off his mind. This wasn't him. He didn't do anything. He hadn't killed anyone. No, it was something else.
Job closed his eyes for a brief second, and only barely managed to keep conscious. He looked at the child, and knew that it would be his next victim... no, no, not his! Not his! It wasn't him doing it! It was the beast! The beast stuck inside his head, clawing to get out. He wasn't going to let that happen. Job stumbled around the house, desperate for something. This was a family of hicks. They had to have more than one... yes!
Resting against the doorway, in the same place one would have their umbrella, was a rifle. Job grabbed it, hearing the girl screaming for her mother in the other room, terrified and confused. He grabbed the rifle. Safety off. There was already a bullet in the chamber. Job guessed Jacob liked to be prepared. He collapsed against the wall, sliding down it as he barely warded off the darkness and the beast that dwelled within it. He grabbed the rifle, putting it in his mouth and pressing the barrel against the roof. He thumbed the trigger, finding it quickly.
One. Jacob wasn't going to let this happen. He needed to protect the girl and stop this beast.
Two. Just press quickly. Just press it down.
He awoke in a large, empty circle in a cornfield. He found himself staring up at the rows of endless green and yellow. He sat up with a groan. The man searched his mind for memories of how he had got here, but his mind was blank. He looked down, realizing he was naked. How had he gotten here? What had happened?
The man searched my mind again, but there was nothing. Not just that he couldn't remember what happened. He didn't remember anything. He searched my mind frantically, attempting to think of anything. A face, a place, a... fucking anything!
The man stopped, looking down. He was surrounded by pieces of tattered clothing, which were all stained red. What the fuck had happened to him? Jesus Christ. Was that... a blood-stained white teddy bear lay in the dirt. What the hell was happening?
The man paused, taking a few deep breaths in an attempt to calm himself down. He rubbed his neck, pausing as he felt a long, horrid scar. He traced his finger across the scar, as it ran along his throat. The man stood, staring at the endless rows of corn. His tongue flickered along the roof of his mouth, feeling the heavily scarred flesh. His hand rubbed his scalp, finding another huge scarred lump at the top. He shook his head slowly, walking forward. Just keep walking, and he'd find something to explain what the fuck was going on. There'd be some place, someone, something that could help him. Fuck, he'd find something.
Job paused. Some distant memory told him not to go that direction. He pivoted slightly, walking more Eastwards. There'd be something else this way. Eventually, he'd find people, no matter which way he walked. Yeah, there'd always be people to find.
Next Week: Part 3 of Mizal’s Short Story!
Special Section – A Satire of those who got banned
Thou who art of many faces,
yet is always the same idiot,
you could be stupid in all sorts of places,
but you choose to do it in our writing spot.
Be it a girlfriend a friend or a furry,
you are forever the airhead of the community,
sending shitpost after shitpost, spamming,
thinking we acknowledge you as a human being.
But you are but a fool,
End's gonna ban you soon,
again you speak of dumbass idiot disorder and cancer,
but you are a bigger tumor than any doctor could discover.
You don't learn of your mistakes,
you keep on making funny names,
yet your jokes are not funny, we laugh,
but not with you, of you we are laughing.
Idea by Jaystarcat, Article and Short Story by Steve25833, Interview, Review and What’s New by Will11, Special Section by Lancelot and Special Thanks to Bucky for the interview this week.
Finally, thank you to you, the Reader, for taking the time to read this Review.
Everyone knows it's 25834.
Nice job on the story, Steve.
Naturally I was shocked, SHOCKED to find out the protag of a Steve story was the killer all along.
When do I ever write the protagonists as good guys? Literally every story I've written is from the perspective of a villain. Protagonist was also a pedophile, probably.
I dunno, I thought the protagonist in Achilles was a good guy.
He's an outright hero if you put humans above all the other alien races.
Eh, he's a fascist who uses his military power to take absolute control of the coalition even though he was never voted in and its supposed to be democratic, and he commits a shit ton of war crimes both in the past and in the present. In the first game, he's not even fighting a real villain, yet he still happily uses some terrible methods of war.
Yeah, like I said, he's a good guy.
Yep, another great weekly review. Thanks
D'awhh. I feel loved. ^_^
I for one, am very glad to see you back.
Same here :D
And by this, I mean I'm glad to see you're back!
Oh hey I was mentioned.
Lucky! I was only mentioned once in the weekly as "that guy who made that ironic post on that thread about necroing". And that was about a year ago.
I say it's time that I'm recognized for my more recent contributions to the site. Who agrees?
Well... polls are inacurate, as it seems. I'll get my well-deserved recognition someday. You'll see!
Thank you, Will, for creating yet another entertaining work of literature.
Thanks everyone for your feedback :)
Very excited for the next review! They have all been quite interesting to read. ^-^