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The Weekly Review - Edition 42

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 2/9/2020 8:34:27 AM
The Weekly Review – Edition 42


Notable News!
Intriguing Interview: Ninjapitka!
Recommended Reads: The Sanguine and Blackbeard’s Cutlass by Ninjapitka!
Who’s Who: March5thoo, JJJ-thebanisher, Ogre11, TheNewIAP and Will11!


In Newbie Central Quailheart77 and Wanderflight join the site!
In the Lounge Megumeme and Gower continue to risk EndMaster’s attention in improving the site!
In the Parlour Room Ninjapitka’s book club continues to be popular!
In the Creative Corner Poison_mara comes up with a fun Valentines Day writing idea!
In the Writing Workshop Peabm921 asks for feedback on a Dark Age zombie story idea!
In the Reading Corner my really old friend about favourite authors gets resurrected!
In the Advanced Editor Forum you can hear the tumbleweed blow across the prairie of indifference!


1: How did you first find this site?
By chance, really. The computer program we use at work was down for half a day, and I was searching the Internet for text-based games to pass the time. I work in an open office layout, so everyone’s computer screen is visible. I wanted to play a game that didn’t look like a game (I resize the CYS window to match an Outlook message, so at first glance it looks like an email). Ended up stumbling on BZ’s Dead Man Walking and was thoroughly entertained. I even emailed pages of the story to one of our assistants, flirtatiously I might add, to see which choices she would make. My score ended up higher. She doesn't work here anymore.

2: What made you want to join?
The same reason everyone joins: an Eiffel Tower-like hard-on for Eternal rivaling a pubescent Hugh Hefner. Struggle is the best path, don’t @ me.

3: What are your favorite aspects, members or stories on this site?
I think the site hosts a unique community unlike any other writing site out there. It’s a clusterfuck of literary competence, shitposting, big-brained story ideas, and public executions. Plus, with such a fabled history, the site is deserving of a live action movie interpretation. I think vintage Bruce Willis would be a good EndMaster, don’t you? Yippee-ki-yay-lolfaggot. Mizal's thicc hips would have to be CGI, even though I think most of us would prefer natural effects.

4: What are your least favorite aspects, members or stories on this site?
The RTE, hands down. Wardens are a close second.

5: What inspires your writing?
Commendations mostly. Now that featured comments are only worth 2 points a pop, it's probably more time efficient just to write a featured game. On a more serious note, once you finish school and truly go off on your own, you realize learning and worthwhile hobbies are hard to maintain. No one's forcing you to do anything productive. It would be easy to spend your weekends and evenings after work “relaxing” aka wasting time. I want to consistently be growing and learning new things. Writing is just one way to stay productive and think through ideas. Plus, it's fun to see where the story goes.

6: What writing plans do you have for the future?
The current WIP is coming along nicely. The story is the whetstone sharpening my blade for the assassination of RNDGamer's fantasy spot. This is my first time writing a storygame without a contest deadline, so I'm trying to stay consistent and not let it get buried. I've been waking up a little before 5:30am with the intent to progress the story in the morning before work. I should hit the 40K word count this weekend. Here's an excerpt, shared exclusively for The Weekly Review:

You awake to find it’s still dark. You still feel Kassi next to you. She begins to shift her position again, this time turning towards you.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake--” you start to say.
As she turns fully facing you, your heart briefly stops. Both of Kassi’s eyes are sewn shut with black thread. She appears to be crying out, and her open mouth is firmly locked into position with black needles piercing her jaw and cheekbones. Her body begins to float in the air, still prone, as if an invisible rope is attached to her waist. Kassi hangs in the air for a few seconds. Then her body begins to bend backward. Vertebrae by vertebrae, her back makes a sickening crunch as it folds unnaturally. As her full spine is completely broken, she falls limp, the power suspending her in the air completely gone. Kassi’s body bounces off the bed and flies to the floor in a single crash.
Paralyzed by an unseen power, you’re forced to watch the abomination before you. Mocking laughter begins to fill your head. The slow cackle is too much to bear after witnessing the scene before you. You attempt to scream, but your lungs remain void of air. Unable to move, unable to breathe, you shut your eyes and wait for the end.
Searing pain brings you back. Two hooks pierce your shoulder blades and suspend your naked body in the air. You’re in a completely different room surrounded by four evenly shaped walls built with square stone blocks. Like steady rainfall, the surface beneath you is stained with your steady drip of blood. You hear someone moving around behind you. Suddenly, the slack in the chains release and you fall to the floor. Unprepared for the drop, you feel your ankle snap upon landing. You roll over to find Brother Samuel standing over your body holding a bucket. You attempt to cry out his name. He empties the bucket’s contents on top of you. Some gets in your mouth, and you recognize the liquid. Oil.
Brother Samuel lights a match and holds it in the air. “We’d be alive if you didn’t arrive at the monastery,” he spits. He drops the match on your oil-soaked skin. Immediately, the match bursts into flame and spreads over your skin. Brother Samuel watches you squirm and scream until the smoke blocks your intake of air. Your eyes meet his, and just before your vision goes black, he smiles.

7: You now have two featured stories, including the really enjoyable story Blackbeard’s Cutlass, what inspired you to write that one?
The short answer: booze, coffee, and an unparalleled patriotism for CYStia. It actually started out as a sci-fi loosely titled “Space Pirates!” In fact, the starting place was supposed to be Space Station Cara X – If you’re following Mizal’s Rift Station: Open Worlds, that name should sound familiar. The genre shift took place because I saw another contest entrant (DarkSpawn) post the first page of his sci-fi story. At that point, I had already fleshed out the unlucky, yet charismatic Captain along with his quirky crew. I had a general plot and fun cast of characters, so it didn’t really matter which genre the story took place in. I chose “historical fantasy” because readers don’t typically care about lore unless it’s an epic. Instead of burdening readers with learning the world, I placed the story in a setting everyone already is familiar with. Besides, what’s the use in learning about the civilized Kingdom of Brelia and the tribal territory of Rath if you’re only there a mere matter of minutes?
I spent time researching the Golden Age of Piracy and its major players to create the setting around my fictional characters. Truth to be told, the majority of the story was written locked in a hotel room on the California coast two blocks away from the Pacific. I spent my first vacation as an adult writing in a hotel room. Neat, huh? The daily complimentary wine and cheese served by the hotel staff Kool-Aid manned any sort of writer's block. With no distractions, a solid character list, plot, and handle of Johnnie Walker, the story just naturally flowed.

8: You are also wrote Twin Arrows, an awesome story in one of my favorite settings, again when did the inspiration for that come from?
Which setting would that be? Western or Science Fiction (or both)? Twin Arrows took inspiration from everything from the original Fallout games to Ex Machina, from Sir Osis to The Shining. Well, after my disappointing first storygame, I just decided to write for the fun of it. I didn't try to make sliced bread my bitch. There were times I burst out laughing writing some of the dialogue, especially the part where being gay brings you to an END GAME link. The game is light-hearted, ridiculous, and doesn't try to be something it's not. I had fun writing it, and the fact it was well-received is just an added bonus.

9: Any funny stories to relate?
You mean besides my attempt at a Fallout 4 Fanfic? Here's the first page. Oh, and the main character's name is Ben Dover.

Sanctuary - Pre-war
My head keeps spinnin’, I go to sleep and keep grinnin’. If this is just the beginnin’, my life is gonna be bee-yoo-tee-ful!
Your hand slams down on the alarm clock. You remember a time when you enjoyed waking up to Dean Martin, but that was her favorite song. She set the tune to your alarm, and you still haven't changed it. Shaking your head to force her from your mind, the daily ritual, you will yourself to get up. Tripping over a Blast Radius board game box, you head to the bathroom. Today is the day. You are finally getting the honor you deserve. If only you were chosen to give the speech at the veteran ceremony. Your goodie-two-shoes neighbor, Nate, received that honor. He doesn’t even wash his own car. He gets that pesky robot, Codsworth, to do all his chores. You can’t even pick up the morning newspaper without that damn robot projecting “Good morning!” in that annoying voice of his. Who the hell at RobCo gave him that stupid voice anyway? Speaking of which, you should probably get the paper before Ms. Rosa’s delinquent son steals it again. If anyone is the Pint-Sized Slasher it’d be him… No, you shake your head. Can’t think like that. A knock at the door interrupts your morning routine. You open the door to find an annoying salesman.
“Good morning! Vault-Tec calling!” the man in his mustard trench coat greets you.
“Don’t you know what time it is? Why are you peddling your doomsday tombs this early? At least wait until I’ve finished my Sugar Bombs,” you reply.
“'Doomsday tombs?’ Vault-Tec has created the best underground bunkers to keep the good American citizens safe from total nuclear annihilation. You, good sir, are on the list of lucky winners! Just fill out the form here and your survival is guaranteed! Well, metaphorically speaking. Please don’t hold Vault-Tec responsible for any fatalities. And to address your question, the atomic bomb doesn’t care what time of the day it is. It will go 'kaboom' any time it wants,” the Vault-Tec Rep answers with too much joy for your liking.
“Ugh, fine. I’ll fill out the form. As long as it gets you off my porch. By the way, will you pick up my paper for me? You’re already outside.”
“Sure thing!” the Rep replies.
As you watch the Vault-Tec Rep walk down your driveway you see Codsworth appear from behind your neighbor’s house.
“Good morning!” the Rep shouts annoyingly across the street.
“Good morning!” Codsworth echoes.
Shaking your head in disgust, you wait until the Rep hands you your newspaper. You trade him for the survey.
“Oh dear… you’re not Nate?” the Rep questions.
“Nope. He’s across the street. You just met his stupid robot.”
“I do believe I’ve made a mistake. My apologies, sir. Have a great day.”
You watch the Vault-Tec Rep walk across the street.
“Sugar bombs, come to Papa,” you say to no one.
After finding no milk, you finish making your cereal with a Gwinnett Stout. Lazily pushing a Grognak the Barbarian comic book off your sofa, you sit down to enjoy the morning news and breakfast.
“Self, today we are going to move on. I know she left you, but it’s not the end of the world. Just going to inform myself of the daily news and then I will have a good day,” you speak, motivationally, just as the self-help books taught you to.
Followed by… yes, followed by flashes. Blinding flashes. Sounds of explosions… We’re… We’re trying to get confirmation. We do have coming in… confirmed reports. I repeat, confirmed reports of nuclear detonations in New York and Pennsylvania.
“Holy shit!” you yell, spilling your Sugar Bombs all over your lap.

10: Finally, any words for new authors?
Don’t think you're going to write the next fantasy epic we've all been waiting for. Start small. Maintain a healthy balance of discipline and enjoyment. This isn’t homework. No one’s sending a report to your mom with your progress (although EndMaster may whisper it in her ear while your dad’s on business travel.) If you find you don’t enjoy the writing process, then quit. Come to terms with the fact that not everyone will like your work and that you have to sacrifice something else in order to finish a story. There’s always an opportunity cost. You just have to decide if it’s worth it.

RECOMMENDED READS: The Sanguine and Blackbeard’s Cutlass by ninjapitka!

An Edutainment story with a Difficulty of 5, Length of 5 and Maturity Level of 5.
So, this week we’re doing a bit of a Ninjapitka focus and with his story The Sanguine featuring pirates, magic and a characterful crew I really enjoyed this one. With a historical basis and some historical figures, it is interesting to see the twist they are given with some magic and a fun and light-hearted writing style, an excellent way of presenting history to readers. I’d definitely recommend this, and Ninja’s other stories, to people looking for fun and interesting (but not over-long) stories.


6: March5th00
Joined: 2001
Last Active: 2019
Top Stories: Various
Notable For: Playing a creative and technical role in the creation of the site. March was the third founder of the site and helped AlexP and Chocobot put all their ideas together. Like the others he has infinite points, a host of trophies and wrote three extremely readable story games, one of which (Finals Weeks) was, until recently, one of the longest-featured story games on the site. Like the other founders he is now only occasionally active here.

7: JJJ-thebanisher
Joined: 2005
Last Active 2019
Top Stories: None… (?)
Notable For: JJJ was the most active administrator for a number of years, guiding the site through difficult times and doing a lot on the technological side to help improve it. Of recent years he has been less active (and his story games appear to have been taken down?) but he has the most points of a non-infinite point member, probably the most intimidating range of trophies in existence and a rich legacy of having helped many on the site.

8: Ogre11
Joined: 2014
Last Active: Currently Active
Top Stories: Hank’s Journey (Horror), Spy Mission (Modern Adventure) and Surviving Pre-School (School).
Notable For: One of the site’s most prolific and talented writers he has churned out 17 fantastic stories in all different genres and remains an active and awesome presence on the site. In addition to his writing he has reviewed almost every story on the site, has very high numbers of points and commendations and is an enthusiastic contributor to the forums, in short the very model of an ideal site member. Perhaps a future moderator?

9: TheNewIAP
Joined: 2014
Last Active: 2019
Top Stories: Bestist Frend Jane (Modern Adventure)
Notable For: Though perhaps not so well known due to his recent quietness IAP earnt all his points on daily points and enthusiastically rating and reviewing every single story on the site, including ones that popped up and were taken down hours later. In addition to his hard work on the site he produced a fantastic contest-winning story game in the unique Jane story and still occasionally pops up in the forums from time to time.

10: Will11
Joined: 2014
Last Active: Currently Active
Top Stories: The James Gang (Edutainment), Blacksea Island (Mystery), Hunting the Ripper (Mystery) and Mutiny on the Bounty (Edutainment)
Notable For: Perhaps the most interesting thing about this member is his bizarre similarities to fellow site member Ogre11, which has even led to them being mistaken for each other. Similarities include:
1: Both have very similar names with four letters and the same two numbers.
2: Both joined the site within fifteen days of each other in 2014 and have remained active ever since.
3: Both are high-ranking Architects with similar large numbers of commendations, points and trophies.
4: Both are among the site’s most prolific writers, writing featured stories in various different genres.
5: Both have broadly similar personalities being fairly easy-going and generally friendly.


Notable News: Quailheart77, Wanderflight, Megumem, Gower, EndMaster, Ninjapitka, Poison_mara and Peabm921.
Intriguing Interview: Ninjapitka.
Recommended Reads: Ninjapitka.
Who’s Who: March5th, JJJ-thebanisher, Ogre11, TheNewIAP and Will11.

The Weekly Review - Edition 42

4 months ago
The hips just will not quit. :(

The Weekly Review - Edition 42

4 months ago
I enjoyed your performance at the Super Bowl halftime show along with J.Lo.

The Weekly Review - Edition 42

4 months ago
Valentine's Day Writing Jam link for the lazy. It's notable that End has promised escape from the SHAME pit for anyone who participates, and stories are supposed to have a max of 2000 words. Can't get much easier than that, although any time the bar is lowered, of course the SHAMED prove to be lower still....

The Weekly Review - Edition 42

4 months ago
Wait... are you saying participation in this contest, one requiring a mere 2000 words, can move you up a level of SHAME?

The Weekly Review - Edition 42

4 months ago
You can read End's post there for yourself, I'm sure.

The Weekly Review - Edition 42

4 months ago
True, but that may be less dramatic. On the other hand, I get the feeling a deal with End is basically a deal with the Devil.

The Weekly Review - Edition 42

4 months ago
Good stuff! And no, there's no truth to the rumor that Will11 and Ogre11 are the same person. See, look, I just posted here completely separate from the other guy, so that's clear...

The Weekly Review - Edition 42

4 months ago
Yeah, no way are we the same person. Good. This should kill those rumours :)

The Weekly Review - Edition 42

4 months ago
Can't wait for this to be the only thing in the lounge and you'll have to do a weekly review about the weekly review being the only thing that's going on.

The Weekly Review - Edition 42

4 months ago
And my plan for the Review to overwhelm the site will be completed :)