I appreciate this thread! I had two questions on my topic which is to create an original and sensible magic system:
1. If I have a character go back in time with technology and claims it is magic does that count? I am thinking something like an electrician gets send back to the mid eval times and gets appointed to be a court wizard, the rest of the game is how he maintains the lie that he can use magic with limited resources. I just want to know if it fits as a "original magic system" since it will be sensible in that it has to actually work.
2. My other idea comes across more like "super powers" in that I use more of a physics explanation. The powers are also brought on by drug exposer and increased brain activity. I just want to be use this also counts. I am not planning to have "magic" mean "fire and lightning bolts".
I think both fit the definition of magic, but I appreciate the chance to verify with the judges. Please let me know if these ideas count.
Thank you very much! I will check out The Name of the Wind. I will pick one and go with it. I am not sure which will be easier. I have an idea for a way to fudge a laws of physics so the magic makes sense...
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. If the technical explanations take away from the story I will keep it simpler and just make sure the magic is used consistently.
Wow, Bucky, that's seriously mean to get someone hooked on an amazing series that will never, never be finished.
And Scott Lynch can be in that club. I adored The Lies of Locke Lamora and have been waiting for Book #4 forever.
Yes Orge! I didn't see this book or webpage, but this is exactly what I was thinking. There will be a few ways that you get caught and die, but I did have ideas for how to make different branches.
You get back to the supplies and see where one of the other scout groups have come back. You wait for the others before the longteeth give the reports to the group.
"Deer sign, Opax sign." One said.
"Opax sign, Antelope sighted." another said.
"Opax sign, Bear sign. Four meter high reach." Your longtooth says.
"Indig sign." The last scout says.
No one says anything about the last report. Indigs are the name for the native Sapient population. The first Captain brought the colony ship down in the most fertile least populated part of the world. That didn't mean there weren't indigs there. It's a mixed history humans have with indigs. Some of the tribes were uplifted and are now a part of the Georgian nation, others joined the Vics and raided other indig and human settlements. Some were destroyed a few were turned into slaves after a lost war. It all depends on who the indigs ran into first and how they respond to outsiders.
You wait with the others watching the treeline and the ship. More Longboats come ashore and you take turns, taking watch and helping unload the boats. After awhile, some people start setting up large low tents and fires.
1) Yes. The Opax will be significant, and what they are has been loosely explained.
2) Yes. The Main Character can't describe what the indigs look like, because he's never seen one. He does know the basic history that they've had with them since settling.
3)I really struggle with proper punctuation. It's something I'm working on. I'll need to read everything over several times before I'm able to find all the issues with what I've written. I'm aware of the mistakes. I just don't see them most of the time.
4) Correct. The characters speaking are just very tersely telling the others what they've seen. They don't want to say much or say it very loudly because they don't know what's watching or listening to them. They also wouldn't say much in quite a few other circumstances. It's a cultural thing that will be explained on another page.
5) Covered for the most part in 2.
6) Uh. I've been writing most of this on my phone. It's done a few odd things, with spacing being one of them. It also turned everything into double spaced when I copy, pasted for some odd reason.
7)Good catch. I just mixed up the words for Antelope and Reindeer in my head. I'll need to fix that.
8)Thanks for showing me a better way to reword that. I don't know how many of the readers have done much camping in colder weather, but a lower ceiling holds the heat in better. The tents are cut larger so more people can fit inside. More bodies, more heat. I've tried sleeping in a high ceilinged lean-to, bad plan.
To respond to your comments: A lot of what you've brought up can be adressed by just admitting that I was lazy and just copy pasted a random portion of one of the pages here. I didn't really have any questions or want any help (different from needed help) with what I've written so far. You directed me to post something here though. Since you're the guy that's running the show, I decided I needed to do something.
You would be surprised how much waiting happens when someone tries to pull off any major project. There's always a choke point somewhere. I've seen road crews just stand around while one guy was working, because they could only fit one man in the hole he's standing in, In the military an entire platoon (20-50 people) will lay out every item that the government has given them to get a count of it, and it will take an entire day. Not because they have so many things, but because the officer that needs to count everthing has meetings all morning and didn't mention it before. In this case they were waiting for longboats to arrive with more people and supplies. They had the things that went in the boat with them, but no one was keeping track of what was what. The sailors were just getting everything off the ship in no particular order. The main character, being a scout/prospector/hunter wasn't aware of this and chances are didn't care.
Figured I would throw my first page up. I fear there is too much dialogue, but I am trying to give details while keeping it interesting and foreshadowing what is about to happen. Any thoughts are appreciated:
"Merlin, hey, Merlin! Get your ass over here!" an archeologist named Dave calls to you from across the worksite.
Dave is a pain in your ass. He hired you to do lighting for the archeological uncovering of what they believe is the home of Merlin the Magician, but you are pretty sure he only hired you because your name matches that of the previous homeowner. Since you first started he has been complaining about everything you do.
"Good morning mate," you respond turning to face the short, balding man wearing a scowl. "Something I can help with?"
"Yeah, there is actually. You know how I told you to keep thinks lit and not leave anything laying around?"
"Sure, I have been doing a bloody good job of that over here too."
"Oh, well that's good because over there across the way you are doing the opposite of what I asked you to do."
"Over there? You mean the corner of the site no one is working in?"
"Yeah, that would be the one."
"Dave, I haven't been over there yet, that is why it is dark!"
"You haven't been over there?"
"No, not yet. I am only lighting what is being worked on, running the wires above the site, and cleaning up all of my tools as I go just like you asked. I have only been where the light touches."
"And all of your tools and wires are labeled right?"
"Yeah, every one of them," you say as you pull a spool of wire out of my pocket and show Dave a label across the back that reads 'Merlin Ambrosius.'
A devilish smile spreads across Dave's face. He holds out his hand to reveal a battered, rusty spool of wire with a matching label on the back and says, "What does this say, Merlin."
"That is not mine, Dave."
"It has your name on it!"
"It also looks like it has been here for a thousand years! If this is your idea of a joke it isn't funny."
Dave looks like he is about to explode with anger when another archeologist runs up to him. The two of them whisper back and forth a few times; Dave seems to get angrier with every word either of them utter. Eventually, the second archeologist hands something to Dave and runs off. Dave looks at the object given to him and scowls.
"Come here, Merlin," he says without looking at you.
You take a few steps forward and look at what he is holding: in his hands are a pair of rusty wire cutters with a label that reads 'Merlin Ambrosius.' Your jaw drops and you stammer, "I...I don't know where those came from, they can't be mine."
"I don't care about your excuses, just go over there and make sure we don't find anything else that belongs to you."
With that, he storms off and blends in with the dozens of archeologists digging through the Paimpont Forest floor in the dimming sunlight. Your floodlights are already on so that they can see anything unearthed under the dense canopy. Nothing too exciting has been unearthed, but a cottage in the Broceliande--the legendary enchanted forest near Camelot--had to belong to the famous Merlin the Magician according to these experts.
You grumble to yourself and carefully make your way across the large zone marked with wooden stakes. When it gets too dark to continue you pull a flashlight from your bag and charge it with the attached hand-generator; traditional battery-powered flashlights have a bad habit of dying on you when you need them most. Light floods the forest floor once you're done cranking and you continue to the far end of the worksite.
In the back corner along the edge of a large clearing, you find a shallow hole with more of your tools in it. Each tool is rusty and broken, but the label with your name is visible. You pull out several items that look like a broken replica of the tools you currently are carrying: a solar power battery charger, several rechargeable batteries, pliers, spools of insulated and non-insulated wire, and even a hand charged flashlight are recovered from the hole amidst a few other tools and supplies. Removing them reveals a taut wire in the bottom of the hole that looks like it is running somewhere.
You grab the wire since it couldn't possibly be connected to a power source in the middle of the forest; you did not bury any wires, Dave requires them to be hung on stands or low tree branches to not contaminate the worksite. Sparks fly when your hand touches the loose wire and electricity flows through your entire body, making it feel numb. After the shock, you pass out facedown in the dirt.
Just a Tidbit of advice, "Merlin, hey, Merlin! Get your ass over here!" an archeologist named Dave calls to you from across the worksite.
Dave is a pain in your ass."
Right here in this little quote, you repeat the word ass twice in less than 50 words, which I just wanted to point out. Repeating words can subtract from the value of the story, not words like and, too, the, or in. But important words like pain, ass, archeologist, advice. If you read the quote, I rode, it sounds a little chunky because of the repetition of the word ass.
So just a friendly reminder to keep the repetition of word's on the low, especially words like you. Unlike me, don't start every paragraph with the word you, or it will become noticeable and subtract value from the story.
I think the "ass" can be removed the second time by changing the second line to "Dave is annoying." I don't know that any other words seem over repeated, I will double check and mix it up.
Use the same word inside and outside dialogue is a bit different than just using the same word twice in description.
In this case, though, the whole sentence "Dave is a pain in your ass" could probably be dropped though. It's already implied with the dialogue and following exposition that the guy is an annoyance.
Looking back I think deleting it is the best option. There might be more statements like this I can carve out too... Thank you all for the feedback, let me know if anything else stands out.
Thank you Bucky! I fixed the specific issues you pointed out and will watch for that when typing and proofing. Usually I am good at avoiding repetitive language, but it is easy to miss something like that when writing; since it was mentioned so much I can be extra careful to make sure it does not creep into my story.
That's mostly something for line-editing later on, anyway - when starting a story it is often easiest to focus on just getting the words out. :) A lot of that can be cleaned up later.
And if you are writing in a word doc, you can throw in a symbol (like ^) every time you notice yourself repeating a word or phrase and just keep writing. Later, ctrl+f to find all of that symbol, and you can edit them then. Saving it all for a later session helps to not break the flow of writing.
I was done writing for the day, so I just corrected the things he pointed out before I forgot. I appreciate these tips though, I never thought to do any of that. I may start marking repetitive words and coming back rather than spending time in the moment to look up synonyms for one I like. It would get me done with a rough draft faster despite my limited vocabulary.
Has the game to have a minimum extension? And could it be made of mini-stories with common storylines intertwine by a union story? As I am thinking about changing my game idea to something less original and more what people seem to want.
Thanks but I have to change it as It was the direct sequel of the game I presented for Mizal story that directly started when that one ends on your assassin training. However, like the critics of that game seems to be mostly bad I decided not to cripple my chances of getting my 100 points back with a story people are not interested in. I think this is far more commercial and shippable to obtain a 4 in public vote. As Here is not about what as a writer do you want to write is about what people want to read to I can get a 4 and my points back.
I don't think there was anything wrong with the concept of your other game. There just wasn't a lot of time to proofread in that contest, so poor ratings were probably for grammar or parts that were very confusing.
Although for this game we are supposed to do a new story, so I'm not surewhat the rules are on sequels in a pre-made world.
You are talking about another game. I am talking about my game Landslide for Mizal best contest
Going to post my first page here as well
The dragon, all alone
Sitting atop its icy throne
A world reduced to frost
But as for hope, it's all but lost
Ten thousand men a month
Though through the years, its lost its umph
Men as docile as doves
Mold to their fate, just like a glove
Though some, more resilient
Never ceased their attack, brilliant!
But oh wait, there's a catch
They are outlawed from their rematch
To the beast, armies fall.
While their best may be towers tall
None of them can compare
To the ice, flying everywhere
Out of faith, their swindled
And their hope begins the dwindle
Though they must carry on
To prove they are more than a pawn
From this one boy will rise
With hardships, and pain in his eyes
This is but a splinter
Compared to eternal winter
You use the word "but" twice in the fourth line, I would remove the first one. You might want to refine some things. For example "be towers tall" sounds weird to me, and I think "stand tall" would work better there. You picked a hard prompt in My opinion, but this looks promising!
I like the main feel of epic poetry, but some of the phrasing is jarring or far to casual, so you lose the immersion in places.
The dragon, all alone (I'm not really sure if you have to add the comma here considering it is a poem, and if you did, then you would want to put a comma at the end of the line. And probably any other line that doesn't end in a period.)
Sitting atop its icy throne (since the next line starts a new idea, maybe "Sits atop" would work better so it's a complete sentence)
A world reduced to frost
But as for hope, it's all but lost ('But is used twice and construction is odd. Maybe 'Buried in ice, hope is lost' or something)
Ten thousand men a month
Though through the years, its lost its umph (Its lost its umph is very slang/casual and throws the reader out of the epic and doesn't really convey the idea that they are despairing and callous to death)
Men as docile as doves (cool imagery)
Mold to their fate, just like a glove (more cool imagery) - these two lines are very effective
Though some, more resilient
Never ceased their attack, brilliant! (Brilliant comes off as slang/casual again. You could do some more brash never ceased to clash, or some more resilient hearts blazed caught on flint or something)
But oh wait, there's a catch (very, very slang and casual)
They are outlawed from their rematch (are they outlawed for fighting back? This isn't quite clear)
To the beast, armies fall.
While their best may be towers tall (Giants? 'may be' is vague, so perhaps "Even though their best are towers tall')
None of them can compare ('none can compare' is a little cliche)
To the ice, flying everywhere (doesn't need a comma, also 'compare' is an odd term to use between an army and ice vs. an army and an opposing army or the dragon itself.)
Out of faith, their swindled (they're? Also, are they being swindled of faith? Our being swindled now that they are out of faith?)
And their hope begins the dwindle ( to dwindle is the general phrase.)
Though they must carry on
To prove they are more than a pawn
From this one boy will rise
With hardships, and pain in his eyes (I think you can get away with just "with hardship and pain...' here, no need for a comma or plural hardships.)
This is but a splinter (It's a bit vague - perhaps 'His past' would be more clear, and 'splinter,' while inventive, comes off as a bit casual)
Compared to eternal winter (You used compare prior in the poem, and it's a missed opportunity to carry through a metaphor. "His past is but a splinter/ against the forest of winter" or "His past only a snowflake/ in the endless drifts of winter" - etc.)
"Sitting atop its icy throne (since the next line starts a new idea, maybe "Sits atop" would work better so it's a complete sentence)"
I might change this around, but if I do I'll have to mess with the wording because I'm doing a 6/8 syllable structure and replacing sits would mess that up
"But as for hope, it's all but lost ('But is used twice and construction is odd. Maybe 'Buried in ice, hope is lost' or something)"
I'm going to change it to "Though as for hope it's all but lost" and addressing your secound claim, hope is meant to be a recurring theme in the poem
"Though through the years, its lost its umph (Its lost its umph is very slang/casual and throws the reader out of the epic and doesn't really convey the idea that they are despairing and callous to death)"
I don't see anyway to correct this with a 1 syllable word and rhyming with month, though I'll keep this in mind when I'm re writing.
I'm going to remake that entire stanza, and the brillant always bothered me. As for the whole outlawed thing, I didn't convay that well. It was supposed to be how the king outlawed people from attacking the dragon for fear of provoking it after their efforts were pointless, and some people do it anyway.
"While their best may be towers tall (Giants? 'may be' is vague, so perhaps"
They could be dragons, though I intended it more as a hyperbole on how tall and fierce the warriors are
:To the ice, flying everywhere (doesn't need a comma, also 'compare' is an odd term to use between an army and ice vs. an army and an opposing army or the dragon itself.)"
To clarify the army is facing the dragon itself, and only the dragon. The dragons breath sprays ice everywhere, is what I meant to imply.
"Out of faith, their swindled (they're? Also, are they being swindled of faith? Our being swindled now that they are out of faith?)"
They are being swindled out of faith
"With hardships, and pain in his eyes (I think you can get away with just "with hardship and pain...' here, no need for a comma or plural hardships.)"
While I might rewrite, you have to keep in mind it has to be 8 syllables
"This is but a splinter (It's a bit vague - perhaps 'His past' would be more clear, and 'splinter,' while inventive, comes off as a bit casual)"
This is what I wanted to do originally, though after messing with the words, I couldn't find any other words I could cut out to make it 6 syllables
"Compared to eternal winter (You used compare prior in the poem, and it's a missed opportunity to carry through a metaphor. "His past is but a splinter/ against the forest of winter" or "His past only a snowflake/ in the endless drifts of winter" - etc.)"
The forest one looks pretty good, though I'm not sure if I would change it only on account of the fact that reinforcing the fact that the winter is eternal is pretty important
As for all your grammar mistakes, I'll make sure to fix them. Thank you for your detailed feedback! It is much appreciated.
" With hardships, and pain in his eyes " and "with hardship an pain in his eyes" are both the same number of syllables. :)
I KNEW that line sounded off! Thanks!
If you can find it useful at all, I'll put my Yellow Lotus game on sneak peek for a few days, which is the project I was working on before the contest. (Nowhere near done, yet!) It's a poetry game using Tankas. Which technically don't have to be the strict 5/7/5/7/7 I'm doing and could be any 35 syllable poem, but so far I haven't had to break that structure.
I'm going to post the first page of the male character in my story first because the other needs to be proofread tomorrow.
That’s what you are. The tallest ones are always the most boisterous people, according to your instructors.
That’s what you are. The darker they are, the more prone to the mischief you hear the scholar’s whisper.
They’re hadn’t been anyone as dark as you in a long time.
Thanks to the 'Great Darkness' they are all pale. While you are a burnt caramel color.
That’s what the others tell you, in ugly jealousy. The reason why you are given 50 lashes when other’s get 25.
That is your defining trait, what the instructors tell the admin’s when you walk by, what the instructors tell you when you make a mistake, what the doctor say’s to his patient when he sees you.
“That one’s too unique.”
You hear the whisper’s the snicker’s all the time because they don’t try to hide, not even for your sake. They don’t care how you feel if you’re even supposed to feel at all. They don’t stay when you try to join in on the conversation. They don’t want you as their friend; they don’t even see you as human. Because they are ordinary, treated normally, feed normally, and act normally. But most of all because they aren’t you.
That’s what you are. An error, a punishment from the heaven’s, given to humanity no reason, and at the same time every purpose. You were a burden to them unwilling to move like a stable boulder wedged deep into the soil, being
They despise you, loathe you, and wish for you to make your fatal mistake. They pray for you to break one of the four essential laws, for you to show emotion. But day after day you prove them wrong, you survive moving with the pack, and at the same time pushing the boundaries.
They are the beginning and the end: the past, present, and future. Before The Society, there was nothing, and after The Society, nothing will once again take over. You called them The Society a pet name, an illegal thought maybe the only sane idea you have ever made. The Society, ruled your life, creating the laws that shape who you are. The regulations that bind you, forcing you to conform to what they want.
Ever from childhood, The Society had held you down, forcing you to play here, making you eat this. Beating you because you cried or yelling at you because you weren’t potty trained as a child.
Through adolescence, they whipped you into obedience.
“This is what happens to those who are too smart.”
The instructors yelled at the other’s while they punished you, you, of course, being the perfect example of a disobedient student.
They would punish you day after day, for being too creative, for being too unusual, they even punished you for being too ordinary.
You remember thinking isn’t that what they wanted. You recall thinking when they sent you to wander about in the Isolation strip.
Punishment your mind almost stirrs at the familiar sensation, pain, cold. If being different was your defining trait, this was your defining memory. The variety of punishment’s in The Society’s arsenal, where innumerable— ranging from isolation to a violent death.
You can still vividly remember the isolation of the outside world where first-timers are thrown into the never-ending, all-encompassing blackness of the outside. You remember the fear, the uncertainty, the unfamiliar scent of the outside world. You remember the darkness swallowing your screams whole — the unimaginable horror of being unprotected and alone, stuck in a never-ending night-cycle. You are forced to walk around in an endless, frozen night.
Every day you reminisce about the potent sting of the forever dominant Eidolon of Misery. It was the haunter of every adolescent’s dreams. The phantom behind every being’s decision of obedience. The visitor in our thoughts, theirs, and mine. It is the most vicious weapon ever birthed by humankind. Triple the pain of childbirth. Coming complete with three stages of grief, it was the perfect storm of pain.
First, there was “the throb” imagine the pain of an intense migraine, then double the pain — this last’s for about an hour. The pian is already enough to make one think thoughts of suicide.
Then there was “the astringent” this is when the sweat starts to form on your head. Your face goes white, and out of nowhere, a bashing unrelenting, unbearable onslaught of agony will abuse you. The body will seizure with multiple symptoms. You will vomit over and over again until your just regurgitating air.
Then there is “the end.” By this time, one would almost be happy to feel the indescribable aching of “the end.” “the end” is the worst feeling one could ever know. The poison would have worked its way through your system to the bladder. The pain will cause one’s genital’s to feel like they are about to explode. The whole process will last almost an entire day.
These are your defining memories of life; those are the building blocks of who you are. You are SS-235, you are a tribe mover, you live in the oppressing power of The Society. You will never betray The Society, you will never break the four sacred laws, you will never smile or wave or be happy. No, you will always be SS-235, you can’t escape who you are. Just like you can’t avoid the extreme coldness that surrounds you every day. Just like you can’t escape the confinement of them, The Society.
Pain, Isolation, Darkness, and the Cold. This is what defines you. Your behaviors, your traits, your personality, all characterized by these overpowering sensations, at the hand of them.
The Society was smart, restricting, harsh enough so that everyone would fall in line. They had lasted long enough that all anyone ever knew was The Society and history recorded was The Society.
There is nothing and everything. You are nomad’s traveling the line as an escape. But at the same time trapped by the wills of The Society.
Your life had and will continue to be a meaningless spark in the everlasting fire of existence.
That is why you chose to disobey, that is why you couldn’t resist the light.
That is why you were lured away by the impossible: a light, a light in the all-circumferential darkness.
That is why even though your life was defined by pain and obedience, you fell for the hypnotization of the dancing light.
That is why you are breaking one of the four laws.
That is why you are scared — an unpleasant, unknown, uninvited feeling.
That is why as you are deep in thought. As your seemingly possessed drudges towards — the gleaming beacon of light in an all-encompassing world of darkness.
I am going to sleep right now it's 11 where I live so I will check out everything all the feedback tomorrow
Too tall. Too dark. Too handsome. Too unique.
This is a very cool concept and there is some powerful imagery in it. There are a lot of grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors in it, as well as quite a few tense shifts, that make it a bit hard to read. The character also, at least in the first half, comes off a little bit like a Gary Stu (the most unique and handsome person ever, so smart and creative, and everyone is jealous of him and wants him to fail...) but there is nice complexity shown between the tension of his outward conformity vs. inner desire to rebel.
That’s what you are. "The tallest ones are always the most boisterous people," the instructors often say.
That’s what you are. "The darker they are, the more prone to the mischief," you hear the scholars whisper.
There hasn’t been anyone as dark as you in a long time. Thanks to the 'Great Darkness,' they are all pale, while you are a burnt caramel color.
"Too handsome." That’s what the others tell you, in ugly jealousy. It's the reason why you are given 50 lashes when others get 25.
Too unique. It is your defining trait, what the instructors tell the administrators when you walk by, what the instructors tell you when you make a mistake, what the doctor says to his patient when he sees you.
You hear the whispers, the snickers, all the time. They don’t try to hide them, especially not for your sake. They don’t care how you feel, or if you’re even supposed to feel at all. They don’t stay when you try to join in on the conversation. They don’t want you as their friend; they don’t even see you as human. They are ordinary, treated normally, eat normally, and act normally. But most of all, they aren’t you.
That’s what you are. An error, a punishment from the heavens, given to humanity for no reason, yet at the same time for every purpose. You are a burden to them, unwilling to move like a stable boulder wedged deep into the soil.
They despise you, loathe you, and wish for you to make your fatal mistake. They pray for you to break one of the four essential laws, for you to show emotion. But, day after day, you prove them wrong; you survive moving with the pack, and at the same time push the boundaries.
You call them "The Society." a pet name, an illegal thought but perhaps the only sane idea you have ever made. They are the beginning and the end: the past, present, and future. Before The Society, there was nothing, and after The Society, nothing will once again take over. They have always ruled your life, creating the laws that shape who you are. The regulations that bind you, forcing you to conform to what they want.
Ever from childhood, The Society has held you down, forcing you to play here, eat that. Beating you when you cried or yelling at you because you weren’t potty trained as a child.
“This is what happens to those who are too smart.” The instructors would yell at the other’s while they punished you, displaying you as the perfect example of a disobedient student.
They would punish you day after day, for being too creative, for being too unusual.
Sometimes, they even punished you for being too ordinary. You remember thinking isn’t that what they wanted? when they sent you to wander about in the Isolation strip.
Punishment. Your mind almost stirs at the familiar sensations. Pain, cold. If being different was your defining trait, this was your defining memory. The variety of torments in The Society’s arsenal were innumerable— ranging from isolation to a violent death.
You can vividly recall the all-encompassing blackness and the unfamiliar scent of the outside world. Alone, afraid, unprotected, you were thrown into the darkness where your screams were swallowed whole, and forced to walk and walk in the endless, frozen night.
Every day you reminisce about the potent sting of the forever dominant Eidolon of Misery. It was the haunter of every adolescent’s dreams. The phantom behind every being's decision of obedience. The visitor in your thoughts and theirs. The Eidelon of Misery was the most vicious weapon ever birthed by humankind. Triple the pain of childbirth mixed with three stages of grief, it was the perfect storm of pain.
First, there was “the throb.” Like an intense migraine, then double the pain — for an hour until the victim begins to contemplate suicide.
Then there was “the astringent” - when the sweat starts to form on the head. The face goes white, and out of nowhere, a bashing unrelenting, unbearable onslaught of agony will abuse the sufferer. Seizures would rack him with multiple symptoms, then he'd would vomit over and over again until he was left regurgitating air.
Then there is “the end.” By this time, the punished is almost happy to feel the indescribable aching of “the end.” “The end” is the worst feeling anyone could ever know. The poison would have worked its way through the victim's system to the bladder. The pain would cause his genitals to feel like they are about to explode.
In all, the whole process would last almost an entire day.
These are your defining memories of life; those are the building blocks of who you are. You are SS-235; you are a tribe mover, you live in the oppressing power of The Society. You will never betray The Society, you will never break the four sacred laws, you will never smile or wave or be happy. No, you will always be SS-235; you can’t escape who you are. Just like you can’t avoid the extreme coldness that surrounds you every day. Just like you can’t escape the confinement of The Society.
Pain, Isolation, Darkness, and the Cold. This is what defines you. Your behaviors, your traits, your personality, are all characterized by these overpowering sensations at the hand of the Society.
They are smart, restricting, harsh enough so that everyone falls in line. They have lasted long enough that all anyone has ever known is The Society, and all history records is the Society.
There is nothing and everything. You are nomads, traveling the line as an escape. But at the same time, you are trapped by the will of The Society.
But now, the light has come.
Your life has been and would have continued to be a meaningless spark in the everlasting fire of existence, but you have chosen to disobey. You can't resist the light. It has lured you away by the impossible. A light! A light in the all-circumferential darkness.
Even though your life has been defined by pain and obedience, the dancing liught hypnotizes you.
That is why as you are deep in thought. That is why you, like one possessed, drudge towards the gleaming beacon of light in an all-encompassing world of darkness.
There were a lot of parts that were confusing. Did he experience the Eidolon of Misery himself? Or is it a hanging death threat? (and if he hasn't, perhaps describing it could be saved for a later page?) Does he know the Society has erased history, or not? Are the people mocking him fellow students? Where is he a student at? He calls them the Society, but what do they call themselves?
The first page of my story. A bit mundane and difficult to start, but hopefully that'll play out in my favor later on when the story takes a turn.
[Brad]: hey man, u up? got a present for u, lmk
The lukewarm light from Tyler's phone lit up his room, followed by a cheery chime that signaled the arrival of a text message. Tyler had already been awake, shifting in the sheets uncomfortably for about an hour. He reached over, grabbing his phone from his nightstand.
[Tyler]: Yeah I'm up dude. What is it?
[Brad]: u heard about the Disney plus thing right? bitches are crazy over this shit man, so I got an account
[Brad]: here... email: email@example.com and password: 0123jxbr, pick up some of those hoes on ur tinder dude
[Tyler]: Where tf did you get the money for a Disney+ man, that isnt even your email.
[Brad]: don’t worry about it dude, its free. just make ur own profile tho, dont want ur shit clogging mine
[Tyler]: Alright, I’ll try it, whatever
Tyler turned toward his alarm clock, which read 10:37 in crisp red letters. It was a Saturday, thankfully, which meant some other fool was slaving away at Denny’s, instead of him.
He kept scrolling through his phone, eyes glancing at Tinder’s little “fire” logo; three notifications shone in the corner of the app. With a sigh, he kicked off the rest of his covers and entered the rest of his small apartment. Living in San Jose hadn’t given him much in the way of free space, but he was used to it. A bedroom, kitchenette, and small living area were all he had, but that was fine.
It was cozy.
The suspense was killing him, active notifications were like buzzing flies. He had to swat them. As he poured a bowl of cereal, he browsed through his potential matches.
That's good! That's exactly what's meant to grab the reader's attention. Disney+ is the fad right now as far as streaming services go, and I'd personally say afterwards, especially if we're talking about Tyler. Not a good chance he's doing anything after this.
I know what they are, and I know the frustration that comes when you realize your sister forgot to rewind the movie before she put it away... but these days VHS tapes are like dinosaurs. Kids are told they existed once, and some believe while others don't.
I think the description of a Wendigo is really intriguing. I am a bit unsure of the setting, is this the past? Is it an alternate universe/timeline? Is it the future? Maybe it doesn't matter or is revealed later, but from what I've gathered it is a low-tech setting in the eastern USA. There is a sentence in the Wendigo paragraph that uses "and" 2-3 times in one sentence. I would break that up or change up the words there. Otherwise I think it looks good.
No problem, thanks for the clarification. I look forward to reading more!
Here is my first page:
A lilting symphony wakes you; brightly colored warblers and thrushes are serenading the dawn. It's your favorite time of day - the golden hour when the flora and fauna of Dreaming Forest blush and bloom, but the humans of Harrow Village have yet to wake.
Since dreams were lost thirty years ago in the Sacrifice of Salvation, there is little attraction left for you in sleeping late. You wake with the sun - earlier, in winter, - and generally spend your mornings laying out in the dewy grass, staring up at the light shimmering over the leaves of the forest canopy, or trying to count how many different sounds you can hear. Sometimes, you bring out miniature, carved palaces and hang them, then sit a while watching the hummingbirds squabble over the thrones of seed and the fountains of nectar.
But today is different, for it will be your last day in Dreaming Forest for some time, perhaps forever. You sit and hot drink Franjia tea, just watching and taking everything in, as if drawing each aspect of the scene on the folded papers of your mind. "Good-bye to you all," you murmur at the creatures of paradise that flit and dive around you. This place, this secret idyllic corner of nature, was the final dream of your wife before she was lost. You were meant to have shared it together - her, the Muse of Epics, and you, the simple storyteller she fell in love with. Instead, you had tended it for four decades, alone, with only her memory beside you. And now, even that is fading.
"It's time," you sigh, and return inside your simple wooden cabin to finish packing. Today you are to begin a pilgrimage that will take you thousands of farspans north, across the equator and beyond, to the sacred Grove of Muses. It is there your wife stands as stone, along with the other muses who gave their lives to save the planet. All save Sandman, who was all but destroyed, and now orbits the planet as a ring of glittering dust. Now, instead of giving special dreams, all dreams exotic or mundane, return to him.
A weeks worth of food. Three pairs of clothing. A blanket. 50 pieces of silver - all your savings. There isn't a lot you can take, since you will have to travel light. And it will not be easy - you will have to trust that you can earn money along the way, whether by odd jobs or by telling stories, if you hope to keep traveling once your funds run out. But there is one item above all others that you must take: Ivani's Book of Tales.
It is your most valued possession, the original stories your wife once inscribed and gave to you as a wedding present. Many of the stories have faded to near illegibility - the ones you have read the most, for all tales fade in the world now that the muses have gone, even ones like these written before the Sacrifice or written on Remembrance paper or carved into stone. They might not vanish immediately like spoken tales, never to be told again, but they still are powerless to last forever. But to lose the memory of them - that is what terrifies you, and what has driven you to take this Pilgrimage.
At first you had thought the lapses were just the dawn of old age - you are over seventy - but they were all related to the Book of Tales, or to stories you told the people of Dreaming Village. You would speak a tale, and then not only would the words be lost forever - but you would find you couldn't recall what the story had been about a week later. After months of this, you began to hear rumors and complaints of others who were also forgetting - forgetting not just the stories they had heard, but the memories of the Muses or the dreams they had had in childhood before the Sacrifice had robbed the world of nighttime visions. Then, you woke one morning to find you couldn't remember the color of Ivani's eyes.
Something is wrong, and it is imperative that you find out what. You hope there will be something with her, in the Grove of Muses, to explain what is happening or provide an answer. She had sacrificed herself to save the world, but at what cost? Why have dreams gone? Why do stories fade? And what is eating your very memories?
You shrug on your cloak, shoulder your pack, grab your favorite carved walking stick from your collection, and shuffle on foot through the trees towards a forked path overlooking the town. Your limited supply of money will not get very far, and you cannot cross mountains, oceans, and deserts on foot. You'll need some form of transportation, and the nearest place to get that is Dreaming Village.
The town is divided into two sections - the main town, and Inrit Gardens. You are well-known to the townfolk as you have spent over half your life telling stories to them and buying food and supplies. But Inrit Gardens is a place for tourists and the rich who planted summer homes there. Like most village-folk, you avoid it unless there is a reason to go.
You have toured Inrit a few times just to see the sculpted gardens and the creatures that inhabit it, as it too was a place touched by your wife, but its beauty had been tamed and controlled so it did not hold the solace you hoped. Still, it might be a good place to visit now, as nobles have deeper pockets than the common man. While it might be harder to get noticed or draw a crowd in a place like Inrit Gardens, they would likely be willing to pay a lot more for an hour's entertainment.
But you haven't said good-bye to anyone in the main village, and they are the ones who have supported you all these years. The children, especially, are fond of your tales even as their parents grow jaded through the years, remembering the times when stories could be told over and over.
You reach the edge of the forest and the forked path and look down over the village. Inrit Gardens dazzles even from here, a patch of green and blue, home to many stately homes and several larger mansions. Everything there seems quiet, almost untouchable. The main Village is a bit more brown and homely, but you can see the colorful awnings of the market stalls in Town Square, as well as at least a hundred small figures moving about. It should be a good crowd, today. You step forward, clenching your staff with veined, papery hands. Where will you begin your journey?
Hey Bucky, quick question, I have a game that has multiple endings based on puzzle outcomes. I did some of it with variables, so it is not very obvious that you "failed" or "passed" the puzzle until several pages later. It is not super complicated, but do you want like a guide or something that shows how to get each ending? I have an "answer guide" built into the game to help readers which might make things clear enough. Let me know what you are looking for...
I'll try to fit it in. If I finish editing/proofing my game today that will be tomorrow's task. Thanks!