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Toss around ideas and brainstorm your story.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
I'm going to try to make sure I stop by for a bit in the evenings before bed to check this place out. This is a spot for contest entrants to ask writing or story questions or request feedback on short excerpts from their stories. I'll respond to inquiries in the order that they were made - contingent upon the reasonableness of the question and my available time.

I encourage other CYS veterans and contest entrants to provide their insight as well if they have something to say.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
1) This isn't quite what I was thinking with this prompt, and it's probably close to an end-around (science is science, magic is magic). But I'll allow it - because it's a creative take on the prompt (creativity is highly encouraged), it is reasonably within the constraints of the prompt, and it could be really fun! For anyone interested in what inspired this prompt - take a look at The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It's a great book, and I think it sets a standard for original magic systems.

2) For this, see comment 1. Shadow, I feel like you may really like The Name of the Wind. Rothfuss's entire magic system is - definitely in the normal definition of magic - based on real life science. He takes real science concepts and works them into a sensible magic system with clear-cut rules and limitations.

I hope this helps. Best of luck.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago

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...

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
Sensible simply means that the magic has rules and limitations. That the magic works consistently throughout the story. It doesn't mean that the magic is necessarily contingent upon what we know is - and is not - possible in the real world.

You can see countless pulp fiction stories where the bounds of magic are never defined and what can be done changes with the needs of the plot. That's bad/lazy writing.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
Explanations are usually boring. I recommend keeping them brief or showing the limits through action if possible.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

Wow, Bucky, that's seriously mean to get someone hooked on an amazing series that will never, never be finished.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago
You know, I used to check regularly to see if the final book was published yet. This was the first I think I've checked in maybe two or three years. So sad.

Rothfuss and G.R.R.M. should start a club.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

And Scott Lynch can be in that club.  I adored The Lies of Locke Lamora and have been waiting for Book #4 forever.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
You mean like this? I think that's pretty cool and could be a neat idea for a CYOA, but I'm guessing there will be a lot of dead-ends where you're discovered as a fraud and the story ends quickly.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
That's when you show them the magic of lifting ice with a piece of string and some salt.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
I was just about to ask this, I thought that's where they got the idea from.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago

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. 

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
Is it okay for a character to have a boyfriend when she's 15? I don't see what the problem is but someone said I should ask.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
Who thought there was something wrong with that?

Yeah, that's perfectly fine.

EDIT: So long as the "boyfriend" isn't 40 or something.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
I told her depending on how graphic it was going to be, it would probably be better not to have young teens going at it like rabbits. That doesn't mean the character can't have a boyfriend, I just remembered that coming up as a minor issue with one of JJJ's stories.

But mostly I was trying to shove a larger question about content rules off on someone else so that I could drive home.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
Yeah. Everything in context.

You see lots of perfectly acceptable stories about teenagers having sex or getting raped and no one screams pedophile or porn enthusiast. For example, see The Pillars of the Earth, generally regarded as part of the literary canon. Usually these stories involve a medieval setting where the minimum age for marriage was much younger than in most societies today. People simply grew into adulthood faster as a result of the culture and time period. But sometimes it happens in more contemporary settings, for example, the sewer sex in It, which was conveniently excluded from the movie. That one did spur a bit of controversy - but that didn't stop people from continuing to make Stephen King even more wealthy than he already was.

I think you can look at your relationships in a story with the same lens as other plot and character elements. Does this advance the plot or add to characterization? If not, it's probably going to come off as some form of Narm (at best).

The link is friendly. It goes to TV-Tropes.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
Intense hand holding only, until you're at least 21, young lady.

Actually, make it 24.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
As an additional point, the age of the writer sheds some context on this subject matter too. Most people - for good reason - will not be comfortable with content that comes anywhere near the line if it is written by someone that isn't an adult.

No one appreciated AYT's infamous Stone Age story.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
All right thanks Bucky and Mizal, I'll just not use too much detail. I'm 14 now by the way.

Here's my first page:

You dart across the rooftops, loot in hand. With your dark clothes and the hood of your cloak pulled up to hide your scarlet hair, freckled skin and emerald green eyes, you blend in with the night.

The loot you carry will ensure you and your friends in the Thieves' Guild have everything you need for the month, but it doesn't weigh you down at all. A simple brass key, tomorrow night it will unlock the storeroom of a fat merchant who thinks he's grown too important to make "donations" to the town orphanage.

The Thieves' Guild, ignoring the name, does a lot of good in Redlion and most people are smart enough to recognize that. The ones that aren't soon find their pockets empty and themselves in need of the help they refused others.

Not that your friends are running a charity. But the wealthy are wealthy enough to give to the poor and for the Guild to take its cut too.

You are stopping to check that no one is watching as you get near the house your friends are staying in, crouching out of sight behind some crates on a flat stone roof when you hear arguing below.

"Just get out of here! What else can you want from me?" This voice you recognize as old Mr. Thorpen, the owner of the shop you're currently crouching of the roof of.

"More coin will do." says a smirking voice. You can't see who it belongs to from here.

"I've paid what I owe. This is robbery!"

"What do you call that shipment of Tenada wine you just got in? You didn't pay a dime for that, not even for a license to sell it." Another voice growls.

"I don't know what you're talking about! There is no wine, you're mistaken!" Mr. Thorpen sounds frightened now and you find yourself growing angry. The shopkeeper was liked by everyone in the neighborhood, always giving sweets to the orphans and poor kids who hung around his store when others would be more likely to call the guards to drive them off.

There is a crashing sound and the door swings open, and two men drag Thorpen out, throwing him on the ground and viciously kicking him. You have to do something to help!

You think to yourself that you can either push one of the crates next to you down to try and hit one of them, or else just jump right down and attack while they're distracted.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

15 days ago
Not a bad start! You do a lot to get setting details across while not detracting from the immediate action. And now I'm interested in learning more about how the Thieves' Guild operates, and who the thugs are if not affiliated with them.

I can't remember if I recommended it before, bit you should check the Help & Info section and read Gower's article on Dialogue Punctuation before you get too far along in this. Getting it down early means that much less to edit later.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago
Thanks!

"bit you should check the Help & Info section"

Found a typo btw.


The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago
@Mizal, can you copy my first page to the first page of my story thread? And can delete the rest there's there, I posted too fast and want something better there now. And I've changed the plot some too.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago
>And can delete the rest

*and can you

And, done.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago
You have made a powerful enemy this day.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago
42

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago
Okay, so a few things struck me as I was reading this.

1) Do I know what an Opax is at this point in the story? Is it relevant to the story?

2) Before I got to the second to last paragraph, I had the same questions about the Indig.

3) You have a lot of grammar issues here. I'll provide some specific examples below.

4) I suggest you read your dialogue out loud. It doesn't sound natural.

5) You spent a paragraph talking about the Indig, but I still have no idea what they are, what they look like, etc. I'd probably like to have a little foreshadowing or knowledge of them before people start talking about them if they're going to be important. If they're not important to the story, they probably should be cut. At any rate, this was one of my biggest issues with this excerpt. And the discussion of the Indig was a lot of telling (without really telling me much of import).

6) What's with the weird spacing?

7) Back to the dialogue - you have antelope in the frozen far north? Are they wearing parkas?

8) I think I understand what you're trying to convey with the phrase "large low tents" - but it sounds odd. I'd try to reword this a bit. I assume you're talking about long, low-lying tents. But this begs the question of - why this kind of tent?

Anyway, those are some quick hit thoughts I had with an initial read-through. Some other comments, mostly pertaining to grammar below:

STORY --- You get back to the supplies and see where one of the other scout groups have come back.

My take: You go back to the supplies to see *whether any* of the other scout groups have returned.

Comments: Why are you going back to the supplies, instead of say, the command post?

STORY --- You wait with the others watching the treeline and the ship.

Comments: How do you watch the treeline and the ship at the same time? It's also not clear who is doing the watching. You? The other scouts? Both?

STORY --- More Longboats come ashore and you take turns, taking watch and helping unload the boats.

Comments: You have a run-on sentence before the comma. This also strikes me as odd, partly because I don't have the context of time. Why are they taking turns unloading ships and keeping watch? Are they unloading boats for hours on end? Maybe then it might make sense to give people a break. But these people should be in fair shape, and I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense to unload a ship for ten minutes then stand and watch the treeline for another ten. How many scouts are there? It shouldn't take a lot of people to watch a treeline.

Overall, I think you have a good idea what you want to do with this scene, but it needs fleshed out more - (with strong verbs and nouns to paint clear imagery). Give us more detail. We seem to be doing a lot of waiting too. This scene involves a first scout report and the setting up of camp. There's a lot of things going on. I don't think anyone needs to be doing much waiting.

I also strongly recommend that you take a look at Gower's dialogue punctuation article.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago

So.

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago
Gower has several nice articles on punctuation. I'd review them and try to focus on some of the mistakes that you know that you're prone to making. That should help you be cognizant of some of them when you're writing.

My point with the dialogue is, even if they're trying to be terse, they're not really conveying useful information, are they? Opax sign. Okay. Great, thanks Johnny. In that area spanning several miles that you just scouted, you saw a sign of an Opax somewhere. Care to tell us where? What kind of sign? What's that, Billy? You saw reindeer? (I was looking forward to the parka wearing antelope. Alas, another tale perhaps.) Think you might want to share where you saw them with the rest of us? Timmy over there wants to put his butcher block to use.

And while I don't have the full context of the story to this point, I can't buy that they're super concerned about being quiet while back at camp. With all the people that are moving in here and setting things up, being quiet just isn't a thing that's going to happen. Ten men talking may make more noise than ten thousand men standing silent, but beaching longships, sending them back out to sea, heaving supplies around, staking tents, etc. just can't be done in silence.

I think you're missing my point on the waiting thing. Words in a story are precious. Waiting is boring, and in most situations, it doesn't add anything to the story. Your protagonist should be doing something. And there's plenty to do in this scene. But here, he's waiting when we start the scene, and he's generally waiting some more when it ends. A lot of what you mentioned in your last paragraph here could have been shown as part of the action in the scene and helped flesh it out.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago
The idea behind this advice is generally correct - but it is explained poorly. Also, from skimming your excerpt, I don’t think it applies here. When I get a chance later to look at this more thoroughly, I’ll go into more detail.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago
Fisted Dave just wants you to stop calling him a pain in the ass

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago

Yes Please!

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

14 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago
I didn't think there was too much dialogue. Overall, it seemed like a pretty good first page to me, so I don't have a lot of comments. Mostly just some typos and wrong personage. This latter issue will always jar a reader out of the flow of the story. So definitely try to catch those when you get to the editing phase.

--

"Yeah, there is actually. You know how I told you to keep *thinks* lit and not leave anything laying around?"

I think you mean "things"

"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.'

You better not have your filthy thieving hands in MY pocket.

--

Only because Dave mentioned it - yes, generally, you will want to avoid clunky repetition. Your readers will pick up on it. Your readers are not dumb. Well, some of them might be. But still, while some of your readers may have certain mental deficiencies, your readers will notice repetition. Your readers enjoyment is a primary objective.

There's a few ways repetition becomes cumbersome. Some examples include starting your sentences in a paragraph the same way or by using the same sentence structure without changing things up. You might also jar your readers if all of your paragraphs start with the same few words. And the other big one that comes to my mind is repeatedly using the same verbs. Repetition in close proximity is the real culprit. But using a fancy verb just a few times in a story can potentially become noticeable.

However, in your excerpt, I don't see this as an issue. But I agree that you don't need to tell us Dave is a pain the ass. You do a pretty good job showing us that Dave is a prick.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago
Very much this.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago
When you get to editing, and this can apply to everyone, reading your words out loud - or having someone reading your words out loud to you - is a great way to catch typos or just clumsy sounding language.

But if I'm writing something in the moment and I question whether it sounds weird, I'll read it out loud right then and there. This does slow the process down though, which is partly why I am a notoriously slow writer.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago
1) I don’t know what you’re asking. There’s no minimum word count.
2) Knock yourself out.
3) From what you shared, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with what you were planning in the first place.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

13 days ago

You are talking about another game. I am talking about my game Landslide for Mizal best contest

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

11 days ago
Bucky, Mizal said to ask you if I'd get a higher score if Caelani's boyfriend was her brother.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

11 days ago
Well, EndMaster will probably approve.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

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

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

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!

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

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.)

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

"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.

 

 

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

" With hardships, and pain in his eyes " and "with hardship an pain in his eyes" are both the same number of syllables. :)
 

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

I KNEW that line sounded off! Thanks!

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

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.
 

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago
I think Camelon pointed out the odd phrasing parts that I noticed.

I don't know if you plan on using this AABB throughout the story or if you plan on switching the rhyme scheme up between pages or acts, but a common ballad rhyme scheme - and I think it works well for storytelling - is AABA BBCB CCBC etc. etc..

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

I'm going to post the first page of the male character in my story first because the other needs to be proofread tomorrow.

To tall

That’s what you are. The tallest ones are always the most boisterous people, according to your instructors.

To dark

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.

To handsome

That’s what the others tell you, in ugly jealousy. The reason why you are given 50 lashes when other’s get 25. 

To unique

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.

A mistake

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

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

Too tall. Too dark. Too handsome. Too unique.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

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.

Edit:

Too tall.

That’s what you are. "The tallest ones are always the most boisterous people," the instructors often say.

Too dark.

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.

“That one’s too unique.”

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.

A mistake.

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.

Through adolescence, they whipped you into obedience.

“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 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. 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 Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago
Remember, if you’re using “too” to mean: also, excessively, etc. then it has two “o”s.

Be mindful of avoiding tense shifts. If you miss any in the proofreading process later, your readers won’t.

This might just be me, but the first half had me intrigued. Then I found about the next quarter of it really repetitive; I felt like I could infer a lot of things already. Then I liked the last quarter or so; it seems to be promising that shit is going to be hitting the fan.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

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

[Tyler]: And?

[Brad]: here... email: fr33zydog071@yahoo.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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago
I think you have two good story questions here.

1) Will Tyler get “crazy bitches” - emphasis on crazy, but probably not in the way Brad was thinking.

2) That e-mail and free account are shady as all get out. Curious as to what’s up with that.

Not a story question - I’m just old - is Disney Plus the new fad these days? And do you watch before or after you walk into a streetlight playing Pokémon Go?

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago
You need it for all the Disney movies and The Mandalorian

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago
But what about all those grandmothers that bought the entire Disney movie collection on VHS back in the 90s! Disney insisted they had to buy the collection to preserve the memories for the children! The children! You know, the VHS tapes that only have a shelf life of about 20 years.

Wait ... do modern children know what VHS tapes are?

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago

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.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago
After reading the other intros makes me feel that I am not doing a great job like the others. But This is my intro:


A multitude of people from the entire galaxy are tense, longing in awe for the moment in which the arbitrators declare the beginning of the deathmatch while the light of the five moons shines mysteriously over the huge space stadium made of brilliant diamond and graphene glass.

Everyone but yourself, Guybrush Macporridge. You don't care about that stupid Murderbowl. A handful of heroes fighting to the death to become gods ... nonsense!

You just continue sweeping and scrubbing the infinite diamond crystal of the stadium floating in space, while this damned old suit doesn't stop rubbing and stinging your parts. If you could only scratch them...

You try to forget the stinky suit, focusing on the scenery. Outer space is darkly beautiful.

This is, without doubt, the only good thing about being a space janitor, being able to observe how every day, the sunlight makes your home planet appear to be floating in the empty black of space and suddenly its light paints the sky in a million colours... So peaceful.

"GUYBRUSH MACPORRIDGE STOP PROCRASTINATING AND GO BACK TO YOUR DAMNED WORK !!" A thunderous voice destroys your tympanum through the speaker of the old and sweaty spacesuit which has a smell that reminds you of a wet dog.

"MURDER THEM !!!" You can hear the roaring yells of a million of fans excited at the idea of ??shedding more and more blood.

You gaze at the infinity and stretch your right hand effortlessly to create a space mop that works through nanobots.

This is your superpower, being able to generate cleaning products from nothing. And this is your punishment, cleaning for hundreds of years the place where the true heroes forge and gain the right to create worlds or perish to the delirium of thousands of worlds.

Suddenly a lightning ball of magic fire falls a few inches from your tired feet ...

"Another damn hero's head, boss!" You complain moodily, as you know that it causes a lot of fuss in addition to paperwork, and in an hour a Sponge mop's marathon begins on the holo television.

"Put it in the trash, he has no hero insurance. And come down at once, your turn is over." The boss growls as the stingy guy hates that you use the damned third-hand suit.

CHOICES
1- Save the hero's head to sell it on the net.
2-Throw it away, but covering the proper paperwork.
3-Pull it down with the rest of the trash.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago
So I felt like it was fine. It definitely has an interesting setting, and you can't help but feel a little sympathetic for the protagonist.

You have a bit of a disadvantage because English isn't your native language. I'd make sure you find someone to help you proofread when you're done. That'll help you fix some of the odd bits of phrasing and some grammar issues.

Some general thoughts. I think you rely too much on adjectives and adverbs, sometimes repeating things unnecessarily. There's also never really a good reason to use multiple exclamation marks. One is sufficient.

I think this is how I would edit your passage:

Tension hangs in the air as people from all over the galaxy wait in awe for the arbitrators to announce the start of the Deathmatch. The light of five moons shines over a massive space stadium made of brilliant diamonds and graphene glass.

But unlike everyone else, you don't care about that stupid Murderbowl. A handful of heroes fighting to the death to become gods ... nonsense!

You just continue sweeping and scrubbing the infinite diamond crystal of the stadium, grumbling all the while. Your damn suit keeps rubbing and stinging in all the wrong places. And you can't even scratch yourself with all these people around.

You try to forget the stupid - and stinky - suit, focusing on the scenery. Outer space possesses a captivating and dark beauty. This is, without doubt, the only good thing about being a space janitor. Being able to observe how, every day, the sunlight makes your home planet appear to be floating in the empty black of space before suddenly painting the sky in a million colours. So peaceful.

"GUYBRUSH MACPORRIDGE STOP STANDING AROUND AND GET BACK TO WORK!" A thunderous voice rumbles through the speaker of the old and sweaty spacesuit - which has an aroma that reminds you of a wet dog.

"MURDER THEM!" You can hear the roaring yells of millions of fans, excited at the spectacle of bloodshed.

You gaze at the infinity and flex your right hand effortlessly to create a space mop that works through nanobots. This is your superpower, being able to generate cleaning products from nothing. And this is your punishment, cleaning for hundreds of years, in a place where hopeful heroes earn the right to create worlds or perish to the delighted cheers of the crowd.

Suddenly, a lightning ball of magical fire lands a few inches from your feet.

"Another hero's head, boss," you complain moodily, as you know that exploded heads cause a lot of fuss, in addition to paperwork. In about an hour, a Sponge mop's marathon will begin on the holo television.

"Put it in the trash," says your boss through the suit's speaker. "He doesn't have hero insurance. And come down then. Your shift is over. Maybe take the time to wash that stupid suit for once, would ya?"

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago
I want to add a small homage to Monkey Island adding a small paragraph from its dialogue, I will include the reference origin and the rest of the situation is completely original it is just a small easter egg. I only adk to know if it is allowed or not.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

10 days ago
I don't know what that is, but it's probably ok.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

8 days ago
Posting my first page. Gib feedback pls I beg As you take a drink from your canteen and wipe the sweat from your brow, you cast a glance up at the sun high in the sky. About noon you'd reckon, maybe a bit later. Should be getting to the town before long if all goes according to plan. "Get goin', boy," you grunt, giving your horse a soft kick to the ribs. The roan gives a neigh and picks up the pace. Minnesota Territory is about as far west as you've ever gone, considering you mostly work in Pennsylvania. Most of the work out east is simple enough, a few witches, some hellhounds. Once you put down a vampire, and it was the hardest job you've ever gone on. It's hard to believe some of the stories the older folks in the order tell, of a time when monsters roamed the east freely; likewise with the stories of those who've been out as far as New Mexico Territory, who claim that the west is teeming with beasts. There's a shifting in the bushes to your right and you find yourself stopping your horse in his tracks with a yank on the reins. Sweat drips from your brow. You slide a hand closer to the holster at your hip, watching the bushes intently as they continue to rustle. When you finally lay a hand on the grip of your revolver, the rustling stops. A rabbit hops out from the bush and scurries across the trail to the underbrush on the other side. You let out a sigh, shaking your head and spurring your roan to continue. Nerves are getting to you. Then again, who could blame you? Any job puts you on edge, but this one in particular is getting to you, namely because of what they said you'd be hunting... A wendigo. Wendigo are rare and no one can quite nail down what they really are. There's too many conflicting stories from both hunters and those native to this land, and the term wendigo is slapped onto any sort of forest dwelling beast with a hunger for flesh. Some wendigo are small and thin as a blade of grass with the strength of an ox, others are grotesque buck-like beasts that walk on two legs and stand at nine feet tall. There's no real telling which sort you'll be finding until you find it. The wendigo apparently killed a man in a settlement. None of the settlers have experience hunting beasts, so they sent a rider back east to get a message to your order. Having drawn the short straw, you were the one sent out. From what you've heard, the settlement is a small place without a name, surrounded on all sides by mountains and forests. If there's one thing you know, it's that nothing good resides in the woods; if it were up to you, you'd burn down every last tree in the world so the things in the dark would have no cover. As you ride over the hill, you finally see the small settlement, which is more of a glorified camp than anything. It's in a clearing of about a half mile area, most of it comprised of tents but there's a few log cabins here and there. Smoke rises from the chimney of the largest cabin, and a few people mill about. Some men chop wood on the edge of the forest, a woman is washing clothes in a barrel in front of a tent, and a handful of children run around waving sticks at each other in the center of the settlement. It seems they're making the most of their life here, as much as they can when a bloodthirsty beast is hunting them. Nodding and taking one final drink from your canteen, you ride on down to the settlement.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

8 days ago

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. 

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

8 days ago
Setting is an alternate 1852 America, in a world where the supernatural exists mostly in the form of wild beasts and dark magic. Will check the paragraph and fix it up for sure. Thanks Shadow.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

8 days ago

No problem, thanks for the clarification. I look forward to reading more! 

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

8 days ago
I think that's a great first page Chris. Your writing has come a long way since you joined the site as a random list of numbers.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

8 days ago
Obligatory.

And yes, as the only contestant with a featured fantasy game, if Chris finishes this by the deadline he's going to be the boss battle.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

8 days ago
Edited one of my posts in that thread accordingly.

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

6 days ago

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?

The Doctor is In (Maybe)

6 days ago
There's a lot of very strong imagery here. From what I've heard, it seems this story could easily be an epic, so my biggest concern is whether you'll be able to pare it down to a manageable 20-30k for the contest. (You could always add more later if you're still loving the story.)

Third paragraph down, second sentence: You sit and "hot drink" Franjia tea ...

Third paragraph up: No space between third and fourth paragraphs.