mizal, The Novelist

Member Since


Last Activity

2/26/2017 1:04 AM

EXP Points


Post Count


Storygame Count


Duel Stats

1 win / 6 losses


Lauded Sage


"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." --Anton Chekhov

I'm here on CYS primarily as a reader and reviewer. I have an interest in seeing good stories posted, and bad ones going away, and the site being a place readers can browse to reliably find quality work. I tend to be fairly busy during the week, but if you want general impressions or advice on a story or writing excerpt, feel free to PM me. (If you're new, just fyi getting advice and feedback is one of the things the Writing Workshop on the forums is for as well.)    

Otherwise, past experience has taught me that the reason you're looking at my profile right now might be because I hurt your fragile feefees with critical remarks.

If so, let me explain my approach to reviewing:  

I said it just a moment ago, but I know words are hard, so I'll repeat: I'm here primarily as a reader and a reviewer. If I feel the thing I just read wasted my time, my review will reflect that. 

A story, to be a story, needs an engaging plot, relatable characters and conflicts for them to overcome in a believable way. A rudimentary idea of pacing and structure and a creative idea or two thrown in the mix wouldn't hurt either! (Spelling, punctuation, grammar and proof reading are a given. Better to not publish at all if you can't even be bothered with that much.)  

It's not any reader's job to pat you on the back for only failing to deliver in X or Y number of ways. When I see a story that's not a story, I rate it a one and move on. There are people happy to offer feedback, and you can write all you want for as long as you need, but once you hit that publish button you're throwing your work out into the wild and you'd better be sure it can stand on its own merits. 

(Storygames with more focus on the 'game' part are rarer and have slightly different criteria, but they still need enough decent writing to hold them together, and above all need to be entertaining.)


Now, for all you kids just starting out, the Grammarly Handbook is a great resource, and above all I'd recommend you just read more books. Step away from comforting junk food like Warrior Cats a little while and challenge yourself by branching out to other genres, older books, and books above your age level. Whether you like them or don't like them, see if you can look at the author's choices from a meta level and identify why.      

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points Thorough and consistent writing workshop contributions / excellent commenting.


Now You Gotta Deal With This S***

A tale told in verse. A text from your sister requesting a pick up from a party leads to a night of strangeness.

Inspired by Bucky's ballad contest. Though...I wouldn't call this a ballad. I'm not sure what I'd call it, actually, other than exceedingly stupid, and fun to write.

(Don't pay any attention to the scores, they're just for me to track which endings reviewers get.)

Articles Written

CYS Forum Advice and Etiquette
A modernized guide to the forums. The path to internet popularity and happiness, and a few CYS specific do's and don'ts.

Recent Posts

Duel Me on 2/26/2017 12:06:49 AM
I think I liked this one the best of the other stuff you've posted. If you want a detailed critique there's a couple of small issues I could get into tomorrow, but the only major plot question I have is that, as far as I can tell no one was actually murdered, and yet someone gets executed for first degree murder?

Mizal's Fantasy Rebellion Thing on 2/25/2017 11:52:34 PM
It has been decreed that every fantasy rebellion story idea posted here must undergo a trial by fire. This is not a problem for those of us who think our plots through in the first place, but for the sake of fairness, here's mine: *** The country is called Lisali, and main character is Tamberlee, the disinherited eleventh child of a very unpopular king. When the story starts she's living in obscurity, keeping her identity a secret and supporting herself working as a scribe for wealthy merchants. Her father Gattri came to the throne when the former king, his cousin Melchrius, was killed in a war across the sea. The way Lisali succession laws worked would have made the Queen ruler until their young child was an adult, but Gattri and a few officials not visibly connected to him accused her of adultery, produced evidence, and had her imprisoned and the child sent away before anyone realized Melchrius was dead. (A retired general and some other high placed people absolutely loyal to the King and Queen suffered accidents and illnesses around that time that made them unable to stand up for her.) After years of mismanaging the kingdom, Gattri dies of what's believed to be a heart attack brought on by his hedonistic lifestyle. (AKA, his enormous fat ass) His heir dies in a riding accident before he even gets the news. There's a dispute about the fitness of the next oldest to rule, and several factions go to work taking advantage of the uncertainty. Some of the rebels want to restore the Queen and the line of Melchrius, some of them want to replace the monarchy entirely with a council of nobles, some want things to carry on as they are only with a puppet on the throne, and some want the kingdom to become a part of the neighboring one, but pretty much all of them agree it would be a good idea to wipe Gattri's line out entirely to prevent any future messes, and being a disinherited eleventh child won't necessarily save Tamberlee. Of course, IF she plays her cards right after getting found out, and IF she throws in with the right faction, she might not only survive, but wind up ruling the country. And that's when the real problems will start. I might have to wind up making this one a two part thing, but I'd rather not. ETA: At some point in 2017. Maybe. *** Come at me bitches. I can answer any question.

Weirdest fetishes on 2/25/2017 9:53:45 PM
Ugh. Okay. I found the magic words for Google. Look up 'living aircraft art'. No, wait. I meant to say 'don't'. Don't ever do this. Don't ever look up 'anthromorphic airplanes' either. ...I need a drink. ('living airplanes' was some Deviant art category, but most of them are pretty cartoony and reasonably non-creepy tbh. Still, I'm sure if I were to scroll down far enough...) edit: 'Moe Anthropomorphism' seems to be the general term for making inanimate objects into little anime girls. You can probably combine this with airplanes in a search, but why would you want to?

Weirdest fetishes on 2/25/2017 9:44:32 PM
Back before Something Awful became Something Sensitive, I remember there was a massive thread on the forums there dedicated to mocking some autistic girl's badly drawn big-titted airplane porn.

She would also write these long essays about all kinds of trivial shit in her life--how upsetting it was to have people thinking she was a lesbian because she wore fingerless gloves to work, her 'martial arts training' and how she would use a bokken to masturbate (I can't make this stuff up...) I wish I could remember enough to try and see if the thread still exists in the archives, because it was a goldmine.

There was another one of those threads about a guy obsessed, just absolutely obsessed with Yoshi from Mario, in pretty much every way possible. His stuffed Yoshi collection absolutely featured a few holes in suspicious places. (Though I guess that's fairly tame by internet standards...)

Aloris: The King's Son on 2/25/2017 9:17:43 PM
I was pretty busy during the week and missed this whole thread. I'd like to know more about what the villain's actual plan is in regards to Cyrus. The rebels want to overthrow the king, but the idea isn't to remove him and his line? They're setting themselves up as Cyrus' enemies here either way, so I don't see manipulation and the like working. Unless by 'gaining power' you mean more along the lines of 'sign these papers giving us power or we'll cut off your head'. Which could be interesting, actually, but it would work as well with the current king as on his son.

How does a peasant vocally speak out against a king and get followers to do the same without some kind of repercussions?

It's like ok, the peasants are being oppressed. But that kind of goes hand in hand with being a peasant. They're also uneducated, untrained, unarmed and generally powerless, and they don't have the kinds of rights needed to keep anyone expressing discontent from being brutally stamped out, unless you specifically establish that in this setting they do.

Basically, please think about your characters and setting and everyone's motivation carefully, but also how they actually do the things they do. Maybe you can be the hero who brings us the fantasy rebellion story that doesn't suck.

Let's honor fleeting masterpieces on 2/25/2017 9:07:40 PM
I remember the thread, you were going to do a whole series of sarcastic reviews or something right? Maybe people were being stupid and got it nuked. Go ahead and post it here though, End-sama will protect you. And as long as the Fork thread exists in the Lounge, most others should be safe.

Draw My Attention (New Age of Sage) on 2/25/2017 5:23:57 PM
'Restart, stupid'

I am frothing right now.

'The beach is beautiful today, the water, trees, sea gulls, etc.' wins some kind of prize for world's laziest opening line, too. Not a great sign when the author gets bored and gives up halfway through it.

Let's honor fleeting masterpieces on 2/25/2017 4:58:04 PM
Reread the OP.

EndMaster’s Edgelord Contest on 2/25/2017 4:45:52 PM
Thanks for the gold star! And yes, you spotted the hidden subtext of 'freeform RPers are the most ridiculous form of life on Earth'. Though it's not just the freeformers. Long after I lost all interest in RP, I could entertain myself stalking them in their lairs, just browsing profiles and backstories.

A Challenger Appears on 2/25/2017 4:43:16 PM
We're talking about Marauders, so duh.