mizal, The Apprentice Scrivener

Member Since


Last Activity

7/24/2017 8:47 PM

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.


Haha I think Mizal has a gift for driving half-crazy members into full-fledged crazy :) - Will11

You made fun of something I am doing. That's not very nice. I want people to be nice. Please be nice. - some retard


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

Randomly ordered "arcs" on 7/24/2017 8:45:00 PM
Actually you're probably getting banned unless Berka's feeling merciful. But otherwise how's life been treating you, Azure?

Looking 4 feedback on pieces I have written. on 7/24/2017 8:29:19 PM
Can't get into too much detail with a phone post, but just a quick reply to let you know I read this and enjoyed it. The style means it can take a little while unwinding the sentences, but aside from needing a few minor adjustments for flow here and there (I'll get back to you on that tomorrow) this works pretty well for the Lovecraftian style.

Randomly ordered "arcs" on 7/24/2017 8:18:56 PM
Lots of useful info in this thread. Requesting the scripting stuff will be split off if it gets deleted for some reason. Or maybe I'm wrong and the OP will write a fourth paragraph soon to begin incorporating some of this stuff.

HELP i need some tips so i can make a good story on 7/24/2017 8:13:48 PM
Learn basic English before worrying about anything else. I suspect it's not that you're unsure how to spell words like 'can' or don't realize you're supposed to capitalize proper nouns, the problem lies more in you being too lazy and uncaring to look at the random assortment of letters you just bashed out before slamming down on the submit button.

heya! on 7/24/2017 8:09:30 PM
I've never before seen someone do this unironically.

Ready Player One on 7/24/2017 11:35:38 AM
lol people don't post on this board, what are you doing

BZ's Summer Slam Contest! on 7/24/2017 7:40:35 AM
I'm going to put forth the minority opinion here that I like Negative and think he's good for the site. He fulfills an important ecological niche as the guy we can casually kick around, and yet will always come crawling back for more. The guy we can point newbies at and go 'don't be that guy'. An important and necessary, yet under appreciated role in every forum community, just so long as his kind are never given voting rights or a positive point value. It's kind of like how Raven used to be, only with Negative there's no fear of him ever getting together enough self respect to just take his ball and go home. Also I kind of want to see how many more of these contests it takes before he actually writes something.

Root Double and innovation in storytelling on 7/24/2017 5:09:42 AM
I wish I could get Axiom to post again because she has played a lot of VNs and has Opinions, and I remember talked/ranted about the lengths before. Not even the plots so much as the sheer amount of meandering, unnecessary words. I don't know if it's something that reads better before translation, or just different expectations for different audiences or what (more time taken from your life while never getting to the point = more value for your money?), but words for the sake of words I've never considered a good writing technique.

Summer Slam Bragging & Bitching thread on 7/23/2017 11:07:02 PM
I'm now picturing the world's most boring porno. Like everyone just pauses mid-sex to fill out paperwork for an hour. Anyway, actual progress to report: I took a break from the main storyline to backtrack and fill in a few early endings, and expand some worldbuilding stuff. Chapter One is now at 15000 words and more or less complete. One month to go so I'm going to be cutting it close, and more strategic amputations may be necessary as I go along, but my story is technically in better shape now than the ones for the last two contests were. Like, I could post Chapter One as a standalone thing right now with only a moderate amount of shame. (It's just that all the actual heroing bits come later...)

Randomly ordered "arcs" on 7/23/2017 8:10:56 PM
Yes to all the 'is it possible' questions, it's just a matter of setting a variable and checking for it when the relevant links are clicked, plus a little on page scripting to change the lines. But from a writing standpoint I'd question the story events not mattering at all other than a couple of lines of swapped out dialogue.