mizal, The Apprentice Scrivener

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Last Activity

9/24/2017 10:44 AM

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1 win / 6 losses


Lauded Sage


Taking a break.

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


Don't Get Date Raped!
A short, educational piece. Please remain sensitive and respectful in the comment section. (I'd hate to have to report you to an admin for bullying me.)

(DO NOT READ if you're at all easily offended or lacking in a sense of humor. There's nothing graphic at all in here, but seriously, I still cannot stress it enough, this story is not for you.)

WOWSERS! Triggers ahead!

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

Help categorizing a story? Also ideas/feedback on 9/24/2017 10:43:52 AM
Okay I have to say you're handling criticism really well, and that's ultimately one of the most important things for someone serious about writing. Earlier posts may have come off as blunt but you were a cat-themed teenage furry so I assumed the worst.

Help categorizing a story? Also ideas/feedback on 9/24/2017 10:31:37 AM
Talking animals living in cities with shops in harmony with other animals would work best in a fantasy world. Powers, like in any setting, depend on what they're there for. As a general rule you don't include things like that unless they have a purpose to the plot. And I'd recommend against extremely powerful ones, because then you're having to constantly struggle with 'why doesn't this character, or another character nearby, just use their magic superpower to instantly and effortlessly resolve this conflict?' 'plot structure' is a good thing to Google by the way, as a guideline for this or most other stories.

Help categorizing a story? Also ideas/feedback on 9/24/2017 10:10:14 AM
Not going to be able to comment much more on this today, but I'm just going to leave off with saying that I really think this would be easier to handle with, as others have already suggested, a few specific species rather than every animal in the world. And seriously, just have this be the way things are on a fantasy world rather than trying to graft it on to modern/futuristic Earth. Using real animals for instance, leaves you with the burden of explaining why they're not constantly eating their allies or fighting each other over mates just due to the way their brains are wired. Capacity for higher intelligence and moral choices being suddenly grafted on to would do very little to change this aside from probably making them go insane. (At the very least, they probably wouldn't decide they needed to open a shop.) There are lots of physical and chemical changes to the structure of the brain implied in this too which, again, is difficult to explain away with "because magic." Basically, a story about magic furries I'm sure has an appeal to /someone/, but probably best to leave real animals and the real world out of it. Furries are essentially just humans with fur, and in this case, magic powers. Real animals are something much more interesting and unique, and it would take a lot of research and imagination to cover the results of sapience for even one species, even before you add the superpowers. (Obligatory recommendation for reading Watership Down as a fantastic example of how to handle 'animals that are also people' in a realistic and interesting way.) Think really long and hard about any powers you give the animals too. Each one needs to be there for the reason of either adding complications to or resolving a conflict, or otherwise having a meaningful impact on the plot.

Help categorizing a story? Also ideas/feedback on 9/24/2017 9:36:55 AM
I would recommend studying real wolves, as they are pack hunters with an already pretty complex communication system. I'm not sure what glowing anything would do except make it more difficult to be stealthy.

Help categorizing a story? Also ideas/feedback on 9/24/2017 9:29:36 AM
I always imagine his feelings are like the burning but also kind of stupid when described feelings of pure rage I have when thinking about obscure children's series The Dark is Rising and various other random stories I encountered at the time I was basically reading anything and everything. (I once spent almost an entire week being furious at Greg Bear's Hardfought for reasons I don't entirely understand...)

I do like the Narnia series still but like, it was written for 8 year olds in the 1950s and it might be a factor that Pullman first encountered the books as an adult.

...hmm, actually googling His Dark Materials claims an age range of 11-13 but from the one I read parts of while standing around at a book sale >.> it seemed more mature than that. But, Pullman is also strongly against 'age ranges' for books which is definitely something I'm with him on. I read all kinds of what in hindsight was pretty fucked up shit from about the second grade on and hell yeah, that was the best.

"About Us" - Missing Statistics Causing Exception on 9/24/2017 8:33:45 AM
Yeah I saw that the other day but it magically fixed itself.

Help categorizing a story? Also ideas/feedback on 9/24/2017 8:31:03 AM
The premise given by the OP would be far more workable on some fantasy world where animals talking and having powers was just how it worked IMO. Grounding it in a modern RL setting from the beginning leads to uncomfortable questions about the biology of it all even before you get to the (lack of) logic in the behaviors. I believe Philip Pullman has cited a bitter hatred for the Narnia books as a big part of his inspiration for writing Dark Materials. He's also been pretty dismissive of LotR so he's definitely the edgiest choice for all your nerdy children's book fantasies.

Help categorizing a story? Also ideas/feedback on 9/24/2017 7:40:56 AM
It's like a twelve year old's 'wouldn't it be cool if???' fever dream with no thought given to internal consistency or logic. "Because magic. Random, yet incredibly specific magic." That's been the secret hidden subtext to my posts, but at the same time I'm waiting to hear the OP's side of things. I'm really not getting a sense that any thought at all was put into making this stuff serve a plot, however.

Help categorizing a story? Also ideas/feedback on 9/24/2017 7:04:21 AM
Didn't want this to get lost in my other post, but my big question for the OP: how are the animals communicating? Please be specific. Also, please explain what a 'super-bowl' is.

Help categorizing a story? Also ideas/feedback on 9/24/2017 6:58:48 AM
It is generally a red flag when instead of any info on a story we get a bunch of setting background, yes. My first recommendation would be just never, ever touching on anything from the OP when doing the actual writing, but if she can defend the premise I want to see her try. The whole thing with everyone having powers just as a matter of course will make any plot incredibly complicated, it's a lot to factor in in any scenario and you've got to scale up the conflict to match. (I mean for real, how do you even deal with a viewpoint character that is an invulnerable magic bear with claws that 'rip through everything'? You'd be crippling yourself from the get go in terms of making anything that happens interesting.) I don't know if insects get sentience too, but ants would be the obvious one, yes. First thing Malk brought up too--you are both so alike and will be good friends! ^_^ If bugs are out, then rats and mice would be the main threat. They wouldn't even need magic powers beyond sapience and an ability to communicate. I'm surprised monkeys haven't gotten a mention, but like bears and wolves they'd be a pretty localized threat. Any large animals are still easier to take out than zombies however as you don't even have to worry about a headshot. Wolves especially will have a hard time on multiple levels, 'glowing fur' not being much of a survival trait.