mizal, The Grandmaster of the Written Word

Member Since


Last Activity

1/29/2020 6:47 AM

EXP Points


Post Count


Storygame Count


Duel Stats

1 win / 6 losses


Lauded Sage Exemplar



Brought the old elf av back by popular request. Sagely advice also due for a major overhaul...some day....eventually...when I get around to it.

Sagely advice for the children: Here and here and all over this wonderful internet only a single Google search away, you may find explanations of correct grammar and punctuation usage in English. That and proper spelling (most writing programs and even the editor on the site itself helpfully include a spell checker!) are the bare minimum expected of anyone posting a story on the site. If you're not willing to do that much, you're not remotely serious about writing. And if you don't care about what you write, then we don't care to read it. So don't bother.
Rating and reviewing other people's stories is still an excellent use of your time however and a way to accumulate points and respect on the site even if you don't write. It may also teach you a thing or two about writing and especially writing and structuring CYOAs, which are a bit of a different beast than a standard story. Reading books, and thinking about them on the meta level in the sense of the the things the author chose to include and how they were introduced and why is also a good exercise in sharpening your skills. Reading bad books and being able to identify why they're bad, even better! Read books above your designated 'age level' or whatever as often as possible. That whole system was created by people who think you're stupid and want to keep you that way. You'll never get better at anything unless you push and challenge yourself.

Sagely advice for newb authors: Read the articles. Especially the ones on the advanced editor and scripting. A basic knowledge of variables and scripting will save you untold headaches in the future and streamline the whole process. Learn what $DEST is for and how to toggle a variable within link if nothing else.

A regular story is challenging enough if you're serious about doing it properly. Meanwhile a CYOA is an exponentially expanding story on steroids and crack. You MUST make plans ahead of time about what you're doing and where it's going or it will get away from you completely.

Always back up your work. If nothing else, make a copy of anything you write just before hitting the button to save it. Glitches have been known to happen and a page can time out if it sits too long.

Many of the veteran authors here do all their writing in a separate program that can be more easily backed up and paste it over to the site when they're finished. Your words often flow easier when you tackle one path at a time and then go back to add in branches, treating each major path like its own complete story with variations within it.

Although, there are many ways to structure a CYOA and you may found a different system than the one described above works best for you, one thing that's important for any story to be satisfying is that it's structured like a story.

Behold the sacred precepts of S T R U C T U R E in all their simple, straightforward glory:


Spelling it out (for the blindies and others) in order for a story to BE a story you need to start off by establishing your setting, important characters, and the conflict they'll be up against. Smaller obstacles leading up to the major one will need to be overcome, and the protagonist will usually try and fail to deal with whatever the main source of conflict is, or it will be revealed to be more powerful or dangerous than believed. (Remember, an easily won victory is a boring one.) This leads into the climax, the point of greatest suspense where the stakes are highest and the characters have everything to lose. Once THAT'S overcome, the story enters a period of falling action where the tension winds back down and the fallout of resolving the conflict plays out. Finally, the resolution or epilogue where the themes or larger lessons meant to be learned might be reflected back on, and everything is wrapped up leaving a sense of closure for the readers and/or characters.

Finally, a quote, since that is apparently a thing we do:

"Your reviews for both the published storygames and the works in both the creative corner and writing workshop have undeniably helped countless users. Your site presence is a boon for the site by acting like a fiery furnace. You'll roast the worthless rabble and refine what's left.
If you never would've discovered this odd yet charming corner of the web, then CYS would be missing a beneficial and integral part of its very identity." --WouldntItBeNice

"I love bird vore." --Cricket

Given by Mizal on 01/15/2018 - Finally the M is capitalized. Gifted by Zake, so the other won't be so lonely and retarded.

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points Earning 2,000 Points Thorough and consistent writing workshop contributions / excellent commenting. Having 2 Storygame(s) Featured Posting 12895 Forum Posts Given by BerkaZerka on 11/10/2017 - Forum and Site Contributions Not Unnoticed Given by EndMaster on 11/30/2017 - It's everything you've always wanted! Given by JJJ-thebanisher on 08/14/2019 - For excellent writing, keeping the site together and generally being an excellent presence Given by Killa_Robot on 08/15/2019 - For being a net positive to the site, even while helping idiots Given by mizal on 08/15/2019 - MUHAHAHAHAHA! *strokes fluffy white cat* I always knew this day would come. Given by Will11 on 01/14/2018 - For Inseperable and your other great stories


A Stack of Cats
You are a man on a mission. The cats, they must be stacked.

A puzzling math and logic game I made just to put some of the scripting practice I've been doing to use. Have fun and please let me know if you encounter any bugs.

Should be solvable by middle schoolers, or those with same basic level of intelligence as a middle schooler.

Featured Story Agent of Order
Orbiting a barren planetoid in a system full of nothing just past the edge of the frontier, The Last Outpost is just another refueling station. Strategically important, true, but on a routine stop you never expected to spend longer than a couple hours there, let alone a couple of days fighting for your life...

There are five epilogues, but some may be difficult to discover. Note that actions have consequences, but not always immediate ones. (And if you just need an End Game link, go play around with the probe.)

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!

Dedicated to the good people of COG.

Facts About the Planet and the Solar System
A compilation of some little known facts about the solar system, as well as the debunking of a few myths.

In addition to the scientific explanations, there's a small story dramatizing it all.

Hopefully young readers will find this fun as well as educational. :)

(Might not be the greatest story ever written, but consider this: it got me 200 points.)

Featured Story Inseparable
It doesn't matter what they say...

Love is for the Birds
...and the squirrels. Sort of.

Written in six hours, for no other reason than to avoid consignment to the SHAME pit after my other Romance contest entry didn't want to cooperate.

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.)

Read My Stories or Die!



Silver Horn, Silver Hooves
When the weather is fine, you've been coming to this grove to drink from the pool for centuries now. Today, you meet a stranger and hear a story that changes all that...

A fairy tale adventure.

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: There's a heavily scripted scene that due to time constraints I didn't have the opportunity to thoroughly test. You'll know it when you see it. In addition to a save game link beforehand, I've provided the option to skip it altogether should you encounter problems. A PM describing those problems would also be greatly appreciated as I'll be revisiting this game once the crushing weight of December has passed.]

Articles Written

A List of Storygames for People Who Like to Read
A list of storygames with substantial effort put in, all written in the last couple of years and sorely in need of ratings and reviews.

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

Hi! Quick banning... on 1/28/2020 6:44:21 PM
I don't want to alarm you, but the identity they...it's coming from inside your computer.

Maybe you should call the FBI. In fact I would definitely advise it if your current account starts behaving oddly.

Cool Bug Thread on 1/28/2020 10:44:41 AM
Here's a weird butterfly.

cool bird thread on 1/28/2020 9:43:37 AM
"Titmouse" turned out to be a much more wholesome image search than the rest of the internet would have led me to believe.

cool bird thread on 1/28/2020 9:37:29 AM
Unsurprisingly, my tits are nicer than Killa's.

FIREBIRDS N SHIT: THE STORY on 1/28/2020 9:00:20 AM
How's progress coming on this?

CYS Discord: Now with flying cars! on 1/28/2020 6:58:36 AM
Welcome back. What program did you use to make that?

Cool Bug Thread on 1/27/2020 10:41:25 PM
Cricket is actually incorrect on this one, the sword carrying cricket is a one-antennaed variety. I saw them in a documentary once.

Cave of Time vs Everything Else on 1/27/2020 10:28:20 PM
Branch and bottleneck of a sort can be unavoidable even in a Cave of Time story, if you're dealing with a conflict that's so big there's no getting around it no matter what the character does. You can have an infinite amount of things happening in a kingdom, but if that kingdom gets invaded two weeks after the story starts it would feel really weird to have other paths just never acknowledge that. All versions of the character that last that long will need to get through that, or fail to, and there's going to have to be some consistency there in what they're all facing or once again, it's just weird.

Cave of Time vs Everything Else on 1/27/2020 10:15:32 PM
And on the other hand I'm okay with "true endings", but only in the context of it being a puzzle to figure out how to get there. Even if it's a more organic sort of puzzle, like piecing information you learn on different branches together and using it effectively rather than something gated by stats or whatever.

Cave of Time vs Everything Else on 1/27/2020 10:00:46 PM
That's just the thing, I played them some, but then I read an LP that trimmed out the repetition and got to point when I wanted to see everything. Although they had more actual gameplay and things to do than just clicking links so I'm not sure how good a comparison this is anyway. A mystery with more revealed every time is fine in theory but less so when the MC's actions are meaningless and things just can't be figured out because the information is not provided unless they go through all the exact same motions two or three more times. I know New Game+ and all that is a common thing Japanese games, but there's no actual valid reason for locking a plot behind X hours of tedious repetition. Not to say that a story can't develop in interesting ways with enough attention giving to pacing, but that seems to be something you're paying more attention to in your game than what's standard for the genre. And yes, ways to help skip reading the same info are convenient. The flowchart in Virtue's Last Reward was appreciated and plots revolving around time fuckery have a more natural excuse....but without the latter and without something like "fun gameplay" attached you really have to stop and question just what the purpose is of testing the player's endurance threshhold. It's not a plot reason then but just a means of artificially padding a game's length, and that I'm pretty sure is just an artifact from a time before people were happy to pay a few bucks on a digital platform for a short game. If there was in fact only enough actual content for a short game.