mizal, The Expert Scrivener

Member Since


Last Activity

4/26/2018 10:20 PM

EXP Points


Post Count


Storygame Count


Duel Stats

1 win / 6 losses


Lauded Sage



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

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 1 Storygame(s) Featured Posting 7013 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 Will11 on 01/14/2018 - For Inseperable and your other great stories


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. :)

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.]

The Last Realm

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

Feedback wanted! on 4/26/2018 6:09:27 PM
Other issues aside, it was a 700 word blurb that went nowhere that you openly acknowledged was unfinished? Not really a surprise.

JJJ The Vanisher on 4/26/2018 6:06:53 PM
The REST of the top ten stories for 2009...

Games designed to not be rated at all except by people who like them enough to play them for a very long time....while technically there's nothing wrong with that, it's also a recognized tactic for ratings inflation.

Anyway, OMS is good, it's one of the better fantasy games on the site, but, it was also the weakest link in that particular featured list and good games getting knocked off to make way for newer good games is something that should be happening all the time. Featured list slots SHOULD be a challenge to hang on to in the long term, because people are publishing great stories all the time, right?


Order Of The Midnight Sun Based On Satanic Stuff on 4/26/2018 2:28:53 PM
So you'd rather stick to the cookie-cutter 'be evil because evil is cool, just like zombies!!1' instead?

I don't see any reason to oppose the idea of any character just being who they are and what best fits the story. 'Good is boring and lame' is just as kneejerk, reactionary, and most importantly limiting a view as the opposite. Considering the literally infinite combinations and nuance and personality and personal strengths and hangups and background possible in any character...all the stuff that makes them a character in the first place...some drooling declaration of 'good BAD, bad GOOD!' is utterly retarded and childish.

But anyway, you've already stated you're bored and looking for a big fat debate to roll around in the mud over, so I'll be leaving off here and advising everyone else to not oblige you either. Although really I'm not sure who is even dumb enough to need that warning at this point. (And yes I do already realize you'll start by twisting something I said and repeating it back as a straw man. It's almost like your failed knock off brand of chaos is actually extremely predictable?)

Order Of The Midnight Sun Based On Satanic Stuff on 4/26/2018 2:02:28 PM
It's been too many years since I've read Order to say much about how it holds up to the rest now, but it was always going to be the next to go. 3J himself was no longer much of a fan and the ratings are definitely inflated. (Which again, is coming from 3J.) I'm with you on liking stories with traditional heroes, or at least in having some kind of balance there, but it just happens that the fantasy authors with the most and best story output have a certain style and preference. I mean we occasionally get people complaining there aren't more LGBT stories that let you pick from 52 genders too, and the answer is the same; people just need to stop being lazy and write what they want to see more of.

Order Of The Midnight Sun Based On Satanic Stuff on 4/26/2018 1:32:07 PM
Ratings on older games don't mean shit anyway.

Order Of The Midnight Sun Based On Satanic Stuff on 4/26/2018 1:31:50 PM
Yeah but Eternal and Necromancer vs OotMS? Not seeing much of a debate. If Innkeeper were taken down temporarily, it should be for some other story that hasn't had almost a decade in the spotlight. But I wouldn't mind seeing Necromancer swapped out for Death Song, tbf...

Order Of The Midnight Sun Based On Satanic Stuff on 4/26/2018 1:17:33 PM
@EbonVasilis you're under attack!

Feedback wanted! on 4/26/2018 1:10:52 PM
Well, to start with, your title is misspelled, and not capitalized.

Seeking feedback is a good instinct but best done either before you publish your unfinished story, or after you finish it.

e: Reading the 700 words you have...hmm, wow.

It is third period, and you are doing *ugh* calculus. You are about 3 minutes into the period when the loudspeaker booms "ATTENTION STUDENTS! YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN FOR A SACRIFICE TO THE TEACHER GODS!!!! PREPARE TO DIE!!!!!!! YOUR FAMILIES HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED." Holy crap! Your teacher, Mr Chainsaw, Pulls out from under his desk (guess what?) a CHAINSAW. The whole class begins to scream but is drowned out by the 500 horsepower-wait, WHAT? 500 horse power? More like 5000!!!!!!!

I...I could give a few suggestions here, yes. But the scope of those are a bit beyond what I have time for just now.

First, have you tried reading the first page of any story rated above a 4, and comparing it to this one?

JJJ The Vanisher on 4/26/2018 11:55:14 AM
When he returns he's going to smite us all and delete every story on the site, in accordance with the ancient prophecies.

Don't forget, 3J has connections.

e: omg that squirrel

A very bad children's story on 4/26/2018 5:37:54 AM
Let us know how the teacher liked it. You've implied the rest of your class is retarded so you'll probably get an A.