mizal, The Novelist
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.
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 WrittenCYS Forum Advice and Etiquette
Recent PostsDuel Me on 2/26/2017 12:06:49 AM
Mizal's Fantasy Rebellion Thing on 2/25/2017 11:52:34 PM
Weirdest fetishes on 2/25/2017 9:53:45 PM
Weirdest fetishes on 2/25/2017 9:44:32 PM
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
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
Draw My Attention (New Age of Sage) on 2/25/2017 5:23:57 PM
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
EndMaster’s Edgelord Contest on 2/25/2017 4:45:52 PM
A Challenger Appears on 2/25/2017 4:43:16 PM