enterpride, The Dramatist

Member Since

1/13/2018

Last Activity

7/9/2020 6:03 AM

EXP Points

554

Post Count

191

Storygame Count

1

Duel Stats

2 wins / 0 losses

Order

Warden

Commendations

95
A story is something you have to want to write, so it's a really personal question on how to do it well. There are countless articles on the internet on how to do it. Most of their authors are way more successful than I am. Yet, here I am, basking in my ego and adding my own droplets of advice to the sea. Or the thread this was intended for got deleted and now it's ended up on my profile. That works too.

Some tips that work for me:

- Start with a premise. For me, that's some question I want to answer while writing. For Treatise, I wanted to discover how grief would cement itself in a generally unstable baron. Now I'm writing a sci-fi about humans that have bargained with the devil to reclaim their home. My question is more in how they will do it, and how far they're willing to go in overcoming the boundaries. Both in-depth and straightforward at the same time.

- Read. Read storygames on the site to both get a feel of what works and what doesn't. Read books to discover which styles you like, what topics draw your interest, what character works for you. The more you write, the more you get a 'second way' of reading that's more analytical. Don't overdo that and suck the pleasure out of reading. Almost everything has been done before. The art lies in the mixing and the rebranding of used components, and to give the package your own flair.

- Don't plan too long. Most ideas die after the two-week mark or the first phase of planning everything out. People are getting bogged down in the minutiae of their world or the tiniest of characters. Personally, I think everything is secondary to the concept I want to explore. As long as that first premise is intriguing, the rest will fall in place during writing. Allow yourself to be free to write yourself into different bends that you initially didn't plan out. I like to explore the question during the writing, improvising everything as I do, based on some vague thoughts I had during my daily commute. The uncertainty gives me the motivation to continue.

- Don't rewrite... too much. I am a big fan of rewriting, but do it with purpose. After writing a scene, I'll go over it the session after in order to change words and sentences. They're usually small changes mainly to do with the flow. I'll read the scene out loud (well not really that loud, I'm not a nutcase) and change sentences where I need faster or slower tempo. Significant/total rewrites should be reserved until you're far ahead in the story itself. For example, when you feel a particular plot needs more substance or there isn't enough foreshadowing. Think of it this way. Writing a story is a journey to the 100%, does rewriting give a substantial enough of a boon to warrant you not progressing towards the end?

- Love dialogue. Ever notice how much smoother the reading is of scenes that carry themselves through dialogue over dry descriptions? It's a quick, easy, and secret trick (and experts hate it)!

- Think in plot, world, and characters. Try to further at least two of these three in every scene you write. These three pillars are what makes a story. Go back to your premise. Is it plot-heavy? Is it world-heavy? Is it character-heavy? Let that reflect in the scenes you'll be writing.

- Have fun. At the end of the day, writing is a hobby. If you aren't having fun, why are you doing it? You're better of working if you don't, or at least look for a better hobby. This ties directly to the writing itself. If you yourself aren't enthusiastic about your work, why would anyone else be?

- Just write. You have a story to tell and it's up to you to tell it. Don't get over-attached to that one golden storyline. In a few years or even months, you'll have moved on to other things. It's better to do it roughly now and finish later than to leave it undone because you overthought everything and became too scared to do it.

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Having 1 Storygame(s) Featured

Storygames

Featured Story A Treatise on Heartly Manners

A contest entry for Bucky's year's end contest: choose your own prompt II.
Play as Lord Robert, the baron of Rivellon, at the lowest point of his life. He's cheated on by his wife, betrayed by his liege and filled to the brim with a turmoil of conflicting emotions.
How does his life end? 


Expedition Aquarius
unpublished
A short story that came out of Mizal's Tiny 'topias Jam. Due to the lack of branches and the 2k words restriction I deemed it not suitable for publishing. Yet, if your interest is piqued, and you do not use the CYS extension, here is the link for you to enjoy: Expedition Aquarius Meanwhile, this'll be temporarily published to get me a better view of what to improve.

Guns of the Future
unpublished
The year is 2478, and the human race once again finds itself within Sol's boundaries. We have risen anew like a phoenix from our bitter past.

Like Aeneas, we had been cast out of our home. We searched the galaxy for a new home, and like him, we found it and made it our own. We struggled and were battered by the harsh conditions. But now, both ready and willing. we will eclipse the legends of old.

Now we fight to reclaim what is ours.

Letters Unanswered
unpublished

An epistolary novel containing the desperate pleas of a sole father. How will he reach safety in a city ripe for rebellion?
An entry to Mizal's Tiny 'topias Jam.
Where a lot more little bite-sized stories are -and will be- shared by a lot more authors.

Meanwhile, this'll be temporarily published to get me a better view of what to improve.

Recent Posts

Pink Whale Challenge: Actual Challenge Day 2 on 7/8/2020 9:02:45 AM
wtf i don't like this

June is Noob Threshing Month! on 7/7/2020 1:29:18 PM
Yeah my bad. The first one had no styling and thought I'd fix it. The second version is far superior, so that's clearly the one that should survive

Newbie Contest Q&A and mainly Enterpride's writeup on 7/6/2020 10:56:40 AM
Stay careful. You may be undiscoverable now, but one slip and better stalkers, ahem rather licensed investigators, will be able to pull the curtains of mystery away. The timezone speaks comes awfully close to admitting you're not part of the US gang here. On an unrelated note, congratulations on writing an entry that would put most stories here to shame.

Newbie Contest Q&A and mainly Enterpride's writeup on 7/5/2020 8:06:22 PM
One young man, known by many only as MrAce, battles his inner sloth on an epic journey to defend his privileges. Will he make it? How far is he willing to go in clutching onto what he desires? Find out at your nearest theatre on the 8th of August.

Blue Whale Challenge on 7/5/2020 7:58:30 PM
It's cetacean blue, thank you very much. The water is just a little bit blue-er.

Blue Whale Challenge on 7/5/2020 7:54:50 PM
Who needs fancy pens and pencils when you have Microsoft paint right here!

Uh, on second thought, this makes that question clear.

Newbie Contest Q&A and mainly Enterpride's writeup on 7/5/2020 7:29:42 PM
It was a promising branch that needed to be cut down in order to make the deadline, sorry man

Newbie Contest Q&A and mainly Enterpride's writeup on 7/5/2020 7:13:23 PM
Enterpride’s writeup and totally not stalkerish research on all the new people: the lateco(o)mers pt. 3: sprint before the deadline edition.

There’s been almost no intermezzo this time, so look at the glorious lineup of today without any grumbling! This last piece contains Mystic_Warrior, ApprenticePortentous, Starbourne, and AnimalAlien.

On an unrelated note, some entries have already started to trickle in, making this research completely irrelevant. But because I want to finish this anyway, I’m going to ignore all the actual evidence of competence and live in my own little fantasy world where I am still the best news source in CYS. What a happy world that is. Also, to keep up immersion for the actual workings of this contest, this edition will be more rushed, much like most of our entries' endings.

Alright without further ado, let’s start with @Mystic_Warrior.

Mys is another newcomer with a generic name, leaving me biting the dust full of frustration as only kinky clothes show up on my search. Don’t ask. So let’s start with the profile itself.

A member since mid-2019, Mys has acquired a whopping 232 pointless points performing the most valued act of rating the stories. It’s only trumped by the even more valued act of writing reviews, which is sadly too revealing for our Mystic Warrior.

All shade and distasteful begging for feedback aside, Mys has been relatively quiet on the site before jumping into the contest. With only seven posts, the only real sign of activity has been asking for a mentor and the one writing piece during the corona jam. No, not the forced version all of us mortals participated in; Mys was crazy enough to put her work into the voluntary version, and that says a lot about her work ethic. Oh, she’s Asian too. I guess that backs it up.

By the way, did that mentorship program actually work out?

That brings us to the dreaded profile picture search. It’s another mystical element, where my search turns up a lot of false positives. It seems to be a picture used in a lot of advertising for both coaching, spirituality, woman’s empowerment, and Dutch movie nights. Sadly the latter ones are all outdated.

All in all, I expect Mys to turn in something large, a sudden avalanche of words to back up her mystical image. Maybe something to do with dreaming? I’m not willing to make any sure bets about that yet, but I’m ready to bet it’ll be grand.

@ApprenticePortentous

So Potter did not make a good showing in his introduction. Full of young hope and dashing enthusiasm, he jumped into the breach, ready for any challenge, but not reading what that challenge actually entailed. Before that, he also exclaimed he was a hairy furry. So the only thing left is to pray and hope God eventually grants this man his salvation.

Don’t invest. Enough said.

@Starbourne

Starbourne is another freshie whose blood will pave the wave for the worthy to ascend, clearly warning which route not to take. The sad truth is that his story is not an unusual one. Full of enthusiasm, he wanted to enter both contests late with a single story. It’d be the chosen one:

One story to rule them all
one story to find them
One story to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them


However, only a week later, he came in, begging the judge to accept a measly nine hundred words. Repeated. Fast forward another week, and very trustworthy sources tell me Star has given up completely. Instead of shining brightly, Star descended into a dead black dwarf

Don’t invest. Enough said.

@AnimalAlien

It’s Anim’s third account on the site, and I’ve got to say, I’m glad she isn’t using vonkittycat anymore. Here's her old profile for anyone wondering: the cursed account, woooooooooo!

As the name suggests, she’s a reformed warrior cat and hopefully has left the feline in the dark corners of her memory. Well, it can be forgiven. It’s that awkward period in your life you want to forget as soon as possible, only to be reminded of the cringe by helpful people like me.

Sadly something of the atrocious style still stuck, as she’s rocking a gif as profile picture. So. Much. Movement. I don’t like it.

Alright, so three accounts and six years on the site. In the meantime, there’ve been a shockingly low amount of ratings and published stories, making me fear for the worst.

In any case, she likes aliens and sci-fi. So a jungle entry will probably draw heavy influence from those two concepts. It’d be interesting to read about thought out astrobiology, but sadly I’ve surmised from reliable sources Anim voluntarily prefers SHAME(!) to actually finishing her piece, calling in something trivial as 'liking' her story as an excuse. It's bullshit, and everyone knows it: all writers hate their work.

Don’t invest. Enough said.

---
Oh, Ace remains Ace, and Ford won’t write anything. They’re as special as special gets. I think I got all of the entrants now.

Although Ace probably will put in his rushed piece. Maybe invest.

When Johnny Comes Marching Home [Readers Needed] on 7/3/2020 4:39:16 PM
Many writers on the site are much, much better at writing characters, but I'll try my best at giving a few (hypocritical) pointers. Really, this is the hard part and I could improve here myself. - First is dialogue, conscripted privates at Vietnam would probably be bitching and boasting a lot. There are vast stretches in your story where nothing's said. Instead of telling the public about the green hell, you can have them bitch about mosquito's, water that gets into their boots, and vines slashing across their arms. As a bonus, you can also use this to further distance and distinguish the veterans: the Sergeant and the Corporal, who'll probably be a lot quieter after having been through hell. - Make them different from each other. You're already doing some of these things in the skinny radio guy, and the doc. You can even have the stereotypes come into play, pick and mix characters from Full Metal Jacket, for example. But don't sweat it as much. These guys are the background characters, and there's just too little words for all of them to shine, especially as in a CYOA, each path is different. However, together they form the unit, and that's both more important and easier to manage. For example, in grasping the leadership from the lieutenant, you'd probably need the group behind you. In fighting, you need to lead your unit, and your unit will react - Make them act. You already mentioned the radio guy being skinny, but you can say in other scenes something about him having difficulty and him trying to pass it off to another private. Have them form smaller groups of two, do something that's not necessarily main-plot related, or depending on the protagonist to do something. Bronski had a good introduction, but he fell off if that makes any sense. After the introduction I felt the narrative focussed more on the plot and jungle, overshadowing his spotlight.

When Johnny Comes Marching Home [Readers Needed] on 7/3/2020 9:48:39 AM
Well done on proving me wrong. So I looked at your story, there's some good and some bad. Below are my thoughts for improvements: Overall, the whole story could use another proofread. There are some typos ('howizters' and 'his one of friends' on the first page) and weirdly placed commas that threw me off. Luckily, that's quickly helped if you put your attention to it. Alright, with that out of the way, let's talk about plot and pacing. I found the first page to have a bit too much dry background. You could reintegrate the info more naturally into the story, either by dialogue between the young lads and the old veteran or just altogether more remarks on happenings in the story sprinkled over multiple pages. I'd personally go for the first option based on my next point. Also, this is what you did in the poker scene, so you're telling the same things twice. The next helicopter ride highlighted what irked me. Aside from the ambush, which I enjoyed, most of the action lacked impact. "The helicopter ride was smooth until the end, where you had to brave light anti-aircraft fire on landing. Small explosions of black smoke dot the sky as the helicopter descends. Your squad is unscathed, but another helicopter's rotor is hit by the flak. It trails black smoke as it swirls out of control, going down in a great fireball in the jungle." Within a paragraph, you are transported from your base to the jungle. The imagery is good, but the writing goes so fast that it doesn't give me a chance to let the imagery set in. When I was reading, I felt myself skimming the text much like I would a history book. I think that could be helped by adding the human element to the carnage of facts. This is especially true if I went to see the lieutenant, I know nothing about my squad, let alone care about them. The story is so plot-heavy that it doesn't make the characters and world breathe. But I enjoyed the ambush with all its anxiety and waiting. That was a scene that added that human element and wasn't afraid to drop the pace a little. I'd like to see more of that. Then the green beret comes, almost a supernatural entity that was very well described. But in the following pages, you focus more on the mist, something that was overshadowed in its introductory scene. I'd suggest shifting the highlight back to the green beret as he was much more terrifying, maybe because the mist was a bit too supernatural for my tastes. One last remark is the usurpation of power, where suddenly our sergeant orders his lieutenant about. This could be a good turning point of drama within the story, where the green officer is forced to relinquish his station. But instead, it's glossed over, and the lieutenant just resigned without any conflict. There are only a few days left before the deadline, so I don't know how much that'll help you. In any case, I wish you good luck in finishing this story.