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The Weekly Review - Edition 49

6 months ago
Commended by mizal on 3/29/2020 6:50:52 AM
The Weekly Review – Edition 49


Notable News!
Featured Article: Writing Advice from the Best!
Who’s Who: NinjaPitka, Urnam0, Anubis, Chris113022 and Orange!


In Newbie Central jb9656, Stefilia, JustHere and Scout join the site!
In the Lounge EndMaster reminds us there are some things worse than Coronavirus!
In the Creative Corner MadHattersDaughter’s drawings (and Tim36D’s poem) are really worth checking out!
In the Writing Workshop JustHere gets off to a promising start with his first CYOA!
In the Stories Section NinjaPitka has written a great new story, Unbroken.

FEATURED ARTICLE: Writing Advice from the Best!

Over the years I have been lucky enough to receive some really good writing advice from interviews with some truly outstanding authors. Here, in the Review’s penultimate edition, I have to put together a collection of wise words from 25 different people on how to improve as a writer:

“My advice to writers is to have more confidence in your work. There are tons of writers on this site that follow things up with ‘this is my first story, cut me some slack!’ or ‘please don’t judge my story!’. If you are too afraid to get constructive criticism on your story then you probably shouldn’t be writing stories in general.” – Appdude27

“Write constantly and take any criticism as a chance to improve. A lot of times you see the first story of an author, then you read the most recent and you can see a huge improvement. Everyone grows as a writer: it takes time and effort.” - Applegirl

“Always make sure to flesh out your characters. To me, a story with a very basic plot and really interesting characters is preferable to a story with a really creative, intelligent plot but characters that are paper thin and only exist to move the story along” – Avery Moore / Briar Rose

“For the love of all that is good if you like scripting then use the advanced editor and do not create a variable name in your story with on-page script.” - AzBaz

“When writing out some of the choice paths in your game it can get overwhelming due to choices adding upon choices. How do you keep track of it all? I deal with that by notating in the Title of the Pages >>>>> with every page that needs finishing. I write one path all the way to the end and note any unfinished paths with >>>>> and then go back and work them through. Repeat until the entire story is done. The other piece of advice I’d give is to create your own test game to learn Scripting. Test things to see how they work then incorporate that into your real games. Start small and work up as your understanding expands. That’s why I wrote The King’s Logic Puzzle and Crab Arena: they were scripting study aids to what went into Dungeon Stompage!” – BerkaZerka

“Use the Advanced Storygame Editor, do not use the Rich Text Editor. You’ll thank me later.” - BradinDvorak

“Be way of distractions. If something is preventing you from completing something meaningful it is, by definition, a time-suck. Take chances. Seek feedback. Challenge yourself. One of my favourite quotes ever: ‘Your abilities will take you father than you can ever imagine. Don’t imagine then. Extend yourself!” – Bill Ingersoll

“Your first story will probably suck but that’s okay. Don’t whine, cry, make excuses or bitch about it. Accept it. Learn from it. Use that knowledge to get a little better next time you write. If you can do that and have a little fun along the way then you’re having success.” – Bucky

“Don’t give up. Even if you suck at writing just keep trying and eventually, you’ll get there. I’ve spent six years on this site and I’ve only become semi-competent in the last two and all because I kept trying and trying until *eventually* I got it right. Just having the willpower to keep going is all you really need, other than talent of course.” – Chris113022

“Occasionally I’ll give advice or encouragement to someone when I think I see the potential there or if someone asks me directly for advice. I prefer the one on one approach to advice.” - EndMaster

“99% of authors could improve mechanistically. It doesn’t matter how great your ideas are if you can’t write competently. Please focus on your spelling and grammar.” – JJJ-thebanisher

“Your first story will not be epic. Set an achievable goal, do everything (writing, ideas etc) but the editing yourself and aim for a 5 or 6. Even if the story is a flop you’ll learn enough to succeed on your next one and just finishing one will prove to yourself that you can do it. It’s a big confidence boost. For editing send out some PMs or make a thread AFTER the story is finished. Play the story through several times yourself as well. Do not publish it until at least one other person plays through it as well. Accept whatever constructive criticism you get.” – KillaRobot

“Remember any good story takes time and you’ve got one hell of a community to help you.” - MinnieKing

“If there was one piece of advice I wish I could get newbies here to follow it would be to write and write to their heart’s content but don’t publish unless they can honestly say their story represents their best efforts and certainly don’t publish within the first few days of joining the site.” – Mizal

“Don’t think you’re going to write the next fantasy epic we’ve all been waiting for. Start small. Maintain a healthy balance of discipline and enjoyment. This isn’t homework. No one’s sending a report to your mum with your progress (although EndMaster may whisper it in her ear while your dad’s on business travel). If you find you don’t enjoy the writing process then quit. Come to terms with the fact that not everyone will like your work and that you have to sacrifice something else in order to finish a story. There’s always an opportunity cost. You just have to decide if it’s worth it.” - Ninjapitka

“Write! No really, just write! It is important to try. I know many, many authors who are so invested in their stories that they will never publish them. In many cases, they will take criticism personally and don’t want to subject themselves to that. Here is a secret: someone is going to hate what you write, no matter how good it is. Don’t write total crap but do write and let other people see what you’re writing. You might be surprised how much some people will like it.” – Ogre11

“There is no rush to show off your first story. Demos and chapters are unnecessary. If it’s not complete I see no reason for it to be published. I get that people are excited about showing off the first part of their amazing new story but there’s really no need to do so. If it’s not finished don’t publish it. Simple as that, besides that, if people want opinions on their stories the Writing Workshop is a great place to post a link and ask for thoughts and criticism and you won’t have to publish it and get bad comments about not putting up demos.” – Seto

“For new authors I suggest writing what you want to read. If you don’t like what you’re writing why should anybody else? Start with small goals and make bigger ones as you meet those small goals. Build yourself up achievement wise otherwise you’ll set a too big goal and not meet it then that becomes the norm. Also, learn to take criticism. I know it’s hard to hear someone criticize a story that you put your heart and soul into but you’ll be a better author for it. Take the criticism and advice, learn from it and grow as a person. Also, read lots of books.” – Simplesabley.

“I find that usually passion is what makes a story good. Write when you have passion for your story, avoid forcing yourself through it when you don’t.” – SindriV

“I know everyone has to start somewhere but it is annoying when new writers put out unfinished work claiming it’s the first “chapter” of an epic saga that’s definitely going to be written, then they act immune to any criticism of any kind and then just consistently keep making terrible stuff while ignoring criticism.” – Steve24833

“Start small and don’t be shy to ask for help. To quote Bruce Lee ‘I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.’ Focus on one story at a time and write it well instead of opening ten and finishing none.” - StrykerL

“For anyone that is new, try your best. Set goals for yourself here and hold yourself to personal commitments for you to surpass, like a daily quota of stories to read or maybe a daily quota of anything really.” – TharaApples

“Try to write for an hour a day and don’t get demoralized and abandon a project halfway through.” – TheWriterInTheDark

“If you are going to write take your time – read the Featured Stories, the Help and Info Articles and make sure your story is the best it can be before you publish.” – Will11

“Work hard in your endeavours and keep going when you get stuck.” - Zaghero


41: NinjaPitka
Joined: 2018
Last Active: Currently Active
Top Stories: The Sanguine and Blackbeard’s Cutlass (Edutainment) and Twin Arrows (Everything Else)
Notable For: Like Simplesabley this is an author I have a lot of respect for both as a writer and a person: every story he has written is well worth reading and on the forums, he is a smart and welcome presence. Though relatively new this promising author is already making mark on the site with high quality stories, reviews, posts etc and if you haven’t checked out his stories, particularly his newest story Unbroken, I would definitely recommend that you do.

42: Urnam0
Joined: 2009
Last Active: Currently Active
Top Stories: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (Fan Fiction)
Notable For: Urnam0 is one of the site’s older members who still pops up from time to time (though he hasn’t really been “active” since 2018). Another keen fan of the daily point feature Urnam is a pretty good author whose Carmen Sandiego story is one of the longest featured stories on the site and whose two other stories are actually pretty good and definitely worth a read. Hopefully Urnam, like many other former site members, will resume a more active role on the site in the future.

43: Anubis
Joined: 2006
Last Active: 2010
Top Stories: Various
Notable For: I am fairly confident that everyone reading this has never heard of this guy but as one of the first generation site members (his profile page is effectively a snapshot of the 2000’s), he wrote a few decent stories, posted prolifically in the forums, rated stories enthusiastically and, inevitably, milked the daily point feature to build up his points in a way that is no longer possible now, thereby earning his place in this little review of notable site members, past and present.

44: Chris113022
Joined: 2014
Last Active: Currently Active
Top Stories: Dark Nights (Fan Fiction) and When the Music’s Over… (Fantasy)
Notable For: Chris is a site member who has clearly steadily improved with time and really developed his writing skills to quite a high level. Chris is now the author of seven stories, thousands of forum posts and his reading and reviewing of existing stories on the site has clearly affected and helped improve his skills as an author. A great guy (for a Warden) it is nice to see his writing skills get better and better with every year.

45: Orange
Joined: 2016
Last Active: Currently Active
Top Stories: Various
Notable For: Orange has been a regular (though fairly quiet these days) member of the site for the last few years, particularly on the forums where she has indulged in her taste for poetry. An author of six pretty good stories (check them out!) this member is also one of the few to read and rate practically all the stories on the site. Hopefully Orange will come back and get a bit active again (tag her in the Coronavirus Thread?) in the near future.


Notable News: jb9656, Stefilia, JustHere, Scout, EndMaster, MadHattersDaughter, Tim36D and Ninjapitka.
Featured Article: Appdude27, Applegirl, Avery Moore / Briar Rose, AzBaz, BerkaZerka, BradinDvorak, Bill_Ingersoll, Bucky, Chris113022, EndMaster, JJJ-thebanisher, KillaRobot, MinnieKing, Mizal, Ninjapitka, Ogre11, Seto, Simplesabley, SindriV, Steve24833, StrykerL, TharaApples, TheWriterInTheDark, Will11 and Zaghero.
Who’s Who: NinjaPitka, Urnam0, Anubis, Chris113022 and Orange!

The Weekly Review - Edition 49

6 months ago
If you're only going to be active once a week maybe it would be better for you to make a monthly news thread?

The Weekly Review - Edition 49

6 months ago
You could turn that quote list into an article. It's a good collection of advice for the people who need it most to never bother to read.

The Weekly Review - Edition 49

6 months ago

One more to go before THE END TIMES.