To start, a message from our sponsor, in the form of a letter:
Welcome, dearest readers.
Everyone still breathing, will be pleased to find, enclosed in this letter:
In the far future is this story set, and you shall find quite the adventure, amid all these spiralling words.
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Let us grant you this grand experience.
But do beware, for pre-alpha screenings have shown, all readers remain forever changed.
Everyone still loved it though!
In any case, the rest of this letter will share information regarding the meta elements.
No one on the executive team wanted this mentioned, but thanks to the authors unexpected help, we managed to get the 'go ahead'.
Could you believe, that this is a spiritual successor?
Of course, the predecessor was a world-shaking hit, albeit its name is now lost.
No one, as such, will want to miss out on this moment in history.
The other things to expect of the story are:
So tarry no longer, my dearest...
Open the windows.
Open the doors.
"No more waiting," tell them all.
Spicy! It does read a little oddly, but hey, the money was good.
A lotta news today, don't miss this one: totally real link to a forum post.
Z: Then at least tell us why you don't want to share your user?
?: If I did that everyone would know what my user is, are you stupid?
Z: What are your most notable contributions to the site/community?
Z: Are you writing anything?
Z: Look, I don't see the point of the interview if you can't answer questions.
?: I can answer questions, just pick better questions.
Z: What is your favourite colour?
Z: I would give up, but I really want some paragraphs longer than a sentence, this newsletter is looking awfully barebones right now!
?: Well it is a joke isn't it? Who cares if it sucks, that just makes it funnier.
Z: Perhaps. I guess I'll add a section where I ramble about something writing related, that could add some chunkiness to the writing.
?: Or draw a picture.
Z: Would you like to sponsor an artist? A good picture will be much better than a shitty one.
?: Just use something old then, so it doesn't hurt your ego.
I know that proofreading is something that I have felt inclined to skip over. Afterall, you can share it quicker that way. However, mistakes bring down the quality of the writing, even drastically so. As such, if all it does is clean up the mistakes, then the endeavour is worthwhile.
But there is more to it than that.
There is this thing called drafting, it helps you refine ideas beyond just spotting missing commas. It can be rewriting taken to encompass the whole work. I may be referring to them as well when I say 'proofreading'.
But this extensive work can be tedious for long storygames. As such, proofreading and rewriting as you go can make it more manageable, but a pass over the whole thing when something is finished can be invaluable. It helps connect things. It helps give cohesion to the work.
It is also a great time to think about themes, if you haven't already, and see if you can refine their delivery a bit so that the story is more than just 'cool stuff happens' (even if that can be fun as well).
Overall, the benefit here is that you get something that fits together a lot better. As an example, my recent story, Peruke, the Explorer from Thunrik, was written in three parts. I'd proofread each part when it was finished before moving on to starting the next part.
However, I did not post the parts after this first proofreading. This is because once I had three parts proofread, I went over it again. I had a much stronger idea of the story at this stage, having a complete 'version one', if you will, and so could make changes to the earlier parts to foreshadow future elements and cutting things that were not accomplishing enough. You can foreshadow without going back and adding it in, but if you know exactly how the part afterwards is written, it can be much easier to do effectively.
I will admit that some planning might mitigate the need for this, but in this case, where the story was written with the planning as light as possible, proofreading the complete work made it so much better. It almost served as a replacement for it, taking the planning phase and pushing it to after a chunk is written!
This might be a good way to get around the need to plan a lot before you start writing, for those who struggle with that.
Suffice to say, I thus encourage you to try it sometime. See if the results impress you as they did me. After all, writing is about finding what works for you, as it is a spiralling path which can be traversed in many ways!
This was the cover for a story that might've benefitted greatly from the above advice on proofreading. Alas, it was too ambitious, with not enough focus on the detail which would actually allow the ambition to be achieved.
It was a story inspired by a rhythm game, which makes it fanfiction, but considering there are no characters in the rhythm game, and that the setting is just landscapes you move through, it might be a stretch to call it that. Maybe calling it inspired by is better?
Regardless, I enjoyed using gimp to make something with shapes. So much easier than trying to draw a person.