Hi, Xan here.
I'm the author of "Which The Walking Dead Character Are You?" and "The Odd Adventures". I just joined this week and have received nothing but negative feedback (LITERALLY, NOTHING ELSE). I need help. Plot ideas, story ideas, ANYTHING!
Well, in order to make a good story you should probably write about what you like. Or something you put lots of time and effort into. You should begin by thinking about a story or character that interests you.
I did! I made a REALLY weird, 4th wall breaking, crossover making, goofball story... No good feedback!
Just to ask, how long did you spend on creating that story?
roughly... 4 hrs
Some of these writers take a month or longer writing stories. (Yes, that long.)
A Month? Most of the highly rated stories here take closer to a year. Both of mine were about 4-6 months and could each use another month of editing. Another 3 months writing to finish the extra plot lines etc.
That long? Wow.
Four hours. That's a relatively short amount of time. I know many people are different and have different speeds that they work, but many of the best games on this website took very long to make. I'm talking about weeks and months here, not just a few hours or days. The more time you spend on something, the better it will be.
Thanks! Also, great to see a fellow comic lover
Don't publish random stories with no plot, and take your time. (You published both of yours one after another.) Random stories get a bad rep. (because, well.. They're random.) Also, check your grammar always.
Hope this helped.
You played Odd Adventures, didn't you?
Yes, I played both.
It was a bit too random. I'm pretty sure I left a comment.
It wasn't as bad as others, but it wasn't that great.
It was a 2-3/8 story in my opinion.
Darn... How about the TWD one?
The TWD one was alright, I suppose.
I'm pretty biased on that one, since I'm not really a fan of those types of games.
(They're just time wasters to me.)
Well, IT'S SOMETHING :D. Thanks.... I'll do a lot better from now on!
I'd say try and resist EPF (Early-Publish-Fever. Basically publishing early instead of taking your time.) and think: "How can I make this better? Is there anything I'm missing? Does it work? Is it easy to read? And is it fun?" That's about all I have to suggest.
Thanks buck. Looking forward to seeing you in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR! (If you don't get the joke, leave it alone)
I had like 3 days to spare in that contest. (I got like a 2/8 and took it down for updates afterwards.)
You do have a point though. Take your time.
I've been in your shoes, with my first story as well. You could take it in stride, because it takes experience and an interest. I agree with most of these guys that you should write over what you like, but if you'd like to simply brainstorm over something, PM me. I'd love to help you.
Just looking at when you said 4 hours for the stories there are a few tips I can give.
First plan a story out, it can be a goofball, fourth wall breaking joke game (the site has a few) but you have to have a rough plan for it.
Second is length, this means number of pages as well as amount of text on pages and number of links. If your story takes less than 3 minutes to finish then it is going to get bad ratings, it is just how the site is. We are spoiled for choice here for long games with paragraphs of well written text, multiple story lines and choices in each page, so if we find a very very short game with little writing and few choices it will just look bad by comparison.
Third is the writing itself. I naturally write quickly, with horrible grammar, spelling and syntax. I can't change that easily but I can go over my work and check it as carefully as possible for errors and fix them. I can also ensure each page has at least 1 good paragraph of writing to keep a reader interested. I have no idea if you share my grammar problems but always ensure your writing is at a good level and that there is enough on each page.
Finally, choices again. Unless you state at the beginning and in the title page that "This is a story not a game" we expect choices. Choices does not mean dead end links or 'insta-deaths. These both annoy readers. Actually have branches and choices that matter in the story or you'll get the bad "too linear" review. Remember if the only choices on the page are 'What I want the reader to do' and 'Death' then it isn't a choice. Making a choice lead to death occasionally is fine but at least write it up in a fun and interesting way.
And now I am out of time so my rambling must end. Good luck in future work!
Truthfully, I made it up as i went along (Hence the Shrek/Hawkeye muslim extremest secret ending)
That seems like a pretty big issue. Sure, I've made games that I made up as I went along, but there needs to be some structure to a game. A plot, characters, setting are all important. Not just "Hey! Look now there's this."
Pretty sure I already said this, but 'random' stories generally don't do well here. Most players want their choices to matter and the results to follow some kind of internal logic. Humor is great but it's a very hit and miss thing, and if it falls flat for a reader, the complete lack of other story elements means there's absolutely nothing there that can be latched onto to salvage it.
The quiz was too short and fluffy, and only going to be of interest to people who care about TWD. I didn't even leave a comment, simply because there wasn't really enough there to comment on. the_quiller wrote you a long, detailed review tha I wouldn't consider negative at all, though.
I haven't seen any evidence you can't write a longer, more interesting story, it's just that you haven't really tried yet. 4 hours is just you playing around. I'll repeat what others have said and recommend you have a look around at some of the top rated stories on the site, and the help articles.
Again, there's no rush or requirement to publish anything here. Requests for plot ideas are always a red flag IMO. When you want to write a story, it should be because you have something you want to write about.
I'm writing one right now. Thank you. I'm making it more detailed, longer, and more options. Thank you for the long reply and advice.
Read endmaster's masterpieces. make your book take at least a hour to read so 100+ pages and let your protagonist tell you the story ( i stole this part off a web site...)
Glad you're taking the advice on board, and I'm looking forward to your next one. The criticisms of the game are just that, criticisms of a very short, very quickly done game. More time and preparation on the next, will always pay off.
Both of my main stories are 7/8s. They both took over a year for me to complete them, and they are both featured. :P Lesson: take your time to get it right.
Excuse me, but you guys are dumbasses! You think you can pull crap together you made in four hours or one week!
4 months. 4 MONTHS!!! That's what I call an average storygame. Look at what Seth, Berka, Triple J, Alex, Endmaster, Briar Rose, or Sindril made!
Damn, those, are good stories. And they didn't make them in four months. If they did, they would be welcome as Gods. But they are good writers. And all of us have potential. To not make games in four months.
You should man up and stop crapping all over the storygames. I know people like Zag, Quill, and Chris are great writers and have potential. And they are probably currently working on storygames. There are plenty more writers I did not mention, and they deserve praise.
I know I have been pulling crap and excuses to not make storygames. And I just started one.
Sorry if this was mean, but I hope this inspires you to not make junk that has random things like 'throw a grenade' and then get jump scared by a giraffe UNLESS the game is about randomness! Like in that awful paint wars game I shot a paintball and then a sniper instantly killed me.
Now I really hope this changes your stories.
Counterpoint: Order of the Midnight Sun. :P
So there are exceptions to every rule, but the general one is that the average human being with school or a job and family responsibilities can only reliably write so many words in a day for a hobby site even when everything is going smoothly, and that's before you factor in the other complexities of writing a CYOA.
And in most cases even the best writer can't just pull even a completely linear story straight from their ass without some kind of preplanning and a reworking ideas and editing phase.
That's what I meant by taking your time.
Midnight was amazing.
Unless I'm mistaken that's the one 3J wrote over a weekend though.
WHAT? A WEEKEND?
But then again that's like restless, tiring work. But you, as an experienced writer, get what I am trying at here, right?
Counter counterpoint(?): He had to go back and edit it because of errors / bugs if I'm not mistaken. (Not that that doesn't happen to other works with more time, though they tend to be well over 8/8 length.) I am amazed that he took days, not weeks to do the actual writing, but we don't know how long the planning took.
Hey Kiel. How are your games so good? I am currently trying my storygame but it's not that good.......you can read about it here if you are interested/not busy.
I've been writing as a hobby for over 15 freaking years, dude. If I hadn't developed some skill by now, I'd have to get my head examined. (I'm 25. I'm not a genius, I'm just older than most of you.) You wanna know what you should do if you wanna be like me? You practice, you roleplay, you study popular authors / people who are better than you to try to understand why they are better, you test out different characters and settings, you daydream, you get beta-readers, you become a beta-reader to study people who are worse than you to try to understand them, too ... and you learn to really love what you're doing.
^Quoted for truth.
Also, life experience really helps with writing. Not that you have to survive a post-apocalyptic wasteland or fight a dragon - just by meeting different people over the course of your life and talking to them, you learn what makes them tick. As a result, your characters become more believable, their motivations become more consistent, and their dialogue becomes more natural.
Research also helps - the more you know about something, the more fuel your muse can feed on. There's a funny mug out there that says 'Don't mind my search history - I'm a writer, not a serial killer'. Attention to detail sometimes really makes the difference between a blasé story and a deeply immersive one.
'Don't mind my search history - I'm a writer, not a serial killer'
^ I want this mug. I need this mug.
I think we all need that mug. Even those of us who aren't binary about that solution.
'Don't mind the mutilated body in the trunk. It's for a book.'
Oh my god!
Oops, I mistyped. I meant how are your games going.
Really sorry, Kiel, mistyped.
Dammit, Mason, you made me go on an advice-giving rant for nothing! xD
And today, they're not. My iphone screwed up and deleted all my phone notes. Yippie. I contacted support, we talked for a while and... I'm never getting them back. Oh well. At least my comp--er, nevermind, I don't want to tempt fate.
Well, maybe there was some guy out there who really needed that speech for some reason and just found hope by reading that. XD
To quote a writer, Neil Gaiman,
How do you do it? You do it.
You finish what you write.
Writers groups can be good and they can be bad. Depends on the people in them, and what they're in them for.
On the whole, anything that gets you writing and keeps you writing is a good thing. Anything that stops you writing is a bad thing. If you find your writers group stopping you from writing, then drop it.
The other thing I'd suggest is Use The Web.
Use it for anything you can - writers groups, feedback, networking, finding out how things work, getting published. It exists: take advantage of it.
Believe in yourself. Keep writing.
tl;dr? Like any skill, you just write, and write, and write, and read, and think, and practice, and write some more, and get feedback, and think about your stories, and write some more.
*Points and laughs*
I can't tell who you're laughing at, please specify.
Or if nothing else I hope you brought enough mockery to share with us all.
Aren't you using threaded view? I'm responding to the OP like everyone else.
Good on you End. I've always heard that laughter, like bullets, is one of the best home remedies for failure there is.
And no I don't use threaded view, I'm a purist. Every thread is a beautiful unique experience this way. It takes on a bizarre shape, and makes no sense, like viewing abstract art. I'm sorry you're not cultured enough to appreciate these things.
They are, though. Bullets, like belts, are a cure-all!
An important caveat to such a, uh, cureall.
And you probably would miss that wondrous hat, if you had rather less head to wear it on.
You know where to find him.
Wow. Think of all the bullets you could've bought with what you spent on med school.
Bah, I actually meant "aren't you using the non-threaded view."
Whatever doesn't matter which view now, the important thing is the mockery.
We're going to get along, *just* fine :D
Mocking friends, is good for them, helps em shape up. Mocking silly people, is good for them, and delicious for me. Mocking bad people, is an excellent time to unleash the A-Grade nastiness. And mocking just for the sheer hell of it, is excellent practice for any of the other situations.
Believe me, that is not EndMaster. Endmaster is an O.P troll who is excellent at writing and evil to people. That is way more than any you mortals can believe! XD
Pfft, Endmaster isn't half as trollish as a lot of the regular users here, you've all just invented these elaborate scenarios where he's powered by the tortured souls of the damned because you were all jealous he was a better/more prolific writer.
WAS, note that I said WAS. There's some good writers on this site cranking the pages out, he better step it up if he doesn't want to be cast down from his dark throne. :P
Nope, not stepping anything up, I don't have anything to prove.
I'm just going to continue to get fat eating souls and enjoying myself.
Besides, so far the only guy as far as I'm concerned that's "dark throne" material is Steve.
His writing style is the closest to mine.
Though if Briar or insanebutvain wrote more stuff your next dark lord could be a queen instead. ( and as beautiful as she was terrible or something like that)