A Newb's Guide for Improving

by WouldntItBeNice

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It's been three years since I made this account. Huzzah. Within a week, I published my first storygame. It was utter crud and not just any old crud. No, it was crud that came from a man with dysentery, regurgitated by a dog, then baked in the sun for a solid week. Now, I have two featured storygames and a contest winner too.

How did I go from idiotic newb to (relatively) productive site member? I've been thinking about this for a while. I was essentially the random newb who's a terrible writer, and now I'm better. I lived through the Seth and Kiel era and now thrive in the End Master and Mizal era. What'd I do to not be one of the feral plebs? Well, that's sorta the point of this article.

I listened to my criticism. For my first storygame (The Carnival, Ginny, and I), I got a lot of feedback. A little bit of it was good. The rest roasted it. Briar Rose was particularly hilarious. Instead of getting my fee-fees hurt, I took the reviews at face value. I tried to amend the most glaring mistakes of the storygames. While I established my reputation as a stupid newb, I also showed that I was at least willing to improve.

I tried to improve. If you first don't succeed, try (and try and try) again. Then, I attempted to not make the same mistakes for my next storygame. I didn't, but more errors in my writing came around. For example, some users thought I might be an ELL since my writing was formal, super formal. I don't think I used any contraction for that story. I'm not joking. Thus, I took that criticism to heart and began my slow, arduous journey of learning how to write as if I was a human. (Note, I am a human.)

I didn't let failure discourage me. A year after I joined the site, there was only one storygame that I made that didn't suck (Solstice) out of four attempts. I kept on trying anyway. When a writing contest came around, I joined. You know what happened? I won. Hot diggity! Now, I have a shiny golden trophy, but I pretty much had no more success over the next year and a quarter. That didn't matter. I kept on trying to improve and kept on entering contests like some autistic contest junkie. Last year, I entered End Master's contest. You know what happened? I lost, BUT I got a featured storygame. Frick yeah! Totally worth it.

I found my motivation. I use a drive for achieving glory (featured storygames) and healthy competition (contests and personal rivalries) to help me with this. An unmotivated writer isn't much of a writer. For fiction alone (not counting all the stuff I did in real life for life and college) I put in over a quarter million words in 2018. Looking back on it, it honestly wasn't that hard. When I'm motivated, I write. Now, I recently published my two highest rated storygames ever and got yet another featured storygame. Since I have the motivation, I'm in the process of writing a massive fantasy epic. Why not? Writing is fun.

But, writing isn't the only thing that happened to me during this time. There's also this thing called the forums. We interact on it. I apparently posted almost a thousand times at the time of this article. A few are pushing ten thousand, so I don't have much room to boast.

I shrug off what should be shrugged off. When somebody said "mean" things or"wasn't nice to me", I didn't throw a fit. It's something that's always been happening. So many newbs run away with their tails between their legs. Just get some thick skin. It served me just fine.

I eventually learned to not be retarded. Well, maybe I'm still learning this one. It depends on who you ask. Still, I spent two years on the site and never told what my gender is. (I'll give you a hint, it sounds like "mail".) Why? I'm not sure exactly. I sorta thought it was funny. After a while, I just did it. In hindsight, it was a horrible decision. It's what retarded people and/or newbs do. We make bad choices. If you do (like me), fix them when you realize your mistake. Now, I'm known as the poor hickabilly dude from the sticks of Missouri. That's a step up from "the androgynous user who's probably a young teen girl". Count your blessings, no matter what form they take.

Acknowledge the admins' awesomeness. Picking a fight with our glorious leaders is akin to attacking a tank with a potato gun. It's dumb, really dumb. It's the one thing I've probably been okay at (hence why I'm not dead). Praise End Master. Praise Mizal. Praise Berka Zerka. Praise Killa Robot. (Yeah, he's an admin too. We even have a list of them all in the "About" section.) However, if you want to fight with out admins, do so publicly. It's entertaining to watch a public stoning.

So, that's all. If you skimmed over this, take away at least these three things. First, don't be retarded. Second, always try to improve. Third, praise End Master.