Gower, The Grandmaster of the Written Word

Member Since


Last Activity

9/30/2023 10:22 AM

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Duel Stats

0 wins / 0 losses


Notorious Marauder Exemplar



"He was slightly less unfun."




"Somehow there was comfort in coffee despite his misery; the only comfort in a black world." -- Hornblower in the West Indies


Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points Earning 2,000 Points Powerful Professor with an A plus grade on many aspects of this site. Be it writing, helping others, or a positive attitude while doing those things. Having 3 Storygame(s) Featured Rated 92.2% of all Stories Given by BerkaZerka on 12/14/2019 - For an inspiring display of creativity ^v^ Given by EndMaster on 01/07/2020 - You may be fooling the rest, but I know you’re up to no good. Given by Killa_Robot on 02/24/2021 - For having all the best words. Also great contributions to the site. Given by MadHattersDaughter on 03/29/2021 - Your stories are some of my favorites on the site. I’m still not convinced you are not my writing doppelganger. . . Given by mizal on 10/11/2019 - For your exceptional games and articles, many forum contributions, and disturbing sweetness and light. (Sorry about McAllen, it wasn’t our idea either.) Given by ninjapitka on 10/22/2022 - Overdue tuition payment Given by Will11 on 10/12/2019 - For your excellent stories and many worthwhile contributions to the site :)


Featured Story Kelly Unicornstrider and Friends (1982-1985) Super Quiz

A comprehensive quiz + bonus fan faction about the the underrated cult classic show "Kelly Unicornstrider and Friends" (1982-1985). Questions range from really easy to really difficult.

Featured Story Private Game for Natalie

I think putting this on "publish" makes it so only we can see this. It's just for us, sweetie. I made it to celebrate our anniversary and remember some special intimate moments together over the years in an interesting way as a present for you.

I hope you love it, Natalie, as much as I love you!

(Of course if there's any admin looking at this, or if I messed up, don't read this, because it's got private things in it.)

Featured Story Sabbatical Report Presentation

This is my required report to the full faculty in accordance with the rules noted in the Faculty Handbook (version 15.1, as of October 2017)

Sixteen Words

"Personally I can only read 16 words in one go before words stop working," wrote Mizal.


This game has sixteen words per path.  Not counting "The End."  So you can play quickly.


When reviewing, please use precisely sixteen words.   That should be plenty for your suggestions and observations.


Note this challenge connected with this game:  Write the Last Page!

Articles Written

Basic Sentence Structure: Additive Sentences
Comma Use and Additive Sentences with lots of examples

Commendations, Orders, and Titles
An introduction to commendations, orders, and titles, and an explanation of how commendations differ from points.

Cumulative Sentences, Part 1
An introduction to the sophisticated and elegant cumulative sentence style.

Cumulative Sentences, Part 2
Master the elusive and attractive cumulative sentence by using panning and zooming style of description.

Dialogue Punctuation
This is a brief discussion of how to punctuate dialogue in US and UK English. It also notes a few rules for quotation mark use in general.

How To Use Thou, Thee, Thy, and Thine in a Story

Relative Sentences
A lecture on how to write relative sentences using restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.

Semicolons and Advanced Additive Sentences
This article explains how to use semicolons to create new types of additive sentences. It includes the plain semicolon and semicolons with transition words.

All about Trophies.

Understanding Style: The Sweet Style
An introduction to style, focusing on "sweet" style. How to recognize it, when to use it, and when to avoid it.

Recent Posts

Mod guess on 9/24/2023 3:44:08 PM

Oh, good, another first post for a future Funny Comments thread.

Bug when submitting an article on 9/21/2023 8:59:55 PM

I'm getting:

500 - Internal server error.

There is a problem with the resource you are looking for, and it cannot be displayed.

Monday Night WRITING Questionnaire on 9/7/2023 7:21:49 AM

I do a very full and organized outline, with placeholder text, for the important choices, including all of the variables that are going to change based on the choices, and the various minor branches that stem off of those major choices.

Then I sit down to write and I almost immediately find myself ignoring the outline because I came up with something funnier, and then the whole thing ends up ten times longer than I originally thought.

It's not a very efficient system, but it works for me.

Is anyone NOT playing BG3? on 8/25/2023 8:40:35 PM

I started it, but I happened to be in the middle of Divinity Original Sin 2, so I paused until I finished that.  Uh, and a lot of writing.  Like, a lot.

Your favorite short stories? on 8/7/2023 9:57:20 AM

Tolkien's "Leaf By Niggle" is stellar.  It can be read and enjoyed as a pure story, but opens up with some thought about how it works as an allegory.  It has the flavor of The Pilgrim's Progress and some of C.S. Lewis's works; it meditates on work and death and how individual art is possible if you believe in a creator God.  It's primo Tolkien, and it fits perfectly into the Lord of the Rings--not in terms of the story, but in terms of its big ideas about what it means to find meaning as a small person in a big world.

Your favorite short stories? on 8/6/2023 3:20:09 PM

That's like five pages.  That would be a typical essay assignment length for my freshman/sophomore classes.  Granted, that is a low effort assignment prompt if the assignment was indeed to write "on its symbols."

I think it's like when you start to lift weights, and the notion of a fifteen-pound triceps curl seems outrageous, and then eventually, it becomes trivial.  That's a five-page essay.

Got banned from COG for 1000 years! on 8/4/2023 8:10:11 PM

What game were you posting about?  What was your unpopular opinion?

AQGSM - Answer Question Get Suranna's Mom on 7/23/2023 11:26:11 AM

I think it's got to be paper, because there's more discrete paper, and a lot of the stone in the world is all connected into large masses, so you couldn't really call them individual "rocks."  If you'd said "more rock or paper" then I think it would be the former.

Site updates 2023 on 7/23/2023 10:59:47 AM

Although maybe it's funnier to have the mystery of not knowing who wields power over whom, in the spirit of arbitrary terror.

Mizal vs Ant on 4/2/2023 8:26:02 PM

Story A:

  • I really liked that image of rain being so light that it seems like it ascends.
  • I thought there was a good opportunity and scope for some world building in your opening; I would like to know more about how the stress/power situation work—how the elites siphon from the workers.
  • You have a good sense of where emotional weight can be used, and you have a good balance of plot/emotional language.
  • This story’s author uses a lot of adverbs to do its heavy lifting.  The breeze gently caresses; civilians are essentially work; living relatively far away.
  • Stuff to work on—how quotation marks interact with the lead-in (She sighs and mumbles to herself “Again, another nightshift”); avoiding comma splices (mold hits her like a baseball, the large holes in the ceiling don’t help either)—there’s a *lot* of comma splicing; avoiding fragments (And begins to make her way out of her house to begin her long walk to work)—there’s a lot of fragments as well. 
  • I recommend learning how to punctuate quotations.  (Th-thank you!” she stammers “I don’t know how to repay you.”)
  • The story uses adjectives that are not as interesting as they might be and which might usefully be leave out—rich elites (used twice here), gentle droplet, frigid wind in the echoing fields.  Adjectives are good things, but they can be overused; I think they are here.
  • I was confused by who “their” is in the second sentence—I assumed the antecedent of “their” was “civilians” but it clearly must be “elites.”
  • If it is windy (paragraph 1) it’s weird that it is only in paragraph 2 that you mention that it is also raining. 
  • Quite a few typos: just to point to a few:  an “allie”; “how well dress they look”; “ablank”; “another join”; “I can’t bare to watch.”
  • I don’t think “stumble her somber self to work” is the reaction I expect upon seeing someone fly out of one’s view.
  • I don’t know what is going on with the guy flying up and then she turns away and then she turns around and the man falls before her.  I’m not sure exactly what’s happening, why she is reacting that way, or why these things are happening in this manner.
  • The transition to the “It’s beautiful out today” was really rough.

Story B:

  • I immediately get a sense of narrative control here; there’s interesting sentence structure (e.g., “Lots of green and orange robes out there” has a good rhythm and gives me a sense of what kind of personality the narrative voice has.)
  • A few places I want to tighten up to make the sentence more powerful, like the “waste of your skills some might say” bit—feels slightly too cliché there, or “stand and stretch” but also “twist and rub your neck.”
  • The world building in the robes of the Sister is primo.
  • I don’t know about “you did have it explained to you” in second person.
  • “More of the Sisters joining them, all the girls out there are spreading out into circles now, each holding hands around one of the goddess saplings planted last year” is weird structurally.   Actually, that paragraph I am longing to take a pencil to.
  • Sixth paragraph-- I’m feeling something ever-so-slightly drop off in the energy.  That parenthetical phrase, but also the bit before it, doesn’t feel like it’s in the right spot.
  • The tone and arch attitude—the “try really, really hard” bit is well written.
  • I wanted to see more about what the speaker does in the battle – going right from the hawk masks converge to “spilling the guts” is slightly rough.  The battle overall feels lightly sketched until the “thorny talons and clacking wooden jaw” bit—then I was immersed again.
  • I think some of the fragments work here, but not all of them (like “Its wielder nodding absently…”—I don’t think that works as a fragment.  But I like the cumulative clauses appended to it!)
  • The overall plot hung together and had a clever resolution.