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Welcome to the monthly Storybook Crew newsletter! Here, you'll find updates on what's going on in the Storybook forum, Storybooks worth joining, and Storybookers who stand out among the rest. There will also be odds and ends to keep you filled in on all the happenings in the SB forum, as well as a staff update to keep you informed as to whom you can yell at when you have a problem (or when you really want to just yell at someone).

This newsletter is updated at the beginning of each month, so be sure to subscribe to the thread to stay updated!


Table of Contents



2015


1. February
2. March
3. April
4. May
5. June
6. July
7. August
8. September
9. October
10. November
11. December

2016


12. January
13. February
14. March
15. April
16. May
17. June
18. July
19. August
20. September
21. October
22. November
23. December

2017


24. January
25. February
26. March
27. April
28. May
29. June (Summer Breeze)
30. July
31. August
32. September
33. October
34. November
35. December

2018


36. January
37. February
38. March
39. April
I am a forest fire and an ocean, and I will burn you just as much
as I will drown everything you have inside.
-Shinji Moon


I am the property of Rydia, please return me to her ship.





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Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:20 pm
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Lumi says...



February 2015


Featured Storybooks



Most Popular
This month's Most Popular Storybook title goes to Pokemon MysteryDungeon: The Seventeen Plates of Arceus by @Robusto and his magnificent crew! The story is based on an original story in the universe created by the Pokemon: Mystery Dungeon game series. If you're a fan of Pokemon and want a totally immersive experience, you can look no further! As a bonus point, you literally get to play as a Pokemon! What could be better than that?

Most Deserving of Attention
This month's featured SB for deserving more attention is The Original Monsters by @Avalon! It's a classic supernatural living amongst the everyday, and is best talked up by its opening statements:
The fictional town of Shawshank, Tennessee has long since enjoyed peace in their quiet little town. On the surface it seems like nothing ever happens, but once you begin digging for its secrets you dig yourself a grave, and it's one you can't escape. The community, the entire town, is involved with the supernatural, from psychics to werewolves. There's plenty to see here, but if you're an outsider then you're blind to the truth of the town. One of the town's greatest secrets is what lies hidden beneath town hall.

With that in mind, hop over and start creating your character! You have plenty of options and specs to choose from, so choose carefully...and cackle madly the entire way.

Best Concept
This month's Best Concept SB goes to the story of Pure Creation, the very impressive Odyssey by @Flite. The world is yours to create and bend to your will...how will you wield your notebook?! SB Crew deems this SB totally worth joining and totally more worth reading once it gets off the ground. Keep your eyes peeled and subscribe to keep up!

Monthly Challenges



Captain's Challenge
Your challenge this month, should you choose to accept, is to make at least five posts in a single storybook not owned by yourself by the end of February. This will win you five credits. The posts must be a mimimum of 250 words.

Recent Challenges
While it may have launched in December, January saw the bulk of the new SB Challenge operation. Now open to all Storybook owners, the concept is simple and gives SB owners a new weapon in their ever-rotating arsenal of tricks and traps. This month, the challenges issued threw SBers for a loop--this reporter thinks that no credits have been claimed...yet. Three challenges were issued in January. One from Cinereal Wolf Pack by @wolfie36, one from d3m0n hun73r by @Lumi, and finally, a recent challenge issued for The Wilderness of Machafuko(Chaos) by @TheWanderingWizard. Get those challenges dished out, folks! We have tons of badges that we're just itching to give out.

Expiring Challenges
Watch out, there's not much more time for you collect the points for these challenges, so complete them soon! Cinereal Wolf Pack adventurers (@Wolfare1, @AstralHunter, @r4p17. @Cynder, @kingofeli, @Shiverfeather, @Witchcraft96, @Nightshade21) your Challenge ends on Febuary 10th. D3m0n hun73r adventurers (@Holofernes, @StellaThomas, @Auxiira, @Blackwood, @Lumi) your Challenge ends on Febuary 13. Let's get those points!


Monthly Miscellany



Your Staff For This Month Is...
If you have any problems or questions around the Storybook forums, we encourage you to look for our green and red staff members around the forum. For February, your go-to Storybook team is @Lumi, @Omni, @Ecirahs, @AfterTheStorm, @Elinor%20Brynn, @AriaAdams, and @Rydia.

Staff-Selected Resources
Storybook Forum Resources by @Lumi
Keeping Storybooks Alive by @Elinor%20Brynn
A Storybook's Expiration Date by @Threnody

Featured Storybooker
While putting together this newsletter, staff struggled with this new category. Who is hyperactive in the SB forum? Who makes posts that enthrall the reader, even in a roleplaying game? After much deliberation, a decision was made! This month's featured Storybooker is @AstralHunter! Between his frequent SB posts and the quality of those posts, it's no wonder that he emerged victorious. So if you're looking for a diamond in the rough to round out your SB squad, look no further than Hunter himself! Be sure to shoot him a high-five on his wall sometime.

Storybookers To Look Out For
Finally, we have our storybooker to look out for. And for February, that storybooker is newcomer @Cynder, a promising addition to our tight-knit family here in our corner of YWS. This YWSer is also someone you definitely want on your SB roster. Look out, though! Cynder's going places. ;)
I am a forest fire and an ocean, and I will burn you just as much
as I will drown everything you have inside.
-Shinji Moon


I am the property of Rydia, please return me to her ship.





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Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:59 pm
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March 2015


Featured Storybooks



Most Popular

The most popular Storybook for February is none other than Lincoln Wood Private College Prep by @Nike. To explain this sequel to Harmony High the best, The SB Crew asked Nike herself to give a brief synopsis of the Storybook to us.

Lincoln Wood Private Prep is about a Private school in Seattle, Washington. We look at the lives of the teenagers that run the school. From the player Rupert to the sweetheart Hawthorne, we see how their lives get along.

There is a lot of drama stirring up with it now, a love triangle, a tortured girl, a lost artist, a lost soul.


With over twenty posts on the Storybook for February, this Storybook has a solid story and people writing it. If you hadn't read it yet, take a look. It's definitely an interesting read.


Most Deserving of Attention

This Storybook is definitely an interesting one. Made by the wonderful @Wolfare1, Dream of the Stars is a SB where the characters' dreams and reality are merged, leaving them with disturbing bruises and pains from their dreams the night before. What's going on? Read it to find out. It's a unique Storybook with tons of potential. What's not to love?

Best Concept

The Storybook deemed best concept for the month of February was none other than City of Memories by retired SB Crew @Auxiira. In this Storybook, the characters are members of Nikara, the capital city in a futuristic Antarctica. This city is segregated between the rich people and the slums, where the gangs rule more than you know and the currency for anything valuable are memories itself. Things heat up as tension rises between the gangs and the rich folk. Interested? I thought so. Read more to find out.

Monthly Storybook



Avatar: The New World

A fan-fiction storybook that follows the Legend of Korra series finale, The New World focuses on a group of six people in their attempt to find the missing Avatar and explore whatever is at the end of the new spirit portal.

About The Dungeon Master

@Omni is leading the new Monthly Storybook, and has led several other Storybooks since he started in December of 2012. His most notable one was the Harbingers of Revolution, which was an apocalyptic Atlanta. He loves to collaborate and communicate with his participants, focuses on deep plot and great storytelling, and will hunt you down if you don't post. Well, not really, but he is adamant on good communication on what you're doing in his Storybook.


Monthly Challenges



Captain's Challenge

Ahoy Mateys! Last month's challenge was a bit on the challenging side, but that's because we like to see you work hard for your badges! And some people even won the Captain's Challenge. Congratulations to @Gravity, @NicoleBri, @AstralHunter, and @TheSilverFox for completing the Captain's Challenge for February.

This month we're feeling generous and to earn your 3 credits, all you have to do is to write a post where your character interacts with at least two other characters. They must be positive toward one but negative toward the other. For example, your charater might insult character A by calling them the son of a Warthog's uncle, but compliment character B on their fighting style.

Captain's Challenge can only be earned once for each person every month, so please keep that in mind! For more information on credits and badges, see here.

Recent Challenges

During the month of February, our friendly neighborhood retired SB mod, @Lumi, created two two challenges for two different Storybooks: The Broken Seal and Glory Online both on the 13th. No other challenges were made in the month of February.

Expiring Challenges

Watch out, your challenges are expiring soon, get them finished if you want the points. The Broken Seal adventurers (@Rosendorn, @Omni, @Lumi, @Holofernes, @Ecirahs, @Jolt) your challenge expires on the 13th of March. Glory Online adventurers ( @Flite, @Rosendorn, @BiscuitsBatchAvoy, @Lumi, @chibibo, @Holofernes)
your challenge also expires on the 13th of March. There's points out there to collect, so let's get to finishing the challenges!

Monthly Miscellany



Your Staff For This Month Is... AriaAdams, Omni, Ecirahs, AfterTheStorm, Elinor Brynn, Rydia. Any questions you have, they will be happy to answer!

Staff-Selected Resources

Storybook Profiles: A How To Guide by @Rydia
A Storybooker's Guide Through the Character Profiles by @AriaAdams
Choosing an Appriopriate Character by @Via

Featured Storybooker

This Storybooker started a storybook that was the most popular SB in January and one of the most popular the next month. His devotion to his storybook is inspiring at the least. If you haven't realized yet, the Featured Storybooker for February is @Robusto!

Robusto has led his storybook into a length not seen in the forum for a very long time, not because of persuasion tactics or bribery, but just because he shared a common goal with the people around him. The care he has for his writing and storybook radiates off of what he does. I'm excited for the future of PMD: Seventeen Plates and for the future!

Storybookers To Look Out For

Last but certainly not least, here's someone you definitely want to keep an eye out for. Just starting to try out Storybooks in February, @pretzelsing has a promising presence in the forum, so she'd be one to look out for if you want an extra member in your storybook.

That's it for this month. It's time for the SB Crew to weigh anchor. Until next time, Mateys!
This account proudly supports lgbtq* rights.

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YWU





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Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:51 pm
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Lumi says...



April 2015


Featured Storybooks



Most Popular
This month saw a rush of posts in a rather old storybook that sort of surprised staff -- but we didn't stay surprised for long because, well, this SB has it all. Comedy, drama, a school (seriously like who wants to pretend to go to school when they're not in school eh I guess that's a useless thought don't mind me) ANYWAY. Despite varied thoughts about pretending to be in school while not in school, April's most popular SB is Lincoln Wood Private College Prep by @Nike. This is one definitely worth reading, so be sure to get to class on time--attendance is 100% of your grade.


Most Deserving of Attention
This month saw the introduction of the very cool (we used this word too much this month) new SB called Cloak And Dagger) by @15253. Basically, you are either a Cloak or a Dagger (not literally, bozos) and the whole plot is a government slap-fight that is certain to have delicious plot twists and tangles and we're just really excited to see where it goes. If it's still accepting guests, we highly suggest jumping on this bandwagon before it hauls tail out of town.


Best Concept
This one is my favorite to choose because we can be mysterious about it before the big reveal. This month, though, we don't have much of anything clever to say, so we'll just give you a synopsis.
Ever since you could remember, you always had lucid dreams and they were easy to remember the next morning. It would only take seconds for you to realize it's all in your head and start conjuring up radical scenes to act out, more adventures to partake it or explore the edges of your imagination. But it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.


Hear that, guys? It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. SOMEONE'S GOING TO GET HURT. God, that's my favorite part of storybooks. Like you have all this romance crap and suddenly BAM dagger through the heart and bye-bye love interest. Delicious.

In all seriousness, Dream of the Stars by @Wolfare1 is a beautifully-constructed (and well-casted) story about a secret school society that basically abducts you (with your parents' permission, of course) because of your strange lucid dreams. The plot has already taken off, and I am personally invested in watching the story unfold. Even if you're just spectating this SB, it's a heck of one to spectate.


Monthly Storybook



Everyone has their Demons

A storybook in which alliances may not be what they seem and the forces of light and shadow face a threat which could bring the destruction of both their respective worlds. Will they face it together or will this be a three way war which could destroy the very things they are fighting to preserve? A character development storybook with fantasy at its heart, Everyone has Demons contains an element of chance where your character will have a beginning alliance (chosen by you) but also an inward alliance, which will be decided by a die roll.

About The Dungeon Master
@Rydia is more likely to join a storybook than to host her own and delights in creating characters who have no right to be there. The aspiring celebrity in a zombie apocalypse or the elderly man on a swashbuckling quest. When creating her own worlds, she loves to invent Storybooks with a sense of adventure, mostly remembered for Sky Pirates vs Sky Ninjas.

Monthly Challenges



Captain's Challenge

Storybook Soulmates
This month's challenge requires you to work in pairs and you'll either fail together or succeed together!

Both challengees must agree on two storybooks to join and must make a total of eight posts in these storybooks during April. At least three of those posts must come from each of the pair and there must be at least three posts in each of the storybooks. Both challengees must also have posted at least once in each of the storybooks for their participation to count.

So adventurer one can not make four posts in storybook one while adventurer two makes four posts in storybook two.

Adventurer one can make two posts in storybook one and three posts in storybook two, while adventurer two only makes two posts in storybook one and one post in storybook two.

Post in this thread to partner with the person who posts above you. I'm going to say 'Looking for a partner' and the first person to reply will say 'Partnered with Rydia'. Then the next person begins again with 'Looking for a partner' and so on.

You may undertake the challenge a maximum of two times. You must first complete your side of the first challenge before seeking a second partnership. You must then use two different storybooks to the two you have already joined. Posts can be counted retrospectively so long as they were made in April - if you start the partnership on the 23rd April, a post on the 5th April still counts.

If your partner appears unable to complete their side of the partnership, you may request a third partner by posting on the thread. In this circumstance, only two of the three partners need to complete the challenge but can not include the third partner's posts in their count, unless all three are completing it. For all three to complete it, there must be twelve posts made across the storybooks and all other requirements still stand. To seeka third partner post 'Looking for a third partner' regardless of what the post above you reads. The next person to post can then choose to join you or to seek a normal partnership. Listing the two storybooks you and your original partner choose will help them decide if they want to be your third partner or not.

Credits for this challenge will be awarded at the end of the month. 5 credits each time it is completed.

Recent Challenges
Whoa, guys! There were no challenges issued in March?? What's up with that? We know you all love badges, but we'd also like to hear from you if there's something confusing you about challenges or badges! Shoot @Lumi a PM and he'll sort everything out for you, step-by-step.


Expiring Challenges
I guess it's kinda silly to have this section in the newsletter this month. REGARDLESS WE'RE GOING TO HAVE IT, OKAY? No challenges are expiring soon...which I guess is a positive side to the whole "We ain't got no challenges hurr durr" thing. Hurr durr.


Monthly Miscellany



Your Staff For This Month Is...
If you have any problems or questions around the Storybook forums, we encourage you to look for our green and red staff members around the forum. For April your staff is: @AriaAdams, @Lumi, @Ecirahs, @AfterTheStorm, @Elinor%20Brynn and @Rydia.


Staff-Selected Resources
Report a good Storybooker! by @Iggy
NPCs: Now With More NPC by @Lumi
Favorite Characters by @Ecirahs


Featured Storybooker
You've seen him do Pokemon. You've seen him write a failing SB (which has not yet failed, by the way)! Whether you're familiar with his background character in 17 Plates or his co-leading other projects in the SB forum, your featured SBer for April is one the staff unanimously chose as a knockout feature. We hope you like compliments, because you're about to get tons of them! Your featured Storybooker for April is @15253! Next time you're launching a cool project (it has to be cool, guys) be sure to approach this cool dude to make your cool project cooler. It'll be a cool time with cool jokes and cool words. Cool? Cool.


Storybookers To Look Out For
This month's STORYBOOKER TO LOOK OUT FOR comes at you in the form of a zesty spice that is really common in southern cooking. Some people like it red, some people like it dark and smoked beforehand. But we like our @Paprika just the way she is. If you have a minute, check out her new Storybook: Suffocating.
I am a forest fire and an ocean, and I will burn you just as much
as I will drown everything you have inside.
-Shinji Moon


I am the property of Rydia, please return me to her ship.





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Sat May 02, 2015 8:47 pm
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Lumi says...



May 2015



Featured Storybooks



Most Popular
I'd like to think that, with a few exceptions, most of us would legitimately freak out if we were trapped anywhere. I mean, it doesn't matter if it's a car trunk or a broom closet, or a gaping dimension riddled with fire and brimstone. If you are trapped somewhere, you are going to sweat it. I mean, I guess you could phone someone and get picked up. Or if you're super strong you could break down the door--though I guess that doesn't work for being trapped in another dimension. BASICALLY no one would like to be trapped anywhere. That's. That's what I'm trying to say. So this is what we thought about when we chose April's most popular Storybook, which is the ravenous success that takes place in said fiery dimension with no cell reception: Trapped In Hell by @QueenAnne.

I don't know if you guys have been reading this horrorterror, but so far the posts have been fantastic and consistent, which is all anyone wants for a storybook. Well, I guess there's fun, too, but...that's a discussion for another day. We in the Storybook crew really appreciate what @QueenAnne is doing with this story, and we encourage you to read along as it unfolds.


Most Deserving of Attention
It's not always intense forethought and plotting that goes into making a Storybook great, but rather the amount of fun you can have creating, executing, and maybe one day finishing that storybook. The most deserving of attention for May (which means we really liked it more than it got attention in April), is The Weekday King by @JKHatt. If you're interested in a legitimately FUN storybook that isn't too dark, not too fluffy, but somewhere between - I think you'll really enjoy participating in this slapstick adventure.


Best Concept
We. Love. Space. Stories.

That is legitimately all we need to say to get FOUR THOUSAND YWSERS to attack this Storybook that has gone unnoticed until now. The concept is classic: you've left Earth and you're headed to the re--no, we can't say that without spoiling the SB title. Um. You're headed to Mars! Colonization and habitation are on the menu, as well as some very delicious plot twists, which is no surprise, given the founder of the Storybook. We are all very happy to salute a long-time veteran of the Storybook forum with the Best Concept for May: @StellaThomas with The Red Planet.

This storybook is UNTOUCHED, you guys. Raid it. RAID. IT.


Monthly Storybook



Hehehe Wouldn't You Like To Know


About The Dungeon Master
The Dungeon Master is so new to our ranks that Lumi wouldn't let anyone write about him in the Newsletter. GET READY, LADIES AND GENTLEBOOKERS. Until it's released, you can bite your fingernails.

Monthly Challenges



Captain's Challenge

Captain Says Commit

Variety is the spice of life but dedicated adventures are what keep our storybooks alive. Your challenge this month is to commit to a storybook and make at least three posts there. These posts must each be at least 4 days apart (though you may make others in between; they simply won't count toward the challenge). The posts must also be at least four paragraphs long and must advance the story in some way. I will be the judge of the quality of posts.

The points for this challenge will be awarded on a rising scale:

3 posts - 3 points
4 posts - 4 points
5+ posts - 5 points

Once you have completed the challenge, simply post in the Challenge Master Thread with the name of the storybook where you made the posts. These will then be verified and credits/ badges will be awarded.


Recent Challenges
This month saw a ton of challenges, so we're just going to outline them below so no one loses track. You can find the Challenge Master Thread Here.

Expiring May 5th:
Challenged Adventurer(s): @TakeThatYouFiend, @TheWanderingWizard, @r4p17,@NicoleBri, @AstralHunter, @QueenAnne

Storybook: High Fantasy

____

Challenged Adventurers: @AstralHunter,@Wolfie36, @Wolfare1,@TheWanderingWizard, @r4p17, @15253, @Rydia, @QueenAnne

Storybook: The Wilderness of Machafuko(Chaos)

____

Expiring May 16th because Lumi is ridiculous and challenges everyone:
Challenged Adventurer(s): @Rosendorn, @BiscuitsBatchAvoy, @Flite, @Holofernes,@Lumi
Storybook: Glory Online

Challenged Adventurer(s): @Auxiira, @Blackwood, @Holofernes, @StellaThomas,@Lumi
Storybook: d3m0n hun73r

Challenged Adventurer(s): @Rosendorn, @Omni, @Jolt, @chibibo, @Nutty,@Holofernes, @Lumi
Storybook: Pokebook: America

Challenged Adventurer(s): @Rosendorn, @Omni, @Jolt, @Nutty, @Holofernes,@Lumi
Storybook: The Broken Seal


Monthly Miscellany



Your Staff For This Month Is...
If you find yourself in a sticky spot and need help in the Storybook section, we encourage you to hunt down one of the members of SB crew. For May, your loyal crew is @Lumi, @Omni, @Rydia, @AriaAdams, @Elinor%20Brynn, @AstralHunter, @Wolfare1, and @TheWanderingWizard.


Comedy With Lumi
Let's talk about comedy!

Comedy boils down to two main factors in my eyes, which are timing and unpredictability. Comedy belongs in all genres because let's face it - in your dystopian action drama, your readers (and writers) need a respite from all the angst and drama. The same is true across the board. I remember a Storybook I took part in last year called Terrortory, which was a post-apocalyptic zombie thriller. It was dark. And in all the dark writing - which I committed a lot to - I felt the need to do the unexpected and make a funny scene between my character (a disgraced druggie all-star chef from LA turned knife-wielding zombie hunter) and a surviving human who wanted to kill him and eat him. So check the box on Unpredictability.

This was in the beginning of the Storybook when the tone was being set, and mostly all you had was violence and gore and things dying here, there, everywhere. So the timing was perfect, since it was the time for respite, which means the reader likely needed a break.

This is a different thought because it's in the vein of thinking like a novelist instead of a roleplayer. And I'm interested in knowing which way you approach Storybooks. Sure, they're fun collab projects that combine writing strengths and weaknesses, and let's be honest: they're really fun to write, no matter what the content is. That said, I think you're at a bit of a loss if you don't think about the quality of the content you're putting out. Think of the ups and downs, the pulls and pushes. Think about the readers - because whether you realize it or not (which means you're about to realize it) - all of your co-writers are also readers.

On the other side of the coin, you have comedy that could really ruin a scene. Part of knowing how your timing is going is knowing to cut before you drag out or add too much content. Then again, some jokes are funny because they go on forever and a day. With that in mind, stay thoughtful about how rarely those forever-and-a-day jokes are treasured. Folks will remember a funny misunderstanding that is ten words long. They may not remember six paragraphs of Goku and Sailor Moon chasing Scooby Doo through the Hogwarts Cafeteria with Benny Hill playing in the background. Well, I would. Because that would be perfect.

I digress. Maybe I should've titled this Respite instead of Comedy.

Peace, bookers.


Featured Storybooker
This month's Featured Storybooker was a close race, and all those mentioned really deserve mentions. But they don't get mentions because they didn't win! Bwahahaha.

May's featured storybooker is someone who has blasted through High Fantasy, Lincoln Wood Prep, and the oft-neglected Orphans. Three incredible SBs that are made even more incredible because this girl is on fire. It is with immense pride and even a bit of you humble me that I announce the Featured Storybooker for May is @NicoleBri! She is definitely a girl you want in your cast.


Storybookers To Look Out For
This month, we saw two new 'bookers blowing up the scene and doing their own stunts. The two newcomers that we really want to love on this month are @AndrewRayne, who writes characters incredibly, and @Falconer, who threw out a plot twist in The Weekday King that even surprised [redacted member of SB crew].

To you two, specifically: a.) we love you, b.) please stay forever and c.) write Storybooks with all of our crew mates, and finally d.) enjoy every moment in our little corner of YWS.

To everyone else: GET THESE TWO ON YOUR TEAMS.
I am a forest fire and an ocean, and I will burn you just as much
as I will drown everything you have inside.
-Shinji Moon


I am the property of Rydia, please return me to her ship.





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Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:08 pm
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SpiritedWolfe says...



June 2015


Featured Storybooks



Most Popular

This month there were two very popular storybooks with The Sixth Academy For Heroes-In-Training and Lincoln Wood Private College Prep both achieving more than 15 posts! Considering Lincoln Wood was also featured in March, it truly has the makings of a great storybook with the ability to keep adventurers excited and keen to post.

This is the first time Sixth Academy has been featured, but as its name suggests, it's not the first time the Storybooks has run. Lumi makes writing sequels look easy and this is one fun and action packed storybook with bundles of heroism and humour.

Most Deserving of Attention

Let's face it. There's a bit of maddness in all of us, but the key is to embrace it. The perfect outlet? This lovely storybook, M.A.D. House: Encounters, by @WaltzingDreams, is one of a secret service society, made up of purely agents with mental instabilities. With a cast yet to be filled, head on over, create a character and begin your descent into M.A.D-ness.

Best Concept

Time has captured the attention of many genres, aspects of life and things in general. Everyone waste's it at points, don't they? Well, what wouldn't be a waste of your time is to check out the storybook, Timeline, by @Wolfie36.

Here, you'll take an adventure back in time to rescue some pesky kids who messed around with a time machine (as that never ends well) to visit some of their favorite time periods. Don't wait to claim your spot in the adventure, and especially keep an eye out for mysterious changes.

Monthly Storybook



Immortal's Reign

Immortal's Reign is a fantasy storybook of epic proportions that will be well worth the attention it needs to read through the introductory post.

In a world where the villains have seemingly won, can the good guys gather their strength and push back against the darkness? The five tribes are not what they once were and in the place of their previous champions, six imposters hold the sacred artifacts. These orbs granted by the five Gods themselves, once protected the good leaders but now give power to the evil lords.

About The Dungeon Master

@Wolfare1, who has recently joined the staff team for the Storybooks sector, has been prowling the forums for a little over a year. It's a short space of time to have made such a strong impression but her solid characters and gripping posts leave us in no doubt that she's up to the job.

Monthly Challenges



Captain's Challenge
CCI - Creation, Collaboration, Imagination - is the main focus of this month's challenge! It constitutes of four parts, as following:

1. Create or join an SB (you get a bonus point if you create one), and form a crew of at least three people participating in this challenge. You don't all have to be in the same SB for this to work (but you also get a bonus point if you are). Sign up yourself and your friends in the Challenge Master thread.
2. Using the DT, fill out one of the fields of the character profile - it's up to you which one - for the next person (i.e. if the crew is Rydia, Lumi and Auxiira, Rydia will fill out, say, Personality for Lumi's character, Lumi's for Auxi's, and so on).
3. Create your character, making sure that the bit provided by another person fits with the rest of the profile. You must be able to provide links to the character profiles when completed and accepted, in order to fulfill the challenge.
4. Make at least three posts (each) in the SB(s), at least one of them featuring a character made by a person not in your crew for this challenge. You need to be able to provide links to these as well (please edit your post in the CM thread whenever adding this, as to not clutter it up).

The total possible amount points you can get for completing this challenge is five;

A - Completing the challenge with friends in two or more different SBs - 2 points (for each person)
A1 - Completing the challenge with friends all in the same SB - 3 points (for each person)
B - Creating the SB and completing the challenge with all the friends in it - 1 extra point (for the creator)
B1 - Creating the SB and completing the challenge with friends in one or more other SBs - still 1 extra point (for the creator)
C - At least one of the friends being a new Storybooker ("new" meaning they've participated in one or no Storybooks prior to the one they're creating this character for) - 1 extra point (for each person)

Recent Challenges

There were none. At all in May. Come on, guys! To all you lovely storybookers reading this: go have some fun with these challenges. You're all pretty darn creative, so why not earn some cool looking badges while you're out having your adventures. Spur up some activity! And don't hesitate to ask any of this month's staff if you're confused, either.

Monthly Miscellany



Your Staff For This Month Is...
If you find yourself in a sticky spot and need help in the Storybook section, we encourage you to hunt down one of the members of SB crew. For June, your loyal crew is @Lumi, @Omni, @Rydia, @AriaAdams, @Elinor%20Brynn, @AstralHunter, @Wolfare1, and @TheWanderingWizard.


Character Interactions With Wolf

When it comes to character interactions, it can be terrifying on so many levels. What if that wasn’t supposed to happen? What if I just placed someone into a spot they can’t proceed from? What if I mess up someone’s character? It’s a terrible feeling at first, but as long as you’re not oblivious, it’s not a big deal. So, collaboration is key.

That’s all a storybook is, a giant project where a bunch of writers come together and collaborate. Write a story together and cooperate, while roleplaying all the while. Still, we differ from simple roleplaying when we take it upon ourselves to write out another’s character in their vision of them. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t, but being bold and trying to match the vision is what creates great character interactions, not being frightened or thick headed.

When it comes down to the writing itself, a good thing to do when you’re stuck is to ask questions, clarify and familiarize yourself with the other’s character. Read posts from them and see how they responded and think about how you can include what you saw into your own scenario. Try some things out, and worst case scenario, you’re asked to change it. Things just happen like that. (Even though it’s not as often as you might think).

Now, what you shouldn't do is stress yourself out over how you can make this perfect. Believe me, I've done that many times myself, but storybooks are meant to be fun. To take an adventure with your friends, and interactions just come with that. It might help sometimes to stop caring so much -- which doesn't mean do a horrible job, by the way.

And this has been collaboration – er, character interactions with Wolf.

Featured Storybooker

There are few storybookers as dedicated as @Tuesday and anyone who can keep up with her relentless pace of posting deserves a medal themselves! In May alone she has posted in six different storybooks and some of them more than once. The quality of her posts are wonderful and despite being relatively new to the SB forums, she has proved herself a worthy adventurer!

Storybookers To Look Out For

This week we have two new kids on the block and they're bound to be caught up in some adventurely trouble sooner or later so best you know their names now. @PerksOfBeingAReader has created her first character Jean Kinado for The Queen's Curse and he's a sweet kid with a mild case of depression. @WaltzingDreams on the other hand has jumped in feet first with her very own storybook M.A.D. House: Encounters. If you see either of them around, be sure to say hello!
I was once Wolfare1


"People need to have personality guides so others know how to interact with them... People would get offended and life would be a better place." ~Wolfare1, 2015


I promise I don't bite. Unless your name is Noelle.





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Auxiira says...



July 2015


Featured Storybooks



Most Popular

We seem to be on a roll for popular Storybook reboots! Indigena 2.0 run this time by @TinyJarStoredDreams has had 17 posts in the the last month! Drama and survival and teenagers, what more could you want?

Most Deserving of Attention

@Holysocks' super quirky old folk's home break Storybook Quest for Eternal Youth has you as a retiree trying to escape their retirement home to get their hands on some eternal youth pills. With a promise of lost slippers and cranky old-timer jokes, you can't go far wrong, so head over and act out your favourite great-aunt.

Best Concept

We've always been interested in foreign worlds and exploring and The Society of the Opposite Travelers definitely gives us a full plate of both of those!

Every portal was closed, every connection home was gone, and the Travelers had no way to get back.
Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuun. (oh the drama) Get your explorer hats out and go explore the Opposite, where uncategorised dangers await. It's all up to you. This is still open and accepting, so go ahead and raid it!

Monthly Storybook



Dominion From Beyond the Rift

We've got worms infecting our brains to take over the human race in this month's official storybook. Will you manage to survive? Can you realise that your friend's been infected? Dominion From Beyond the Rift will have you second guessing even your closest friends.

About The Dungeon Master

Being yet another fairly new face to the Storybook crew, @AstralHunter takes everything to the next level, this occasion included. While his posts are splendid, detailed and filled with signs of thorough passion, his contrabutions and overall enthusiasm are tough to match. Which makes it all the better that this month's Official Storybook is also the first time he steps up to being a Dungeon Master.

Monthly Challenges



Captain's Challenge

Let's interact

The world wouldn't work without communication now, would it? Your challenge this month is to have your character interact with at least two other characters in the storybook in one post. The interaction has to have at least 4 lines of dialogue and advance the story in some way.

The more interaction the better, so for every character you have more than 4 lines of dialogue with, you get an extra point:

2 characters - 2 points
3 characters - 3 points
etc.

Once you have completed the challenge, simply post in the Challenge Master Thread with the name of the storybook where you made the posts. These will then be verified and credits/ badges will be awarded.

Recent Challenges

Expiring July 24th:

Challenged Adventurers: @Holofernes, @Tuesday, @BiscuitsBatchAvoy, @Lumi, @Nutty, @TheWanderingWizard, @Wolfare1
Storybook: Glory of the Raider

More info in the Challenge Master Thread

Monthly Miscellany



Your Staff For This Month Is...
If you find yourself in a sticky spot and need help in the Storybook section, we encourage you to hunt down one of the members of SB crew. For July, your loyal crew is @Lumi, @Omni, @Rydia, @AriaAdams, @Elinor%20Brynn, @Auxiira, @AstralHunter, @Wolfare1, and @TheWanderingWizard.

Featured Storybooker

She's stayed dedicated to Lincoln Wood Private College Prep like glue is to being sticky, and wowed us with the consistantly good quality of her posts. @Nike has proven that it's not the quantity of Storybooks that counts, it's the quality of what you write.

Storybookers To Look Out For

Two new people to look out for, cause they're dabbling in the Storybooks hard and fast. @Savvy's been posting in our Featured Storybook, Indigena 2.0 and @Megrim's been getting around, joining four Storbooks since they've joined! Look out for them if you want someone new in your Storybook!
You read faster than Usaine Bolt sprints xD - Deanie 2014

I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee. - Cathy, Wuthering Heights





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AstralHunter says...



August 2015


Featured Storybooks



Most Popular

When it comes to games, little beats a role playing game in terms of entertainment. And when it comes to literature, what could be more fun than reading about a hero/heroine's adventures with his/her friends? Combine these two, and you get your answer. Now, storybooks are RPGs by nature, but one particular user has taken this concept to the next level. Naturally, this user is none other than the legendary @Lumi.

Glory of the Raider is a newly founded adventurer's guild that promises fame and fortune to those brave enough to join it. These courageous souls must not only battle the stuff of nightmares, but they must do so while keeping their skill level, statistics and cash flow in mind. These depend on the amount of posts each participant submits and the number of words in these posts, as well as the decisions they make, both in-character and out-of-character. This unique style of storybooking has clearly drawn the attention of many, but Lumi warned that it is not for the faint of heart. Nevertheless, if you feel the pace is too intense for you, you can still read along at your leisure - something which the Storybook Crew highly encourages.

Most Deserving of Attention

Often, storybooks have a predetermined ending, but it seems that the way to go is leaving them open-ended. Having said that, it doesn't mean you should neglect planning things beforehand. July OS: Dominion From Beyond the Rift by @AstralHunter ticks both boxes, since it lets you decide on which side you want to be. Will you fight for the preservation of the human society, or will you support the extraterrestrial Neurax Worms in their conquest to enslave the world? Nothing is certain, except that the fate of mankind lies in your hands.

Best Concept

In most dystopian societies, the citizens are told lies in order to keep things more convenient for the leaders. In Aborrent by @FadingBrighter, things are no different. When you discover you are a more powerful breed than the average human, you are spirited away from the floating city of Vivarion and left on the world's surface, where untold horrors await. Slay these beasts, and you will be rewarded; fail... well, let's just say then your survival can't be guaranteed.



It is a dog eats dog world, but its the only world you've ever known.
Live. Fight. Die.




Monthly Storybook



Nationbuilding: August Storybook Workshop

The details of this workshop have already been publicly announced, so if you are unsure of what it will entail, simply read this before continuing. If you already have, then I hope you've also signed up, since this opportunity is one that does not come along often.

About The Dungeon Master

@Holofernes is no new face to the Storybooks section. Most famous for his workshop The City of Brass, he often mentors fledgling storybookers, ensuring an unforgettable writing experience. He pays excellent attention to detail and excels in creating characters who are both serious and witty. And if ever you are uncertain about anything, ask away in the Discussion Thread or hunt him down on Instant Messaging, but either way, he will happily answer any question you may have. Seriously, if you get the chance to write alongside him, grasp the opportunity with both hands.


Monthly Challenges



Captain's Challenge

I am a little disheartened when I see how the majority of storybookers ignore the Storybook Challenges. Do people not know that they get shiny badges for each new rank they reach? Furthermore, these challenges can be an excellent way to progress your storybook's plot while also making it more enjoyable. (You can also introduce in-character benefits for completing them and earning and credits, as I plan on doing in the future.) Thus, this month's challenge will revolve solely around the creation and completion of storybook challenges.

Storybook Creators:
1. Create a challenge for one of your storybooks.
2. Complete a challenge for a storybook that you did not create.

Storybookers:
1. Complete a challenge for two separate storybooks.

Complete either of these Captain's Challenges, and you will receive three credits. (If you are currently the owner of a storybook, then you may choose which of the two you want to complete. Storybook Moderators or storybookers with a rank of Novice or higher have the same liberty.) However, if you complete another storybook challenge in addition to the Captain's Challenge, you will earn two bonus credits.

So, in a challenge all about challenges, there really is no excuse for the Challenge Master Thread to stagnate. Have fun!

Recent Challenges

Here are some credits ripe for the picking, for those who have forgotten. (The challenges can be viewed at the Challenge Master Thread .)

____

Expiring August 5th
Challenged Adventurers: @Wolfie36 @SpiritedWolfe @TheClockworkConjurer @Rydia @Falconer @Chaser @Pretzelsing @Wonderwoman @Noelle @Megrim @Tuesday @Buggiedude2340 @Dutiful
Storybook: Timeline

____

Expiring August 14th
Challenged Adventurers: @TheClockworkConjurer, @SpiritedWolfe, @Wolfie36, and anyone else who wants to join.
Storybook: July OS: Dominion From Beyond the Rift


Monthly Miscellany



Your Staff For This Month Is...

If you find yourself in a sticky spot and need help in the Storybook Section, we encourage you to hunt down one of the members of SB crew. (Please, only use tranquiliser darts.) For August, your loyal crew is @Lumi, @Rydia, @AriaAdams, @Auxiira, @ReisePiecey, @AstralHunter, @SpiritedWolfe, and @TheClockworkConjurer.

Fantasy Creatures With AstralHunter

When writers think of Fantasy Fiction as a genre, they tend to think they can do whatever they want to. While this is true for the most part, we should remember that you can't simply create a world with no rules; there are still certain things you must keep in mind. One in particular is the fantastic creatures we love to create.

Creating your own species is, without a doubt, one of the most characteristic and enjoyable aspects of writing fantasy. Unfortunately, this is where many aspiring authors fall out of the metaphorical bus. To explain, I shall start with something we have all discussed in biology at one point or another - the food pyramid. The base of the food pyramid is, as with any pyramid, the largest of its levels. Ascend the structure, and the pyramid becomes gradually smaller until it reaches the apex. This is used to present the population of animals in terms of their diet, with herbivores being at the very bottom and most predators being at the top.

Herbivores need only consume vegetation, so they (usually) have no problem finding food. This is why they are at the bottom of the pyramid. However, once an organism starts preying on these herbivores, it becomes dependent on their population. Throughout its life, such organisms must constantly hunt and kill more prey if they are to survive, so naturally, there will be less of them. (Omnivores are the exception, since they can also feed off vegetation, but ignore them for now.) This is why predators are at the top of the food pyramid, with predators who are not hunted by other species being at the very top. (Hence the name "apex-predators".)

Having said that, it is clear the amount of predators should be smaller in proportion to the amount of prey, but is that always the case? Quickly think about any fantasy novel you have read - or any fantasy game you have played - and then compare the predator-prey ratio. If there are too many predators in comparison with the prey, I would not be surprised, and that is exactly the problem. Most authors need dangerous creatures to throw in their adventurer protagonist's way, since it makes the story more interesting. I have no problem with that, as I do it myself, but if there isn't enough food to sustain the predator, then there will be no dangerous creatures to attack your protagonist when they eventually reach the forest/desert/mountain/etc. And we can't have that, can we?

"But herbivores are boring!" you my say. Hah, excuse you! I live in Africa. Counting mammals only, our most common/well-known herbivores are elephants, rhinos, hippos, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, wildebeests, warthogs, and innumerable gazelle and antelope. If those herbivores (those who are omnivores mostly eat vegetation) are so boring, then why do people flock to Africa to come see them? "The Big Five consists of predators too." Obviously, but they are the minority. In fact, if you follow the same rules as above with our apex-predators, then we have lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs, and... that's it. The prey species outnumber their predatory counterparts two to one, and that's just mammals. Factor in the size of each species' average population and you will realise that there is a substantial amount more prey than predators. Moreover, not all herbivores have to be harmless; do you really want to face an enraged elephant or a stampeding rhino?

As you can see, it is entirely possible to have a balanced ratio between predator and prey and still keep things interesting - all you have to do is use your imagination (and a little maths).

Featured Storybooker

Storybooks require dedication, we all know that. Sadly, life sometimes gets in the way and prevents us from posting. Nevertheless, there are those who not only post frequently, but consistently as well, and that is why @Gravity is this month's Featured Storybooker. She has been posting in Licoln Wood Private College Prep since it was started in October of last year, and with six posts in June and four in July, it's clear she is a formiddable, dedicated storybooker.

Storybookers To Look Out For

We Moderators love seeing users operate outside of their comfort zone, so when a fellow mod does so, we are simply delighted. Naturally, we of the Storybook Crew were even more pleased when @Birkhoff converted to our side endeavoured to create his own storybook. It is quite the ambitious project, for each participant must have two characters, not merely one, and he also chose one of the most popular fantasy series - The Lord of the Rings - as the subject. Despite that, he succeeded in creating an original synopsis, as well as getting the ball rolling within a month after the storybook's creation. We shall watch his (and Barfa the goblin's) progress with great interest...
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- Paul the Apostle

Spring has returned! Winter is over, and BrumalHunter is no more!





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Omnom says...



September 2015


Featured Storybooks



Most Popular

In a long line of tagbooks, @Lumi blows our mind with... another tagbook! Chat Room Apocalypse is certainly the epitome of the Storybook forum, and it shows with how much activity it's garnered. If you haven't posted in this thing (because NO DOUBT everyone in YWS has been tagged at least once, right?), what are you waiting for? Join this gigantic furball of fun!

Most Deserving of Attention

Dear Readers:

I saw a premise (with my own two eyes!) of a Storybook that communicated solely through the sending of letters by the Post Office.

Created by the magnificient, moldy @PenguinAttack, this Storybook houses the possibility to go in any direction. The story is yours to control through the letters you write. If you're looking for something different (or perhaps something for completing this month's Captain's Challenge hmm?), this Strybook is still open!

Best Concept

Everyone loves a good, cheerful Storybook. One where you laugh and have fun, make friends and make more friends.

Well, this Storybook is not that.

The Cataclysm by @Elysium is the world ending right before your eyes (I don't want to say literally here... but literally. The last words of this introductory post perfectly describes this Storybook. "This is the end". It's your job to figure out what's happening. It's your job to find out the cause of this. It's your job to survive.

Seriously, join this. You're not gonna regret it.


Monthly Storybook



Keep Calm and Shoot First

Keep Calm and Shoot First

Ten years have passed since the aliens landed and nobody knows if they're still here or if they were never here at all. That doesn't matter. What matters is you keep your gun at the ready and if anyone you don't know crosses your path, you keep calm and shoot them first. If someone you don't know has the food that you need then you keep calm and shoot first. And if anyone, anyone at all accuses you or your family of being an alien, you had better hope that you've got what it takes to take them down.

About The Dungeon Master

@Rydia is more likely to join a storybook than to host her own and delights in creating characters who have no right to be there: the aspiring celebrity in a zombie apocalypse or the elderly man on a swashbuckling quest. When creating her own worlds, however, she will aim to make a character who can hold together even the most diverse of groups. She loves to invent Storybooks with a sense of adventure and lots of scope for character development.

Monthly Challenges



Captain's Challenge: Longevity

This month your challenge is to make two posts in an active storybook which you've either joined but have been neglecting recently or which has less than 4 active posters. Here are the two different conditions for completing the challenge, each of which are worth 3 points or 8 points if you complete both:

1. Rejoin a storybook. To complete this challenge you must have posted in the storybook at least once but not during August and the storybook must still be active - there must have been a post by someone else since the 1st July. At least one other person must post before you can make your second post.

2. Join a storybook in need. Make two posts in a storybook which is low on active posters but still active. To complete this challenge there must be less than 4 active posters in the storybook - a person is classed as active if they have posted in the last month. The storybook must also still be active - someone must have posted during the last month - and it must be a storybook you have not previously joined.

Good luck to all and may your storybooks live long and prosper!

Some storybooks eligible for the second challenge are:

Spoiler! :
Abhorrent
Post Office
Glory of the Raider
Hogwarts:Afterwards
April OS: Everyone has their Demons
Stablewright Boarding High School for Troubled Teens
May OS: Alice in Wonderland, return of the Queen
Timeline
Hunters
Warrior Cats
Long Live the Living
High Fantasy
The Weekday King
The Cataclysm
The Ruin on the Hill
Fandom School


Recent Challenges

Attention @AstralHunter, @Rydia, @SpiritedWolfe, @Wolfie36,@r4p17, @QueenofHearts, @15253, and @TheClockworkConjurer! You have until September 9th to finish this really long challenge! It's already expired, so if you have finished it, please post in the thread so you can get the points.

Attention @AstralHunter, @Lumi, @Omni, @ScarlettFire, @Carina, @ReisePiecey, @Iggy, @Holofernes, @StellaThomas, @SpiritedWolfe, @Chaser, @VeerenVKS, and @Tortwag! You have until September 12th to finish your CAMP challenge! Your totally non-biased writer wishes you to do so because he would be eternally grateful.

Attention @Tortwag! You have been called out by @Robusto to finish this challenge in PMD You have until September 25th to finish your challenge. Will you rise up and gain the points, or shall you fail Robusto?


Monthly Miscellany



Your Staff For This Month Is...

If you find yourself in a sticky spot and need help in the Storybook Section, we encourage you to summon forth an avatar of one of our pantheon of benevolent overlords. For August, your lazing Olympians are @Lumi, @Rydia, @AriaAdams, @Auxiira, @ReisePiecey, @Omni, @Elinor, @AstralHunter, and @TheClockworkConjurer.

Filler Episodes With Lumi

This will be brief, as to emulate the plot of a good filler episode.

Also called self-contained episodes, filler episodes are essentially standstills in your main plot that take up a bit of free time (maybe traveling across a continent, nyeh, nyeh??) or just hunkering down in a haunted house that you didn't know was haunted. Whatever you run with, filler episodes are a fun way to have a breather with an established lore universe and just have fun. This also ties into my newsletter talk on taking respites from thick drama and action so your reader can breathe. And I suppose that I should clarify that there are times in both storybooking and in proper authorship that propel you to keep your plot thick, dense, packed, steady, fluid, dark, grim, and hard to put down.

In those cases, you make your own judgment calls.

But filler, and filler episodes, are all about fluff and inordinate character development that may otherwise be snuffed out by the density of your plot. You can actually interchange this premise with a lot of "intro" posts in storybooks. Everything is a bit lighter, the posts are shorter, and in general, you get to know a lot more about your characters because it's all on the table and it's your job to pick up all the table parts!

My final thought is that filler is just plain-out fun to write. Give it a try if you have an established plot and lore. Take a few fluffbunnies you've been neglecting. Snuggle up with your team of writers...and just have some fun!

Featured Storybooker

This month's featured storybooker is someone we all know and love and I'm sure he's going to be highly embarrassed to be posting his own feature. That's right, this month the honour goes to @Lumi! Our crew mate often appears in our top ten posters and this month he has blown us away with his Chat Room Apocalypse storybook (or CRA(2) for you acronym lovers). Lumi is full of fun and creative ideas which have a lot of spunk and pull many an adventurer from their dark and dusty closet to join in the fun, so let's hear it for our Lumière, the light of our world!

Lumi would like to let it be ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that he did not authorize this IN THE LEAST. Rydia would like to be even clearer that Lumi's authorisation is not required :p Auxiira would like to make it clear that she really likes lasagne. Omni would like to make it clear that the SB mods do NOT talk about themselves in third person.

Storybookers To Look Out For

Not many new adventurers make it into our top 15 posters during their first month in the Storybook kingdom but this lovely lady did! She goes by the name of @HazelGrace16 and instead of watching out for her, let's roll out the plank and welcome her onboard - this is one lady who will not bring bad luck to your voyage. What she will bring is good quality posts and fleshed out characters.
This account proudly supports lgbtq* rights.

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TheMaieuticMesmerist says...



October 2015


Featured Storybooks



Most Popular

After two long months of supreme domination, we all thought that the mighty Lincoln Wood College would remain king of the storybook realm. All other storybooks were cowering in fear, desperately in search of a hero to save them from this giant.

Then, out of the shadows of the storybook forums, rose a mysterious hero with mutant abilities. This hero caught the great Lincoln unaware, and through sheer determination became the new ruler of the storybooks for this month.

I guess you can all deduce which Storybook I am talking about. The Heroes of the Shadows by @TheFantasy14 took everyone completely by surprise as this storybook passed not only Lincoln Wood Prep, but also the action-packed storybook Keep Calm and Shoot First, getting in a jawdropping total of 23 posts in just two weeks since its creation.

The storyline is quite simple: the world is rampaging with crime, which thus results in the government starting scientific experiments to, uhm... modify... the normal man (or woman, of course...). The experiments were going well, until they weren't any longer. The government shut down this program, but kept alive these test subjects, and that is where our tale begins.

The openness of this storyline is what made this an instant success. With a small yet dedicated and enthusiastic cast run most by new members, this storybook quickly unfolded into quite a decent and good-quality read. What this story might have lacked in substance at first, it quickly compensated for with diverse and unique characters, each with their own abilities, issues, and backstories.

We would firstly like to congratulate @TheFantasy14 on this marvelous achievement, creating a growing storybook after just 10 days of YWSship, and keeping the story going and in constant development.

We also want to applaud the writing crew, most of whom are new members on YWS and in our forums, for helping the Heroes of the Shadow achieve this accomplishment, so early in its lifespan. We love to see new members taking part so actively in our forums, and hope to see this storybook grow into a sprawling success.

To all our other storybookers out there, we hope this will remind you that even the smallest of SBs can achieve greatness, as long as you have enthusiasm, dedication, and no small amount of mutant abilities on your side.
(note, mutant abilities are purchased and sold seperately. Side-effects might include amnesia, insanity, lack of emotional control, and breathing fire. In the case that these symptoms are present, the government will disavow any knowledge of you...)

Most Deserving of Attention

So it is not often that we get a SB with a rules list longer than the entire introductory post, and even less so that we get such a straight-forward, open-plotted SB like the following. It might not be much, but we really think it takes a SBer with a real "gift" to attempt and run such an open story.

The Gifts by @ForgottenMemories is a classic example of an epic fantasy adventure just waiting for eager, enthusiastic and creative SBers to stroll in and make this tale a masterpiece. We as a mod crew truly encourage all you fantasy writers out there to take the tiny seed that is this strybook, and help Forgotten memories grow a massive garden of intrigue, magic, action, romance, and drama.

This storybook can really turn into anything, as long as you have faith, trust, and a team of dedicated writers at your side helping to blow your hot-air balloon into the sky with their firebreathing gifts...

Best Concept

Mysterious summons by a secret letter? Check. Futuristic government tyrannizing the populace? Check. Loads of action and intrigue? Check. If you're looking for a new storybook which ticks all the boxes of excitement, then be sure to take a look at With Regards, Repoor by @jumpingsheep.

Based in the year 2080 in a fictional city of Eramtin, this dystopian sci-fi story is sure to have your fingertips raw from typing up that next post. The city is run by the all powerful Council of Five, a group of individuals who make Josef Stalin look like a philanthropist.

The Council has banned all forms of entertainment and media, unless it is their own of course, and force the population to stay afloat in their dozens of factories.
The few intelligent (or wealthy) individuals of the society get scooped up and sent to the infamous Academy, where they get trained to become the next generation of Eramtin Police, the ruthless and feared army of the Council.

But somewhere deep in this city the flames of rebellion are kindling, and your characters are right at the center of it. The person leading this rebellion is simply known as Repoor, and has contacted you personally to ask for your assistance.

This is a truly astounding concept by @jumpingsheep, a face relatively new to the storybooking community. Keep your eyes on this storybook, and remember: Stay active. Stay alive. Join the resistance.

Monthly Storybook



The Maze of the Guilds

Ever wondered how a dystopian world deals with their problems? Execute the trouble-makers? Mind-control? Alien invasions? No... They let the Ten main Guilds in the city send 2 Champions into a living maze that can transport you between worlds to try and escape alive, all the while fighting the other Champions... Well, if that sounds crazy, that is exactly what happens in this month's Official Storybook The Maze of the Guilds.

The tale plays off in the panunopolis (a neologism for a city that spans an entire continent or world) of Ravnica, a city filled with deceit, crime, and corruption. At the heart if this city are the Ten Guilds, ten groups of individuals that run every aspect of the city, and also seriously want to destroy each other.

Due to recent tensions, the city is on the brink of civil war, until the mysterious Dragon Maze at the center of the city wakes. The Guilds were called: send your Champions, or face the consequences. And as you can all guess, the SBers are these Champions.

This month's dungeon master is setting up a very intricate elimination-style SB, where once your character perishes in one of the 22 Trials, you're out. Can you survive the perils of the planewalking, living Maze? Will you be able to survive the ordeals set for you by this Dungeon Master? Only time will tell...

If you don't have the courage or persistence to face the Maze, be sure to keep your eys on this OS. The action is about to start.

About The Dungeon Master

Make it known that Mr. Conjurer did not write his own bio. So let *~me~* take a crack at it. Ever since joining our crew earlier this year, your benevolent wizard has been rearing to make the place as incredibly lively and sparkly as possible. To this extent, he's impressed us staff vets and earned more than his share of food at the table.

From where I stand, I see that Conjurer is the type of dungeon master to take a simple concept at the base and, from the singularity, build a colossal maze of twists, turns, and rivulets of plot that entice writer and reader alike; and that's a quality to be admired.

This month, he's tackling the world of Magic: The Gathering, and to do so at such a loyal pace as he's pulling off is no small feat. Even if you've never heard of the franchise name, this is one worth checking out--and I'm not just saying that because this is being published. ;D Buckle in with Wiz. You're sure to have fun.

Monthly Challenges



Captain's Challenge: Mirror Mirror

Among many of the things SBs are most well-known for, immersiveness, wild storylines, and even more interesting characters are some of the biggest reasons to be part of an storybook. Because, who likes to put blood, sweat and tears into a profile if they aren't willing to fully immerse themselves in a character.

This is why it can become extremely challenging for people when they are thrown out of their comfort zone. Most storybookers tend to go for something which they know how to write, like fantasy or drama, and never get to experience the full scope of Storybooks.

This month's challenge has been created with two objectives in mind: Immersion and Experience. And just like good storybookers, these two objectives live in a... simbiotic... relationship. The one will help complete the other. Sounds simple enough, eh?

The first part, Immersion, has to do with one of the two main components of any storybook: the characters. For this part, your task will be simple. All you have to do is create two character profiles (albeit in the same or different SBs), and write at least two posts with each. The catch? The two characters must have at least one opposite trait (like a murderer vs a clergyman, etc) Why such a strange request, you ask? Well, one of the main goals of the storybook section is to introduce aspiring and accomplished writers to all the facets of writing, and this includes being able to write from the perspective of any type of character.

The second part of this challenge, Experience, revolves around the other main component for any storybook: the plotline. This part is slightly less complicated than Immersion. All that is required of you is two join or create two storybooks which don't have the same core concept (thus two dystopian SBs won't work, or two fantasy adventures, etc...) The reason for this is to challenge us to step out of our comfort zone (mine being fantasy adventure) and experience how it feels to participate in two different concepts of storyline and storytelling...
After joining two storybooks, at least two posts must be made in each (see how the two challenges intertwine?)

The point system works as follows:
-Immersion- 1 point for creating two contrasting characters (just male and female, or any appearance related contrasts won't be enough for this point. Build, personality traits, strengths and backstories do apply)
- 1 point for writing at least two posts for each respective character
-Experience- 1 point for joining or creating two non-concept-relateable storybooks (you can create one and join another as well)
- 1 point for writing at least two posts in each respective storybook
- 1 final point for completing Immersion and Experience simultaneously
Making it a total of 5 points max... Have fun immersing yourselves!

Recent Challenges

For September we had very little challenges, evident by the amount still ongoing, which is a sumtotal of one... To our new SBers reading this Newsletter, a Storybook challenge is a challenge set by the creator of the SB to make it a bit more fun and challenging. Storybook Badges & Challenges Feel free to check it out! (you also get fun and awesome looking badges to boot...)

Our one ongoing challenge:
Challenged Adventurer(s): @Auxiira | @Bloo | @Rosendorn | @Ysayle | @Nutty |@ReisePiecey | @Caesar | @chibibo

Storybook: The Broken Seal The Broken Seal

The Challenge:

For @Auxiira and @chibibo:
1. Create your character profile (Auxiira - Gabriel) and (Chibibo - Casius) and submit a cutaway scene where your character has their real introduction to the story. Completing this full two-part task will garner 3CREDITS.

For everyone else:
2. Find a way--through a post of your own or through an input into someone else's entry--to convince your character that the seal should remain in-place. By the end of the chapter, everyone but Danny should be convinced of this; at that point, Danny will be told to stand down by his crew and submit. Two points.

3. Bond with Stephan in some way. One point.

Completion Time: Challenge 1: one post + a CT. Challenge 2: Any posts before the end of Chapter Six. Challenge 3: Two chapters.


Monthly Miscellany



Your Staff For This Month Is...

If you find yourself in a sticky spot and need help in the Storybook Section, we encourage you to provide an offering of centipede legs at the altar of C'Thulu. For October, your elder overlords are @Ysayle, @Rydia, @Auxiira, @ReisePiecey, @Omni, @Elinor, @AstralHunter, and @TheClockworkConjurer.

Characters: the Birth and Death of a Good Profile with Conjurer

As most of you know,one of the most exhilarating things about a new storybook is sitting down and conjuring up a new, unique, and interesting character. Yet despite the fun in creating an alter ego for yourself in an entirely new reality, creating a good character profile can be quite difficult sometimes; and how do you decide to let go of that old trustworthy character you spent hours, if not days or weeks, to create?

Well, like Sound of Music would say: "Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start..." Character creation isn't simply about picking a hair and eye color, a general personality type, a quick backstory and bam! you have character (like the Sims would have us thinking...) No, it is much more complex, time-consuming, and above all, fun, if done correctly, of course.

The first thing to keep in mind is naturally the plot, genre and setting of the specific tale. Is it a fantasy-adventure set in an expansive and deadly jungle, or is it a story set in a private college prep? The time era of the tale is also important, and should be considered throughout character creation.

Now, once you know what, when and where the story takes place, you can start working on your character's appearance. Bear in mind everything that you just memorized (the three w's), and ensure that your chosen appearance would make sense in that setting (like you won't have a brutish Mongol in a dystopian future story, or a prim and proper English lady in Central Africa (unless the plot sent her there)

When you've decided on the appearance (even if you have a shady and mysterious character, try and create their appearance as detailed as possible (you never know when you might need it...)), you can start working on the backstory. You might be exclaiming what? or why? roundabout now, as most commonly people will do the personality first. But I would recommend you doing it this way around, since 1) it gives you more freedom for originality, and 2) it makes sense more logically.

Start working on the backstory (if you wish, you can even go a bit further and do your character's parents or home town's backstories for added immersion) Remember to still keep your three w's in mind here, as you wouldn't want a cowboy born in slavery, or a ship's captain born in the heart of a country, it just wouldn't make sense. Have fun. Since you don't have a personality, skills, strengths or weaknesses to work around now, you can truly let your creative waters flow.

Once you have the backstory done, you can finally start with the personality and skills, etc. The backstory will provide a firm foundation for you to build a believable personality and set of skills on, since naturally a person's upbringing influences their normal behavior and capabilities. You can however, still be free here, as the backstory might actually influence a character to be the reverse of what they would've been, maybe because of a sense of rebellion or individuality.

Now, even though you have just created a fully immersive character in the plot, remember that you are only one writer in an ocean of thousands of writers out there today. Never feel ashamed to ask for advice or help with a rather tricky character, as two minds are always better than one when it comes to creation.

But I hear some of you asking: how do I say my last goodbye to a character I have spent so much time and effort creating? Well, there are five simple steps you should always bear in mind when it is finally time to cut the tie with an old character.
1) Be realistic- Don't go over the top to kill off a character, and completely disregard the character's skills, strengths and weaknesses while doing it. The same applies for under-doing it. Both of these will surely make your readers ask, was that really necessary?
2) No Plot-kills- Plot-kills are when you don't know how to further progress the storyline without turning the tale into a repetitive transmission, and you decide to kill off a character to make it move forward. This will cause all that effort you put in to be obsolete, and people will wonder why you made that character in the first place.
3) Don't tick off the readers- The readers invest themselves very emotionally into your characters, whether the villain, hero, tritagonist or anti-hero. If you just think you've had enough of a character and kill them off, you'll be sitting with several furious readers on your hands.
4) Avoid Anti-climatic deaths- In other words, unless you've built it into the plot, don't let your infallible hero suddenly die of a heart-attack. Use tension to prepare both yourself, and your readers, for the big final moment (not that heart-attacks aren't suitable ways to die, but only when it builds up to that moment)
5) NO resurrections!!- If you feel a character should be kept alive because of all the effort you put into them, please bear in mind that the readers can get tired of the same old character every time. Look at Joanne Rowling. Even though Dumbledore was one of her most developed characters, she didn't resurrect him for the final showdown. And neither must you.

With these 5 steps in hand, you'll be able to guide yourself to ending your favorite character's story lifetime. If you still struggle with cutting ties, you must always remember yourself that the characters will always live on, inside you, and inside your readers...


Featured Storybooker

Ysayle demanded to take the first shot at showering love on our Featured Storybooker for this month. She's a force beyond reckoning. She's a plot-twisting dungeon master who puts up with the constant insanity and mystery-chasing whims of her crew. She's the Queen Of The Misfits and Ruler of the Open Seas. Oh yes, Bookers. Our featured SBer for October is Grandmaster Admiral @Rydia The Dragonslayer.

You can always count on several things to be constant in the RPG forums: a.) there will always be some sort of school fanfic, b.) superheroes and aliens abound, c.) Ysayle and Caesar will always be doing weird experimental things during the summer and winter, and d.) Rydia will always and forever be one of the top posters on our rosters. She's an incredible dungeon master, admin, and friend, and it wouldn't seem fair to place this feature in without letting there be a record of how much we in the SB Crew absolutely adore our captain.

Captain Rydia would like to say that this kind of mutiny will not go unpunished and she'd like to take this moment to instead feature @HazelGrace16 who has made 9 posts across 5 different storybooks in a single month! Despite being relatively new aboard our ship, she's a consistent and flexible writer who seems able to adapt her style to fill the need of any storybooks she has joined. So well done and long may you plunder write.

<3

Hear, hear, and amen to that!

Storybookers To Look Out For

September is the month of new beginnings and change, as Winter turns to Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, and Summer changes to Autumn for the North. Yet for this month, the storybookers gave a new meaning to this "new beginnings" part, as September became the month of the newbies!

Throughout this month, we saw several excellent storybooks being created, and new members were swarming to join this unique community. Their energy and enthusiasm shot September into one of the most active months this year, and they still seem to be going.

That is why we decided to feature not only one storybooker you should look out for, but several. Each of these newbies caught our eye this month, whether by their amount of quality posts, or just their general attitude and enthusiasm in the forums.

First on list of honourable mentions this month is the Storybook forum's very new prehistoric member, @Stegosaurus. This back-plated newbie has only been a YWS family member since the 4th of September, yet her enthusiasm in the storybooking section is truly remarkable. She is an absolute joy to work with, and has made several great contributions to the SBs she is part of.

Next up we have our top-performing new storybooker for this month. Over the span of one month, @TheFantasy14 has created a thriving storybook and written 7 quality posts as an added bonus. She also proved that she is a diverse writer, writing with various characters, crossing over various genders.

Another prominent poster this month was @Halfbloodcheetah. This quick running halfblood has written 5 posts in September, despite only being acquainted with YWS for little over a month. He also has a very amiable attitude in the forum, which sets this newbie to be fast on the track to greater things.

We as the storybook mod crew wants to welcome all of these wonderful storybookers to our closely-knit family. We are really looking forward to seeing great deeds rise from each of you in the near future, and that you'll help expand and develop our glorious forums. To any storybook creators out there looking for a few new and enthusiastic members to a new plot they are developing, be sure to drop these members an invite. You won't regret it.
I used to Wander the realms of this site, being a Wizard like only I can be.
After that I settled down, to learn the art of Conjuring Clocks.
For a time then I dabbled in the Intellectual art of Illusions.





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November 2015


Featured Storybooks



Most Popular

This month's Most Popular Storybook comes in the form of a story that has everything: dynamic characters, plot twists abundant, a school--wait. I could swear we've been here before. Have we been here before?

Give me a moment to check with my carrier pidgeon.

Okay, no. I'll talk about how boring school is in a moment, but right now, let me talk about the storybook. So let me paint a picture for you.

You are a teenager. You are depressed. Or a druggie. Your parents are fed up. They don't want to deal anymore--and that's when you get shipped off to school. Stablewright Boarding School For Troubled Teens, that is. In a world that seems to be closing in all around you, how will you find your way in this new, frightening place, surrounded by individuals of similar persuasion?

This is a twist on the old School SB Genre, giving us a darker look into the mind of teenagers and their world, and so far it's managed steady activity throughout the month of October. If you're in for a darker read or experience, give this jam a look. I think you'll be pleased. This school comes to you courtesy of @Editor and crew, and is sure to please and is of course Stablewright Boarding High School for Troubled Teens.

A note that I wanted to make beyond the realm of this particular featured SB is that we had several crews blow up the top five slots this month--some reaching as high as 48 posts in this single month! It's been a huge, great month for SB Crew and our family, and I'm extremely happy to see all this going down. Continue to show out, y'all. We dare you.

Most Deserving of Attention

If you're still stuffed on Halloween candy, get some floss and take some blood sugar meds because the Crew has two treats for you this month.

We'll start with something sinister and dark--something that is sure to pique your interest because this story is nothing but crime. An open fanfic based on the premise created by James DeMonaco, The Purge is a quick-paced and sure-to-be-riveting story about twelve hours during which crimes are perfectly legal. Now, I don't know about you, but that one phrase gives me at least a dozen plot bunnies, and I'm certain the remainder of the SB will as well.

The Purge is owned and managed by @Basil, a veteran of the SB forum who comes in time and time again with beautiful ideas and execution. She's a masterful plotsmith, but don't let that intimidate you--she doesn't bite quite as hard as you may think.

Now...I did say two treats, right? This month must be all about doubling down on the outstanding because we have another veteran of the SB forum bringing us a perfect YWS fanfiction that I'm absolutely certain you'll all die for.

Or, I mean. Don't die for it. That would be counterproductive. This month, we have a delivery from the fabled SB forum mascot with no lines of dialogue in any fanfic ever, @chibibo, in the form of Crossed Canons, which was formerly known as YWS: The Gathering, but for legal and facepalmy reasons was changed before launch. Personally, I advised him to go with YWS: The Harvesting, but he was afraid there would be soul loss involved.

Speaking of soul loss, if you're down to lose a good chunk of your life to a Dungeon Master with an inclination to the addictive and franchisical, then we strongly advise you to swing by Crossed Canons and try the Kool Aid. We hear it's cherry--which is quite obviously the best Kool Aid.

We also may end up suggesting a good dentist after this is done...

Best Concept

The SB with the best concept this month happens to be the one that everybody wants to join, but nobody else can; it's chock full of members. This one has been extrodinarly active this month, with a DT composed of 32 pages (and counting!), and will likely be among the most vibrant for some time to come. Yes, prepare yourselves, gather what you need, and prepare to transform, as the SB with the honor of best concept for the month of October is none other than...Animorphers!

Animorphers, made by @LeftyWriter, has made a reputation for itself through its brilliant idea, excellent plot, and active members, and it's only been around for little more than a week! Revolving around the unique experiences of a group of students who are led on a field trip to a mysterious science lab, and have (needless to say) strange complications as a result of their visit, this SB is sure to be an intriguing thriller. If you're an animal lover (or just love the thought of having a few new appendages), than this is the SB for you. And please, let's have applause for its creator, who, while not having much experience previously with Storybooks, has come up with this fantastic idea, and has made such an incredible Sb!

Monthly Storybook



I told you this is the month of doubling down. And we're doubling down!

Happy Birthday, YWS!

In celebration of YWS' eleventh birthday on November 14th, SB Crew is launching a commemorative storybook to give a fun twist to--wait, a fun twist to birthdays? Are there, like, unfun birthdays that we should know about?

Do people like those?

Ugh, the world is broken. Okay, so we're basically turning up the fun dial to eleven. Buckle up for its launch and get your party hats ready. We're sure to have a blast.

Seriously, though, what's with people not liking birthdays?

About The Dungeon Master

@Rydia is the long-reigning and nigh-invincible admiral of the SB Forums. She is a master craftsman who excels at both bringing content to an accessible level for those who are unused to collaborative writing, as well as transcending the content within the storybook to levels that could rival proper novels. She's someone we all love and respect, and if you're looking for a good time in November, we highly suggest latching on to our swashbuckling heroine. You won't be sorry.

The Knife

As the final episode of Cooking with Chef Knox ends, the sound of static soon follows afterwards. The years before Chef Knox met his fate with death, he was a worldwide book seller and restaurant owner. His book, called Secrets of a Chef hit the major book records selling over 4.5 million copes in the world. The secret to his fame was a mystery. It certainly wasn't his food, restaurant, or recent scandals.

Before Chef Knox met the ultimate fate, he was an offered a solution by an old friend: a knife that had the properties of making the best food you could possibly ever taste. But there was a twist. This knife is fueled on revenge, and is only sated whenever it strikes blood.

A death by revenge.


The first victim, a wife having an affair. The second, a scandal brought worldwide on the pages of a book.

Revenge started this trek, and revenge will be what finishes it. Now, eight people are brought together by the knife. Everyone is a suspect; you just need to find out who was the first villain.

About The Dungeon Master

@Stegosaurus is relatively new to the YWS scene, but she's left a heavy impression on staff and civilian alike. In the realm of storybookery, she excels at making legitimately interesting and noteworthy characters that leave the reader wanting more. Given her affinity for characters, it'll be wicked to see how she handles something with plot twists so abundant. We love you, Steg, and we're watching. ;D

Monthly Challenges



Captain's Challenge: Genrefluid

You may not find this challenge easy. We don't want it to seem easy. That said, it is quite simple.

In the month of November, you must make three posts in a single storybook; each post must have the classic characteristics of a different genre. One may be romance, one may be comedy, one may be fantasy, sci-fi, horror, coming-of-age. You get the drift. We will be checking, but in order to receive your credits, you must post in the Challenge Thread with your progress. Do this at the beginning of the month, and keep us updated--though if you neglect to update, that's okay. We can dig through your posts.

Doing this for one storybook will garner you three points.

But that's not very fun or challenging, so I'll up the ante. Do it for two storybooks (a total of six posts) and get 7 points. Do it for three and get 10 points. That's a full two-badge jump for one challenge. But bear in mind that this requires nine unique posts among three different storybooks. If you have any questions, post them in the Challenge Master Thread.

Recent Challenges

October saw a thirsty horde of challengers and badge claims, and we're very excited about that. Right now, two challenges remain:

Maze of the Guilds
Spoiler! :
Selected Champions~ @TheClockworkConjurer, @AstralHunter, @QueenofHearts, @Lumi, @Stegosaurus, @SpiritedWolfe, @Deskro, @LordZeus, @Chaser, @CandyWizard, @Auxiira, @15253, @Verser, @Halfbloodcheetah, @Bambi, @Blaspherica

Magical Plane~ The Maze of the Guilds

The Instructions ~ For everyone- It is time our Champions get summoned! Whether it be a silence gesture in Duskmantle, or a festival in Sunhome, show all of Ravnica that the Guilds are ready for the Dragon Trials!
You are instructed to start of with a normal routine, life, and so forth (please don't everyone start in the morning or at breakfast, the Maze doesn't approve of backwards posting, so pay attention to the other posts...) Also, since the Maze loves surprises, do something unique (like maybe you were chosen just as you were about to jump of a cliff or something... Be imaginative, yet in-character)
Note, the Champions also need interaction with the Guild Leaders, whether directly or indirectly. Keep in mind who is your Guild Leader, and think what would they normally do- send an advisor or personally praise you.
For @Chaser and @LordZeus, I shall discuss these terms depending on your individual characters...

For @Lumi, @Bambi, @Auxiira, @CandyWizard- along with the above mentioned task, your Champions need to take shape please. The Maze will appreciate it greatly...

Time before the First Trial~ one post per character (please just one...) This must please be done in one moon cycle (28 days)

Skill Points available~ For your intro post, you shall receive 2 points per character you own, thus making the max here 4.

For my four creators, you shall receive two points for completing your profiles and having them accepted. This part must be completed before you can start claiming the points from the first part...

Bonus Point!!: Since this was a hot topic in the DT, the Maze has decided to add this bonus point category from now on... This cycle's bonus point revolves around nothing other than alcohol! You will gain one bonus skill point if you have your Champion interact with their favorite alcohol some point in their first post. Only one bonus point per user.

Note!: Besides added to your total points to get badges, these points may also prove useful as the Trials proceed, so try and be as diligent as possible.


With Regards, Repoor
Spoiler! :
Challenged Adventurer(s): @ThePhoenix @EscaSkye @HazelGrace16 @Stegosaurus @TheForgottenKing @SuzetteTheHipster
Storybook: With Regards, Repoor
The Challenge: Upon your characters meeting at Jay's Tavern, the bartender will give out the next set of mysterious instructions from Repoor. Repoor will instruct your characters to locate, steal, and read an Eramtin-banned book.
Have your characters respond to this challenge and either accept it or deny it.
If your character did not choose to meet at Jay's Tavern, I will discuss alternate scenarios with you, just PM me :D
If you character accepts the challenge, and makes an attempt to complete it (tries to locate/steal/read book) then you will be awarded one additional point.
Completion Time: (in posts) 2 posts
Credits Awarded: 2 points per user (3 if your character makes an attempt on Repoor's next set of instructions. See above.)


Remember to post your credit claims in the master thread to ensure you get your points!

Monthly Miscellany



Your Staff For This Month Is...

If you find yourself in a sticky spot and need help in the Storybook Section, we encourage you to recite the YWS national anthem by your nearest flag pole while hopping on one foot and juggling Granny Smith apples coated in a caramel candy coating. For October, your candied fruit enthusiasts are @Lumi, @Rydia, @Auxiira, @ReisePiecey, @Omni, @AstralHunter, and @TheClockworkConjurer.

I forgot one? What do you mean I forgot one? We have a new--oh. Well, that's exciting! Folks, you heard it here on live TV! I've just gotten word from the network producer that a new star is joining the cast of SB Crew! Ladies and gentlemen! Say hello to the fiery-witted and ablaze-with-talent @TheSilverFox!

Puns courtesy of the fact that he's a Ninetales.

Tropes Are Not Bad with Lumi

You live in an era full of pure, unadulterated knowledge. For every question, Google has an instant answer and a thousand sources to refer you to the same sentence again, again, again, and again. There's no remaining excuse not to know everything there is to know about what you write, how you write, and the mechanics of every twist and turn, character, motive, and endgame that comes to the page. Some people dislike this because, as is inferred, it represents an era of accountability in which you, as I said, have no excuse not to know x. In writing, the full fount of our techniques, cliches, tricks, and devices boils down to what we in the resource-intensive world affectionately call Tropes.

And if this is news to you, allow me to suck away the remainder of your week with one link.

TVTropes is a misnomer in my opinion because it really covers Writing Tropes In Full, though the name hardly sounds as catchy. So, pedantic nomeclature aside, I want to discuss the world contained within TVTropes and how you and I may better utilize them to better our writing, our collaborative experience, and the tastes we leave in the mouths of those with whom we write.

I'll start with the trope I refer to the most in collab projects, aka Storybooks, the most: The Five-Man Band. This trope breaks down the main cast of characters into five quintessential elements that nearly guarantee effective chemistry. Bear with some of the names because they can be a bit offensive if you prefer to swing with stronger female characters--and that's really a wonderful thing. What you have is:

1. The Leading Man
2. The Lancer
3. The Big Guy
4. The Smart Guy
5. The Chick

The best way to compare this set of tropes is with a sensation that swept the nation...back in the 1990s: Power Rangers. The original formula had your Red Leading Man, the Blue Lancer, the Black Big Guy, the Yellow Smart (Girl), and the Pink Chick, otherwise referred to as The Heart. This setup gave the cast of Power Rangers eternal chemistry that continued to recycle through season after season, even today. In the final quarter of the original series, they decided to shake things up and add a foil to the Leading Man: The Green Ranger (which is now dubbed The Sixth Ranger, lovingly).

An interesting result of this team composition is the idea that the perfect cast is five or six main characters large. This may seem like bad news to those of you who run twenty-two character Storybooks (read: TheClockworkConjurer), but take heart; the five-man band is ultimately about Main Characters and The Things You Do With Main Characters.

In the collaborative community we have and love on YWS, tropes are an excellent way to crack into characters and really give the blood of a character's essence to other players so that consistency is nearly guaranteed. This also requires research, but that's not a bad thing. Not at all. It could be me wanting to stick to the quality I'm accustomed to, but implementing visual tropes in my collab projects has proven immensely successful. You worry less about OOC interactions. You see fewer BLAMs and stick more loyally to your story as a whole. And, at the very bottom of it all, you have Better Chemistry For Your Trouble.

So that's an entire article space spent on a single trope that only really deals with cast composition. Like I said, there are tropes for plot devices. There are tropes for dystopia. Tropes for amnesia. Tropes for fantasy, steampunk, sci-fi, fanfic, historical fic, vampire romance fic. There's absolutely everything you could ever need or want or wake up one morning faintly remembering from a dream but still not quite understanding that you actually want what you want--but if you can think of it in your writing, TVTropes has it. I use it. I endorse it. I love it.

And I think your audience will, too.

Lumi

Featured Storybooker

Our featured storybooker for November is someone who is only two months old. On the site, that is. I mean, we don't have babies crawling around, mashing keyboards and trying to eat mice. At least not around here. Anyway, this incredible lady joined in September of this year and has been in our top five both months. She's the owner and host of the maddeningly popular Heroes Of The Shadows, which I've been keeping up with throughout the month. So far, she's managed something that I find very rare, which is giving the antagonist of the story an actual, consumable plot that realizes him as something more than just a villain for the sake of having a bad guy. She's a master craftsman, and I suggest you all go hop on her trains so you can take in the whole experience. This month's featured Storybooker is @TheFantasy14!

Storybookers To Look Out For

Our new storybooker to look out for isn't new to the site. She isn't new to the lit forums, lounge, or anything, particularly; but she is without question a storybooker to look out for. During the month, she's seen incredible success with her freshly-launched Animorphers, having its DT thread reach 33 pages in less than two weeks. It's incredibly impressive--and something we in the SB crew admire--when someone can get folks enthusiastic enough to talk and collaborate so much behind the scenes. And it really gives us a good feeling as to where the storybook and this lady are going. This month's Booker To Look Out For is @LeftyWriter!
I am a forest fire and an ocean, and I will burn you just as much
as I will drown everything you have inside.
-Shinji Moon


I am the property of Rydia, please return me to her ship.





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Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:17 am
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AstralHunter says...



December 2015


Featured Storybooks



Most Popular

High school is fun, right? Well, for some, yes, but for others, it's mostly boring. Although, if you think about it, it's better to be in a school where you're bored to death, but actual death is highly unlikely. Unfortunately, there indeed exists a school where the bullies will not only give you a swirly, but keep your head in the water until you drown. What is this wretched excuse of an educational institution, you ask?

Pierpoint Academy for Agents in Training (by @TheFantasy14)

The creator of this perilous storybook made a large splash for herself when she first joined, but it seems she has continued to make waves in the community. Already, she and her cast have submitted twenty-five posts in November alone, with likely just as many - if not more - to be submitted during this month. When you have the time, swim over to their DT and congratulate them for not being just another school in a vast ocean of storybooks.

All water related puns are courtesy of the previously-mentioned bullies being collectively known as "Sharks".


Most Deserving of Attention

The gods are at war. Big surprise. With some of them having volatile tempers and others being ambitious, conflict is bound to arise. However, we are usually just the humans scurrying around, trying to stay alive and placate the gods to ensure they don't accidentally wipe us out.

In Genii - Land of the Gods by @Sagitta, you are the gods that send those puny humans fleeing.

I'm surprised that only four people have jumped at the opportunity to wield divine power, though. You can bend Fate to your will and squash whatever gets in your way, but you can even indulge your darker side, if you're feeling like doing something worse than just squashing things. So why are you still here? I know being a deity has its perks and all, but seriously, if you want someone to fill out your application for you, you have to hire your own spectral servant.


Best Concept

Zoos are awesome! Not only do they allow the public to see rare animals in the flesh, rather than on television, but they are also great for conservation efforts. Parks and reserves would be better, true, but breeding programmes are expensive and the money to maintain them must come from somewhere.

Unfortunately, many zoos don't adhere to the standards set internationally. In Escape From Alphabet Zoo by @Wolfie36, the ingenious Dr Abcde Wxyz (pronounced Absid Wicks) uses the animals as living advertisements. He considers himself an animal lover, but he doesn't realise the consequences of cutting corners. The animals do, since they are the ones suffering from them, and they have had enough.

Writing from an animal's perspective is difficult enough in fantasy, but if they are non-talking, non-magical animals too, the difficulty increases exponentially. Nevertheless, Wolfie and her cast are up to the challenge, and I have no doubt they will succeed in freeing the animals. Ensuring the animals don't go back into captivity thereafter, or worse... that might be more difficult still. Good luck, and don't trust the mole with the large yellow M on him.


Monthly Storybook



Move Along, There's Nothing to See Here...

The Storybook Crew has decided that since so many new storybooks were created last month, we shall allow those to gain more participants, rather than release an Official Storybook for this month. You can probably expect a Christmas tagbook, though, and I have a special surprise in store for you (details will be announced soon). Of course, if you really want to join a new storybook, why not join the one that's Most Deserving of Attention?


About The Dungeon Master

This month, there will be no Official Dungeon Master. This month, all our current storybook creators will be Dungeon Masters in their own right. You are all exceptionally talented and creative, so just enjoy the next thirty days and simply bask in your own glory.


Monthly Challenges



Captain's Challenge: Revelations

There are few things as enjoyable to a reader, player, or viewer as a revelation. Perhaps a significant detail of that mysterious organisation’s history was finally exposed, or the obscurity of a delivered prophecy is clarified by a scholar. It could even be an unexpected betrayal that sends you reeling. Whatever it may be, whether it is a delicious plot twist or simply a few words spoken in confidence, we love it.

Your Captain’s Challenge for the last month of 2015 is therefore to have your characters reveal something important to your fellow storybookers. This can be done in three ways:

Confide – Most often, when one character shares a secret with another character, it is because the secret could either land them in trouble and the other character can help prevent that, or it concerns things about which they don’t want to think, but which they have to reveal in order to unburden themselves. You can have your character do this for whichever reason you like, but if they don’t have any skeletons in their closet, simply sharing their worries or fears with a friend or the like will do. Just make sure it is your character that does the confiding.

Expose – Sometimes, for the story to progress, hidden information must be brought to light. And by that, I don’t mean via a candle in the dark, but broad daylight. Everybody must find out. Okay, maybe not everybody, but the group of people who find out must at least be relatively large; a class of students or a company of adventurers will suffice. Your character may either be the exposed or the exposer – whichever accommodates your storybooking needs better.

Confront – Ah, every now and then, one character has to force another to spill the beans. This frequently manifests in a moment where the hero or mentor is called out for a deed or for concealing information. However, it always concerns at least two characters, and so, the same applies here. You must collaborate with another storybooker, since the confrontation must begin in one post and end in a different one. You may decide between yourselves which character will confront the other.

Now, I suppose you want to know how many credits this challenge will earn you. Well, it is the season of giving, so I shall be generous. Two credits will be awarded per completed aspect, but if you complete two of the three, you will earn a bonus credit. That means you can already earn five easy credits. Complete all three aspects, and you will earn an additional two credits, leaving the grand total at nine. Nine.

This is one of the easiest Captain’s Challenges we’ve ever had, if not the easiest, since you can earn a veritable boatload of credits simply by writing one post and getting a fellow storybooker to submit a second one (and submitting posts is actually mandatory in storybooking). However, I want you to put in some effort, so if you are only writing one post, you must write more than five-hundred words. If you plan on completing the challenge over more than one post, then the combined word count has to exceed five-hundred words.

Provide links to your and your friend’s posts, and I shall verify your claims. If you have any questions, post them in the Challenge Master Thread .


Recent Challenges

The only challenge submitted in November that has yet to expire is our very own @TheClockworkConjurer's reposted challenge for his elimination-styled SB "The Maze of the Guilds". Hopefully, December will see more created challenges - and by extension, more completed challenges.


Monthly Miscellany



Your Staff For This Month Is...

If you find yourself in a sticky spot and need help in the Storybook Section, we encourage you to locate your nearest aquarium, stand six paces south of the blowfish exhibit, and yodel until addressed by security. For December, your alpine guards are @Lumi, @Rydia, @Auxiira, @ReisePiecey, @Omni, @AstralHunter, @TheClockworkConjurer, and @TheSilverFox.


Dialogue with AstralHunter

Spoiler! :
As with the Captain’s Challenge, I decided to write a longer article than usual in the spirit of generosity (and I got carried away with the article and didn’t want to shorten it).


When it comes to any kind of fiction, there are two main parts: the narrative, and the dialogue. In short stories and oral storytelling, it is acceptable if there is only narrative and no dialogue. If you do this in novels and novellas, though, you will earn many frowns. After all, dialogue is what gives characters substance and makes them relatable. It goes without saying that it must be handled with great care. If only all writers did…

The most difficult part of writing dialogue is making it interesting. Unfortunately, it won’t always be, since that would be unrealistic. The trick is thus to find the balance. Let’s see how we can achieve that.

Some Random Writer wrote:“Hey, Susan! How are you?”

“I’m fine, thank you, Andrew. And you?”

“I couldn’t complain.”

1. Generic Greetings

No doubt you’d feel like slapping someone with a dead mackerel if they wrote a greeting as bland as that. True, we do greet each other like this very often in real life, but don’t we read fiction because we want to escape reality? If Susan had explained why she was fine, we might have discovered more about her personality and circumstances. Or better yet, if she had said she was not fine, we might have learned more about both of those and potential conflict could have been introduced. As you can see, this is a wasted opportunity.

There is another way to avoid greetings that would taste like cardboard if it were food: just add a bit more detail. If Susan had sighed before answering, Andrew would not have believed her and would ask for the truth. If she was lost in thought and took a few seconds to respond, he might ask if something was bothering her. Small changes like that can make a big difference.

Another Random Writer wrote:“Did you watch last night’s game, Jake?”

“No, Bret. I was doing homework.’

“Oh. Well, you should have seen it! Samuel Williams was running circles around the other team!”

2. Banter is not Bad
In the above-mentioned example it is, but that’s because nobody cares about the previous night’s game. For banter to be useful, it needs to advance characterisation. We can’t really say Jake is hard-working and Bret likes sports, since watching television and doing homework instead of watching television is too general. If Bret had asked whether Jake had seen the previous night’s debate or address, we could assume Bret has an interest in politics or social sciences.

The key is therefore to reveal a character’s interests, opinions, and/or beliefs when they discuss naught-of-note subjects. Then again, I suppose discussing recent events also falls under banter, in which case you can introduce plot elements or foreshadow future ones. Heck, you can even forego both characterisation and plot and divulge some of your setting’s lore. (This is especially a good idea if you are writing fantasy fiction.)

A Wannabe Teen Fiction Writer wrote:“Brittney was so rude to me yesterday! She was like, insulting my boots and calling me a cheapskate, but I was like, not going to have it, so I called her dress tacky. Then she got red in the face and walked away.”

3. Signature Speech Patterns

Some characters speak in short sentences. Other characters only speak in long (potentially run-on) sentences by using an abundance of parentheses and conjunctions; punctuation marks, such as commas and semi-colons, also feature frequently – especially dashes! Typical teenagers, like in the above example, are like, very fond of the word “like”. And don’t pretend you don’t know nothing ‘bout those folks that ain’t got no idea how grammar work.

I should find myself very surprised, nay, shocked, if we have not all of us distinguished the speech of our literary avatars to augment their identification, such as by means of verbosity. It’s not that hard, ya know. Think you cannot get creative with it, you must not. You can have a character frequently use tags, can’t you? And perhaps there’s that character that likes using punctuation. For. Emphasis. Oh, and while I’d usually recommend that you avoid using contaminations, sometimes it’s prexactly what you need to make a character unique. But please, don’t forget to include characters that use Standard English, since it can become exhausting after a while.

In conclusion (see what I did there?), if you pay more attention to these three aspects of dialogue, I am certain you will see improvement before too long. Don’t think they are all there is to dialogue, though, for I simply scratched the surface in this article. Still, if you did not before, you now possess basic knowledge on writing dialogue. So, head out and delve into the world of literature with renewed confidence. There are an abundance of treasures to be found; all you have to do is search for them.


Featured Storybooker

The final Featured Storybooker of the year definitely deserves his title. He may not have submitted the most posts during November, but you must admit, seven is still a lot. And overall, he submitted them for four different storybooks. @Chaser has thus shown himself to be a consistent poster, and consistency beats quantity any day. You know what else beats quantity? Quality, and he displays that too. Would you let such a devoted storybooker slip through your fingers? You had better not, so when next you create a storybook, make sure to chase him down and coerce persuade him to join. You won't regret it.

Disclaimer: The characters known as "Astral Venceworth" (Chaser's) and "Chase Forrester" (mine) are fictional. Any relations between them and persons living or dead is purely coincedental.


Storybookers To Look Out For

We of the Storybook Pirate Navy believe in training new recruits by throwing them into the deep end of the ocean. Okay, maybe section III, subdivison D, clause five of our Handbook prohibits this, but @LadyEvvy certainly didn't hesitate to take the plunge and swim with the Sharks. Thus far, she has made three posts in Pierpoint, and they are impressive for someone who's still wet behind the ears. You'll want to keep an eye on her, and not just because she's swimming with the fishes. (Though I have a lifeguard on standby just in case.)
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- Paul the Apostle

Spring has returned! Winter is over, and BrumalHunter is no more!





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TheSilverFox says...



January 2016


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Most Popular

A most epic adventure is brewing in a world not unlike our own, and it centers around spirits, gods, and the puny humans who, as always, are caught up in the midst of wars initiated by the said gods. The dark god and spirits are plotting a rebellion to escape from their realm and ascend into the heavens above, which could pit the three worlds - an, the heavens; ki, the earth; and the nether world - against each other in a fierce struggle for supremacy and domination. Prepare for an amazing story with an ensemble of quirky characters, a fascinating plot featuring the wars between spirits, gods, and the humans trapped by both, and an incredible SB, as the most popular SB for the month of January is @Sagitta's Genii - Land of the Gods.

Sagitta has had little experience with Storybooks in the past, but that certainly has not stopped her from crafting this excellent story. This Storybook, with its devoted following, excellent group of writers, and well-composed plot, has already gained prominence within the Storybook forums, and certainly has all the makings and the potential to become an incredible SB. It has also experienced a large amount of growth within recent times, having gone from practically empty to active, filled, and begun writing an impressive and elaborate series of plot-lines in less than a month! So, if there's an SB that you're interested in reading, or you want to congratulate a particularly notable SB for their accomplishments, feel free to visit and admire the wonder that is Genii - Land of the Gods.


Most Deserving of Attention

Are you a music lover? Do you enjoy humming to the tunes of your favorite songs, making comical air guitar gestures as you listen to rock music, or shout out the lyrics to the songs that capture your mood while you avoid your family's confused, surprised, or annoyed expressions? What would you do if, somehow, you ended up in a world void of almost all sound? A world where you cannot even talk, where no sound is emitted, save for the music that plays in the background, a tune based entirely upon your shifting emotions, mood, and preferences? Well, this is the premise of @15253's Storybook, Track 1: Sorrow.

Numbers's storybook, a largely abstract, open, well-composed composition, created by a fantastic writer with a wide mind, leads you into a world whose form of communication is entirely dependent upon music. You must travel across a vast world, fighting against whatever obstacles come between you and the object that you spot in the distance, and, eventually, when you accomplish that goal, to even other people trapped within the same place that you are. However, beyond most forms of sound, there is something else that this Storybook is missing, and that is...members! Yes, this SB is entirely devoid of all participants! But why let such a good idea to waste? If you are the kind of person who is looking for an abstract SB to participate in, or otherwise has an interest in world-building, crafting an elaborate story, and otherwise exercising your creativity, or if you are simply looking for a good SB that affords you a lot of opportunities, this is the Storybook for you.


Best Concept

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to live inside of another person's head? Okay, what about with a group of other people, some of whom you might not exactly like but you're stuck with anyway? And let's just say that each of you embodies a particular personality aspect, each an alternate version of the one body that you all control. How do you think you would interact with the others in your shared mind? How would you treat the body you have, as well as those around you? What would you think if you were faced with an external force that is trying to destroy you? Well, this is exactly the subject the of this month's nomination for the Best Concept for an SB, @TheClockworkConjurer's The Six of Us.

In this SB, six people each portray one of the many alternate personas of George Perkins, a schizophrenic with multiple personality disorder, who is being pulled around by these many different personalities. The poor fellow hasn't a clue of what's happening to him, as he is beginning to suffer from amnesia, not remembering what he had being doing in past times, nor when people speak to him about things he does not remember saying nor doing. However, an even greater trouble is present for his alternate personas; Dr. Whitecliffe, the family psychiatrist, is seeking to wipe out all of these personas permanently. While the SB is, sadly, already closed to any newcomers, it is definitely the SB worth reading; it is full of incredible writers, a fascinating idea, and a great creator, and is certainly worth your time and effort to visit.


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Error 404: OS Not Found

During this month, there will be no official Storybook (OS), as we (the SB crew and I) would like the SB forum to transition into the New Year properly before we announce any OS. However, there will be one in February, so it is not as though we've somehow run out of OS ideas, and I have what could be the makings of a potential SB, which, if I (Silver, obviously. :P) figure out how to build into a full-fledged story, may become the first SB I've ever created. Impressive, isn't it? So, if you came here expecting an OS, too bad. But, hey, at least you can look forward to one in the future. :P


About The Dungeon Master

Likewise, given that there is no OS this month, there will be no official Dungeon Master. This honor will, once again, be bestowed to the multitude of exceptional Storybook creators. You've helped to make the SB forums a wonderful, unique experience for all, thanks to your fantastic SB ideas, writing skill and abilities, and the way that you've been so helpful and cooperative with the members of your SBs, of other's, and respectful to all SBers, whether they're long time veterans or completely new to the site. Your efforts certainly do not go unappreciated, and we salute you for your valiance and contributions to the SB forum. :D


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Captain's Challenge: Two, Thousand, Sixteen

Two

To receive credit for this challenge, you must execute the following challenge in two storybooks not owned by you. That means double the work, and double the fun. Another route you may take is committing this challenge into two posts in two storybooks regardless of ownership, making a total of four posts in order to bypass the parameters.

Thousand

Between the posts you make in those two separate storybooks not owned by you, you must have submitted a grand total of one thousand words. A bonus point may be awarded for each additional thousand submitted within the month, up to a maximum of three bonus points.

Sixteen

In order to claim any of these points, you must post sixteen times in another forum in the storybook section without spamming. This includes Discussion Threads, General Discussion, Character Chit Chat, and DTWH. Once you post your claim in the challenge master thread, Storybook Crew will verify your sixteen submissions to our subforums.

Rewards

The base reward for accomplishing all of our criteria:
1. Posting in two separate storybooks not owned by yourself
2. totaling 1000 words minimum among all submitted posts as well as
3. posting sixteen times in another storybook forum

is five points, which is an entire badge rank. With the bonus per additional thousand, you may amass eight points this month from this challenge alone. In order to qualify for credit, you must post your claim in the challenge master thread.

If you have any questions, post them in the Challenge Master Thread.


Recent Challenges

The only challenge that has been submitted in the month of January is my fellow moderator @TheClockworkConjurer's First Trial challenge for his notable SB "The Maze of the Guilds." Yes, it is a bit sad that we have only one recent and active challenge. Hopefully, we will see more challenges in the future (this is not a hint or anything like that. :P).

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Your Staff For This Month Is...

If you find yourself in a sticky spot and need help in the Storybook Section, we arbiters on the Ministry of Dedicated Storybooking recommend the recreational use of sidewalk chalk on surfaces, planes, or otherwise orifices that do not qualify as sidewalks. Once this task is accomplished, we ask that you remove the chalk art at once as vandalism is a serious offense. Once your mess is cleaned up, you may reach us during our typical business hours, comprised of a guaranteed 27 days in one month with an upwards of four days intermittently scattered upon which we will be out of contact. These days are determined by a roll of a d20 and are not guaranteed to happen at all. On this same principle, our business phone numbers are determined by ten rolls of a d9 upon each encroaching phone call. If you follow this procedure properly, you may request the services of @Lumi, @Rydia, @Auxiira, @ReisePiecey, @Omni, @AstralHunter, @TheClockworkConjurer, @SpiritedWolfe and @TheSilverFox. We aren't sure how you managed to bypass our security, but we intend to find out.

Composing Internal and External Conflict In Your Story with TheSilverFox

Quite easily, one of the most important parts of any story is its conflict. Conflict, regardless of whether or not it is internal or external, drives the plot of the story; it gives the characters of the said story a reason to do whatever it is they do within the story. It gives them, at least partly, the motivation to grow, change, develop, or otherwise pursue whatever they need to, so as to resolve the conflict, regardless of whether or not they actually turn out the victor (though it's highly unlikely that somebody would jump into a conflict and attempt to fail on purpose). And this is absolutely essential with respect to the plot of the story. After all, if there is no conflict, and nobody has any reason to change themselves or their surroundings, would anything happen in the story? Probably not. Too, conflict is also a useful tool you can use to craft the theme of your story. By illustrating how and why your characters succeed or fail in resolving/becoming the victor in a conflict, you can communicate why you chose to write the story that you did, what the message of the story is, and even its importance in the real world.

So, you might be wondering, if conflict is so important, how does one craft an effective conflict?

First and foremost, you need to think about who is in your conflict. Is it a person against another, as with a typical protagonist-antagonist conflict? Is it one person against a group of people? Against society in general? Against nature? Against their own mind (if you answer "yes" to this question, you might want to discern what it is within a person that is sparking the conflict)? Are there multiple people fighting against all of these obstacles? Secondly, you need to figure out why there is a conflict between these two opposing groups. This is definitely one of the most important steps, as it can determine the difference between a possibly dramatic, but pointless, story, and a much more powerful one. For an external conflict, which features any form of conflict that does not take place within a person's mind, you need to consider the following questions: What are the personalities of each group, and what do they hope to accomplish by besting the other? Why are they fighting, and why is it so important that they fight each other? For an internal conflict, which takes place within a person's mind and is largely dependent on contrasting personal opinions, thoughts, and emotions, you should think about this: Why is it so important that this person is struggling with their own mind? What is at stake here?

When you've figured out the answers to those questions, it is also important to figure out how your conflict is going to be established. It might be important, at this stage, to keep in mind the setting of your story. After all, different kinds of conflicts have existed at different points and technological levels in human history, and it definitely wouldn't be appropriate to have two groups of people fighting over technologically advanced weaponry in a story set in medieval times (unless this is a story about time travel, in which case, go for it). However, more importantly, you need to consider how your conflict is going to begin. What event, if not multiple, if not any, sparks the conflict between the two opposing sides? Does somebody open a can of worms (i.e. cause the tension between these two sides to result in conflict) and start a crisis? Does somebody end up in a situation in which they shouldn't belong? Is whatever it is that sparks the conflict an accident, or is it on purpose?

Finally, consider your purpose for creating the conflict. Are you trying to communicate a particular message by the use of your conflict? Are you here to inform your readers about something? Persuade somebody about something? Are you just doing this for fun? If you're writing this conflict to communicate a message, think about what resolution would most effectively illustrate your message, and why this is so. How could having one side win, the other side win, or both sides reaching a compromise communicate your point most effectively? On the other hand, if you're writing this story for the sake of creating a good story, consider which ending you like the best. Would having a perfectly happy ending satisfy you? A Pyrrhic victory? An ending where everybody dies?

And that's about it! At this point, when you've figured out the participants in the conflict, the reasoning behind the conflict, how that conflict begins, your rationale behind the conflict, and how that conflict ends, you've basically figured out the entirety of your conflict. Furthermore, if you've taken these steps, you're one step closer to crafting a good plot, and you've even managed to help pinpoint your theme. Of course, you still need to maintain and make clear that conflict throughout the plot of the story, as that conflict is essential to the said plot. However, keep in mind that nothing I've said here is anything that you should have set in stone. Over time, as the plot of your story progresses, you might find that the conflict isn't as appropriate as it was at the start of the story, especially if the participants of the conflict have learned some new pieces of information or their personalities have shifted. At that point, feel free to adjust the nature of your conflict in the manner that would best communicate your story intentions, as well as justify the present direction of the story. Experiment as you wish with respect to your conflict and how you communicate it, and I hope this advice has helped! May you have great writing endeavors in the future! :D


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Featured Storybooker

Our first Featured Storybooker of the new year has been a notable long-time resident of the SB forums, and this clearly visible in how much she's done, not to mention how well she's done it, in the said forums. The quantity and quality of her posts are exceptional, and she's gained quite a lot of respect in and around the SB forums. She has already created 3 SB posts last month alone (and 5 in November!), and each and every own of those posts is fantastic in its own right, especially with respect to their quality. So, yes, it's only obvious that she should be January 2016's Featured Storybooker. But who is she, you might ask? @Wolfie36, of course! And I say congrats, Wolfie; you definitely deserve the honor! Well done, and keep up the good work! You've been an inspiration to us all! :D


Storybookers To Look Out For

Last, but definitely not least, there are a couple of new SBers who've been making all kinds of contributions to the SB forum (and I'm totally not jealous that they've been doing more, and doing it better, than I have. :P). However, most notable among them is @amberari. They've already created several high-quality posts and has proven to be a capable, effective SBer with a passion for writing good stories and cooperating with fellow SBers. I, and the rest of the SB crew, see somebody with a lot of potential and skill, and may you keep up the great work, amber. So yes, let's have a great round of applause for this wonderful SBer! :D
S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
a persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma per ciò che giammai di questo fondo
non tornò vivo alcun, s'i' odo il vero,
senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.

Inferno, Canto 27, l 61-66.





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Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:15 pm
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Omnom says...



February 2016


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Most Popular

This month, the most popular Storybook is actually one made all the way back in October, but recently saw a burst of activity close to double anything else that month. With 24 characters (at the beginning of the Storybook, who knows how many of those have been killed off) and an engaging storyline, the Dungeon Master even manages to involve the Storybook Challenges into the plot:

Congratulations Champions! You have passed my first Trial most... entertainingly. One of your fellow Champions has been eliminated, in a manner of speaking, thus causing 21 of you to remain in my corridors.


Seriously, you should read the latest Challenge, it is amazing!

If you haven't already guessed, the Most Popular Storybook for February is The Maze of the Guilds by one of our very own SB crew mods: @TheIllusiveIntellect. Honestly, this Storybook more than deserves it for its inspiring Dungeon Master, its longevity, and the plot it gives.

When you have a while, make sure to drop by and read a bit of this Storybook! You won't be dissapointed.


Most Deserving of Attention

If you haven't looked at this Storybook, that's okay.

But, really, it's not. You terrible, terrible person.

This Storybook centers around a dystopic world where money is rare and good-natured people even less so. The group of characters recieve a gift from perhaps the most influential and selfish person in the world: The Billionaire. What it is, no one knows right now, nor what it does. Mystery is entwined through and through with this Storybook.

If you haven't guessed it by now, this month's Most Deserving of Attention is Billionaire's Curse by none other than @Steggy. While the Storybook is closed right now, she will definitely not get grumpy if you ask for a spot ^^


Best Concept

This month's Best Concept Storybook was actually battled intensely in the gladitorial stadiums of old, ripping apart Storybook by Storybook until a winner was left the only one alive.

Of course I'm making all this up, but this month's Storybook is based all around fighting to the death... or is it? The Grimoire's Eye by none other than our very own @Jhinx pulls Sylen's greatest warriors all across the land to fight to the death for the ultimate prize: Immortality. However, when an ancient relic is stolen, a simple fight to the death becomes a struggle for the world's survival.

I'm sure if you're interested, Jhinx might save you a seat!


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Revenant Rising: February Official Storybook

In Revenant Rising, you play as a character in the highly popular Elder Scrolls Universe to defend the last Five Towers from the Revenant: An evil-like force that has spread through the land like an infection. You are all that stands in the way of the Revenant and their goal. Fight hard, fight valiantly, but most of all: survive!

"It may seem easy enough, but our road is filled with temptation, foes of immense power, and no small amount of peril."

This is definitely going to be a story to keep an eye on!


About The Dungeon Master

Another OS from @TheIllusiveIntellect, it will no doubt do as well as the last one. Illusive (or Conjurer, or Wizard, I don't know, he changes his name more than I change my socks) has been involved with Storybooks since mid-2014, creating a memorable path as he goes.

If you just scroll down the Storybooks page, you'll notice a trend with the Storybooks he has created: They're all full to the brim with people. He rules his Storybooks with a logical iron fist and creates interesting, engaging, and wonderful plots for the participants to enjoy themselves with. He's really the first person to truly take advantage of the Storybook Challenges, and I have no doubt that he is a major reason why it is so active right now. If you want to join a Storybook and actually finish it, you want this man leading it.


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Captain's Challenge: Awkward Romance

February is the month of love (apparently, who started this? Love is overrated) and in honor of that, we're going to do a romantic-themed Challenge. Sorry, all those characters who aren't up for love. Better luck next month?

So, your challenge for this month is to create a romantic encounter between characters in any Storybook.

Budding Romance

In order to do this part, just have a character have romantic thoughts with another character. This is worth one point.

Romantic Exchange

For this encounter, maybe the other character has romantic thoughts for yours, and you both act on those thoughts. Plan out a romantic scene! This is worth one point. Bonus point: If this happens in two (or more) posts, you will get another point.

Awwwkward

Since we're in the weirdest month of a leap year, if you have this wonderful (and awful) twist, you will gain two points. Make the romantic exchange as awkward as you can get it, and if it's really awkward on both parties involved, I'll go ahead and give you a bonus point.

Three is a Crowd

For this last bonus point, make a love triangle. You won't regret it. Actually, you probably will. That's the point of this Challenge.

So, the romance is in the air, offering you a maximum of Seven Points. Good luck out there!

Disclaimer: The Storybook Crew is not affiliated with any destruction of Storybooks due to awkward romances.


Recent Challenges

There's one Storybook Challenge alive right now that will expire in February, but man are there multiple ones for March already!

Participants of The Grimoire's Eye (@AstralHunter, @Starleene, @Steggy, @Jhinx, @ReisePiecey, @Amnesia), you have until February 22nd to complete your SB Challenge. Let's get to it!


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Your Staff For This Month Is...

If you find yourself in a sticky spot and need help in the Storybook Section, you may sacrifice two archived Storybooks to the Storybook Elders in order to confide your Storybook Sins to the Cupid-Hunters @AstralHunter, @Lumi, @Jhinx, @Rydia, @ReisePiecey, @SpiritedWolfe, @TheIllusiveIntellect, @TheSilverFox, and @Wolfie36 . Love is forbidden when around these moldy people. Confess your sins, and we'll be happy to help ^^

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Engaging Storybooks with Jhinx

Oh what, I changed my name? Yes, yes I did.

If you've ever stepped into the Storybook forum and dabbled in the arts there, you'll realize that Storybooks usually don't last long. It's an extremely common, unknown syndrome that has affected Storybooks since the beginning of time.

Two years ago, in an attempt to make an engaging and compelling way to keep Storybooks afloat, the Storybook Crew created The Storybook Challenges, to mixed responses. First of all, I encourage everyone to try out on the Challenges; they're actually a lot of fun and @AstralHunter is doing a wonderful job keeping up with it.

Expanding on the idea of Storybook Challenges, the goal of this segment is to have guidelines and constantly engaging storylines to keep the interest of your participants. There are two different versions of Storybooks that usually do well: one with a lot of participants, so naturally more posts, and one with a constantly engaging and evolving plot. The latter is the one that we're going to be focusing on.

Your first goal is to create a solid premise that is clear enough for everyone's first and sometimes second post. This would either be a good situation that every character can easily jump into, a clear goal on what people should write for their posts, or a mixture of the two. Storybook Challenges definitely help with this!

Many Storybooks fall into inactivity after the intro posts, so your goal as a Dungeon Master is to create something that's immediately present for people to continue their posts. This has been done in a variety of ways, including Chapters, Levels, or even game-like Dungeons. For example, wonderful @Lumi has created bosses for many of his recent Storybooks that the group faces right after the Storybook launches, catapulting them into the Storybook.

Introduing new locations with new challenges and bosses is a great way to keep the Storybook going. Keeping your people in one location is a wonderful way to keep the plot stagnant and kill the Storybook, unless that location is fleshed out well-enough.

Mystery and over-arching plotlines keep the particpants following the story. Don't make it too complicated for them, even if it is an extremely complicated plot. The less they know, the better. Keeping secrets allow you to keep your participants interested when the plot seems to be lacking.

Don't forget, while you can have an amazing plotline, if it isn't including the actual characters of the story, it will stll not keep the interest of your participants. Make storylines or sections of the Storybook that revolve around one character or characters. This allows everyone a little bit of artistic freedom in your story while still advancing the Storybook.

Does this sound like a lot to think about? That's kind of because it is. Let's recap, though. You should create a solid premise and setting in the beginning to reign in the interest of your participants. After the first posts, you should keep the writers immediately interested by something for them to interact with right away. That'll keep them invested with the Storybook. As the Storybook goes along, introduce new locations with new hardships and antagonists. But don't forget the bosses and plot that stay present along the entire Storybook. Mystery and intrigue will keep the writers interested while provided key plotpoints when you need them, and only when you need them. And, last but not least, don't forget that there's a reason why you're doing a Storybook. Include your characters in the plotline. Make it unique to those certain characters. If you follow these, with the help of Storybook Challenges, you'll definitely be able to make a Storybook to remember!


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Featured Storybooker

The Featured Storybooker for this month hasn't been with us for a long while, but that hasn't stopped her. Ever since she joined back in September, this lady has graced the forum with wonderful additions to Storybooks and even a few Storybooks of her own.

@Steggy is the Featured Storybooker for this month, and with good reason! She has been extremely active ever since she joined and shows no sign of stopping. For a lot of members, the Storybook section seems distant, even intimidating to a few, but not for Steggy. She dived right in with high quality, memorable posts and has made quite a name for herself in this short amount of time. Please go congratulate her on her wall!


Storybookers To Look Out For

Please give a warm welcome to @Justlittleoleme2 in honor of dipping their toes into the Storybook section! Although they're new, let's try our hardest to keep them in the forum ^^

Let's invite more and more new members to Storybooks because that's the wonderful thing to do. Be a warm, welcoming spirit, so those new members will come flooding in.
This account proudly supports lgbtq* rights.

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Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:21 am
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Wolfical says...



March 2016


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Most Popular

A short time ago in a Storybooking forum far, far away, came @TheFantasy14's Star Wars: Rise of the Legion, this month's Most Popular Storybook. In just one month's time, this SB's squad of light saber-wielding writers managed to crank out nearly forty posts. Forty!!! These guys are amazing.

Fantasy decided to jump ahead a few light years, all the way to Episode LXXXIII. According to her,
The Jedi have fully returned, and taken their rightful place as the peacekeepers of the galaxy.

But, as always, darkness will always follow the light.

No surprise there. The Dark Side has cookies. Everyone knows that. Speaking of which, I'm not sure how this SB managed to reach its third page in just one month, but I'm absolutely certain that cookies were involved. We're watching you, Fantasy. ;)

In any case, for all those Star Wars fanatics out there looking for a fresh new space adventure, it would be a splendid idea to subscribe to this SB. That's some quality reading material right there!

Most Deserving of Attention

In the summer of 1999, an entire magical school of witchcraft and wizardry simply vanished. Soon after, at the exact same time, each of the school's final attendees were killed by an unknown force. People were frightened. No one had seen such a thing since the age of Voldemort.

Now, sixteen years later, Wynbald is back. And it looks like you're attending its trial run.

Grab your broomsticks, Harry Potter fans! Two golden snitches, uh... spaces in @Pompadour's Wynbald, School of Magic are still up for grabs!

Best Concept

The Jurassic franchise has provided two novels and four movies that each revolve around one theme: bringing dinosaurs to the modern world is a stupid, stupid idea.

Unfortunately, people like Mr. Walter Hammond Polk just never get it.

Welcome to @Wolfie36's Jurassic Paradise, the ruins of the latest park's disaster, where packs of velociraptors roam the beaches and a hungry mosasaur lingers in the depths of its blood-stained pool. Despite the island's chaotic past, the elderly Mr. Polk is convinced that he's the one who'll be able to provide a safe haven for the remaining animals. Down the line, perhaps he'll be able to endorse the reopening of a Jurassic Paradise, but until then, there's a lot he has to deal with.

The dinosaurs won't be his only problem. Sometimes a deceitful lie among his own members is just as sharp as a tyrannosaurus fang to the belly.

If you're crazy brave enough to join Mr. Polk's company of dinosaur-enthusiasts, he still has one open room on his cruise ship to the island. As dangerous as it may be, it's an adventure you won't want to miss.

*cue T-Rex roar*

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Harbingers of Revolution: The Seventh Sin

Welcome to St. Louis, Harbinger. Please enjoy your stay.

You're one of them. The infected, the empowered, the cursed, the blessed. The Harbinger. A year after the first storybook and just a few decades from our own time, the Harbinger's virus has swept the nation, granting each victim a specific power but at the same time branding them with an inescapably dangerous fate.

St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, is the only safe haven for Harbingers left in the entire world. With the Envoys on the hunt for the "Seventh Sin," a man who's hiding in the city, who knows how long the last strand of peace will hold?

Take a look at this month's Official Storybook, Harbingers of Revolution: The Seventh Sin. It's not too late to join in!


About The Dungeon Master

This month's Dungeon Master is none other than @Omni, er... @Jhinx, everybody's favorite SB master. He's been around the SBing forums since the end of 2012, dabbling in the Double-Trouble Writing Huddle, flavoring all different types of storybooks with the energetic flare of his writing style, and penning multiple SBs himself. Fans of his work are encouraged to subscribe to Omnibooks, the official center for Jhinx's latest storybooking updates.

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Captain's Challenge: Luck o' the Irish

Look around you, YWSers - luck is in the air! March is the month of leprechauns, double rainbows, overflowing pots of gold, four-leaf clovers, brass shoe buckles, and the number three. Naturally, it's also the month of the infamous lucky Captain's Challenge.

Appropriately, this month's CC comes in three parts:

1. To earn one point, describe your character's "lucky charm." Proving that it works will earn you an additional point.

2. Have one character wish bad luck upon another, whether directly or secretly, to earn another point.

3. Lastly, you can earn one point for every post you make this month, to a limit of three. A bonus point can be earned if you post in three different storybooks.

Completing each of these objectives totals up to an impressive seven points. It just so happens that the number seven is just about as lucky as the number three.

Recent Challenges

Oh my, they've all expired.

I think I'm going to cry... *clears throat* No. I am not going to cry. Instead, I'm going to yell at you storybook creators to get a move on and assign challenges to your fellow writers. This is not a request; this is a command.

(FYI, semicolon usage ups my serious level by 36%)

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Your Staff For This Month...

If you find yourself in a sticky spot and need help in the Storybook Section, light a bonfire, dance around said fire three times in counter-clockwise circles, and chant "Rumpelstiltskin." Alternatively, if you do not wish to employ his magical services and have actual trouble in or queries about Storybook Town, chant the names of @AstralHunter, @Jhinx, @Rydia, @TheIllusiveIntellect, @TheSilverFox, and @Wolfie36 instead, and they'll arrive shortly thereafter. Just remember to put out the bonfire and clear away the ash and coals after you've been helped. This summoning is done at your own risk. Any injuries or damage of property due to the bonfire cannot be held against the summoned individuals.

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Creating Waffle Characters With Wolfie36

If storybooking has taught me one thing, it’s how to make waffle characters.

When I first joined YWS two years ago, before storybooks, I published a few chapters of the novel I was working on. The two main characters were identical twins named Andrew and Daniel, aged twenty-two years. They had steel blue eyes and dark blonde hair. One of them had been in a motorcycle accident and lost his leg, while the other was off at war in Afghanistan.

At that point in my writing career, most of my novel characters were like that. When I came up with them, only a few things about them were really that important to me, like their first name, last name, eye color, and hair color. Sometimes I’d dabble in personality and oftentimes I’d try my best to show some authentic emotion, but most of the time it was all superficial and came out embarrassingly flat.

Andrew and Daniel? They’re what I like to call “pancake characters.”

Think of it this way. An undeveloped character is like an undercooked pancake. It doesn’t matter how much buttery plot you smear on its spongy hide or how much sugary diction syrup you drizzle on its imperfections. That soggy character pancake just isn’t going to taste good.

Before you even think about employing that butter and syrup and writing a book, stick that flat pancake into the waffle press. After all, that’s just what you want. A waffle character.

In the world of Wolfie’s mind, a stack of waffles represents a complex character. When you add butter and syrup - the storyline and voice, that is - they nestle into the top waffle’s crevasses and drizzle down the edges into the other layers of the character. When the plot and diction are added, they enrich the character.

Remember, a book is only as good as its characters, just like a breakfast is only as good as its waffles. Characters come first, then everything else follows. And that, my friends, is exactly what storybooking has taught me.

What’s the first thing you do when you join a storybook? You write a character profile, right? Storybook authors are looking for complex characters, so they ask for several layers in order for you to get to know your character in the best way that you can. It’s up to you to make your own stack of golden-brown waffles, ready to be enriched with the storybook’s storyline, diction, and interactions with other characters.

On a final important note, please be sure not to confuse waffles and characters, as they are completely different things. You eat waffles and create characters. By all means, create a waffle if it so pleases you, but please, please, don’t eat your characters.

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Featured Storybooker

This month's fabulous featured writer first started contributing to storybooks last year, and since then, he's climbed the ladder to success with admirable speed, contributing excellent posts and a variety of fascinating characters. Storybookers, please bow down to his highness, @TheForgottenKing! As much as his username indicates otherwise, we won't be forgetting this guy for a loooong time. After all, the King wrote four posts in December, five in January, and an incredible eight in February! Keep it up, Your Highness!

Storybookers To Look Out For

For being such a new face on the storybook stage, this girl has impressed us all. Friends, I present to you the lovely @AllisontheWriter, author of eleven Star-Wars-themed storybook posts in just February alone! Finding another writer as dedicated as her would be like finding a way to get a camel through the eye of a needle. May the force be with you in your future storybooking adventures, Allison!
John 14:27:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.








If you have a dream, you have a duty to make it come true.
— Marco Pierre White