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6490 No. 6490
Anon, I don't know how I can say this in any way without sounding crazy, or grumpy, or bitter, or angry, or jealous but I've decided to just ask you the recent questions on my mind.

What do YOU think makes a successful CYOA?

What separates a normal CYOA from the successful CYOA?

Why is it that one CYOA can barely scrape 5 votes per update and another CYOA can hit 10 in less than an hour?

I know you all have your different idea of what is successful, but there has to be some pattern to your idea of a successful story. I mean, otherwise, the votes would be spread out on all stories, and not focused on a few.

So I ask you anon.

Why is a successful CYOA successful?

Ugh.

I still sound stupid saying that, don't I.

No. 6493
Depends of the writer.
Somtimes Anon can avoid a story just because he doesn't like the writer, and sometime he can votes 15 votes/update even if everyone is criticizing the story for being shitstrom generating or anything like that.

What makes a successful CYOA? I would say that, one more, it depends from the writer. If he can write a full story, it may be considered as successful. If he's giving up, no matter how cool it sounded, it will stay a failure forever.
No. 6494
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6494
Pic related.

How is a story good? Being well-written is an obvious one. If there are constant spelling and grammar issues it is a pain to read.

Aside from technical skills it's a little more complex. At least the plot or the characters need to be good, but that does not mean the characters need to be completely original either. Remilia in GH and SDM:LA acts almost the exact same and GH is still damn good. Not that you need to start taking characters from successful stories since Owen's Remilia was completely different and ASSM is almost universally loved.

Most CYOAs here are heavily plot based, but then there are some good ones like Derp Wars that don't have a plot at all. Most people that try to pull off a plotless CYOA nowadays kind of crash and burn, so it's probably better to think one up.

Personally I think going along with shitty (stupid) votes makes a story worse. I like seeing a BAD END after shit, though that response seemed to happen a lot more a year or so back.
No. 6495
To be short, having a plot before starting the story add a nice bonus.
Having a proofreader, or being able to write properly add a nice bonus too.
And if you have smart Anon, then you'll have a great story.


Great.
I'm still missing the proofreader, and the smart Anon.
No. 6496
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6496
>>6490
Hi Twitty.

Anyway... shrug. Sometimes it's nostalgia. GH just plain reminded people of GA:SD. People missed GA:SD.
This was probably a large reason for its popularity, in addition to being one of the only active stories after the site move.
No. 6497
>Personally I think going along with shitty (stupid) votes makes a story worse. I like seeing a BAD END after shit, though that response seemed to happen a lot more a year or so back.

Has it already been almost three years ago? It seems THP never moved on from 2009.
No. 6500
>>6497
Anniversary is in one more month.
No. 6501
I'd say that a consistent and reasonable update rate would be pretty important too. Even if you have a great idea in mind, if you're not an established writer, having an update rate of, say, once a month isn't exactly going to net you a lot of fans. Having consistency and a reasonable pace would also mean that people will likely be watching your thread when it updates. This doesn't mean that you have to update every one or two days though.

This is obviously not all there is to it of course, as just about everything in /underground/ proves.
No. 6561
it's a bit difficult to explain, but let me give it a shot.

basically CYOSs where the choices lead directly to dynamic actions are what really gets me hooked. oftentimes, stories have wishy-washy choices such as

[ ] left
[ ] right
[ ] stay where you are

and to me, thats doesent't seem like a choose your own adventure, but instead seems more like a "choose your own filler while the author writes what he originally had planned"

[spoiler]but thats just like, my opinion, man
No. 6562
>>6561
No one cares what you like, Random Anon.
No. 6571
>>6562
Is that a new meme or what?
No. 6572
>>6562
He does have a bit of a point as those choices are basically shooting in the dark. Most folks if they don't have a clear idea what to vote for, won't vote or follow someone that looks like they know what they're doing. Not exactly something a writer wants to see.

Similar to those choices are the 'artistically vague' ones that seem to appeal to some people despite the risk of them inadvertently ruining their own cause. Such things come about mainly from some copying say Fell, NARH, or Angry Desu and doing a poor job of it.

Clear yet dynamic choices are best.
No. 6576
>>6572
Whatever point he might have is drowned out by the logic he uses. Simply put, his entire post reminded me of J to the E. If I weren't certain that faggot left the site, I would have said that, instead of the new scapegoat Random Anon.

It's a moot point, anyways, as almost all writers have veered away from the completely random choices of the past. Never again will we see a choice to vote for 1, 2, or 3. Even the most innocuous of directional votes have some purpose that is easy to divine.
No. 6577
>>6576
True, but there's choices put so vaguely that it's hard to tell and I'm not talking the experts in vague choices as they leave some kind of hint but rather the copycats, which seem to have a way of appearing in boards other than the big two (/th/ and /others/)
No. 6578
>>6577
Let's level here. Are we talking about the harpanon story? If so, I feel that the vague choices he presents us with are more due to inexperience than some sort of diabolical machination on his part.

There are few writers who copy the "artistically vague" way of voting, but the few who do, usually do it right. It's certainly not a big issue.
No. 6579
>>6578
Just in general and recounting the various stories I've seen in my time here, many of which are dead now. I was mentioning that because if people don't have an idea where anything leads, they'll shoot in the dark or not vote at all. I never intended to imply any maliciousness on their part. Part of the reason most of the copycat 'vague choice' makers screw that up is because of their inexperience and not looking at the orignal's methods. In short it's a case of the birdman something (forgot which), where someone tries to duplicate something solely by appearance and not the underlying elements.
No. 6580
I've been debating doing some bullshit statistics to determine the very thing OP is wondering.

Like if a story is a self insert, does it get more or less replies than one in which the main character is seperate? Other measures could include just votes or word count of the replies etc. Problem is that I don't really have the time or care to do so.

Really, I'd argue that a CYOA is successful when a lot of people participate, like in GH, and in Mind the Gap, because otherwise you're just writing a story.

I'm still trying to figure out how to involve my readers on a choice level for that matter
No. 6581
My opinion is that a story always contain some self-insert. Maybe not in the obvious way, but sometimes just in the character's behaviour.
That's what votes are for.
No. 6582
>>6580
>because otherwise you're just writing a story
This is a problem?
No. 6583
>>6582

On a site mainly meant for CYOAs, meaning for anon input to help move the story, most likely yes, that is a problem.
No. 6584
>>6581
there's a bit of the writer in any main character (dunno about anon-defined ones), but it doesn't exactly make them self-inserts or anything. Calling a main character a self-insert is a rather arrogant thing to do unless you know the author. If you're talking about YAF's latest story... that's pretty damn self-insertish indeed

It's hard to say which type of main character is better, though from the pre-definited (partially or completely), you ought to have that part well developed and covered. An example of a successful pre-defined character would be Mikio from Fragment of memories. He was so well defined that people thought about choices from his PoV. Anon characters have a certain appeal, but one has to be careful lest they end up bland.

http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/589 reading this would be a good idea as it has a nice guideline of what a mary sue really is and how to avoid it.
No. 6585
>>6583
You want Anons reacting to your story, not moving it. Moving is the writer's job.
No. 6586
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6586
>>6584
Funny thing, that. Calling characters the authors' self-inserts is so widely spread an “insult” that I, for instance, have had nearly ALL of my characters called self-inserts by unfriendly masses. A batshit insane knife nut with no sense of decency or moral constraints? Self-insert. A misanthropic, bitchy, reticent homeless girl? Self-insert. A cunning city-born smuggler prone to panicking when something goes wrong, but who is otherwise calm and collected when at work? Self-insert. An obsessively lying idiot action-boy with a knack for old films and quasi-philosophical analogies? Self-insert.

The irony here is that I've yet to write an intellectual elitist misogynist character that just so happens to have a love for writing and alcohol; and if I did, the chances of him/her being called a self-insert would be, I suspect, lower than with the above characters. I was actually planning to write a similar character, minus the alcoholism and writing, and plus a fair load of stoicism, for that Tenshi story I kept talking about – albeit more than self-inserty appeal, it was for the potential hijinks with Satori.

Anyway, two conclusions:

1)Not every character is a self-insert. Of course, they always contain a certain amount of the writer's persona (he WROTE them, for fuck's sake!), but “self-insert” has become too much of a “casual” criticism to make to treat it seriously. You want a real self-insert? Read Twilight. That shit is creepy. I feel bad for the actor that played the vampire lad in the films.
2)Self-inserts do not necessarily have to be a bad thing! Some writers are interesting people! Some writers KNOW other interesting people. If a living (pre-existing), interesting character can be inserted into a story, why the hell not do it? The only “bad” (and mind you, it's still only my subjective opinion) kind of self-inserting is the wish-fulfilling kind (again, like in Twilight). Otherwise, it's just the writers drawing inspiration from his experiences in the real world. Nothing deserving scorn, if you ask me. I've inserted other people into my stories a number of times and I have yet to receive a single complain about that.

And just because I felt insulted by your claim that MiD's character is a self-insert: go blow yourself. Calling a main character a self-insert is a rather arrogant thing to do unless you know the author, you know. Shooter is not a gigantic pink chicken after all.
No. 6587
>>6585

you want reaction true, and you want to be able to move it yes, but at the same you must give anon some measure of control in the story. also there have been points, even in scarlet stained memoir, where the choices have been purely write in.
No. 6588
>>6586
But I DO know you. Guy who likes Mokoutits and british culture as well as Tacticool stuff.
No. 6589
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6589
>>6588
>Guy who likes Mokoutits
Admittedly, yes, but that is about all that I find interesting about her.
>british culture
French, actually. I like Harry Enfield, yes, but that doesn't make me a Brit culture enthusiast.
>as well as Tacticool stuff.
Hell no. As an airsofter, I am disgusted by any and all “tacticool” crap. Unless you mean the basic manoeuvres, positioning, and weapon discipline, in which case it sort of pays off to know that when you're playing wars, you know.
Sorry, bud, you ostensibly don't know me very good.
No. 6590
>>6586
>>6581 here. As usual, I screwed up.
"Self-insert" wasn't the best word to use, but as you said, every character is created by the writer, and can represent its creator. And now, considering that Owen's Flandre is completly mad, does that mean that Owen himself is quite mad?
I wonder if writers can use characters to create some kind of... outlet? Release? One more time, I'm not quite sure about the best expression to use. But if fanfic's characters are representing the writer himself, does that
means that the writer IS the story?

Sorry about the bizarro sentences, I'm trying to philosophize.
No. 6591
>>6590

I don't know, reading through the story, it makes Owen sound pretty awesome with the way you're going. But either way, this seems to be somewhat veering off the main topic of success in a CYOA.
>>6493 said in part the writer can affect a success of a story, so if anon has lost faith in a writer, that can make that writer's future endeavors fruitless in garnering voters, and if anon has undying loyalty to another writer, no matter what they write, even if it would be, in comparison to the shamed writer's future works be about equal, it would still be able to push itself ahead solely on writer popularity and renown?

That is starting to be a bit worrisome.
No. 6592
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6592
>>6590
>And now, considering that Owen's Flandre is completly mad, does that mean that Owen himself is quite mad?
I would say no. On the other hand, I am of the opinion that a sane person cannot create a truly “insane” character – the differences in cognitive processes, the recognition of the surrounding world are simply too great for a sane person to grasp an insane mind's intricacies. Most of the “insane” characterisations I have seen (especially apparent in 40k-related fiction) are merely a “crazy” quirk taken to an extreme.

Of course, then again, not all writers are majors in psychology, so we cannot blame them for not knowing the actual reasons and behaviouristic patterns of the insane; they have to draw from what they know, and their experience may, at times, be extremely limited.

>But if fanfic's characters are representing the writer himself, does that means that the writer IS the story?
The writer IS the story either way – the setting exists in his mind, along with the plot, the characters, et caetera; it is formed, moulded, and adapted there, then, FROM THERE put to words on paper or in a word processor. Find it disgusting or not, you ARE reading another person's unreal (and unfulfilled, in case of “wish-fulfilment” fics) fantasies, be it involving political upset, an Eldritch Abomination, a girl chasing after a boy, or a British gentleman travelling through time.

So, if you're reading a H-scene, you're basically reading another dude's sexual thoughts. Enjoy yourselves, darlings~

Now then, on CYOAs. Obviously, with the CYOA format, the source of fiction is two-fold – it is composed of the writer AND his audience, where whilst the former has greater control of the story, the latter may significantly influence its tour, to the point of changing the carefully-wrought plot into something that hardly resembles its initial concept. Again, this is NOT a bad thing. I view this as a challenge. It tests my skills as a writer, having to move along tracks that I may not have even thought of setting; plus, the unpredictability lets me enjoy the story more than I would have, had I been writing it on my sole own.

I would say, the writer is a car driver, the story is a car, and the audience is a sentient steering wheel. The wheel can nudge the driver towards taking a certain path or even derail the driver's efforts to stay on the road if it so wishes. However, if it does that, there is literally nothing stopping writer from kicking the brakes, crossing his arms and saying “NOPE, DON'T THINK SO,” then either force-shifting it back onto familiar paths or getting the hell out of the unruly vehicle.

Now, the thing is that the wheel enjoys being stroked (led along the roads, through the story), despite being essentially just one of many parts of the writer's hand-crafted car. So, writing a CYOA, you're telling your readers, “well, this is my world, but I'll let you guide things a bit, if you so wish.” I suspect, though, that there are many who fail to realise that unspoken agreement, both on the writer and the reader side.
Sad, really, but what can you do? I can caw and flap my wings in vain agitation. Can you? Didn't think so.

>>6591
>That is starting to be a bit worrisome.
Oh, don't be simple. Say you're considering purchasing a new book/film/album, and you're looking through a catalogue listing your choices. Now, tell me, which choices are more likely to grab your attention? Those by authors/writers you've already heard of/read about/seen the work of yourself before. It's natural, straight and simple. Crystallised intelligence (that governs your choice-making in this matter) is formed through experience – good if your own, better if somebody else's (learning on somebody else's mistakes? Sign me in any day, chief.).

So, let's say you have a choice – a choice between a well-renowned author with a good public opinion, and a newcomer – somebody whose work has hardly been reviewed yet, and the only hitherto reviews were mostly negative. Which of these are you going to give your precious money, time, and thought to? Even if you're not too much into the kind of work the better-known author may do, you ARE more likely to choose him over the more obscure blighter. It's simply the safer betan investment more probable of paying off, and THEFORE, the OBJECTIVELY BETTER choice! Fancy that! It really is so simple!

Sorry for my long-windedness, I rarely get to discuss these kinds of things, and I tend to ramble if given the chance.

If you feel like taking up discussion, by all means, do. I would be delighted to listen to your views on the matter.

Oh, and since I have already revealed this through other channels, there is a slight self-insert character in MiD. Just not the protagonist. I'll let you make your guesses.

Cheers,
the Yian Kut-Ku CAW fag
No. 6593
>>6592
>So, if you're reading a H-scene, you're basically reading another dude's sexual thoughts.
Explained why my attempt at writing porn sucked.

Saged because off-topic with "What do YOU think makes a successful CYOA?"
No. 6594
>>6591
Obviously you should use a new name/trip for every story until you make a popular story.

This has the added bonus of making the site appear more active, attracting new writers to camouflage you.
No. 6595
>>6594

Such an action sounds deceitful, don't you think? Though with Owen he took on a new name and gained popularity with that and soon that combined when Owen revealed himself, what about those who have not gained any notice and decide to pick a new moniker just to get people to notice them? Wouldn't revealing yourself only end badly and make people dislike you more and find you untrustworthy?

Guess asking still why some is successful and others are not.

The elements for success are too varied to focus on everything without burning oneself out entirely.
No. 6596
>>6594
>>6595
The whole multiple name matter may backfire as people will suspect newbies of being So and So. I've seen the Mind the Gap guy be accused of being Patchwork once or twice.
No. 6602
>>6596

Which never made much sense to me, as I don't remember patchwork's writing feeling much like Mind the Gap.

Could just be my faulty memory at work again, though.
No. 6603
>>6602
I think it might've had something to do with Patch being infamous for Hakugyokuro LA's H-Scenes or something. I don't really remember.
No. 6605
>>6596

Every writer is HY.
No. 6606
>>6605
Every writer is Kapow.
No. 6607
>>6596
>Confusing Patch and Tsuru

That's slightly hilarious.
No. 6620
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6620
OP called. I deliver.
No. 6621
I said bring back the post. Not just the tits.
No. 6622
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6622
>>6621
No, you either take what you get or I take it back.