Writing, Failbetter style

Tribute and retribution are like coming and going.

Now, let’s see if we can whip up a Sunless Sea story here. The key is writing FAST, so let me hit the clock here. 1:45. Now for the starting location: Khan’s Shadow. Why not? Why not? I haven’t the slightest clue what I’m gonna produce, just stay with me sonny. Now we’ll say there’s someone who wants transportation. Open the dictionary at random, pick the first adjective you see; open it again, pick a noun. What do you have? Connected / Soldier? Redolent / Cabbage? Evergreen / Volt? That’s a great name for an island BTW, but what Lady Luck’s putting on my mind is a Shabby Carouser.

So now, the Shabby Carouser wants transportation to - pick one of the islands. You got anything against Visage? All right then. At boarding, I’m going to describe the Carouser as &quotwearing an old tired yellow scarf around his neck&quot and with &quotthe high cheek bones and bad teeth of a Khanate zailor.&quot The cheek bones are standard fare, and the teeth, WELL, who’s to say garlic isn’t forbidden to these people? Who’s to say anyone’s gonna take me to court over these details? Are you? Then shut up. Also, when he comes on board, there’ll be an occurence… like… &quotThe waves leap up, and you think you’ve glimpsed a Drownie in the water. So close to shore!&quot Maaan, writing intoxicates!

Moving on. Part of the job’s already been done for you with all the previous nonsense put it, so at Visage you can safely talk about masks. Yeah, masks. What about them? Give me a sec… 2:02. This is taking too long. I need bolder strokes. &quotHe saunters over to one of the villagers, makes what looks like a secret hand-sign and…&quot Gosh, this is too much, going too far. My head is pounding. All I wanted was to have him put on a special mask, like THE DROWNED MAN, but now wow. Now it’s all coming together. This must be inspiration!

And, em, this is pretty much the end of it, except along the way two (2) special twists are required. One: a wild comparison like &quottheir voices blend like…&quot Jesus Christ, why not like &quotpot-bellied sitherines from the Carnerlian Coast.&quot Sitherines is a new word… 2:09. Dammit. It’s a new word I say, like the Failbetters put in every now and then, and like you’re supposed to know what that means, 'cept what you’re really supposed to be is awed. Also, it’s suggestive of snakes, and we all know that’s a big deal. Also, I might have been influenced by Harry Potter here, for once. Anyhoo, if you don’t know what sitherines are, you’re in no position to object to a bit of blending on their part, are you? It’s lore.

The second special twist will be an Awful Ramification, by which I mean a totally unwarranted development after you get the Carouser off. The more unwarranted, the more non-described events you’ll be graciously left to imagine between beginning and end. Your brain, it will fill the blanks. I mean, technically the blanks will stay blank if you ever go back to reviewing them, so you might get a bit disgusted, but definitely entertained. It’s like Sherlock Holmes in reverse, retreating whimping to his hole.

2:14. So, &quotthe drowned men line up on the shore, wreckage grasped in their arms - here a rudder, there a plank or a gun-mount.&quot Gun-mount you don’t get to see so often, it’s a refreshment on the eyes, 'specially with that hyphen. Now, that being the quest’s conclusion, you might ask what the hell it was all about unless you’re inured. Well, I’m going to add - 2:18 - a little present from the Shabby Carouser, in addition to 1 Secret and a Zee Story. Oh yes, rewards make it all right, don’t you know? But he also! &quotdips his hand inside a half-rotten barrel the Drownie is holding and produces a little owl - white, wet but, amazingly, alive. He hands her over to you. &quotA little present. Keep her. She wouldn’t wear a mask anyway,&quot he says.&quot So there’s that. You’re all set. The owl is a mascot, gives +2 Veils, and in case you’re wondering, her name is Sowhat.

Please do not post anything aggressive or deliberately provocative on the forum. Be polite.

The writing nor the world-building in Sunless Sea isn’t perfect but brazenly insulting its structure is both nonconstructive and rude.

Some people are really bitter. That’s sad.

(Original too big, broke thread - link here: https://iso.500px.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/jolimieprime_cover.jpg )
edited by babelfishwars on 7/5/2015

As the saying so often goes: The door’s over there if you want to leave.

I can’t help noticing that a lot of the OP’s posts are critical - often very critical - of FL and SS. Nothing necessarily wrong with that; we all have our bugbears and often constructive criticism is the most helpful feedback.

But for me, personally, this post crosses a line between criticism and attack. Saying you don’t like the writing is one thing - this post, as far as I can see, not only satirises the writing, it attacks, or at least questions, the professionalism of the writers, and that is as unkind as it is uncalled for.

Constructive criticism is certainly welcome. To be honest, if there were much to be found here besides mockery of the writing style, I’d have had more to say. Constant negativity is neither constructive nor useful, especially in the context here. You don’t have to sing the praises of a game on its forums all the time, but this is about on the level of being invited to someone’s house and mocking their taste in home decor the whole time. It’s really not cool.

[color=009900]Folks, we really appreciate you stepping up with the Not Cool. Still the Best Community Out There, constructive criticism and all.

But I’m going to lock the thread because there’s that faint smouldering pre-flame smell. :)[/color]