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I just casually checked the runs of RPG Limit Break

Quote from: RPG Limit Break
a week-long marathon of RPG speedruns (finishing console-style role playing games quickly)! RPGLB is an annual event where attendees come to perform speedruns or support our efforts to raise money for NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness.

and noticed that Heroine's Quest is on their schedule for this Saturday, May 19th, 12:15 PM (they don't give a time zone, so I'm not completly sure when this is).

Apparently, there is also a bid war for the character class, that's currently at $0.00.

I thought some of you might be interested.

Site & Forum Reports / Suggestion: Languages on game page
« on: 01 May 2018, 18:27 »
This thread got me thinking that there is absoluetly no way to tell what languages/translations are available for games, unless it's mentioned in the descriptions. It would be really great if this could be added at some point - on the games' pages as icons maybe and as a search function.

Thank you for the Music!

For me, writing and music are strongly connected. Music is often inspiration and - more importantly - motivation for me when I work on a story. It is also often an essential part of storytelling, though admittedly not so much in written form. But the background music of movies or games can add so much to the atmosphere of a scene - or destroy it. And in our daily lives, we may not even notice all the music we hear: on the radio while we do houshold chores, in the store when we go shopping or through the headphones of our fellow passengers on the bus.

So let's appreciate music in our writing a bit. It could be a songtext like the video above, a story about a musician, a mystic melodie that plays randomly in the head of a protagonist. While I put the topic as thanks and appreciation for music, it doesn't have to be positive. A murderer using a song to haunt his victims, for example, is also fine. But music must play an integral part in the story, preferably with descriptions of the music itself.

You have time until 14. April

Fairy Tale
- revamped -

Fairy Tales usually offer reinders of beautiful children's memories, even though the stories often weren't originally intended for children - something that becomes apparent when you read them. Nevertheless, I recently stumbled upon some really bad rewrites and retellings of Fairy Tales that tried to be more adult and ended up with plot holes, stupid characters, and losing everything that makes a Fairy Tale a Fairy Tale and beloved to many people.

Now, I know that you can do better.

Your quest, should you wish to embark on this adventure, is to rewrite an existing Fairy Tale. You can set it in the modern world, with all the consequences this brings with it, you can change the ending, you can straight up retell it and focus on good writing, for example using very modern language. Basically, you can do with these old stories whatever you wish, as long as the original tale is still recognizable. Someone who knows the tale should be able to say what it was based on without you telling us. Should you wish to use a lesser known Fairy Tale, then please include a link to it, or at least a summary.
Deadline: 14. February 2018


It's a busy time of the year, not just for us mere mortals but for Santa Claus as well. He has so much to do, he could never do it alone.

Get us in the holiday spirit and tell a story about someone or something that helps Santa do his job. That can be everything, from the reindeers pulling his sled to the retail workers posing as elves in the mall, or the parents and grandparents shopping for toys in the last minute, maybe even Krampus punishing misbehaving children.

Technically, you have time until 1. January, although I'm not sure how sober I'll be, so you probably have a day or two more.

First of all, let's get out of the way what this topic is not about: It is not about characters giving or recieving second chances, though you coud write this as well, if you follow the rest of the rules.

No, this is about me giving y'all second chance. It is about the stories y'all started for our FWC but never managed to finish for whatever reason. Maybe you ran out of time, maybe you didn't like your idea in the end, maybe you forgot about our little competition.

Now is the time to look through your old files and find all the unfinshed goodness there. Take a look at your unfinished entries and write, write, write!

Or, if you never actually entered or tried to enter the FWC before, choose one of the old topics and write a story according to these rules.

The rules:

1. Finish an entry you started for a FWC in the past or choose an old topic and write a story for it.
2. Follow the original rules of the topic you choose. (As applicable. I didn't check every single past topic for compatibility.)
3. Let us know which topic you choose.
4. Let us know how much was finished beforehand and what was written now.
5. You can enter for a topic you originally administered.
6. You can continue a story you already submitted, as long as it is for a different topic.

Here's a list of past topics, going back through 2011:

Adventure Game
Faustian Bargain
Alternative Truth
Cloak and Dagger
Write about what you don`t know
Wafts of Mist
Biblical Book
Mass Disappearances
Last Will and Testament
King of Random
Write about what you know!
Time to Vote!
Abandoned Place
The Opposite of Christmas
Concreate Poetry: Festive Edition
Petty Deity
A Crimson Shade of Blue
Little Folk
Travel Guide
Civilizations First Direct Contact
Lost in Translation
The Author Struggle
Inept Personal Ad
The Incompetent King
Prison Drama
Diaries of the Zombie Apocalypse
Skeletons in the Closet
Absurdist Pulp Noir
Monumental Memories
Fictional Game Review
That`s an Actual Place?
Business of Yore
Not my blue cup of Tea
Odd Couple
In the beginning...
When Art is Concieved
Continuation Story
Broken Promise
Haunted House
Suddenly: Reality
Rashomon Style
Robbie Burns Editon
Tv Tropes
Impossible Escape!
Cast Away!
Invading Aliens!
Dark Moon
New Leaf
Happy Holidays
What if?
That's Criminal!
The Beach
Riddle me this
One Sentence Poem
Road Trip!
Text Adventure!
Mad Scientist Edition
Catch Phrase!
Ghost Writing
You choose
Coffee Time!
Drabble/Mini Saga
A Flick of the Switch
The American Old West
AGS Game Fanfiction
Next Stop: The Futur
A Light in the Dark

(Mistakes likely, I didn't check every single link.)

There are some more topics here.

I'm not sure yet how to do the voting here, as it might get dufficult to compare the stories. I'll think of something, and I'm open to suggestions.

Deadline is the 5th November. As this topic is rather unusual, I'm more than willing to extand it.

P.S.: If you hoped for a Halloween theme, there are a couple in the list above.

Deadline extended: 9. Nov. 2017

A castle obscured by fog, a moor where the dead rise from the mist, ghosts and ghouls or just plain old murder. Or maybe even nothing at all but the imagination of a scared wanderer. It is up to you.

As long as there is some kind of fog or mist, or even smoke if you prefer, that gives the setting of your story a spooky or surreal atmosphere, I'm happy.

Get your stories in by the end of October 22.

Hallo everyone!

Long live the revolution!


No dictator... no invader... can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand. The Centauri learned this lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it take a thousand years, we will be free.
G'kar (Babylon 5: S 02 E 20 The Long Twilight Struggle)

This Fortnightly Writing Competition is about any kind of revolution or rebellion. It can be an oppressed population rebelling against a tyrant or a military putsch against a democratic government - or even something non-political like a couple of students rebelling against their teacher. It doesn't matter what side your "heroes" are on or if there is a "good" or "bad" side.

The only thing I don't want to see: I'm a bit sick of Trump jokes, so I'm banning all current American politics.

Please overthrow all governments until the 4. May.

Hello everyone to our next exciting installment of the Fortnightly Writing Competition. As Azure wasn't online in over a week, I'll be your host this time.

So, did you look at the title of this post? No, don't worry, you're not too late, even though the title says it's time to vote. No, this time around, you should write a story about some kind of voting.

Ostracon, used in ancient Athens for ballots

Voting can and does happen in a lot of different places. It's not limited to politics. A jury deciding about a defendant, a group of friends discussing where to go for lunch, judges judging a talent show, our very own forum competitions - I'm sure there are countless everyday situations where a formal or casual form of voting takes place.

Your story should center around this in some way: a lawyer waiting for the verdict, a corupt politician manipulating an election or the group of friends trying a new restaurant - it's up to you.

Get your stories in for the deadline on the 24. February, so that we can do some voting in these categories:

Character: You find one or several characters really believable/captivating/magnetic/unique, etc.
Plot: The story arc was well-organized, coherent, and well-executed with appropriate pacing.
Atmosphere: This is all about feeling: did the story evoke strong feelings due to excitement/humour/intrigue/wonder/emotional intensity?
Background World: The best setting or milieu for a story; a place brought to life.
Word Choice/Style: The technical art of combining words in clever or gripping ways.

Site & Forum Reports / Recent News - not very recent
« on: 06 Jan 2016, 15:26 »
I'm sure you're all familiar with the "Recent News" box on the AGS home page. I just noticed that the last time the AGS blog (where these news are taken from) was updated was in December 2014, that is, over a year ago. So, our recent news are anything but recent.

I'm just wondering if it would maybe be a good idea to remove this box? (Make the "From the Forums" box bigger?)


Hello and welcome to a brand new Fortnightly Writing Competition!

This time around, we'll try something a bit different.

Concrete Poetry is a form of poetry where the visual element is as important as the words, or, as Wikipedia puts it:
Concrete, pattern, or shape poetry is poetry in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme, and so on.

It is sometimes referred to as visual poetry, a term that has come to have distinct meaning of its own, but which shares the distinction of being poetry in which the visual elements are as important as the text.

The easiest kind of concrete poetry are texts that are arranged in the shape of the meaning of the words they use:

Apfel by Reinhard Dohl (1965)
[Apfel is german for apple; Wurm means worm.]

The most common form is probably the kind where the text is just arranged in a way to follow the shape, disregarding length of words:

A more difficult kind is where length of words and verses is more or less followed and creates the intended shape almost automaticly:

Die Trichter by Christian Morgenstern (1905)
(This one actually rhymes as well.)

[Translation found here:

The Funnels

A funnel ambles through the night. [it should be two funnels; it's still a good translation...]
Within its body, moonbeams white
converge as they
descend upon
its forest
(Sorry for the formating of the translation. This should also give you a hint that it's better to post pictures in this round.)

And last but not least, there's the most abstract kind where words don't seem to exist anymore:

Fisches Nachtgesang (Night Song of Fish) by Christian Morgenstern (1905)

So, I think you can imagine why I showed you all this? That's right! This time around I want you to write a piece of concrete poetry. Whether it is just a single word or a whole story, a poem with rhymes and rhythm or no words in the classic sense at all - that's all up to you, as long as the connection between the words and the shape is strong (and don't write a text and add a picture to it, that's not what this is about). And because we're in the festive season, it should have something to do with this: a snowflake, a christmas tree, a candle, etc. - it's up to you.

(As mentioned above, it's probably best to post all entries as pictures, so that the forum doesn't screw up the formating.)

The voting categories will reflect this unusual kind of poetry. We'll have the following:

Text: If you remove all visual elements, does the text still mean something? Is it well written, in a good style? Does it tell a story?
Shape: If you remove the language element, is it a good and interesting picture? How well is the artistic execution? This is the category for all visual elements.
Correlation: How well do text and shape fit together? Does the text add to the picture? Does the picture add to the text?

As you can see, writing and art are equally important this time around.

I hope I didn't scare you off and see a lot of poems in this Fortnightly Writing Competition - it's easier than you might think.

Deadline: 14. December.

Happy writing!

Welcome to a new round of our exciting Fortnightly Writing Competition!

This time, your challange is to write about an archer.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) - Anja Hitzler - Oliver <The Arrow> Queen (Stephen Amell) - Robin Hood

A medieval English longbowman, an olympic champion or a science-fiction hero shooting laser beams instead of arrows - archery requires a lot of skill, talent and strength.
The archer in your story doesn't need to be the main character but he/she should play an important part. Other than that, just write what you want.

Deadline: 29. Sept. 2015

Fellow wordsmith and tellers of tales,

we've all read stories where eyes become orbs and the description of a burning fire needs four pages. Where the reader wishes the author had burned his thesaurus twenty pages ago. In other words: purple prose - prose that is so florid that it becomes painful to read.

You want some examples?

Quote from: Paolini: Inheritance Circle
The branch Roran had added to the fire burst asunder with a muted pop as the coals underneath heated the gnarled length of wood to the point where a small cache of water or sap that had somehow evaded the rays of the sun for untold decades exploded into steam.

Quote from: Theis: The Eye of Argon
The weather beaten trail wound ahead into the dust racked climes of the baren land which dominates large portions of the Norgolian empire. Age worn hoof prints smothered by the sifting sands of time shone dully against the dust splattered crust of earth. The tireless sun cast its parching rays of incandescense from overhead, half way through its daily revolution. Small rodents scampered about, occupying themselves in the daily accomplishments of their dismal lives. Dust sprayed over three heaving mounts in blinding clouds, while they bore the burdonsome cargoes of their struggling overseers.

More examples can be found here.

So why do I force you to read this?

Because now I want you to write like that!

For this Fortnightly Writing Competition your task is to write a short story (preferably less than 4000 words) in the worst purple prose you can manage. And to make it even more of a challange: Make it a good story, that is, one with plot and characters.

Voting will be done in the following categories:

Best Character: Most believable or captivating or magnetic or unique: could be main character or supporting role
Best Plot: What happens in the story? Are the actions logical, exciting, suspenseful? Is it good despite the prose?
Best Atmosphere: Which story evoked the strongest feelings due to excitement/humour/intrigue/wonder/emotional intensity?
So bad it's good: This is our style category this time around. The more painful to read, the more hilarious and dreadful the prose, the better.

Deadline: 11. August 2015

Happy writing!

Quote from: Napoleon
Soldiers, from the summit of yonder pyramids forty centuries look down upon you...

Old monuments like the pyramids probably would have a lot of stories to tell if they could talk. They also are very limited in their perspective. They stay at one place and only see part of a larger picture. On the other hand, they see human interaction over a period of many, many years.

Imagine yourself to be a monument and tell a story from this perspective. It doesn't have to be first person and it's not even necessary to treat the monument like a person. As long as you limit your point of view, it is enough. All kinds of stories are possible: two lovers that always meet at the Taj Mahal, the pyramids witnessing Napoleons speech or the Statue of Liberty being transported from France to New York.

This Fortnightly Writing Competition ends on the 7. August and there will be trophies.
Enjoy writing.

Every great story has to begin somewhere. Every great story needs a first sentence, a first paragraph, a first chapter (or a prologue, depending on how you set up your story) In this chapter the author needs to set up some characters (not necessaryly the main ones), the world and probably the atmosphere of the whole story. He also needs to captivate the reader to a certain degree. After all, you would want people to keep on reading.

Let's look at some examples:

A character is created:

First the colours.
Then the humans.
That's usually how I see things.
Or at least, how I try.
Here is a small fact
You are going to die.
I am in all truthfulness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing me, no matter my protestation.
Martin Zusak: "The Book Thief"

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Treborn. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the university at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread path by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.
Patrick Rothfuss: "The Name of the Wind" (Actually from chapter 7, but it's the beginning of the story within the story, so I'd say it counts)

Or an atmosphere:

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral Arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.
Orbitting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
Douglas Adams: "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense.
J.K. Rowling: "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"

But a first chapter alone does not make a story, it just sets the tone. The storyline in the rest of the novel is just as important.

So, what I want you to do this time around is devided into two parts:
1. Write a short first chapter, or first paragraph, or just first sentence of what could be a whole novel.
2. Write a summary of what is to follow or something that could be used as a blurb on the back off the book.

One last example:

First paragraph:
I didn't know how long I had been in the king's prison. The days were all the same, except that as each one passed, I was dirtier than before. Every morning the light in the cell changed from the wavering orange of the lamp in the sconce outside my door to the dim but even glow of the sun falling into the prison's central courtyard. In the evening, as the sunlight faded, I reassured myself that I was one day closer to getting out. To pass time, I concentrated on pleasent memories, laying them out in order and examining them carefully. I reviewed over and over the plans that dad seemed so straightforward before I arrived in jail, and I swore to myself and every god I knew that if I got out alive, I would never never never taky any risks that were so abysmally stupid again.

And the blurb:
Because of his bragging - and his great skill - Gen lands in the King's prison, shackled to the wall of his cell. After months of isolation, he his released by none other than the King's scholar, the Magus, who believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. The thief he needs for the long, dangerous journey is Gen. To the Magus, Gen is just a tool. But Gen has some ideas of his own.
Magan Whalen Turner: "The Thief"

And now you know what books I own in english ;) I hope I did not overwhelm you with all these quotes. In the end this is a rather simple topic, really. Just imagine you wanted to write a novel and go from there.
Deadline is the 8th february.
Go and be creative!

People make promises all the time:

“I`ll be home by six.“
“I`ll help you with the dishes later...“
“I`ll never steal again.“

People also break these promises all the time. That is just the way we are.

For this Fortnightly Writing Competition I ask you to write a story in which a promise is first made and then broken. This promise can be something small like my first two examples or something big like a broken treaty between nations.

Deadline is the 15. Nov.

Enjoy writing!

How did this shovel fit in the pants of this adventure game character?
Why does nobody ever question the child detectives when they look at a crime scene? And why do all these crimes happen when they are in the vicinity, again?

In most stories there's one point where the story would probably happen differently if the characters lived in the real world. As a reader you would probably shrug and read on and not really care, because we expect to a certain degree that things happen differently in a story. That's just the way it is. A character in a story doesn't wonder about these things, because for him, this is reality. The child detective doesn't expect to get stopped or questioned, the adventurer knows that he can everything he wants and no-one notices or even arrests him for theft, for example.

Of course, there are stories that point these things out on a regular basis, and others that try to stay as close to reality as possible. I ask for something different: Write a story where a character's conceptions about his world suddenly stop to be true and our reality inserts itself in the story. This can go from a character that gets simply confused because his world has gone crazy to the character actually realizing that he his in a story and him questioning the author. (A short example, because I'm not entirely sure I made this clear: The adventure game charatcer has always put heavy equipment in his pockets and nobody batted an eye. He tries this again, but his friend points out that it shouldn't be possible to do something like that. The main character suddenly can't do it any more. He starts to question what has happened in the past and now and comes to the conclusion that he must be going crazy.)

For some reason this topic sounded easier before I typed it. :-[ But I'm sure you all will come up with some creative ideas and some great stories.
You have time untill the 5th october.

Rashomon Style

Maybe you are familiar with the movie Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa, and if not, that's not a problem. Knowledge of this movie is no requirement to enter here. The point of this film is that several protagonists provide alternate versions of the same incident and you only get the whole picture in the end. This basic idea was used in a lot of different stories and movies. For some examples go here.

I want you to write a story like that. Tell us about an event in at least 2 versions. This can be two first person narrators, or a first person narrator and a third person omnipotent narrator, or it could be one narrator once telling the story to a child then to an adult, or the narrator is a child when he tells the story the first time and an adult the second time. Or anything else you could think of. As long as you tell us about the same incident (at least) twice, it's fine. It's not necessary that there is a true version.
You can connect these parts with a framing story, but that is not absolutely necessary either. You can simply put them as two chapters, if you prefer it like that.

The deadline for this round is the 23. August.

Enjoy writing and good luck!

"There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt" (Audre Lorde)

Maybe it's true that there are no new stories to be told only new ways of telling them, maybe it's not. But I do believe that every story takes elements and concepts from already existing stories and uses them to create something new. That's basically what I want you to do.
The topic for this fortnightly writing competition is

TV Tropes

Head over to (or if you know of a similar site, go there) and chose a random trope (there's a random button on the bottom or a story generator under "toys" on the left) to use in your story, or poem or essay or whatever you want. If you don't want something so random, just write any story you like and look for a fitting trope later.

Post your story and the trope(s) you used until 10. July.
And most important: Have fun!

It's criminal how very few entries there were for the last writing competition, so to make up for that, I want you all to write stories (or poems) that involve any kind of crime. It could be about a detectiv solving a case of identitiy theft, about a group of thieves planning a heist or about a family grieving their murdered family member - just to give you some general ideas.

Please commit (or solve) all crimes until the 27th of August.

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