Short Stories (Guide)

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Ladybonessmall.png Early MYN Content

Abstract: draft, rewrite, publish - the art of writing and making money.

The Writer's Desk[edit]

The Writer's Desk generates a Short Story, which so far has (nearly) no other purpose than to improve the author's budget. The task of creating Manuscript Pages with a Potential to become a Short Story is based on Persuasive. The final outcome (and thus the author's income) is based on the quality of the created manuscript.

Begin a Work[edit]

You Begin a Work and Write a Short Story. You now have 1 x Manuscript Page with a Potential of 20.

Note: Throughout the process of creating a Short Story you can pause or step back and forth between the different stages without any penalty. But now that you are Working on... a Short Story you should not simultaneously try Carving out a Reputation at Court (Guide) otherwise Something is wrong!


Work on your story![edit]

In fact you can move on to improve the script's Potential at Rework and Finish! when you have 3 x Manuscript Pages, but to finish your Short Story you will need at least 10 of them.

You start with 20 Potential, which represents the script's quality and ability to become a certain Short Story. The higher your Potential the better the chance to make it a more valuable Short Story. If you let this drop to 0 your script will become a useless Wreckage!, and you have to Consign it to the flames.

With 20 Potential (and the reluctance to spend expensive items), you should have about 30-45 pages before you advance, for the editing process will consume pages until Potential hits 60. You may want to try Laudanum! in the beginning to push Potential - or burn your script if it goes awfully wrong. The use of Laudanum! later on is either not advisable or desperate.

The Writer's Desk: work on your story!
Option AP Success Failure Note
pages potential pages potential
Write. 5 +5 -1 occasionally +1 10 
Write rapidly. 4 +5 -1 occasionally +1 40 
Write frantically 4 +6 -1 occasionally +1 -2 100 
Write frenziedly 3 +6 -2 occasionally +1 -2 150 
Use Typewriter 4 +5 +1 -1 50 
Ornate Typewriter
Use Laudanum!
(50% Luck)
3 +3 +10
(up to 100)
+1 -10 Laudanum
+ 1 CP Wounds
Use Honey!
(60% Luck)
3 +2 +2
(up to 160)
+1 -2 -50 x Honey



At an early stage of the reworking process you can either use your raw material or some specific items to increase Potential. Higher quality Short Stories require more valuable items (or a daring use of Laudanum!. Except for Touching Love Story, Favour in High Places and Trade Secret all items worth 2.50 echoes or more will also give 1-2 points of menace - even on a success.

The Writer's Desk: rework!
Option Item Cost Gain[1] Limit[2]
Quillsmall.png A Cautious Edit 1 x Manuscript Page 1 (4) 25 (45)
Knife2small.png A Daring Edit 1 x Manuscript Page 2 60
Heartsmall.png Incorporate romance Romantic Notion 0.10 2 60
Gossipsmall.png Spice it with gossip Scrap of Incendiary Gossip 0.50 2 60
Jigsawsmall.png Use your Case Notes Compilation of Case-Notes 2
Scaryeyesmall.png Add a touch of darkness Tale of Terror!! 0.50 2 70
Papers3small.png Compromising Document 2 Compromising Document 0.50 2 70
Wakesmall.png Include something exotic Memory of Distant Shores 0.50 2 80
Blackjacksmall.png Incorporate life-lessons 5  Hard-Earned Lesson 3 80
Waves3small.png Add a dash of zee-adventure! Zee-Ztory 0.50 2 90
Implicationsmall.png Weave in esoteric elements Extraordinary Implication 2.50 5 100
Adorationsmall.png Add a dash of heartbreak Touching Love Story 2.50 5 110
Masksatinsmall.png Not an entirely fictional character... An Identity Uncovered! 2.50 5 110
Baldmansmall.png Ask your most exalted contacts for inside information Favour in High Places 12.50 12 140
Newgatesmall.png Publish... and be damned. Blackmail Material 12.50 12 150
Papers4small.png A rare lesson Trade Secret 60 25
  1. Rare occasions in brackets.
  2. This is not only the potential cap, but also the difficulty level for this Persuasive challenge, which means a 60% success rate if it equals your quality.

You may go Back to writing... or finally Finish your Short Story.


Finish a Short Story[edit]

Go back, if your story is Not quite ready yet... or finish it off if you have at least 10 pages with 16 Potential. Publishing is a Potential challenge, consumes all created pages and might add some Making Waves. Failing degrades your story two tiers. Echoes sale price is in brackets - although not higher math, for your convenience the last column shows the value loss on a failure.

The Writer's Desk: Finish a Short Story
up to
Potentially Success (E ) MW Failure (E ) MW E Loss
16 62  acceptable Story.png (2) 1 Storyunloved.png (1) 0 1
32 62  competent Storycompetent.png (10) 5 Storyunloved.png (1) 1 9
50 62 
compelling Storycompelling.png (30) 10 Storycompetent.png (10) 5 20
70 81 
5x 83 
thrilling Storythrilling.png (50) 20 Storycompetent.png (10) 5 40
80 92  exceptional Storyexceptional.png (60) 25 Storycompelling.png (30) 10 30
90 105  extraordinary Storyextraordinary.png(70) 30 Storythrilling.png (50) 20 20
100 115 
152  162 
masterful Storymasterful.png (80) 35 Storyexceptional.png (60) 25 20
150 celebrated Storycelebrated.png (130) 40 Storyextraordinary.png (70) 30 60
200 classic Storyclassic.png (180) 100 Storymasterful.png (80) 35 100

Uses of Short Stories[edit]

Short Story Sell Uses
Unloved Short Story E 1 None.
Short Story E 2 None.
Competent Short Story E 10 None.
Compelling Short Story E 30 None.
Thrilling Short Story E 50 None.
Exceptional Short Story E 60 Advance from Journalist to Author
Extraordinary Short Story E 70 Option if playing against the Bishop in Heart's Desire
Masterful Short Story E 80 None.
Celebrated Short Story E 130 None.
Classic Short Story E 180 Option to get St Cerise's Candle (SMEN)

Final notes:

  • A Compelling Short Story has a real bad ratio on action points for what it's worth in the end, if you don't push your Potential with some Laudanum.
  • A failure on A Thrilling Short Story is a real pain, so it seems advisable to rather aim for An Exceptional Short Story.
  • The optimal way to earn the most echoes and Making Waves per action with modified Persuasive 183+ is to grind Touching Love Stories in Polythreme, use Laudanum! and scrap it if it fails, then use either Write frantically or Write frenziedly if you have high enough Persuasive, then use your love stories to increase Potential to 110. Not counting the zee trips since the impact of those approaches zero as the amount of time spent overzee increases, this gives 1.73 echoes and 0.746 Making Waves per action.
  • A Celebrated Short Story is already expensive, risky and hard to achieve, but, if there's no serious need, to aim for a classic is quite insane - it requires a minimum of 2 Trade Secrets, which take 8 weeks to gather and sell for 120 echoes directly or can be converted to 250 echoes of items, whereas the Short Story goes away for 180. Of course, some Londoners are insane.
  • Advance from Journalist to Author
    • This needs an Exceptional Short Story to advance from tier 1 to tier 2.
    • And as the card claims: "Being an Author […] pays better than Journalism" - to be clear, this only refers to the fact that tier 2 professions pay better weekly than their tier 1 variants and this does NOT mean that Short Story authoring or anything else is more profitable when you are an Author.

Writing Classic Short Stories[edit]

This section is aimed at seekers, but also applies to other players seeking to make classic short stories. When writing a Classic short story, you will need at least 2 Trade Secrets, but in order to maximise your potential (and thus maximise your chances of succeeding), it is advisable to get as far as you can with the cheaper 12.5E items

To do this, you will want to reach exactly 150 potential before using Publish... and be damned. the final time, ending at 162 potential before using secrets (and case-notes). One way to do this is to do the following procedure:

Write manuscript pages. It is probably most efficient to just write frenziedly, but laudanum + frenziedly is also an option.

  • Up to 22/27/32: Use spare manuscript pages/Romantic Notions to get 22/27 potential. 27 is an option if you're at an odd number, 32 is an option if you used Laudanum in the process of making your Manuscript pages.
  • From 22/27: Use Touching Love Story in order to both finish in a reasonable speed, but also because they don't give menaces.
  • 102: Use 12.5 E items. Favours in High Places are recommended, as they don't give menaces.
  • 150: Use Blackmail material.
  • 162+: Use Trade secrets and (optionally) Case-notes

Probability of at least 1 success based on amount of trade secrets spent[edit]

Trade Secrets spent Potential P(success) P(success) optional strategy
2 212 63.6% N/A
3 237 71.1% N/A
4 262 78.6% 86.8%[1]
5 287 86.1% 89.5%[2]
6 312 93.6% 95.2%[3]
7 337 1 N/A
  1. Using up to two attempts each spending 2 secrets
  2. Using two attempts, one with 3 secrets, one with 2 secrets
  3. Using up to three attempts each spending 2 secrets