Short Stories (Guide)
Abstract: draft, rewrite, publish - the art of writing and making money.
The Writer's Desk
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
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!
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.
|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 |
(up to 100)
+ 1 CP Wounds
(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.
|A Cautious Edit||1 x Manuscript Page||1 (4)||25 (45)|
|A Daring Edit||1 x Manuscript Page||2||60|
|Incorporate romance||Romantic Notion||0.10||2||60|
|Spice it with gossip||Scrap of Incendiary Gossip||0.50||2||60|
|Use your Case Notes||Compilation of Case-Notes||2|
|Add a touch of darkness||Tale of Terror!!||0.50||2||70|
|Compromising Document 2||Compromising Document||0.50||2||70|
|Include something exotic||Memory of Distant Shores||0.50||2||80|
|Incorporate life-lessons||5 Hard-Earned Lesson||3||80|
|Add a dash of zee-adventure!||Zee-Ztory||0.50||2||90|
|Weave in esoteric elements||Extraordinary Implication||2.50||5||100|
|Add a dash of heartbreak||Touching Love Story||2.50||5||110|
|Not an entirely fictional character...||An Identity Uncovered!||2.50||5||110|
|Ask your most exalted contacts for inside information||Favour in High Places||12.50||12||140|
|Publish... and be damned.||Blackmail Material||12.50||12||150|
|A rare lesson||Trade Secret||60||25|
- Rare occasions in brackets.
- 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.
Finish a Short Story
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.
- Once you’ve completed your Short Story, you’re ready to start again and write another!
- 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 2 to tier 3.
- And as the card claims: "Being an Author […] pays better than Journalism" - well, at least every tier 3 profession does pay better than its tier 2 variant and this does NOT mean that Short Story authoring or anything else is being paid better to journalists.