The I-only-meant-to-have-30-posts-crit.

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Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
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Okay, I'll play. (I didn't post 34 posts ago as thought these had all stopped.) This is the opening to a sequel to Inish Carraig. It is unpolished, and indeed not expected to be anything other than a fun crit. But this is where I envisage the book opening. I'm planning to have a lot of fun writing this.


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sh*te, sh*te and more sh*te. John cursed as he slipped in yet more of the stuff. He had his sweater tied around his mouth and nose but it made no difference. The sh*t-eaters had smelt bad enough in Belfast; here, on the Zelotyrs’ home planet, they broke records in revoltment.

“Keep going,” yelled Carter, drawing alongside him, casting a desperate eye over his shoulder. “Speed up."

If the cop hadn't been practically up to his own knees in the crap, John would have sworn he was enjoying watching John’s misery. As it was, he had the now-familiar combination of trying to be in charge whilst cack-handedly out-of-his-depth.

A roar behind John got him moving, an action cemented by a blast to the side of him and a fountain of crap reaching to the dull-grey sky. Suddenly, it didn’t matter what the bog smelled like, or what might be clinging to his clothes – the material was space-age, perhaps it might magically repel the sh*te. He lived in hope - it only mattered that he sped up.

“Round the corner,” shouted Carter. He slowed down, presumably doing that cop-thing of drawing the flak to give John a chance. He could forget about that; authority had gone out the window the moment the Barath’na had attacked on this godforsaken sh*t-plain. Now, it was survival. They'd already lost Neeta, divided in the race to get away, and they’d last longer together.

“Carter, get your arse over here, or I don’t take another step!” yelled John, and Carter caught up, eyes wide. Then he overtook John.

How close were the Barath’na squad? John followed the cop, taking the hint. His sweater fell from his mouth to sink in the sludge. He rounded the corner. A rocky outcrop stood like a beacon in the sh*te. A gaping mouth led into it – the only hope they had: to get deep underground and pick up the Zelotyr trail. The Barath'na squad would have to abandon their vehicle to follow.

A figure stepped out from the shadows of the rock, lean-lined and dangerous. John juddered to a halt, eyes frantically casting for another way out.

“All right, lads,” said Neeta, a smirk on her face. “Finally made it, did you?”

She hadn’t been taken. She hadn’t been lost in the sh*te. As ever, she’d been one step ahead of them. John didn’t answer her as he dived for cover from another fountain of sh*te.
 
You kept mentioning sh*te and crap repeatedly in the beginning paragraphs - it give me a literal image of being in some form of sewerage. But later on it's mentioned that it's actually a bog. I would have liked the proper term earlier, to keep the image consistent, before getting the flood of character POV comments on what they were striding through.

Anyway, good look with the sequel - looking forward to seeing what develops. :)
 
Pretty slick-slimy-smelly.

Perhaps inspired by a frantic filled moment aboard a certain deathstar; a long time ago in a galaxy far away.

I found myself pulled out here but ...

If the cop hadn't been practically up to his own knees in the crap, John would have sworn he was enjoying watching John’s misery. As it was, he had the now-familiar combination of trying to be in charge whilst cack-handedly out-of-his-depth.

I kept trying to figure out how to efficiently remove one of the Johns from this sentence.(of course with that many johns in scene you might try just flushing the bog down.)
John would have sworn he was enjoying watching John's misery.
Because it kept bringing up images of John as bookends around the cop.
But there are not enough distinctive pronouns to work so you don't repeat someones name without one of them changing sex.

Then: considering how easily confused I get; I could almost deliberately have trouble figuring out who 'he' is in the second sentence.
 
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Jo, I was disappointed when I found out that they were running in a bog. I was convinced that this just had to be an open sewer, or sanitary field and then "just a bog?" Come on.... If you want a bog make it "muck" not "sh*te." Other than that this is a great opening. It makes me want to read more and find out why are John and Carter running? How is it that Neeta is ahead of them? It's been a while since I read "Inish" (I still read Irish a lot of the time. sigh!) and this has enough ties to be distinguishable as the sequel, but obviously some time has passed and something has changed.


Edit: Do you want to explain the title of this thread? You probably average 30+ replies a day. When I first read the heading I thought it was form way, way, back when you had only been active a day or perhaps two on this site.
 
Pretty slick-slimy-smelly.

Perhaps inspired by a frantic filled moment aboard a certain deathstar; a long time ago in a galaxy far away.

I found myself pulled out here but ...



I kept trying to figure out how to efficiently remove one of the Johns from this sentence.(of course with that many johns in scene you might try just flushing the bog down.)
John would have sworn he was enjoying watching John's misery.
Because it kept bringing up images of John as bookends around the cop.
But there are not enough distinctive pronouns to work so you don't repeat someones name without one of them changing sex.

Then: considering how easily confused I get; I could almost deliberately have trouble figuring out who 'he' is in the second sentence.

Yes, I mused on that line and how to reduce the pronouns but haven't yet got the flow. Something will occur. :)

Jo, I was disappointed when I found out that they were running in a bog. I was convinced that this just had to be an open sewer, or sanitary field and then "just a bog?" Come on.... If you want a bog make it "muck" not "sh*te." Other than that this is a great opening. It makes me want to read more and find out why are John and Carter running? How is it that Neeta is ahead of them? It's been a while since I read "Inish" (I still read Irish a lot of the time. sigh!) and this has enough ties to be distinguishable as the sequel, but obviously some time has passed and something has changed.


Edit: Do you want to explain the title of this thread? You probably average 30+ replies a day. When I first read the heading I thought it was form way, way, back when you had only been active a day or perhaps two on this site.

I wonder is the bog thing an Irish thing - here peat bogs are swampy and only in particular areas but quite memorable for how swampy they can be (I'm visualising hard ground giving way to bog land, foul smelling obviously, where they sink to their knees in the stuff - with the bog land able to be harvested as our peat bogs are (or plundered, perhaps) . But I can change that term.)

@Parson - I initially turned up here just for the crits and thought I'd be out of here at 30 posts. But this is my 14,000 th post crit (a couple of days late). So I was being tongue in cheek.

I'm pleased it sounds like Inish Carraig - it's a while since I've written the voices. But I get loads of requests to write it. But, since I tried this today I sank right back into it and plan to work at this for pure enjoyment while I complete a piece of work which I have a deadline - and hopefully a home for. So, yay. :)
 
Revoltement, cack-handedly, good fun. Revoltement doesn't show up, but I don't think anyone would have any trouble with it, or even bother looking it up. ) Hey, it IS a French word, apparentemoi~..* )
 
Just a quick note::
After looking @Parson 's post I realized that you may have to try to keep a distance between those two names Carter and John unless you want to deliberately mess subliminally with Edgar Rice Burroughs fans.
 
If the cop hadn't been practically up to his own knees in the crap, John would have sworn he was enjoying watching John’s misery.

If Carter hadn't been practically up to his own knees in the crap, John would have sworn the cop was enjoying watching his misery.
 
Revoltement, cack-handedly, good fun. Revoltement doesn't show up, but I don't think anyone would have any trouble with it, or even bother looking it up. ) Hey, it IS a French word, apparentemoi~..* )

Excellente! I think I did make it up, looking at it now. :eek:

Just a quick note::
After looking @Parson 's post I realized that you may have to try to keep a distance between those two names Carter and John unless you want to deliberately mess subliminally with Edgar Rice Burroughs fans.

:D :D Yes, maybe got away with that better when in Belfast. But now they're in the wild I can watch the classicists squirm.

If Carter hadn't been practically up to his own knees in the crap, John would have sworn the cop was enjoying watching his misery.

And that is why you are a genius. ;)
 
Congrats on how many??? posts.

I liked this and it was easy to follow. Maybe because the asterisks from the forum software censoring made it more noticeable, but the word sh*te seemed distractingly common. I'd also have liked more description of the bog, its smells, how it feels to trudge through, etc.

A couple of other points:


If the cop hadn't been practically up to his own knees in the crap, John would have sworn he was enjoying watching John’s misery.

I think you can risk "his misery" here without misunderstanding. The repeat of John feels unnatural.

As it was, he had the now-familiar combination of trying to be in charge whilst cack-handedly out-of-his-depth.

Whereas here on the other hand, it would be clearer and still read fine if the "he" was "Carter".

His sweater fell from his mouth to sink in the sludge.

Would a sweater sink if dropped into sludge? With all the air trapped between the fibres, I have a feeling one wouldn't quickly sink even in water.
 
Thanks, @HareBrain . I agree that the sh*tes and craps will be reduced on the edit (if y'all thought Inish had a lot of bad language when released, you want to have seen the early versions...) and @Parson has me thinking a little more about where they are - I'm now thinking that this might be a culvert leading into an old hatchery (in Inish the manure was used to provide hatching conditions, due to the combination of heat and chemical interactions - the Zelotyr never ate it) which would have been, I'm thinking, well protected.

And, yes, on the sweater. Darn. It was a nice image... :) (Well, not nice. But, you know... I'll having it lying helplessly on the sludge instead.)
 
Sure its only a wee book. You could churn through it in no time.

*tries to think of useful critting*

There's a couple of instances of word repetition that stick out on re-read - yelled, fountain of x.

Think the big thing is John. Is he angry? Scared? I get that he's not having fun, but he feels very in control and more concerned with the smell than the possibility of something bad happening. Between that and Neeta stopping to rib the lads shortly before they're attacked again (at least, I presume they are due to the fountain of brown smelly stuff), there's not much of a feeling of danger to me.

In general I liked it though.
 
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